User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 350 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 350

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  1. Sep 29, 2014
    10
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  2. Sep 5, 2014
    10
    Raiders of the Lost Ark is a fantastic movie about an archaeologist hired by the U.S. government to find an antiquity before the Nazis.Harrison Ford in his most iconic role of his career as Indiana Jones, entertains you in this adventurous classic.
  3. Jul 11, 2014
    8
    Childhood memories up in here. Not my favorite Indiana Jones Movie, but still better than most Action/Adventure movies that i know.
  4. Jun 16, 2014
    10
    An amazing, wonderful tale of a man's quest for a holy yet cursed chest in the mythology, Raiders of the Lost Ark boasts strong, heroic from Harrison Ford, and undeniably greatly benefits from a fantastic storytelling.
  5. Jun 1, 2014
    10
    My favorite movie by far. Indiana Jones is the most interesting/awesome/amazing character ever put to film. 90 doesn't do it justice. It should have won best picture.
  6. May 22, 2014
    10
    Raiders is one of the most entertaining movies ever made. The action is great, the writing is smart, the acting is great, and Spielberg's direction is brilliant.
  7. May 5, 2014
    8
    A fun slick adventure staring Harrison Ford. This movie is so fun and so imaginitive. Indy has a movie that just never gets old. Harrison Ford never seizes to amaze me
  8. Mar 15, 2014
    10
    This movie is amazing don't for for the big words that others use such as ''monotonous'' or ''linear'' these people are complaining that this movie isn't complex or sophisticated Indiana Jones isn't supposed to be either it is basic and simple finding nemo was supposed to be finding nemo not the godfather this movie has all the great things a movie needs a great story, action and of course characters the characters in this movie are just so easy to fall in love with and you do care for them when they are harmed overall indiana Jones and the raiders of the lost ark is a must see Expand
  9. Mar 8, 2014
    8
    It's a fun adventure. It's creepy and dark in places where it needs to be, it's humorous when it needs to be - the film, in general, knows when to deliver successful thrills.
  10. Dec 10, 2013
    9
    Probably one of the best action films ever made. Raiders re-invents the adventure genre and made a generation of people want to be archaeologists. Too bad "Big bang theory" ruined the film for us in 2013.
  11. Dec 8, 2013
    9
    This is primarily an action movie, and it does its job of thrilling us with brilliant action sequences one after the other more than satisfactorily. Harrison Ford plays Dr. Indiana Jones, a professor of archaeology at an unnamed university. Don't let his profession fool you. In his spare time, he likes to go on prolonged hunts for antiquities. This hobby of his takes him from South America to Nepal to Egypt.

    He finds trouble everywhere he goes, or trouble finds him. Indy is not interested in riches, but seeks to hand over each discovery he can to the museum. But Belloq, his nemesis, seems always to be one step ahead of him, and he has powerful friends who then have more friends of themselves, always among the local population. Shooting frequently breaks out wherever Indy goes, buildings explode, henchmen die and so on.

    The main plot follows Indiana Jones on the search for the lost Ark, which the Nazis are digging for with the help of Belloq. An object that is a key toward finding it is with Marion, Indy's past love interest. Circumstances force them to go on the search together, but they must do this before the Nazis, who would stop at nothing to bring the Ark to Berlin for the Fuhrer, to use as a weapon.

    The pacing was too fast at times and little time was left to develop the mythology and the importance of the Ark. We were expected to come into the film with a crash course on it. What the movie excels at is not making us Ark enthusiasts, but letting us glimpse what most treasure hunts must feel like to the people who pursue this course of action.

    All the action might have bored an average viewer if not for the quirky lines that crack you up, uttered by the characters in the face of impending death. Indy doesn't seem to believe for one moment that all those bullets flying over his head could really hit him. Often times, he uses his whip to slash at opponents and as a fulcrum to propel himself forward or lower himself or hold onto something. It serves nearly unlimited purposes.

    Set in 1936, the movie captures the look of the time as well as any other movie could. We have the cars, motorcycles, planes; and the dresses and uniforms and weapons. All this combines to create a very convincing world in which we absorb instantly.

    The movie has more than its share of explosions, car chases, shooting, fist-fighting and all that. You hardly ever pause to reflect, or become bored for that matter. You never learn how the Nazis find out which ship was Indiana travelling in. All this is good, and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but what I couldn't digest was the ending. It isn't necessarily bad in any way. Actually it failed to make any kind of impact on me. It kind of fizzled out. I feel like it should have held true to the joyride which came before it. Go out with a blast, not with a fizzle. Surely greats like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg could have done better. It was too deus ex machina. I found it anticlimactic, and it lessened the effect the movie had on me until then.

    Hailed as a great movie by many critics and audience alike, I cannot deny that I enjoyed the ride. But I can't concur in good conscience that this movie was great in light of the ending of the movie, though I will be fair and rate it as it deserves.
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  12. Nov 5, 2013
    9
    A great movie which certainly showed potential for a series of films. Shamefully the Temple of Doom wasn't very exciting film but that does not take away the greatness of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Overall it was a very good film with an interesting plot and solid characters. I just wish their would be more Indy films but i do not want the series to be extended so much that the storyline becomes boring and not worth watching. Expand
  13. Sep 15, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. "Spielberg can never top this. Period." Luke Y. Thompson, Dallas Observer Luke is right. This is the best Spielberg film as of yet. I don't believe he can top this. The movie's charm and adventure just captivate you and fully engage you in the movie. It works like clockwork.

    This film combines adventure, greed, power, love, Nazis, Harrison Ford at his best, and many other things to make the best adventure film ever made.

    All the actors seem to enjoy their roles, and I especially love Paul Freeman's crazy French archaeologist character, Belloq.

    There are many iconic scenes here; the boulder chase scene, the plane explosion, the U-boat scene, the "kidnapped Marion" scene, the "Indy-shoots-the-guy-with-the-sword" scene, and of course the melting faces scene. I could go on and on. You will like every moment of this movie, and will want more. Since you want more, you have 3 almost-as-good sequels to watch!
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  14. Sep 6, 2013
    10
    Raiders of the Lost Ark is by far one of the best, unforgettable films of the 80s. To the great leaders George Lucas and Steven Spielberg brings adventure to life.
  15. Jul 15, 2013
    10
    THIS IS A SPECTACULAR FILM!!!! Filled with so much action, adventure and fun- this film has everything that an audience needs when they go to see a movie. The script is so well written and witty, the direction and tone is spectacular (Spielberg does it again), the acting is top notch (Harrison Ford is a beast), the music is classic (John Williams is also a beast for making this score), the action is epic and awesome, the romance is great (Karen Allen is great), the film is fresh and original- this film has it all. An adventure of a lifetime! Expand
  16. Jun 25, 2013
    10
    My Number 1 favourite movie of all time and pretty much the pinnacle of adventure cinema "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is a film that no matter how many times it re-runs on air i can sit down and watch it indefinately.

    "Raiders", a marvel piece of cinema was created and brought to life by two of hollywoods biggest names at the time (Steven Spielberg "Jaws" & George Lucas "Star Wars"),
    Inspired by the old film serials of the 30's and 40's where adventurers will survive and escape virtually in-escapable peril,

    Harrison Ford is in his prime as the famous fictional architect Indiana Jones, whose journeys would involve bizarre riddles and strange hyroglifics that would usually result in biblical proportions.

    At the very beginning of the movie we are treated to a jungle exhibition with a mood defining score from John Williams and a younger, thinner Alfred Molina. Suddenly we enter a cave and finally the film already set it's moods and expectations in no less than 15 mins!!!

    Suddenly we see what little of Jones's regular life is like as a College professor, and in no time we see him off on another adventure searching for the legendary Ark of the Covenant (Built by the Israeles to hold the fragments of the Ten Commandments). this ends up seeing Jones traveling to Nepal to meet his old flame Marion (Karen Allen) who may hold the key to finding the Ark, unaware that both of them are being followed and hunted by Nazi Gestapos sent by Hitler to collect the Ark for himself, this revalation pairs Indy and Marion together as the head for Cairo to find it first.

    Among the Highlights of the movie as said before is The Cave, The Barfight in Nepal, The famous Market chase and the undeniably funny "Gun to the Swordfight" scene and so many others, even the ENDING of the film is so famous it has been more than parodied to death in recent Pop-Culture.

    The special effects and visual style in this film are truly a lost art, from the wax melting faces and giant fiberglass boulders, to the spirits, streets of Cairo, dimly lit dungeons and tombs, everything and anything could come out from anytime, anywhere.

    Also many people do not know all the talent behind this movie, Joe Johnston won an Academy Award for his effects and would later turn to directing, most notably recent "Captain America: The First Avenger" where the Nazi Villian utters "And the Fuhrer digs for trinkets in the desert" ;-)

    And Michael Bay was the storyboard artist who thought the movie was going to be horrible, saw it, loved it and eventually became a film-maker himself (yet he really needs to learn something or two).

    Even then though as i write and dive into this movie i can't explain why it's such a gem, Adventure films before and after to me never really reached this magnitude (not even the sequels) and no matter when and where it's on i'll just have to sit and watch it. all in all you're along for the ride and once it's started there's no going back.

    "Raiders" even after all i've said there no possible way to fully describe the experince as a whole, but why it means so much to me, in one sentence is...

    "One of the most Imaginative movies ever made and that's what i consider Cinema and Story telling is all about"

    Final Verdict: I loved it the first time i saw it, and i'll most likely continue to love it till the day i die, My ultimate number 1 movie of all time.
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  17. May 12, 2013
    9
    The beginning of one of the best franchises of action, and nothing but a lot of fun, full of innovative action, a character who became an icon of pop culture and immortalize Harrison Ford, and one of the first good plots that would become a model for movies action adventure.
  18. May 3, 2013
    8
    Now I see where 'The Mummy' got a lot of ideas for their reboot series. It's a shame it took me so long to finally start the Indiana Jones films because after watching this one I can tell I'm really going to enjoy them! Harrison Ford is great as the title character and is joined by a talented cast. It probably starts off a lot better than it ends up as they never really went back to the likes of that opening scene, but overall an entertaining film and a classic you must-see! Expand
  19. Apr 29, 2013
    10
    I remember first watching this when people talking about the return of Indiana Jones. Since I was a fan of Steven Spielberg I figured I's give this movie a shot. It was an incredible action-packed adventure. First off, the storyline is interesting and puts you on the edge of your seat. Second, the characters are awesome. I figured some of the lines would be quorky and lame, but it was surprisingly well written. And finally, the action. For an old classic like this, the action is very intense, fun and enjoyable. This is one of those movies that I wished I had already known. This is definitely one of the biggest movies ever made. Just ask an folk if they've seen Raiders of the Lost Ark. They'll most likely tell you they loved it. Overall, it's the biggest adventure in the history of cinema. Expand
  20. Apr 21, 2013
    10
    Another one of my favorite movies. This movie, in my opinion, has some of the best action scenes in movie history. It has a well-done story plot, great acting from Harrison Ford, some cool special effects, and lots and lots of fun.
  21. 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 is adventure like no other.
  22. Jan 6, 2013
    9
    The best action/adventure movie of all time. Smart and cool that deals with the Nazis. A great movie that makes you stand up and shout with enjoyment.
  23. Dec 28, 2012
    9
    In 1981, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas came together for a film called "Raiders of the Lost Ark", and thus brought to the world what would quickly become an immortal new action hero, Indiana Jones, played with irrepressible charisma and charm by Harrison Ford. Made in the spirit of the old movie adventure serials, we follow Henry "Indiana" Jones, professor of archaelogy and 'obtainer of rare antiquities', as he is asked by the government to locate the biblical Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis, who are also searching for it to unleash its theological powers. And what else is there to say? This is a classic adventure film, full of memorable characters, fantastic action scenes, drama, humor and an iconic music score. Certainly a top-tier movie from "top men" in the business. Expand
  24. Dec 28, 2012
    10
    Brilliantly crafted with moving characters, delightfully evil antagonists, Raiders of the Lost Ark certain to hark up nostalgia of early black-and-white escapist films.
  25. Dec 20, 2012
    8
    Great acting, script, plot, and an overall treat to watch! Regard this movie as a high quality classic! Great movie! Simply, one of the best. If you don't like this movie, then there is something wrong with you, I'm afraid.
  26. Dec 4, 2012
    10
    One of the best movies of all time. This is a classic. It did everything right. When it was released it was new and different. It was action-packed and suspenseful right from the beginning and has lots of humorous parts thrown in, lots of scary parts too. Another movie with an amazing musical score by John Williams, the music is amazing in this movie! I love the style of the way it was filmed, my girlfriend who is an art major told me the name for it but I forget, anyway it is filmed the way really old movies used to be filmed which looks way better than the typical Hollywood film you see today. Expand
  27. Nov 29, 2012
    6
    This movie was just about what I expected in some ways but unfortunately it didn't live up to the hype in others. First with the good stuff, it was exactly what I thought in terms of actions sequences, whip cracks, and archeological hunts. Those things were the strong elements of the film in my opinion. There were also plenty of funny scenes and the effects, while terrible in today's standards, were pretty darn good for a 30+ year-old film. The reason I rated this movie so low, however, is for the few negative parts. Things like the fact that the Indiana Jones character might be the dumbest protagonist in action film history for example. Or the corny scenes that mar so many films of that era. I honestly don't know what people were thinking back then to enjoy such tomfoolery. The other things that hurt the film weren't as major. The mystical/supernatural element was unfortunate but that's more of a personal thing. I tend to zone out when ridiculous stuff comes on the screen in supposedly realistic settings. The acting also wasn't great but it wasn't all that bad either. I was disappointed though in the lack of charisma from Harrison Ford during the movie. The same guy who managed to turn a douche bag smuggler into a fan favorite didn't have much opportunity to do the same here. I mainly blame the writing and directing. Still, the movie was enjoyable and I look forward to seeing the next two being that I've heard the series gets substantially better after the first one. Expand
  28. Nov 28, 2012
    9
    An obvious classic, "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" is a splendid showcase of stellar storytelling, excellent imagery, and a healthy action. Truly impossible to forget.
  29. Nov 15, 2012
    10
    To express all the highs and lows of cinema, the adventure and the romance, the action and the peril, Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the most significant films ever made.
  30. Aug 28, 2012
    10
    Indiana Jones, the character responsible for making archaeology the most exciting and sought for career ever is at best found in his first and inarguably greatest classic. Raider's of the lost Ark was one of a number of classic brought to the screen in the 1980's, other notable masterpieces were time travel saga the Back to the Future trilogy, the original Terminator and the Empire Strikes Back, and Spielberg's action adventure near enough trumps them all.
    Set in the backdrop of mid 1930's, where the second world war is on the verge, the film begins in a middle eastern jungle, Indy is venturing for a golden idol, he begins with three mercenaries, the whip crashes and five minutes later, he's running from a boulder having just set off the booby trap that would encave the entire temple. Five minutes in and one of the film's, of not one of cinema's most iconic scenes has rolled its way on to the screen, surely it can't get better?
    It does, watch on.
    Steven Spielberg is on top form in this department, providing camera work and action set pieces galore, scripted wonderfully by 80's superman Lawrence Kasdan (Empire Strikes Back.) But it's Harrison Ford who takes the cake as arguably the greatest (super)hero in cinema history, running from set piece to set piece whilst driving his story with impossibly cool suave and underlying moral dilemma. It's a film that, when first thought about ($20m globe trotting actioner starring Han Solo?) should not be good, bar even watchable, but the dream team of Lucas, Spielberg, Kasdan and Ford make it some of the most exciting, visually arresting adventure pics in creation. A must watch.
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  31. Jul 12, 2012
    10
    Simply the greatest adventure movie ever made. Harrison Ford does great in the title role and the rest of the cast is top tier, as well. Raiders also fascinates me with its interesting back story about the Ark of the Covenant.
  32. Jun 6, 2012
    10
    'Raiders of the Lost Ark' is THE shining example of a brilliant action/adventure blockbuster movie. It's by far my all-time favorite Spielberg film, and worthy of all praise it gets. I've seen all the Indy movies, and this one is definitely the best! I'd rank it among the best Steven Spielberg movies ever (and I'm not the only one): http://www.ranker.com/list/the-best-steven-spielberg-movies/lons
  33. Apr 2, 2012
    10
    First off, this is a 10 out of 10. Such a great adventure, that's just a masterpiece. Acting is great. Harrison ford was outstanding. Score is phenomenal. The classic lost ark music is just fun to listen, and overall it's just great to listen to. Story is also really good. Action sequences are great. Really well made. Overall, this is an outstanding movie. You should see this movie. It'll be a mistake if you don't see it. Expand
  34. Mar 28, 2012
    10
    This movie is a true classic, really entertaining, very funny and some really brilliant action scenes, Harrison Ford is excellent in it, bringing loads of swagger to the role, easily an excellent movies that kicked off one of the best movies franchises there is.
  35. Feb 23, 2012
    10
    A stone cold classic. Anyone who says otherwise must not like old school movies. Indiana Jones was a big influence on my youthful imagination. Spielberg and Lucas got it right with this first film in the series.
  36. Jan 13, 2012
    8
    I FINALLY got round to watching this movie. It was great but I didn't really have as much fun as when I did while watching the Temple Of Doom. It's still a great movie and I'm glad I watched it.
  37. Nov 20, 2011
    9
    I really liked it. Thought it was a good adventure film that established Harrison Ford as the go to guy for any action film. This is a must watch for anyone.
  38. Oct 4, 2011
    10
    The film is so funny, it has a good soundtrack, the characters are funny that is what makes the movie so funny, the effects are good and creepy sometimes, it has good action, one of the best of that genre, and the only one in being nominated in the Best Picture Category. One of the best films made by Steven Spielberg.
  39. 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 watching the best moments of TV in one cool movie.
  40. CRL
    Aug 9, 2011
    7
    Dated though it's special effects may be, Raiders is still a very entertaining thriller with one of the most recognizable characters in film history along with one of the most spontaneously funny fight scenes ever (if you don't know what I'm talking about, it involves a gun and a knife).
  41. 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, 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... Expand
  42. May 5, 2011
    9
    This film is "The" Adventure film and an example of how to make a good blockbuster flick. Entertaining as hell with memorable action scenes, solid acting and a well told story. Absolute joyride from beginning to end.
  43. Apr 26, 2011
    8
    Let me start by saying that this was one of the most excellent films of the 80s. Exciting, fast-paced, and a masterpiece itself. The debt that Harrison Ford brings to his character is outstanding, and nothing made his carreer lift off as well as this. This film is perfect in many ways, besides the dialogue. but for right now, I'll start with the story. The idea of finding the Lost Ark is not very original, for it was attempted many times in real life. But the fact that an archeoligist, inside a Nazi camp, with plenty of back-stabbers, and the sexiest, most beatiful women he'll ever meet AND trying to find the lost ark. Now thats original. Then the acting in this film is pure goodness. Sadly, Harrison Ford wasw robbed of a nomination-yes, not an award, but a NOMINATION- and thats just sad for the Academy. The acting by lead actress Karen Allen isnt as good as I hoped, but still a passing grade. Which is just one of the reasons why I gave this film an 8, not an expected 10, like most people. So, acting is good. Then comes the cinematagrophy. Wow. Next is the sound and soundtrack. This main theme might have been one of the best ever. Its one of the most recognizable, and it is such a pity that it didn't win the Academy Award. John Williams seemed to have put in a ton of effort into building this soundtrack, and it paid off. Never has a main theme been more enjoyable to listen to, other than Star War's and Pirates of the Carribean's. It will live on not in just movie history, but musical history, as well. Then I move on to the special effects. The special effects in this film were very gratifying, especially in the 80s. When I saw this film, I could've sworn it wasn't a movie from the 20th century. But, as usual, the wonders if film tricked me again. What great effects and what genuine editing. It's all simply marvelous. But then I move on to what mainly gave this movie an 8. The dialogue. Some of the dialogue in this film was to much to handle, and I really couldn't. When the dialogue was good, it was alright, but when it was bad, it was horrible. And most of the time it was bad. "You can't do this to me, I'm an AMERICAN," was one of the most memorable quotes. Yes, most memorable. But I wont complain anymore, because all in all, this film is as adventure films get. In the end, I give it a deserving 8/10. Expand
  44. Apr 6, 2011
    10
    Thanks to its unforgettable characters, excellent story, breathtaking action, great cinematography, and a perfect score from John Williams, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the all time classic action movies!
  45. Mar 28, 2011
    9
    Awesome movie that introduced Harrison Ford's most iconic role (sorry Han Solo fans). Only complaint I had was because of the way the Ark of the Covenant was portrayed, but everything else was great!
  46. Mar 4, 2011
    10
    Very good story and lots of great action. All the acting was done very well. This was the best of the series.
  47. Dec 16, 2010
    9
    10yrs old watching this in the movie theater.... nothing better. Just watched it again the other night and I still like it very much... still a 9 for me 30 some yrs later :)
  48. Nov 1, 2010
    8
    It doesn't have the same depth as Star Wars, but Harrison Ford's performance is the only saving grace in this entertaining adventure film.
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Harrison Ford gave one of his most memorable performances as Indiana Jones, a dashing Saturday matinee idol for the modern age.
  2. 30
    Travels fast and straight down a linear plot, and the ceaseless rush quickly becomes monotonous.
  3. 100
    Plays like an anthology of the best parts from all the Saturday matinee serials ever made.