Romancing the Stone


Romancing the Stone

Critics Consensus

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.



Total Count: 49


Audience Score

User Ratings: 77,535
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Movie Info

In this film, adventure writer Kathleen Turner learns that her sister is being held prisoner by evil art dealers in Colombia. It seems that sis has mailed Turner a map leading to a valuable treasure. In her search for the treasure, Turner teams up with soldier of fortune Michael Douglas.

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Critic Reviews for Romancing the Stone

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (7)

  • The set-up in "Romancing the Stone" is poorly contrived to sustain a chase thriller.

    Apr 24, 2018 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Feb 6, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top 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.

    Feb 6, 2008 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    John Preston

    Time Out
    Top 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.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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

Audience Reviews for Romancing the Stone

  • Dec 30, 2016
    I've sure been putting in a lot of time with 'older' movies. And I say it like that because, I believe, that I haven't seen a movie that was released prior to 1984 on this run. This is thanks to an add-on subscription, or at least a trial for one, for HBO. Honestly, they don't have many movies that I haven't seen and this was one of them. I've always wanted to see this movie anyway, so it ended up working out in the end. Another thing worth pointing out is, obviously, if you play video games, the influence that this movie has had on a video game franchise like Uncharted. A lot of people point out the similarities between Uncharted and Indiana Jones, what with its quick-witted sarcastic hero, but the exotic locations, perhaps even more so than Indiana Jones, seem more inspired by this movie. Granted, the Uncharted franchise goes to far more exotic places than this movie, and its sequel probably, did. Honestly, while I had a lot of fun watching this movie, I think the Uncharted franchise does a better job at actually making you care about their characters than this one. But I think that's due to the fact that you can tell a story in games through multiple releases, so you end up growing attached to the characters. Whereas this movie was really more of a one-and-done, even if the sequel did come out a year after this. But the sequel wasn't as favorably reviewed as this one, so there's that. Anyway, the point is that there was no denying the fact that I think parts of the film don't age as well as they probably could have and, to me, I felt the pacing could have been tightened up a little bit, like maybe have Jack and Joan meet earlier in the film and have their relationship be more antagonistic. Not necessarily even more antagonistic, just let it go on for longer is what I mean. Once Joan and Jack do meet up, however, the movie does pick up quite a bit and kicks its action-adventure and pulpy thrills. The story is as such, Joan Wilder, a pulp-romance novelist, goes to Colombia to save her sister from these thugs who want a map that Elaine's, Joan's sister, husband had that will lead them to the stone in question. Elaine's husband mailed the map to Joan, which is where she fits in. Once there she immediately gets into trouble, before she meets up with Jack Colton, played by Douglas, and she hires him to help her get to Cartagena, where she is to meet the thugs. Joan leads a lonely life, the novels she writes are more of wishful thinking of her part as to what she'd wish her romance life to be. Of course, as if you couldn't have already predicted, Jack Colton doesn't end up being anything like the hero in her novels. And that's the basis for the majority of the movie. The journey to find this stone to save his sister while, simultaneously, falling in love with Jack. I do think, however, that this aspect of the film isn't as well-developed as it could have been. I don't wanna say that the romance is forced, because it's not, there's an obvious attraction between the two, only helped by Kathleen Turner's excellent chemistry with Michael Douglas. The problem is that there's only a few teases of a developing romance, before they're downright fucking. And I realize that films have far more time constraints, particularly this type, than other forms of entertainment. Like in a book you can build a romance between two characters that feels organic and interesting. Or in a game where, again, a romance can build for hours, like in Mass Effect where you put in 40+ hours into the game before the romance pays off. In a television series you can build the romance across several episodes or even an entire season. Films are obviously more limited in that regard and I think that hurts the overall film. It's not that the characters wouldn't have gotten to that point eventually because, again, the leads' chemistry is apparent right from the moment they meet each other. It is what it is. There are sections of the film that are really fun. Like the scenes with Juan, who's like a friendlier Pablo Escobar, are the clear highlight of the film. There's also this scene right after the stone where everyone, from Zolo and his army, to the mountains all following Jack and Joan, who are driving away in a stolen vehicle. That scene was actually really cool and something that I would have hoped they showed more. Though I guess that would contradict what I said earlier about the pacing. I think the movie's third act, while not without its highlights, does drag a little bit and it hurts the movie somewhat. If the pacing was a little tighter, I'd have no problem giving this 3.5 stars. As it stands, I'm definitely more comfortable giving it 3. Don't get me wrong, it's a very good 'good' movie and I really did have a blast watching this. But I can't overlook its flaws. With that said, I'd still give this a recommendation if you haven't seen it yet. It's not a perfect movie and, really, no flick is, but this is a fun popcorn flick. Good movie here.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jul 26, 2014
    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.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Feb 11, 2013
    Director Robert Zemeckis delivers a fun and outrageous adventure in Romancing the Stone. When her sister is taken hostage in Columbia romance novelist Joan Wilder is forced to make ransom, but after taking a wrong turn she ends up on a wild adventure with a treasure hunter. Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito form a great cast and deliver solid performances. The story is fairly well told, however the characters are a bit underdeveloped and there are some weaknesses in the plot. Still, the action sequences are impressive and exciting, and the comedy works quite well. Romancing the Stone is a thrilling action film that's tremendously entertaining.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 27, 2012
    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).
    Phil H Super Reviewer

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