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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    All of it amounts to a been-there-done-that-better recapitulation of Mr. Spielberg's career.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Director Steven Spielberg seems intent on celebrating his entire early career here. Whatever the story there is, a vague journey to return a spectacular archeological find to its rightful home -- an unusual goal of the old grave-robber, you must admit -- gets swamped in a sea of stunts and CGI that are relentless as the scenes and character relationships are charmless.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Even with the ponderous dialogue, it's hard not to have fun on this adventure, and it's good to see that Indy, though slightly weary, still has the goods.

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Harrison Ford? Terrific -- and re-energized.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    I can say that if you liked the other Indiana Jones movies, you will like this one, and that if you did not, there is no talking to you.

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  • See all Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 11+

Fourth Indy isn't perfect, but it's fun for series fans.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull doesn't live up to the best of the series, but Indy-loving kids will definitely want to see it. It bears the marks of classic Indy fare -- meaning lots of adventures, some of which (like a scene involving killer ants, or another involving an atomic bomb test) might be too spooky for younger kids. There's a supernatural and extra-terrestrial undercurrent and lots of punch-heavy good-guy-versus-bad-guy fights, which do have some blood (as well as plenty of weapons, including swords and guns). There's also a bit of light swearing ("s--t," "son of a bitch," etc.) and innuendo, and enemies routinely hurl unpleasant threats at each other. But it's all handed with roguish, acerbic Indy wit, which makes it -- for the most part -- all in good, popcorn movie fun.

  • Families can talk about what Indiana Jones stands for. If he's a good guy, why does he break the rules? Is that OK? What separates him from the "bad" guys? Are real-life bad guys as thoroughly evil as the ones in movies?
  • Where does Mutt fit in? What does he have in common with Indy? How are they different?
  • Why is Indy so popular? Why is it so hard for other movies to duplicate the Indy formula? Do you think the franchise needed another movie? Why or why not?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Although there's plenty of havoc (and even some double-crosses that endanger Indy), it all appears to be for the greater good. Ingenuity, teamwork, and trying to do the right thing are ultimately rewarded, although some of Indy's methods are iffy.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Indy is brave, resourceful, loyal, and smart, and he's dedicated to preserving historical artifacts and protecting them from those who would misuse them. That said, you probably don't want your kids imitating him, especially given the violence he's forced to use. On the downside, enemies are portrayed one-dimensionally as purely evil, and there's lots of bickering between a few of the characters.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Characters shoot at each other; there's lots of punching, kicking, and shoving; swords are pointed at enemies' throats; characters attack each other with guns and swords from moving cars in one extended scene. Minor characters are killed in various ways -- gunfire, falls, crashes, etc. One group goes out in flames when a powerful rocket ignites. A few parts may scare young kids -- especially a sequence in which a sea of killer ants engulfs victims, or an early scene in which Indy is nearly the victim of an atomic bomb test (scary images of mushroom clouds and exploding houses/mannequins). Lots of skulls and mummies and other spooky-for-young-children elements.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Some sexual banter, but nothing terribly lewd.

  • language false2

    Language: A few uses of words like "bulls--t," "shut up," "son of a bitch," and "damn." One or two "s--t"s.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: One character appears inebriated at one point, but it's just implied.