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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    This movie is one of the most relentlessly nonstop action pictures ever made, with a virtuoso series of climactic sequences that must last an hour and never stop for a second. It's a roller-coaster ride, a visual extravaganza, a technical triumph, and a whole lot of fun.

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  • 40

    out of 100

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Spielberg is such a talented director it’s a shame to see him lose all sense of subtlety and nuance.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Newsweek Jack Kroll

    Spielberg has gone to such lengths to avoid boredom that he has leaped squarely into the opposite trap: this movie has such unrelenting action that it jackhammers you into a punch-drunk stupor. This may be the first movie whose audience O.D.'s on action. [4 June 1984, p.78]

  • 60

    out of 100

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    Watching it is like spending a day at an amusement park, which is probably what Mr. Spielberg and his associates intended. It moves tirelessly from one ride or attraction to the next, only occasionally taking a minute out for a hot dog, and then going right on to the next unspeakable experience.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Indy's companions are weak; we don't identify with them the way we did with Marion and Sallah. There's less action and more overt comedy, and neither change works to the benefit of the story.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Time Richard Corliss

    The new film is more an embellishment than an improvement on the snazzy Raiders.

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  • See all Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 11+

More gore, gross-outs than the other Indy blockbusters.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this installment in the Indiana Jones trilogy -- along with Gremlins -- is the reason the PG-13 rating was ultimately created. In addition to the fights that marked the first Indy movie, this one also has potentially nightmare-inducing scenes of things like a man's beating heart being torn right out of his chest. Children are also worked near to death in the mines, and there are lots of gross-out activities -- none more nauseating than the eating of monkey brains and live snakes. There's also a bit of language and some flirting/sexual banter.

  • Families can talk about stereotypes in movies. Do you see any stereotypes in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? How can a stereotype be fun -- and how can it be offensive? Where do you draw the line?
  • What does Indiana Jones stand 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?
  • Talk about the history behind the PG-13 rating. Do you think it was a good addition to the rating system? Why do you think this movie contributed to that decision?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Perseverance, teamwork, and trying to do the right thing are ultimately rewarded, although some of Indy's methods are iffy. There are very clear lines between good guys and bad guys.

  • rolemodels true2

    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 -- and his tendency to break the rules. Willie becomes stronger and more resilient throughout the movie. On the downside, many of the movie's ethnic characters are shady or downright barbarous.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Hand-to-hand combat and gunfights. Indiana Jones is severely scourged. Some very scary scenes set in the temple that include torture and human sacrifice, including the removal of still-beating hearts. Also some gross-out scenes with bugs, unusual foods (monkey brains!), and more. Indy frequently uses his whip.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Generally mild flirting/sexual banter between Jones and Willie. Some cleavage and short/suggestive outfits. Innuendo. Indy must push on a statue's breast to open a secret passage.

  • language false3

    Language: Language includes one "s--t," "bastards," "oh my God," and "for Christ's sake" (as an exclamation).

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Glasses/bottles seen in a nightclub; champagne is poured.