Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Featuring bravura set pieces, sly humor, and white-knuckle action, Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the most consummately entertaining adventure pictures of all time.


Movie Info

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is no ordinary archeologist. When we first see him, he is somewhere in the Peruvian jungle in 1936, running a booby-trapped gauntlet (complete with an over-sized rolling boulder) to fetch a solid-gold idol. He loses this artifact to his chief rival, a French archeologist named Belloq (Paul Freeman), who then prepares to kill our hero. In the first of many serial-like escapes, Indy eludes Belloq by hopping into a convenient plane. So, then: is Indiana Jones afraid of … More

Rating: PG
Genre: Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: George Lucas, Philip Kaufman, Lawrence Kasdan, Willard Huyck
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 21, 2003
Box Office: $3.1M
Runtime:
Paramount Pictures - Official Site

News & Interviews for Raiders of the Lost Ark

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Critic Reviews for Raiders of the Lost Ark

All Critics (66) | Top Critics (10)

Raiders of the Lost Ark has more size than substance but nevertheless it's a delightful special big surprise package of a movie that should turn Indiana Jones into a national figure.

Full Review… | June 16, 2015
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Yes, it's as entertaining as you have heard. Maybe more so. Raiders of the Lost Ark is, in fact, about as entertaining as a commercial movie can be.

Full Review… | August 4, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | August 8, 2011
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

The thrills are fully consumed while you're seeing this movie, and it's totally over when it's over. It's a workout. You feel as if you'd been to the desert digs: at the end your mind is blank, yet you're parched, you're puffing hard -- you want relief.

Full Review… | May 27, 2008
New Yorker
Top Critic

It is intensely watchable, with the relentless accumulation of effects used here for the purposes of eliciting suspense rather than provoking comedy.

Full Review… | June 16, 2015
The Spectator

Raiders of the Lost Ark is my favorite movie. I don't have to tell you why it's great. You know why it's great. Instead, what follows is a list of very personal moments.

Full Review… | February 4, 2014
Movie Mezzanine

Audience Reviews for Raiders of the Lost Ark

Swashbucklers were deeply unfashionable at the time when Raiders was made, and it took the talents of the then new golden boy of Hollywood to breathe new life into the genre. With a bespectacled alter ego who is a million miles away from his action man persona like an archaeological Clark Kent, Indiana Jones became an iconic action figure who was often knocked on his backside, played fair only when it suited him and was far more interested than his treasure than getting the girl. Sound familiar? Yes without Raiders, Captain Jack would probably never have existed. Like POTC, this film takes its cues from the golden age of the Hollywood swashbuckler, to the point where Ronald Lacey's sinister yet effeminate secret policeman and Paul Freeman's amoral gentleman rogue could easily have been mistaken for Peter Lorre and Sidney Greenstreet respectively. The action is as superbly handled by Spielberg as always, the truck chase scene being one of the all time great stunt sequences and the wholly unexpected finale that blends religious mythology with gothic horror is fantastic. A perfectly judged combination of slam bang set pieces and humour that makes for flawless family entertainment.

garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

My love for this great classic is truly beyond words! As a kid, it was a moment of magic for me every time Indy in his iconic adventure gear appeared on screen. Whether it was narrowly escaping a giant boulder of death, or opening a can of whoop-ass when faced with some Nazi bad guys, you could always count on him to deliver some first-rate fun. And there couldn't have been anyone better to execute it than artisan story-teller Steven Spielberg. Nor any better music composer than the legendary John Williams, whose instantly recognizable themes are classics in their own right. Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman and John Rhys-Davies - there's not a single performance in here that isn't totally fantastic. So prepare yourself for a helluva good time. Because whenever Indy whips up some action, it's impossible not to stick around and watch.

CloudStrife84
Mike S

Super Reviewer

A fun adventure/action story from the days before CGI when the story had to be the driving force behind a good action film. A true classic that should not be missed.

cchclaw
Christian C

Super Reviewer

Raiders of the Lost Ark Quotes

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– Submitted by Aaron P (12 months ago)
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– Submitted by Scott W (13 months ago)

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