“It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.” Everyone’s favorite globetrotting archeologist may be preparing to retire in his fifth and final film, Indiana Jones at the Dial of Destiny, but not before he logs one last John Williams-orchestrated triumph traversing more miles (and years!) than ever before.
In 1969, a world-weary Indy (Harrison Ford) is facing the end of his teaching career and perhaps his marriage to Marion (Karen Allen) when he’s forced to team up with his shifty goddaughter, Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge). They need to stop a former rival, Nazi-turned-NASA rocket scientist Dr. Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen), from procuring the two halves of an ancient dial that could rewrite history. Steven Spielberg hands the reins to Logan director James Mangold, who puts the smile back on Indy’s weathered face in a bumpy retro thrill ride over land, sea, and air.
Fans can watch all the Indiana Jones movies on Disney Plus. If you’re in the mood for more old-school adventure and romance after that, here are seven movies like Indiana Jones to watch.
The Mummy (1999)
More action-packed than National Treasure and more fun than either incarnation of Tomb Raider, Stephen Sommers’ remake of the 1932 horror classic is a movie occult-expert Indy would watch. In 1926, librarian and Egyptologist Evelyn Carnahan (Rachel Weisz, in her breakthrough role) and her comic-relief brother, Jonathan (John Hannah), enlist imprisoned soldier Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) to lead them to Hamunaptra, the lost City of the Dead. In a race with other treasure hunters (camels really can run up to 40mph!), no one wins after they collectively raise the mummified Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo). He needs to make multiple kills to fully regenerate before he can attempt to resurrect his love, Anck-Su-Namun (Patricia Velásquez), by sacrificing Evelyn.
If it’s gore you’re after, Imhotep’s awakening and the shriveling murders that follow are the closest you’ll get to Raiders’ melting Nazi faces. Vosloo’s smirk and roar are sufficiently terrifying. And Weisz, as the beauty and the brains, and Fraser, as the matinee-idol brawn who’s not afraid to scream and run, are a winning pair. They reunite in the 2001 sequel, The Mummy Returns, which also marks Dwayne Johnson’s film debut.
Watch on Hulu
The Mask of Zorro (1998)
Among the inspirations for Indiana Jones were the serial characters of the 1930s and ’40s, including the whip-smacking swashbuckler Zorro. In director Martin Campbell’s rip-roaring take set in 1841, the aging vigilante Don Diego de la Vega (Anthony Hopkins) trains his unlikely successor, bandit Alejandro (Antonio Banderas), so they can each seek revenge. Twenty years prior, ousted Spanish governor Don Rafael Montero got Don Diego’s wife killed, sent him to prison, and kidnapped their infant daughter to raise as his own. Now Montero’s back in California with adult Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones in her breakout) and a scheme to reclaim the land. His righthand man, Captain Love, is responsible for the death of Alejandro’s brother and keeps his head in a jar.
Spielberg exec-produced the popcorn flick, which will have you marveling at Hopkins’ gravitas and Banderas’ charm, masked or unmasked. You’ll appreciate the reminder of how good it feels to see a crowd in the movie cheer for their hero — something Indy has definitely experienced a time or two. And most importantly, you’ll still find the duels exhilarating, whether Banderas (or his stunt double) is darting around acrobatically, wielding two swords, straddling galloping horses, or pausing to pull Elena in for a kiss.
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Romancing the Stone (1984)
Indy’s swooning college students would love this romp, written by Diane Thomas and directed by Robert Zemeckis. Kathleen Turner shines as New York City romance novelist Joan Wilder, who receives a treasure map in the mail from her murdered brother-in-law and is instructed to bring it to Colombia if she wants to see her kidnapped sister alive. When a little run-in with a Big Bad, Colonel Zolo (Manuel Ojeda), leaves her stranded in the jungle, Joan must rely on shady opportunist Jack T. Colton (Michael Douglas) — who looks like the rugged hero in her novels — to guide her to a phone while Zolo, his army, and stressed-out buffoon Ralph (Danny DeVito) give chase. Like Indy, Jack tends to make things up as he goes and has a knack for finding himself hanging over the edge of a cliff. Whereas Marion sarcastically tells Indy, “At least you haven’t forgotten how to show a lady a good time,” Joan means it when she eventually tells Jack, “You’re the best time I’ve ever had.”
The film spawned its own sequel, 1985’s Jewel of the Nile, and, some would argue, an unofficial remake in 2022’s The Lost City: Sandra Bullock plays an adventure-romance novelist kidnapped by a billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe) who needs her expertise on a tropical treasure hunt. Channing Tatum co-stars as the clueless cover model who attempts to rescue her.
Jungle Cruise (2021)
Like the Disney ride that inspired it, this WWI-set movie pays homage to 1951’s The African Queen (Amazon or Apple). But star Emily Blunt, who revisited the Indiana Jones films before filming for inspiration, won’t be the only one who sees a bit of Indy in her joyously gung-ho heroine. She’s British botanist and adventurer Dr. Lily Houghton, who, in 1916 London, steals an ancient arrowhead from the scientific society that won’t admit her because she’s (gasp!) a woman and sets out down the Amazon — in (double gasp!) pants — to find the Tears of the Moon, petals from a mystical tree said to cure illnesses and lift curses.
Lily’s accompanied by her hilariously high-maintenance brother, MacGregor (Jack Whitehall), and the gruff, pun-loving skipper Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson), who has his own reasons for accepting the dangerous gig. Also on a mission to secure petals are cursed 16th century Spanish conquistadors that would terrify Indy (snakes!) and Prince Joachim of Prussia (a scene-stealing Jesse Plemons, who stops just shy of twirling his mustache inside a German U-boat).
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, the movie wisely makes punch-throwing, lock-picking Lily capable of handling herself. Blunt has so much fun, we hope the sequel actually happens.
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The Goonies (1985)
The moral here: You don’t have to wait to grow up to have a death-defying adventure. Spielberg hatched the story for this coming of age tale (directed by Superman’s Richard Donner), which finds a group of teens from Astoria, Oregon’s “Goon Docks” hunting the treasure of pirate One-Eyed Willy for a most noble cause: to save their homes from a country club developer. The heroes’ journey takes them through booby-trapped tunnels that Indy would feel at home in and down an epic water slide to Willy’s entombed galleon. All the while, they’re pursued by the Fratelli crime family, who, fortunately, are as incompetent as the thieves in Home Alone (which Goonies writer Chris Columbus would later helm).
Together, the Goonies represent the best of Indy: Mikey (Sean Astin) shares his enthusiasm for history and his sense of right and wrong. Bond-wannabe Data (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’s Ke Huy Quan) is handy when things go sideways. Chunk (Jeff Cohen) has the ability to make useful friends (John Matuszak’s Sloth). Mouth (Corey Feldman) is destined for a lifetime of love-hate relationships (starting with Martha Plimpton’s Stef). And Mikey’s older brother, Brand (Josh Brolin), is already a romantic leading man (at least to Kerri Green’s Andy).
Watch on Prime Video
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
If Indiana Jones were an iconic private detective instead, he might be director Guy Ritchie’s version of Sherlock Holmes: A man of science who is happiest when the game is afoot, who enjoys an impromptu disguise and packs a mean punch, and who has a decidedly complicated relationship with an ex. In Round 1 of the Victorian England-set franchise, sardonic Sherlock (Robert Downey Jr.) and his partner in crime-solving, Dr. Watson (Jude Law), stop a seemingly occult killing spree by Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) — who then “rises from the dead” after being hanged.
As they work to deduce his power-hungry plan and how to stop it, they also tangle with master thief Irena Adler (Rachel McAdams), the only woman to ever outsmart Sherlock, twice. Or does her handcuffing him naked to the bed make that three times?
The chemistry between Downey and Law crackles as it should. Ritchie’s stylized use of slo-mo, from Sherlock calculating the damage he’s about to inflict in a fight to a series of explosions that make you feel like you’re in the flames, is equally standout.
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Knight and Day (2010)
As legend has it, Spielberg and George Lucas were vacationing together, chatting about Spielberg’s ill-fated desire to direct a Bond movie, when Lucas pitched him the idea that would become the Indiana Jones franchise. Therefore, it seems fitting to use the final spot on this list for Mangold’s most underrated film, the freewheeling spy comedy Knight and Day. Tom Cruise stars as Roy Miller, a disgraced agent trying to clear his name and keep his real rogue colleague from selling the MacGuffin to a Spanish arms dealer. Roy refuses to abandon June Havens (Cameron Diaz), the innocent woman he’s roped into his mess, even though she’d really, really like him to.
While Mangold has cited Charade and North by Northwest as inspirations, Roy taking out assassins on a jetliner while June psyches herself up to hit on him in the bathroom may remind you of Indy fighting for his life while hot-and-bothered Willie (Kate Capshaw) fumes across the hall in Temple of Doom. June wearing a bridesmaid dress during a car chase feels not unlike Marion donning that tulle number in Raiders. You can easily imagine a frustrated Indy walking through bullets to kiss a woman who doesn’t believe he’s happy to see her (truth serum makes June confess her feelings for Roy at the worst possible moment). And, at one point, Roy actually uses a whip. Even if none of that was intentional, Mangold proved he can stage elaborate set pieces with beats for banter — a necessity for an Indiana Jones movie. (Also, spoiler alert: Could the running gag of Roy drugging June during an escape, and her flipping the script, have inspired Helena knocking out Indy?!)