Raiders of the Lost Ark

Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15

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Critic Reviews

  1. Washington Post
    Reviewed by: Gary Arnold
    Jun 1, 2016
    100
    Raiders of the Lost Ark is sensational. This awesomely entertaining adventure spectacle, directed by Steven Spielberg from an idea hatched by executive producer George Lucas, succeeds in fusing the most playful and exciting elements of Spielberg's "Jaws" and Lucas' "Star Wars" in a fresh format. It is a transcendent blend of heroic exploits, cliffhangers and chases distilled with nostalgia and wit from the pulp thrillers, comic books and Republic serials of the World War II era. [12 June 1981, p.E1]
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Jun 1, 2016
    100
    Raiders of the Lost Ark has it all—or, anyway, more than enough to transport moviegoers back to the dazzling, thrill-sated matinee idyls of old. It is surely the best two hours of pure entertainment anyone is going to find in the summer of '81.
  3. 100
    Plays like an anthology of the best parts from all the Saturday matinee serials ever made.
  4. Dallas Observer
    Reviewed by: Luke Y. Thompson
    100
    Spielberg can never top this. Period.
  5. One of the most deliriously funny, ingenious and stylish American adventure movies ever made.
  6. Premiere
    Reviewed by: Howard Karren
    100
    Steven Spielberg turns the pure adventure of Saturday afternoon serials into a solidly entertaining spectacle.
  7. 100
    Has all the right ingredients: a smart script, a likable hero, a dash of romance, more than a touch of comedy, and a lot of fast-paced action.
  8. Ford's performance is an underrated but remarkable achievement; he succeeds in fully embodying a comic-book style hero without ever descending into camp.
  9. Reviewed by: Stephen Klain
    100
    Spielberg has deftly veiled proceedings in a sense of mystical wonder that makes it all the more easy for viewers to suspend disbelief and settle back for the fun.
  10. 100
    Raiders of the Lost Ark is, in fact, about as entertaining as a commercial movie can be. What is it? An adventure film that plays like an old-time 12-part serial that you see all at once, instead of Saturday-to-Saturday. It's a modern "Thief of Baghdad." It's the kind of movie that first got you excited about movies when you were a kid.
  11. 90
    Finds the right balance between reverence and wit.
  12. The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    Reviewed by: Jay Scott
    Jun 1, 2016
    88
    Raiders of the Lost Ark (at the Eglinton) is a cinematic roller-coaster, thrilling and frightening in equal measure, a heart-pounding slide down greased lightning. [12 June 1981]
  13. Reviewed by: Ernest Leogrande
    Jun 1, 2016
    80
    The movie is so entertaining it hardly seems right to say it's susceptible to holes being picked in it, but it is.
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 584 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 103
  2. Negative: 4 out of 103
  1. Sep 24, 2011
    9
    "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is a adventurous movie that plays out like a TV series, but one with a powerful script, cast, and story. Its like"Raiders of the Lost Ark" is a adventurous movie that plays out like a TV series, but one with a powerful script, cast, and story. Its like watching the best moments of TV in one cool movie. Full Review »
  2. Jul 25, 2011
    0
    I saw the movie first when I was 15. Back then, I thought it was spectacular. Now, when I watch it, I think it is extremely cheesy, withI saw the movie first when I was 15. Back then, I thought it was spectacular. Now, when I watch it, I think it is extremely cheesy, with really bad dialogue, and with almost every scene looking so staged that it is unreal. You can almost see somebody yelling 'Action' and then the awful action sequence starts. Not an ounce of excitement, it looks just really ridiculous. The Germans are made look so dumb and stereotyped, it is just embarrassing. BAD FILMMAKING ! I guess it was a learning experience for Spielberg... Full Review »
  3. Jan 29, 2013
    9
    Raiders of the Lost of Ark is a masterpiece. It has some of the most famous scenes in move history from the beginning to the end. It isRaiders of the Lost of Ark is a masterpiece. It has some of the most famous scenes in move history from the beginning to the end. It is adventure like no other. Full Review »