Raiders of the Lost Ark – review

Spielberg's rollicking yarn is still fantastic after 30 years

Steven Spielberg's rollicking adventure yarn still looks buoyant and dashing after 30 years. Harrison Ford is the archaeologist Indiana Jones; in term-time he's a bespectacled professor, but in the vacation, he's a fearless, bullwhip-cracking adventurer. It's the pre-war 1930s, and Nazis have discovered the whereabouts of the Ark of the Covenant. It will give them untold power if they find it, so Indy must stop them. The film's crammed with great stuff: creepy spiders and skulls, and rays of sunlight that open granite doors. Still a treat.


Peter Bradshaw

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Why I'd like to be … Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark

Why righteous treasure hunter and all-round intellectual superhero Indiana Jones inspired our Reel history columnist Alex von Tunzelmann to join the Young Archaeologists' Club and occasionally don a fedora

Alex von Tunzelmann

15, Jul, 2014 @6:30 AM

Article image
Raiders of the Lost Ark: No 11 best action and war film of all time

Steven Spielberg, 1981

Stuart Heritage

19, Oct, 2010 @10:44 AM

Article image
Raiders of the Lost Ark at 40: Indiana Jones’s first adventure remains his greatest
Steven Spielberg’s deliriously entertaining throwback remains a pure pleasure, a film drawn from forgotten serials and comics and brought brilliantly to life

Scott Tobias

12, Jun, 2021 @6:07 AM

Article image
Indiana Jones whip expected to fetch £50,000 at auction
The 12ft-long bullwhip used by Harrison Ford's character in the Raiders of the Lost Ark will go on sale later this month

Steven Morris

10, Jun, 2011 @5:04 PM

Article image
Steven Soderbergh recuts Raiders of the Lost Ark as a silent movie
To show the importance of staging in filmmaking, the director reworks Steven Spielberg’s classic adventure into a moodily black and white silent film

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

24, Sep, 2014 @8:58 AM

Article image
Harrison Ford back as Indiana Jones for fifth film, directed by Steven Spielberg
Long-mooted instalment in archeologist’s adventures to reunite star, director and producer George Lucas, and be released in 2019

Catherine Shoard

15, Mar, 2016 @6:08 PM

Article image
Harrison Ford: 'I’d love to do another Indiana Jones'
73-year-old star reveals he would jump at chance to shoot one more whip-cracking adventure as the intrepid archaeologist, following Steven Spielberg’s hint at fifth outing

Ben Child

12, Nov, 2015 @10:41 AM

Indy still gets them cheering

Jungles, commies and a lot of whooping - it must be the Indiana Jones premiere. Xan Brooks is pleasantly surprised by an old-school, rip-roaring adventure

Xan Brooks

19, May, 2008 @5:10 PM

Article image
Hear me out: why Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull isn't a bad movie
The latest in our series of writers defending maligned films is a reappraisal for the fun fourth Indiana Jones adventure

Luke Walpole

16, Feb, 2021 @7:14 AM

Article image
My favourite film aged 12: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Nazi jousters on motorbikes, crash-landing biplanes, spooky catacombs and ancient riddles – my first encounter with Indy was a thrilling sensory overload

Laurence Topham

11, May, 2020 @8:31 AM