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Romancing the Stone (1984)



Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 47
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 6

Romancing the Stone reaches back to the classic Saturday morning serials of old with an action-filled adventure enlivened by the sparkling chemistry between its well-matched leads.


Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 3

Romancing the Stone reaches back to the classic Saturday morning serials of old with an action-filled adventure enlivened by the sparkling chemistry between its well-matched leads.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 76,767

My Rating

Movie Info

Kathleen Turner plays a writer of adventure stories, Joan Wilder, who has been having trouble selling her works of late because they aren't remotely believable. The basic problem is that the mousy Joan has never had any real adventure in her life. All this changes when she receives a frantic phone call from her sister, whose is being held prisoner by evil art dealers in Colombia. It seems that sis has mailed Joan a map leading to a valuable treasure. Nasty but cowardly Ralph (Danny DeVito),


Action & Adventure

Aug 14, 2001

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Watch It Now


Latest News on Romancing the Stone

August 24, 2011:
Fox Still Plans Romancing the Stone Remake
Katherine Heigl and Taylor Kitsch rumored to be on the studio's wish list.
December 4, 2008:
Fox Is Still Romancing the Stone
Fox has started the ball rolling in a "Romancing the Stone" remake, hiring "Eagle Eye" co-writer...


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All Critics (47) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (6) | DVD (23)

Turner is like a lot of unwitting screen heroines ahead of her, guaranteed that her drab existence is about to be transformed -- probably by a man, preferably handsome and adventurous.

February 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety | Comments (2)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director Robert Zemeckis displays such dazzling cinematic know-how that it's genuinely depressing when this 1984 film falls off into the usual self-ridicule.

February 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (5)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The script is sharp and funny, the direction sure-footed on both the comedy and action fronts, and the whole thing adds up to rather more concerted fun than Indiana Jones' flab-ridden escapade in the Temple of Doom.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

After all the Raiders rip-offs, it's fun to find an adventure film that deserves the comparison, that has the same spirit and sense of humor.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An elaborately produced, mostly charmless adventure-comedy that intends to make fun of a kind of romantic fiction that's one step removed from what the movie is all about.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comment (1)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The filmmakers have devised some clever twists on the earlier films they recall, and they reserve a good share of the derring-do for their heroine, who's a refreshingly far cry from the helpless ladies-in-distress of old.

April 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

Turner is terrific, Douglas is fine and the action is slam-bang. Add lots of laughs and it all works out just right.

April 4, 2014 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

In this cracking jungle-set treasure hunt, director Robert Zemeckis spices up a deliberately old-fashioned matinée adventure with tongue-in-cheek gags, unpredictably clever touches and top-of-the-range action.

April 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

This may be a lark, but grown-ups need those too and the lack of pandering to teenage sensibilities helps it stand apart from other adventure films of the era.

March 31, 2014 Full Review Source:

Action, romance, sharp dialog; best for teens.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Between Michael Douglas' mullet, a synthesizer heavy score, and Kathleen Turner shining in her blink and you missed it prime, Zemeckis' movie is truly time capsule worthy.

July 14, 2010 Full Review Source:

A grand example of the rarest combination of adventure, humor, and sexual chemistry which all crackle along with abandon.

June 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Douglas and Turner make a great double act in this exuberantly directed adventure movie with a great start turn from the always enjoyable De Vito. Good stuff.

May 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

All very tongue-in-cheek (typified by the opening sequence, lifted straight from one of Joan's pulp novels) and great fun.

May 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

A rousing, old-fashioned romantic adventure.

February 6, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The chemistry between the principles is something that no one can deny.

February 19, 2007 Full Review Source: 3BlackChicks Review
3BlackChicks Review

Douglas's performance as Colton single-handedly turned him from being a grade-B actor turned producer into a full-fledged movie star.

October 28, 2006 Full Review Source:

A high-spirited cocktail of action, comedy and romance that's one of those rare movies with something for almost everyone.

October 2, 2006 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

often copied, but never quite duplicated

September 15, 2006 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

The message is clear: Love and protection comes with a white face and a big, black gun. His name is Michael Douglas.

September 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Comment (1)
Slant Magazine

Its combination of romance and adventure (and a bit of comedy) was spot-on, and few films that have arrived since have captured Stone's enthusiasm and good-naturedness

August 27, 2006 Full Review Source:

A surprisingly witty script, some really excellent chemistry between Douglas & Turner, and a large (and very welcome) portion of comic relief by Danny DeVito. Fun stuff.

August 13, 2006 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Romancing the Stone

A woman goes to Colombia to rescue her sister who has been kidnapped by "bad guys."
Joan Wilder, Kathleen Turner's character, writes cliche adventure stories, then - shocking irony! - gets caught in a real-life adventure story with a fantasy-borne mercenary. Coincidences like this only occur in films like this, and the construction of the Wilder character is misogynistic, as she serves as a doe-eyed damsel in distress, never rising to anything about a screaming, high-pitched type, more annoying than remotely compelling.
But, you might say, Jim, it's a fantasy-comedy. Well, in that case, it's neither fantastical nor funny. Stuck in faux-realism, the crazy, over-wrought performances are more the matter of sitcom than film.
Overall, this film is stupid.
July 26, 2014
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Is there any film that Douglas stars in where he doesn't manage to show or reveal bits of his anatomy?...mainly his ass. An early Zemeckis film with a cast that would reunite a few times after but was it any good? yeeeaa no.

Made a few years after another certain popular fedora wearing adventurer you could be forgiven for thinking this was a poor mans rip of that franchise. Indeed the whole look of the film is similar but instead of hot yellow desert sands we have wet sweaty green jungle, plus its set in the present day of 84.

Personally I really can't see why this was a hit upon release. The plot is quite a mess with many people all running around after other people and a map, poor action sequences, uneventful twists and dull villains...if any.
I don't wanna mention 'Indy' but I just can't help it hehe. Douglas's character is decked out in virtually the same kind of gear and he has a silly macho type of name. Both him and Turner run around the jungle dodging snakes, soldiers, large ravines, crocodiles and drug runners doing pretty much what you would expect this type of film to offer albeit in a slightly more grown up fashion.

Douglas really isn't the right kind of leading man for this type of film, the guy always was so sleazy looking. Devito also struggles to inject anything into the film in my view despite clearly being stuck in it for comedy, the guy is not right for fast paced actions films. Overall the casting was horrible if you ask me, worst line up ever!.

Total hit and miss for me, really didn't like anything going on, found it dull and cliched. A typical mix of 'Indy' and 'Bond' yet adding nothing new or exciting to the fold. Had it come out before other films then it may have been a different story, oh and the films poster is way better than the actual film (common issue with some old 80's films).
August 27, 2012

Super Reviewer

After Indiana Jones' triumph in the early 1980s, Hollywood realized there is money to make in adventure films about treasure hunts. This film is by no means a rip off of the archaeologist's adventures, but some elements are there. We have a wise-cracking daredevil adventurer, bantering with the female lead, a rope bridge, animals, jungle and of course a treasure map. Add a typical 1980s soundtrack and you have the generic action comedy from that era, but one that still entertains really well. The film doesn't take itself too seriously and counters a few surprisingly violent scenes with lots of humor and a couple of decent action sequences. It may feel like a guilty pleasure today, but for its time this was quite a spectacular film.
March 21, 2012

Super Reviewer

Ralph: Oh, oh I'm the creep, huh? Well at least I'm honest: I'm stealing this stone. I'm not trying to romance it out from under her.

Romancing is a decent movie that is really saved by Michael Douglas and Danny Devito. It's not Robert Zemeckis' best movie, but that's not to say it's bad. It's fun and for the most part entertaining, but since it's a comedy it could have been a lot funnier. Kathleen Turner was pretty boring in the lead role which really hurt the movie. Pretty predictable, but if you are a fan of Douglas it's worth a look.
June 27, 2011
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

    1. Jack Colton: I could've been a cosmetic surgeon. Five hundred thou a year, up to my neck in tits and ass.
    – Submitted by Scott C (20 months ago)
    1. Ralph: I'm about to have a close encounter with a cattle prod.
    – Submitted by Scott C (20 months ago)
    1. Joan Wilder: Everyone gets sick in department stores.
    – Submitted by Pam A (3 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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