Every Indiana Jones Movie Ranked

With the new official trailer for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny now out, it felt appropriate to rank each of the four films from the iconic franchise.

4. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: Surprising absolutely no one, the fourth film in the Indiana Jones franchise takes the bottom spot on this list. I will say that the movie isn’t nearly as bad as everyone says. It still has a fantastic amount of action and Harrison Ford still gives 100% as he always does in these films. It is also very rewarding and satisfying to see Indy finally marry Marion at the end of the film. I don’t even think Shia LaBeouf is actually bad as Mutt Williams. He has a decent dynamic with Indy in terms of writing and the chemistry between LaBeouf and Ford is sometimes fun to watch. I also don’t have that much of a problem with the franchise introducing aliens in this film. We’ve seen the literal embodiment of God and an immortal knight who stayed alive for hundreds of years. It’s honestly not that ridiculous of a concept at this point. However, when compared to the original trilogy, this film just doesn’t hold a candle. The CGI really is excessive and is used in places that aren’t even necessary. The Soviet army just isn’t that much fun as the villainous faction either. Indiana Jones always worked best when he was fighting Nazis. While they work with the time period the film takes place in, the Russians are just a more generic and more forgettable faction of villains when compared to the Nazis or even the Thuggee cult. Also, while the franchise has had its truly ridiculous moments, even I can’t defend the scene in which Indy survives a nuclear explosion by hiding in a refrigerator. However, while this is easily the weakest film from the franchise, I can’t call it bad and still think it’s worth checking out.

3. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: Quite possibly the darkest Indiana Jones movie, Temple of Doom gets a lot of flack from fans for being too graphic and extreme. In fact, it was so graphic and extreme that the PG-13 rating needed to be introduced. Another aspect that this movie gets criticized for is Kate Capshaw as Indy’s new love interest Willie Scott, whose constant whining and screaming got on several people’s nerves. In all honesty, I do get it. The film is very depressing at certain points for its constant child abuse and dark themes and compared to Marion, Willie doesn’t even stand a chance as a love interest. I’m also not sure why they even have this film take place before Raiders of the Lost Ark as the movie does little to justify itself as a prequel to the original. However, I still view this film as a classic. The adventure is still a lot of fun and the Thuggee cult is very scary with their leader Mola Ram being the most entertaining main villain from the entire series. Ke Huy Quan is also phenomenal as Short Round, with the character being an adorable sidekick and the father-son relationship between him and Indy being a perfect emotional center for the film. The movie also still has my favorite climax from the entire franchise, with the final battle on the bridge still keeping me to the edge of my seat every time I watch it. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a flawed film. There is no doubt about that. However, it still holds up in my opinion and I always come back to rewatch it.

2. Raiders of the Lost Ark: The movie that started it all. Raiders of the Lost Ark truly is a masterpiece of a film. From the phenomenal action to the brilliant writing, everything in this movie feels like it just clicks. After Han Solo, it is amazing to see Harrison Ford play a character who is just as iconic, if not more so. Literally every scene in this movie is iconic. There is a reason as to why most people adore this film. Indy’s search for the Ark of the Covenant is just as entertaining as it is fascinating. The film has a 1930s adventure serial vibe to it, which is very fitting given that it takes place in 1936. Karen Allen is also fantastic as Indy’s love interest Marion Ravenwood, offering a tough, witty and fearless presence who serves as a perfect companion to Indy in this film. Paul Freeman is also incredible as the film’s main villain Rene Belloq, a rival archeologist and Indy’s arch-nemesis. A lot of people overlook this character which is a shame as I think he is one of the best movie villains of all time. Not only is he very charming and easy to hate but he is also the smartest villain from the entire series. Being Indy’s evil counterpart, no one understands the famous archeologist more than him. It showcases that perfectly when he talks him out of blowing up the ark. While Mola Ram may be the most entertaining villain from the franchise, Belloq is easily the best written. The action in the film is also perfect. From the famous temple escape to the equally iconic truck chase, every fight scene is a heart pounding experience that leaves you on the edge of your seat like with the other films. Raiders of the Lost Ark is as close to a perfect film as you can get and absolutely deserves to be seen as such.

1. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The top two spots were very hard to decide. Both films are equally fantastic and should be viewed by anyone who is a fan of movies. However, I ultimately decided to go with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade simply out of personal preference. After Temple of Doom’s rather icy reception compared to the first film, Last Crusade brought the franchise back to its roots by having Indy once again be seen trying to find a biblical artifact before the Nazis are able to. However, the film spices things up by bringing in Sean Connery as Indy’s father Henry Jones, Sr., who has been captured by the Nazis. Indy sets out to find the Holy Grail and save his father before the Nazis are able to get their hands on both. As stated before, it was very hard to decide which film was the best one. However, while Raiders is probably a smarter and altogether better written movie, Last Crusade is just more fun. Ford and Connery have the best dynamic out of any characters in the entire series. The two are constantly at odds with each other due to their rocky past and clashing personalities. However, by the end of the film they both prove to one another that they would do anything for each other. This comedy is at its absolute best here as well, as not only are Indy and his father hilarious, but characters like Denholm Elliott as Marcus Brody are given a much bigger role and are able to show off their comedic talents. The villains are just as fantastic. Once again we have the Nazis as the main threat, with Julian Glover playing the corrupt socialite Walter Donovan, who serves as our big bad of the film. Glover gives the character a very slimy vibe and makes him very easy to hate. Allison Doody also gives a fantastic performance as the femme fatale Elsa Schneider, who serves as a perfect foil to the previous love interests in the series. This film also showcases Indy’s character the most as not only do we get to explore his strained relationship with his father, but we actually see his origin story during the prologue of the film, in which his younger self is brilliantly played by the late great River Phoenix. The prologue shows how he became afraid of snakes, how he got his signature whip and most importantly how he became an adventurer. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is not just my favorite movie in the franchise. It is one of my favorite movies of all time.


Adam Grunther

Adam is a freelance writer who is an avid fan of comic book movies and television shows, especially that of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Doom Patrol. He joins the team with a deep understanding for all of the content from both Marvel and DC Comics, and will use this information in future rankings and reviews. He looks forward to sharing posts that will bring a mix of entertainment and his passion for superhero related content to Comic Universe.

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