Indiana Jonesin': The Best of Harrison Ford

We count down his best roles outside of the Indiana Jones franchise.

Han Solo. Indiana Jones. Rick Deckard. Jack Ryan. Harrison Ford has carved himself a niche by excelling in roles as the handsome rascal, the man on the run, the humble protector of American ideals. Few other Hollywood stars have launched as many franchises as Ford and soon, at the sprightly age of 65, he'll return to one of the most iconic roles of his career: the fedora-wearing, bullwhip-cracking, dashing archaeologist Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones.

Here, we count down Harrison Ford's best-reviewed films outside of the Indiana Jones franchise and the memorable characters that he played in each celebrated film. And while he had small roles in such lauded films as American Graffiti (97%), The Conversation (98%), and Apocalypse Now (98%), we're focusing here on his starring roles - the characters that helped make Ford one of Hollywood's most enduring leading men. And don't forget to check out Harrison Ford's full celebrity profile.

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10. Jack Ryan in Patriot Games
Tomatometer: 78%

Although he took over the role of Jack Ryan from Alec Baldwin, who portrayed the history professor-turned-CIA agent in 1990's The Hunt for Red October, Ford assumed the character for two sequels -- and arguably stole the character from Baldwin in the process. In Patriot Games, the newly retired Ryan thwarts an IRA attack while in London, unwittingly provoking the...ire of an Irish terrorist.

Best quote: Jack Ryan to IRA member Paddy O'Neil (Richard Harris), after his family has been attacked: "I don't give a s--- whether you did it or not, and neither will anyone else. But I will put such a stranglehold on your gun money that you'll be out on the street throwing rocks. I will f---ing destroy you. I will make it my mission in life."

Video (NSFW)

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9. President James Marshall in Air Force One
Tomatometer: 78%

Introducing Hollywood to Kazahkstan long before Borat was unleashed on the world, Wolfgang Petersen's airborne thriller pitted hijackers from the former Soviet republic against the President of the United States. Unfortunately for those hijackers (and for one turncoat Cabinet member), that President is Harrison Ford, and he's got an Executive Order or two to deliver -- with his fists!

Best quote: Pushing Egor Korshunov (Gary Oldman) to his death from Air Force One: "Get off my plane!"


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8. Jack Ryan in Clear and Present Danger
Tomatometer: 80%

Ford reunited with director Philip Noyce two years after Patriot Games to resume the character of Jack Ryan, who is now moving up in the CIA. However, moving up means becoming embroiled in shady dealings between the U.S. government, Cuban drug cartels, and some of his fellow agents; when blood is shed on both sides of an unsanctioned black ops mission, Ryan puts ambition aside to blow the whistle on the President's dirty deeds.

Best quote: Jack Ryan to President Bennett (Donald Moffat), who's just proposed he take part in a government cover-up and sully his dead mentor's name -- the "Potomac two-step": "I'm sorry, Mr. President. I don't dance."




Daniel Klein

I've always thought that if Ford had a strength, it was playing to his.. strength(?). He does(did) the reluctant hero thing better than just about anybody. Range? not so much. Charisma? in spades, circa 81 through 94.

May 12 - 09:18 PM


Link O'Fett

Harriswon Ford is freakin' awesome. 'Nuff said.

May 12 - 09:19 PM

Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato

Totally agree, Tombstone. He's not a versatile actor, but he's damn good at what he does.

May 12 - 09:37 PM


Joel Feliciano

I have to disagree with the best quote on TESB, The best quote is this one:

I love you

I know

May 12 - 10:01 PM


Matt Dunn

Oh lord I agree with Vortex... that quote from Star Wars definitely should rank high on the best quote list!

What about "He didn't have his ticket." after he throws the guy out of the zeppelin from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? I always loved that one.

May 13 - 09:59 AM


Dave B

Oh, definitely classic, but the line was simply: "No Ticket."

May 20 - 12:51 PM

jasper de large

jasper de large

'witness' is a great one. also, check out 'mosquito coast' by the same director. i guess its tomatometer wasn't hot enough to make the list[really?] but it's def one of his standout roles

May 12 - 10:09 PM

Floor Man

Floor Man

Dayum...that man has been in a lot of great movies...I forgot! :)

May 13 - 03:00 AM

Weston B

Weston Burleson

I have to admit a bit of a man-crush on Harrison Ford.

May 13 - 07:39 AM


Chad W

Talking about range, while he doesn't strech too far from his main genre, he did do well in 'Regarding Henry'. I actually enjoyed that movie, even though I was in High School when that movie came out. As well as playing a bad guy in 'What Lies Beneath'.


May 13 - 08:18 AM


Bo ooks

What the hell. The Mosquito Coast is my favourite movie of all time. It didn't even make RT's ****ty list? Ford has also personally stated it is his favourite role.

May 13 - 09:13 AM


Jesse Rodgers

It seemed obvious to me as well that the best line from "Empire" was "I know" after Leia's "I love you." Ford made up that line himself after several takes of "I love you too" failed to feel right. I think RT should either change his best line or make room to add this one.

May 13 - 09:42 AM

Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato

Geez ok folks, I'm changing the Empire quote. The people have spoken!

May 13 - 09:50 AM


Big Brother

Big Mistake, she's shown weakness. Get her!!!!

May 14 - 08:27 AM


Timothy Eimiller

What did the Empire quote used to be?

May 19 - 11:36 PM

Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato

Books, we didn't handpick these roles - otherwise I wouldn't have included Han Solo and Jack Ryan twice. We went by the Tomatometer - Ford's ten best-reviewed films (with a few conditions), because these ten films also happen to be some of his most memorable characters.

May 13 - 09:53 AM


Matt Dunn

Oh lord I agree with Vortex... that quote from Star Wars definitely should rank high on the best quote list!

What about "He didn't have his ticket." after he throws the guy out of the zeppelin from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? I always loved that one.

May 13 - 09:59 AM


Dave B

Oh, definitely classic, but the line was simply: "No Ticket."

May 20 - 12:51 PM


Jeremiah Rancourt

I agree with Jasper on "Mosquitto Coast". An excellent turn by Ford in a different kind of role. I think he does have some versatility, and this, along with another good, non-Ford role, "Regarding Henry", shows that this guy can really act. He does take roles he is good at and comfortable with (which has made him a box office star) and has a definite Ford charisma, but there are subtle character differences in Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and Rick Deckard (they are not all the same guy).

I hope Hollywood can find a place for Ford after Indy IV. His last good film was 2000's "What Lies Beneath" and he's been cast in crap ever since. I'd like to see him do a final Jack Ryan film, with the "Debt of Honor" storyline, where he becomes Vice-President, because of some political bargaining, there's terrorists, and a surprise twist at the end. That would be a great, age appropriate film for him.

May 13 - 10:20 AM


Matt Lubisich

The best line of his career was from "The Last Crusade."

Connery, "I didn't know you could fly a plane."

Ford, "Fly yes. Land, No."

Classic Ford.

May 13 - 10:50 AM


Matt Ritchey

Simply put, and I'm going into fanboy overload on this, Harrison Ford is God. I have to disagree with the Tomatometer on BLADE RUNNER over EMPIRE, and I think it would be obvious (to me) that RAIDERS would be number one on the list (at 98% I believe) if the Indy series was allowed on here, but an otherwise good list. Worth checking out also btw is HANOVER STREET, FRANTIC and FORCE 10 FROM NAVARONE.

"I don't know, I'm making this up as I go."

May 13 - 11:24 AM


jack giroux

Harson Ford is numer 1!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hes still proving hes the best and better action star and actor the Steve McQuenn. Firewall was the only movie I didnt like that he did. Raiders of the Lost Arc is the best movie ever.

May 13 - 12:27 PM


Tory Pinto

No Indiana Jones on this list? I'm disappointed! I would think that Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade would be there.

May 13 - 01:18 PM


Adrien Benson

The classic hero of many film generations, from Star Wars to Indiana Jones, to playing the president of the USA. However what makes Harrison Ford such an amazing actor, is that his movies still ring true today and no matter how crappy a film he might have made ( cough* Random Hearts cough*) He still has so much charisma when he acts that you really end up loving the film because of him.

May 13 - 01:44 PM


Greg Guro

I thought air force one was one of the dumbest movies he's ever done.

I think he's fairly versatile, I remember Regarding Henry.

He can play the wisecrackin' Han Solo, and then that murderous guy in . . . well, some movie he did with Pfeiffer.

(he also had a small role in Apocalypse Now)

May 13 - 04:01 PM

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