Indiana Jones Movies Ranked: From Worst to Best!

With Dial of Destiny in theaters, now’s the time to do our definitely Indiana Jones Movies Ranked list – from worst to best!

Last Updated on May 20, 2024

With Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny in theatres and playing to divisive audience reactions and less spectacular than expected box office, we thought now would be the time to do our definitive ranking of the Indiana Jones films. Of course, these rankings are just our opinions, so if you disagree – and many of you probably do – make sure to hit us up in the comments. Time to let er’ rip!

Indiana Jones movies ranked

5 – Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023)

Some of you reading this probably think I’m crazy. Am I actually saying Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is better than Dial of Destiny? Here’s the thing – some parts of Crystal Skull are worse than anything in Dial of Destiny. There’s nothing horrifically embarrassing in this movie (which saw James Mangold taking the helm) but the thing is, there’s nothing terribly memorable, either. The action is bland, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who’s exceptionally talented (Fleabag is legitimately great), is given nothing to work with. Plus, there’s the kid flying around like Anakin Skywalker and the de-aging, which, to me, never really works. Plus, bland bad guys and, worst of all – CGI-filled action scenes without any real excitement. 

4 – Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

When Crystal Skull is bad, it’s VERY BAD. I wish there had been no aliens and certainly no Shia LaBeouf swinging around on vines through the jungle. But Crystal Skull, even at its worst, is actually fun. It has the lighthearted, high adventure tone that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas perfected, and the ending left Indiana Jones in the right place. He’s one of the greatest heroes in movie history – why not let him have a happy ending? 

Indiana Jones Dial of Destiny

3 – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Here’s another controversial pick. Most people say that Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is the second-best Indiana Jones film. It’s pretty close, but I prefer the harder edge of the action in Temple of Doom. It also has a better villain, with Julian Glover’s Walter Donovan a bit bland. That said, there’s plenty to love about Last Crusade. Sean Connery is as iconic as Ford is as Indy’s daffy dad, Henry Jones Sr. The chemistry between him and Ford is one in a million. Plus, the excellent prologue (with River Phoenix) sets the stage for Young Indiana Jones and so much more. 

2 – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

I’m stunned that more people don’t love this movie. People complain that Kate Capshaw’s Willie Scott is too wimpy, but I appreciate them doing something different with the love interest this time. I think people also often overlook that this is a prequel, as it clearly shows Indiana’s journey from being an archeologist for hire that’s willing to sell his wares to the hero we all know and love. Plus, Amrish Puri’s Mola Ram is iconic, especially when yanking hearts from chests, and Ke Huy Quan’s Short Round is the greatest kid sidekick of all time!

1 – Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Not only is this the best Indiana Jones movie, but it’s also the best action-adventure movie ever made. Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones is cemented as the greatest action hero of all time right from the get-go. I’ve been lucky enough to see this movie on 35mm theatrically thanks to revival screenings, and as good as it plays at home, it’s even more of an experience on the big screen. Everything about it is masterful, from the villains to Karen Allen’s Marion, the score by John Williams and the unrelenting final 40 minutes of the film. The film has the rare distinction of having two of the greatest action scenes of all time immediately follow each other, with the brutal airplane hangar fight directly segueing into the incredible truck chase. It simply does not get better than this.

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.