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Overall Rating
4.69

Awesome85.15%
Worth A Look: 7.92%
Average: 1.49%
Pretty Bad: 1.49%
Total Crap: 3.96%

6 reviews, 166 user ratings


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Raiders of the Lost Ark
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by Slyder

"Everybody stand up and cheer"
5 stars

Iím reviewing history here, personal history actually. You see, this was the first film that I saw that I completely enjoyed and started my love for filmmaking. Yes, I was only 8 years old and I saw it on TV, but ever since that day, I have cherished this film from then on since it made me one BIG and I mean BIG fan. I used to watch this film, along with the sequels like every single fucking day, up to the point of driving my parents crazy. And hell yes, I enjoyed it every single time I saw it because itís just so damn good and because I always dreamed and wanted to be like him. That's right, get my own fedora, jacket and even the freaking bullwhip and look for lost treasures and adventures; that's how crazy I was for this movie as well as the rest of the franchise. You wonít find a better action film nor another action film like it anywhere and Iíve personally seen a shitload of action films in my youth days. In terms of its respective genre, Raiders of the Lost Ark is cinematic perfection, and unquestionably one of the greatest films ever made.

Made as homage to every Saturday-matinee adventure hero we and the older generations used to watch when we were kids, filmmakerís Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, along with then-writers (and future filmmakers) Lawrence Kasdan and Philip Kaufman, managed to produce an even bigger cultural hero than what they thought with Dr. Henry ďIndianaĒ Jones, a hard-hitting, fedora-wearing, bull-whipping, fearless yet flawed archeologist/hero honed to perfection by Harrison Ford, and impossible not to like. Set in the late 1930ís, the opening act in which Indy is in South America trying to recover a golden statue while avoiding all kinds of booby traps and double crosses until he finally looses out to arch-rival Rene Belloq (Paul Freeman) and manages to barely escape from the ire of the natives sets the tone of the film: Fast-paced, adrenaline up to 110%, kick-ass action sequences, and thematic focus on plot.

The plot itself is ludicrous, but itís supposed to be since the whole point was to make it look a ďB-Movie.Ē It goes a bit like this: Indy is given the assignment from the US government to recover the Lost Ark of the Covenant whom is in danger from falling on the hands of the Nazis whom have discovered the ruins of the city of Tanis in Egypt, where supposedly is the Lost Arkís final resting place. Of course he tackles on the task not before gaining a partner in Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), who used to be Indyís old flame 10 years ago, and of course trying to overcome his greatest fear for SNAKES! And also of course, kicking every single Nazi ass there is to kick along the way.

As said before, the plot is dumb and thereís little character development, but Spielberg converted these setbacks into strengths, not only focusing on the plot itself, but by also speeding the pace and giving us some of the greatest action scenes ever put on celluloid. The film is not really a movie but a 115 minute roller-coaster ride, full of nail-biting cliffhangers, humorous moments, and well-constructed action pieces with every action piece paying homage to the adventure heroes of the yesteryears. There isnít almost a single scene in which the film slows down and for most of those 115 minutes youíll find yourself on the edge of your seat. The most memorable has to be the truck chase sequence, not only because itís a kick-ass scene (hell, its one of the reasons why this film won a Best Editing Oscar) but also because it contains some of the finest stunt work ever made, and one of the reasons why this film stands one level above most action films, even todayís action movies despite their use of CGI effects. Two words: Itís real. While today you can create a computer-generated army of several thousands with the simple touch of a key, Raidersí uses real people in real stunts, therefore making the action sets real, even Ford made several of his own stunts, and YES, that IS him being dragged behind the truck, a stunt which left him with several bruised ribs after that. Nothing, not even the latest modern mainframe computer can beat that. The film at times gets close to defying credibility but Spielberg masterfully exercises restraint whenever those moments come close. There are hardly any flaws since many that one may muster up are simply due to the fact that people take the film way too seriously and not taking it for what it is. The only true flaw is the somewhat dated FX of that time, especially in the climax scene where the Wrath of God is unleashed, but I donít believe even that affects the film one single bit.

The acting is great. This film was Harrison Fordís true breakthrough. Sure, Han Solo made quite an impression back in Star Wars but it was a false start since it landed him in crap like Force 10 from Navarrone and the wretched The Frisco Kid and always had to play second banana to Mark Hamill in all Star Wars movies. Fordís mainstay as a star started here and he sure as hell delivers like no other and its one of his more memorable roles to date. Karen Allen plays the ďdamsel in not that much of a distressĒ Marion and is perfectly believable, beautiful and romantic yet hard-hitting. Paul Freeman is of course a required villain as the cunning Belloq, and he has several moments of his own. Wolf Kahler and Ronald Lacey have also some great moments. Oh, and look for a very green and thinner Alfred Molina in the opening act.

EDIT: Oh, and how the fuck could I forget? John Williams's musical score is arguably his greatest, and is easily amongst the top 5 greatest musical scores ever made. I just kicks fucking ass and even to this day, I still tend to hum "The Raider's March" from time to time, it's just that good.

In the end, thereís nothing left to say other than to urge you to see this film by all means. Go see the film that saved the dying action/adventure genre from ending up in James Bond hell and spun off several lame-ass imitations like Tomb Raider, the Mummy and the not-so-lame Romancing the Stone. Lucas is a complete hack nowadays and Spielberg has had an off from time to time, but I thank them for giving me one of my most favorite childhood memories of all time; a true classic. 5-5

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=223&reviewer=235
originally posted: 10/13/04 05:00:41
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Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell best one of the series 5 stars
9/08/16 Bobby This is the best movie in the franchise, but later ones were just too commercial. 5 stars
4/27/16 Ken Whoever thinks this movie is stupid, is a fag. A masterpiece. 5 stars
1/03/16 Theresa Miller Love Harrison Ford. Fun movie. 4 stars
12/06/15 johnnyfaye Some people say the greatest adventure film ever made. I just say the greatest film ever. 5 stars
4/04/15 jack ford the greatest shit ever tied with star wars films 1 stars
3/02/15 john lasseter i'm glad in many list lord of the rings beat raiders of the lost ark 3 stars
3/01/15 manalone923 TRASH 1 stars
3/01/15 stanley welles an efficient immaculately constructed rip-roaring masterpiece 5 stars
2/15/15 john MOST SHIITIEST MOVIE EVER MADE, AWFUL, AND REALLY PATHETIC 1 stars
1/19/15 felipe delano just trash 1 stars
1/05/15 jrjj stupid movie 1 stars
9/03/13 Geraldine Amazing! A classic! 5 stars
7/11/13 Charles Kill This was the best one...besides crusade...and temple, of course. 4 stars
6/03/13 Ron One of my top 3 or 5 films ever. 5 stars
9/16/12 cindy madson good 4 stars
5/12/12 matthew thompson dalldorf One of the best adventure movies of all time! 5 stars
3/01/12 jcar a very good action movie with lots of thrills and cool effects, ford is great action hero 4 stars
1/04/12 Flipsider One of the best American Movies, maybe THE best! 5 stars
6/08/10 Flathead King Raiders could be the best action film ever made 5 stars
3/10/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess Just as good everytime you see it 5 stars
4/19/09 Jbond the moving corpse scene as "merely to scare the kids"... indeed it did 5 stars
9/03/08 austin wertman one of the greatest movies of all-time 5 stars
8/30/08 Shaun Wallner Great film!! 5 stars
8/28/08 Charles Tatum Absolutely huge fun, why have I not commented here before? 5 stars
8/25/08 George Barksdale This movie is the reason you stood in line for the other ones, Great! 5 stars
7/17/08 Keithers The only movie that entertain you...30 years later, the greatest adventure of all time... 5 stars
6/21/08 PAUL SHORTT ONE OF THE MOST INDELIBLE ADVENTURE FILMS IN CINEMATIC HISTORY 5 stars
6/10/08 Johnnyfaye the only movie that will actually knock you out of chair then then slap the shit out of you 5 stars
6/02/08 mike pease awesome movie loved it 5 stars
5/25/08 debdahlin excellent movie - love harrison ford in action paction films 5 stars
5/07/08 AJ Muller I take back every bad thing I ever said about Rob G - great review for greatest flick ever. 5 stars
3/24/08 Bnorm If you dont like this movie you're not a fucking American 5 stars
6/15/07 Vincent Ebriega More than just another old-fashioned adventure movie. 5/5. 5 stars
6/13/07 al smith the best adventure film ever.anyone who disagrees is a cock 5 stars
4/27/07 R.W.Welch Top of the Adventure Genre -- probably forever. 5 stars
11/02/06 Patsyc very good movie. Definitely worth watching. 5 stars
10/25/06 Drew G What can I say that hasn't already been said? 5 stars
10/15/06 Ron Newbold Escapism at its best. This became an instant classic 5 stars
8/26/06 michael can't wait for the new 1 to come out one of these years 5 stars
8/25/06 Al Guy A permanent classic! 5 stars
8/24/06 David Pollastrini great action with a few comedy bits 5 stars
8/23/06 Ole Man Bourbon Richard Chamberlain in Alan Quatermain was SO much better. In hell. 5 stars
7/26/06 Sepi53 Best adventure film since Adventures of Robin Hood! 5 stars
6/24/06 JohnnyFaye Ford gives the proformance of a lift time, cloest you can get to the best adventurefilmever 5 stars
5/26/06 Kimberly Dull This is my favorite movie. 5 stars
3/10/06 Dk The last crusade may be more entertaining but this is the best Indiana Jones movie 5 stars
11/18/05 Chris Barrett Lets All Hum The Theme!!!! Whoever Hates This, Hates Movies 5 stars
11/18/05 John Dog Awesome action movie. Anyone who dislikes this film has a lot of problems. 5 stars
10/09/05 Anus NAZIS - I HATE THOSE GUYS. WELL, TYPICAL REMARKS FROM A TYPICAL JEW DIRECTOR 1 stars
9/08/05 Johnny Best action movie. 5 stars
9/02/05 Zack great movie 5 stars
8/28/05 Quigley there are so many classic scenes; this is an unforgettable movie experience. i love it!!!! 5 stars
8/26/05 EZ Ford was great, exciting action, and George Lucas delivered another masterpiece 5 stars
8/12/05 D Buckley Best movie ever made? 5 stars
5/27/05 tony BEST FILM BY HARRISON FORD. EXELLENT EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/18/05 indrid cold Flawless from first scene to last. The best action/adventure of all time. 5 stars
1/04/05 t-1000 marion is ugly 5 stars
10/17/04 Elisheva Rison This movie is an astounding piece of work, it's totally breathtaking and action-packed! 5 stars
10/16/04 Denise awesome 5 stars
8/29/04 Conor Crockford great 5 stars
8/19/04 courtney hrison ford is hott and it makes a great move for action adventurer people 5 stars
7/26/04 keithers a timeless adventure film. Just as fun every time you see it. When adventure moviesweregood 5 stars
7/17/04 Evan great stuff 5 stars
7/08/04 Stevo There hasn't been an action film quite like it since 5 stars
5/15/04 the bride whisky?? Funny as! Fuckin awesome as! 5 stars
5/04/04 dead next door has aged a bit but still great. 4 stars
3/27/04 Littlepurch. Disappointing solution through lack of action but gd build up. 4 stars
2/12/04 Johnny Fay GOLDENCHILD!!!!...ARE YOU INSANE!!..someone shoot CC 5 stars
1/27/04 Katie Malone Hung on to the edge of my chair the whole time! 5 stars
1/24/04 CC Whatch the Golden Child ...better 1 stars
12/07/03 john still great! 5 stars
11/22/03 ross hendrick brilliant 5 stars
11/12/03 alien assassin timeless classic 5 stars
11/02/03 Skilly Skally Yep. it's a good one alright 5 stars
10/27/03 John Bale One of the best action/fun flicks of all times, Harrison is great, and direction etc, super 5 stars
9/29/03 Boris Smtih "I don't know; I'm making this up as I go." 5 stars
9/16/03 Terry One of the best movies ever made, great fun. 5 stars
9/06/03 Dimitri Aubert Fun, action and romance in a shaker and you have a great movie, thank you Steven. 5 stars
8/19/03 Hewdam The definitive action/advebture movie 5 stars
8/08/03 3man "Asps! Very dangerous. You go first Indy." 5 stars
8/07/03 Roger Thornhill Smart action movie. 5 stars
7/12/03 Indrid Cold Flawless all the way to the wrath of God climax: absolutely as good as movies get. 5 stars
5/08/03 Doctor Jay One of the finest movies of the 1980s!!! 5 stars
4/26/03 Mr. Do They should make more movies like this, not those fuckin things they make today 5 stars
4/24/03 GWB great film 5 stars
3/21/03 defranco73 The best of the trilogy. 5 stars
3/04/03 Jack Sommersby A grand adventure. Feverishly paced with lots of great stunts. Plods some, but rocks mostly 4 stars
3/04/03 hi there This is one of the best movies ever made, and if you hated it, you're an idiot! 5 stars
2/20/03 Mark Earley This is one of the best movies ever made in the history of time 5 stars
2/05/03 123 this is the original stuff! harrison ford's best role 5 stars
11/29/02 Jay Best of the Indiana Jones Series 5 stars
11/09/02 YES 2nd best action film ever, behind only Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 5 stars
9/23/02 George Overrated my ass. This movie rocks. 5 stars
7/04/02 gary vidmar A completely great film in all ways. If U haven't seen it yet, do it now! 5 stars
6/27/02 Shams Huque Anyone giving this less than 5/5 is a fool. 5 stars
5/13/02 Dark Baron Can't wait for the DVD Trilogy. 5 stars
4/22/02 Randal Grantham I Absolutely love it 5 stars
4/13/02 Movie Expert The movie is goofy and is the most overrated movie ever made 2 stars
4/03/02 Stephanie Throckmorton On of most overrated pieces of irreverence &hooey ever & "heroine" is a bitch! 2 stars
3/20/02 Rockitman007 Best Action movie ever!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/11/02 Jo Smo It was a horrible movie NOT it was great! 4 stars
2/19/02 I love movies better than Star Wars y'all 5 stars
2/06/02 Nevz Good enough for me 5 stars
1/18/02 David A. Comic-book style action and adventure--extremely well-done! 5 stars
1/01/02 slipperyK it is know as "the" adventure movie, the greatest adventure ever, specially the desertchase 5 stars
12/19/01 dkb You can see its influence in every action film since. 5 stars
12/13/01 Brian White Easily one of the greatest movies ever made, and my favorite of all time. 5 stars
11/24/01 Andrew Carden I Can't Say It Was That Great, but It Is Such A Classic Flick. 5 stars
10/24/01 Chris Wright Still the greatest action movie 5 stars
10/08/01 jawsboy one of the greatest action movies ever made. Very good movie, but the ending was only ok. 4 stars
10/02/01 Phoenix The best adventure picture ever made. 5 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk The greatest adventure movie of all time. The end is a trip... 5 stars
7/12/01 the scarecrow a classic 5 stars
6/23/01 erik the movieman Should have been AFI's #1 Most Thrilling Film of All Time. It was mine! 5 stars
6/02/01 G-MAN I Love this movie 5 stars
5/14/01 fifu the best adventure movie ever made 5 stars
5/02/01 sharkey All I wanted as a kid was a bullwhip. And the hat. 5 stars
4/02/01 Jesse L Set a new direction for action thrillers 5 stars
2/13/01 Richard Wright My favourite is the third one, but this is still a classic. Will they make a fourth? 4 stars
2/11/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi I will love this movie till the day I die. See it, or else!! 5 stars
1/09/01 fifu the ideal adventure movie/it's 20 years old and still leaves you breathless at the end 5 stars
12/31/00 Msitrab I still love this movie 5 stars
12/24/00 Destruction Worker "I hate snakes" 5 stars
12/09/00 fifu my favorite movie ever 5 stars
11/28/00 Cristopher Revilla a roller coaster ride, one of the greatest films!!!! 5 stars
11/13/00 The EVIL Penguin Great, but the weakest of the three 4 stars
10/28/00 Evil Cartman Hella rocks! Too bad about the hella awful sequels... 5 stars
9/22/00 White Rabbit My second favorite Spielberg movie 5 stars
6/30/00 Deckard The best Action/Advanture movie ever made. Period. 5 stars
6/05/00 David Gaukroger brilliant 4 stars
5/31/00 danilo a thrill ride from beginning to end, LITERALLY 5 stars
5/03/00 matt Most exciting, thrill ride in motion picture history. Speilberg is the MANNN 5 stars
4/17/00 punkass Saw it again and wished I hadn't - don't ruin your childhood favourites 2 stars
4/04/00 Bruce A wild ride, this is the role Harrison Ford was born to play 5 stars
3/24/00 stellisima Sweet Harrison... 5 stars
3/21/00 The Saint this movie was pretty damn good 4 stars
3/20/00 Richard Wright I prefer Last Crusade,but this film is certainly a milestone in its genre.Ford-what a star! 4 stars
3/15/00 Matthew Bartley The bit where he shoots the swordsman. That's all you need to know. 5 stars
1/25/00 Eric With The Last Crusade, Raiders of the Lost ark is the best action/adventure film ever made 5 stars
1/24/00 Casey Jarzabek OVERRATED 1 stars
1/20/00 Jedi15 Definitely one of Spielberg's best. A must-see! 5 stars
1/11/00 noelle camargo it's the best actio/adventure movie 5 stars
1/06/00 bk Marion Ravenwood is annoying as hell 3 stars
11/18/99 Vick Di Brecci Truck chase scene is the greatest chase in all of movies. 5 stars
10/27/99 Ralf Behet Hard to beat 5 stars
10/18/99 Ginny Brilliant...set the standard and raised the bar for ALL action/adventure flicks to follow 5 stars
10/14/99 Jay Jourden very good 5 stars
10/10/99 SJKelley Simply redefined the adventure film. We all want to be Indiana Jones. 5 stars
9/17/99 garthow it rocks 5 stars
8/10/99 Ted Wetzel One of the best action/adventure movies ever made. 5 stars
7/05/99 Ben Leostein Rating: **** (out of ****) Category: "Excellent" 5 stars
6/03/99 Matthew Bartley Shooting the swordsman is sill one of the greatest scenes ever 5 stars
4/28/99 Michael Grimm The Bomb!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
2/19/99 Derek My favorite movie ever. I'm serious. If you don't like this, you're beyond help. 5 stars
2/01/99 Vick Di Brecci Great character, great adven story (for most part), great truck chase scene 5 stars
11/29/98 Mike F pretty good. 3 stars
11/27/98 Mr.Pink An entertaining yarn. 4 stars
11/24/98 bizzy mmmmmmmm...Indiana Jones..... 5 stars
11/02/98 Baba booey !!!!!! 5 stars
10/30/98 Silent Rob Pure Movie Magic. 5 stars
10/18/98 Kwyjibo Man, this film ruled all butt. Ford will never be better. In fact, now he sucks. 5 stars
10/14/98 Chi-Fan Hu The best Indy film 5 stars
9/18/98 Couch Potato Critic The classic action Saturday afternoon matinee. 1 of the 6 Spielberg greats. 5 stars
9/05/98 Badass One of the best action films ever made! 5 stars
8/16/98 {{{OZ}}} Can't be negative about a classic. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  12-Jun-1981 (PG)
  DVD: 14-Oct-2008

UK
  30-Jul-1981 (PG)

Australia
  14-Aug-1981 (M)




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