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12 Best Movies Like Indiana Jones Everyone Needs To See

Action, sass, skeletons and treasure — the "Indiana Jones" films deliver on all fronts. Starring the charismatic and action fedora-sporting Harrison Ford and brought to high-octane cinematic life by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, Indy's adventures take cues from 1930s serial films, pulp heroes like Zorro, visually stunning dramas like "Lawrence of Arabia," and the sly spy antics of James Bond. The franchise has been giving audiences a taste for epic adventure, wise-cracking, and whip-cracking historical hijinks since 1981's "Raiders of the Lost Ark" smashed its way into theaters.

Even though the franchise officially wraps up with 2023's "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny," its success has spawned many imitators in the popcorn movie pantheon. Some are even worth watching. Looking for other flicks that evoke the spirit of everyone's favorite grave robber with a heart of gold? Then you're ready to discover the 12 best movies like "Indiana Jones" every adventurer needs to see.

12. National Treasure

"National Treasure" is perhaps the most direct descendent of the "Indiana Jones" franchise that modern popcorn cinema has, and one of the few not set in days of yore. Instead, "National Treasure" takes place in the early 2000s, mostly in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. The film centers around the quest for a treasure hidden somewhere in America by the founding fathers and their not-so-secret secret societies — a treasure only a few dedicated treasure hunters think truly exists.

One such treasure hunter (or treasure protector) is Benjamin Franklin Gates, an adventurer and cryptographer played to perfection by Nicolas Cage. Benjamin cracks any code he can get his hands on to track down clues leading to the treasure, which he's convinced is very real and in danger of being stolen by his traitorous associate, Ian (Sean Bean), who gives off major Mac in "Crystal Skull" vibes. "National Treasure" also has a dose of "Last Crusade" in it, because Ben can only find his treasure with the unlikely aid of his father, with whom he rarely sees eye to eye.

Ben steals the Declaration of Independence, uses 3-D glasses invented by Ben Franklin, and gets arrested by the FBI before finally tumbling into a tomb full of treasure with his ragtag band of misfit associates. Give the man the action fedora he's earned, and give the "National Treasure" franchise a watch.

11. The Mummy

What if the graves robbed back? Throwback action-adventure flick "The Mummy" asks and answers this timeless question with a lot of heart, cursed objects, bugs, and a love story that stands the test of time — and tomb raiders.

Like "Indiana Jones," "The Mummy" is a love letter to serialized matinee films of the 1930s. It's also a love letter to "Indiana Jones." While "The Mummy" is a 1999 remake of the 1932 Boris Karloff-led "Mummy," it also looks and feels like it could be taking place just off-camera during "Raiders of the Lost Ark." The film stars Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, and Arnold Vosloo in career-defining roles, as well as a character actor cast of thousands.

"The Mummy" is stuffed with epic action set pieces, lit with golden light and warm hues, and full of intrigue and wisecracking humor that would be just as comfortable in an Indy movie as it is here. If you love "Temple of Doom," the upped horror ante of "The Mummy" may be just your style. But it isn't all screams of anguish here. The sassy love story at the heart of the film — plus the epic forbidden love story that kicks it all off — might just make Indy and Marion blush.

10. Romancing the Stone

Indiana Jones knows his way around an enemies-to-lovers relationship. "Romancing the Stone" takes the spiky romance Indy and Marion Ravenwood share and makes it the focal point of its own jungle-set action adventure comedy. If "Temple of Doom" rips literal hearts out, "Romancing the Stone" tucks those hearts back into chests — after warming and fortifying them with epic adventure.

Directed by Steven Spielberg protégé Robert Zemeckis and written by debut screenwriter Diane Thomas, 1984's "Romancing the Stone" follows the transformation of homebody romance novelist Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) into an adventurer who puts her own romantic heroes to shame. Joan searches for treasure (and her kidnapped sister) with a very Indiana Jones-esque enemy-to-lover, Jack T. Colton (Michael Douglas) in a movie that is beautifully silly, absolutely adventurous, and even gorgeously tender. It also stars Danny DeVito as a wicked antiquities obtainer, Manuel Ojeda as the scoundrel Colonel Zolo, and a very well-fed crocodile.

"Romancing the Stone" also has one more "Indiana Jones" connection. Diane Thomas was working on a haunted house Indy script at the time of her tragic death in 1985, just one year after her swashbuckling screenwriting debut. The script was inspired by an idea from George Lucas, and would have followed Indy on a genuinely gothic trek. Our corazón aches for what might have been.

9. The Lost City

"The Lost City" stars Sandra Bullock as grief-stricken romance writer Loretta Sage. Loretta's archaeologist husband has died, and she needs a big adventure to remind her that life is worth living, even if it's different now ... and even if said adventure includes a romance with the model on her own romance covers, Dash McMahon, a himbo king played by Channing Tatum.

Bullock and Tatum play an odd couple for the ages, and might even make Marion and Indy seem functional by comparison. Much like that pair, Dash and Loretta need plenty of daring escapes and death-defying escapades to occur before they can really grow to trust each other. The movie is more than happy to provide. "The Lost City" is as over-the-top as any of Indy's outings, yet it pulls off being heartfelt and zany in equal measure. The tone is a mix between "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Dial of Destiny."

Like Indy before her, Loretta can read lost languages. This makes her the prime target of billionaire super fan Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe), who is basically "The Lost City's" sublimely ridiculous take on Belloq. Watch "The Lost City" for the romance, the leech comedy, the majorly fun "Last Crusade" vibes — but definitely also watch it for Radcliffe's kidnapping by way of the world's biggest charcuterie board.

8. Attack the Block

"Attack the Block" stars a pack of South London teens working together (with a woman they recently mugged) to protect their housing estate from mysterious invading aliens. This 2011 British thriller comedy brings to mind the bad guys of "Temple of Doom," the alien energy of "Crystal Skull," and the relentless action of the entire "Indiana Jones" franchise. Plus, just like with Harrison Ford, there's a "Star Wars" connection: The teenage gang is lead by none other than Finn from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," John Boyega.

"Attack the Block" uses epic set pieces and chase sequences to build tension and delight the eye. Once the aliens chase the kids into the tower block, the film takes on a "Temple of Doom" flavor as our heroes try to evade capture and work with unlikely allies to save their world (and themselves) from the glowy-eyed beasts from above. Like Indy, the kids are improvisational fighters, and watching them figure out how to win against impossible odds by the skin of their teeth is a big part of the fun. The clever way they use all of the resources available to them to literally smoke the enemy out is pure cinematic joy. Plus, just like Indy, it looks like there just may be a sequel in "Attack the Block 2" ... which might arrive 15 or so years after the first movie came out.

7. The Count of Monte Cristo

If the sweeping, old-fashioned adventure story is what draws you to "Indiana Jones," make sure you check out 2002's "The Count of Monte Cristo" for your next fix of throwback intrigue. And we mean way back — the movie is based on Alexandre Dumas' 1844 novel of the same name, with a story set in 1815.

Starring a deeply wronged and mega-vengeful Jim Caviezel, a dastardly Guy Pearce, and a scene-stealing Luis Guzmán, "The Count of Monte Cristo" is a thrilling tale of swashbuckling revenge, treasure-seeking, and unlikely family bonding that will appeal to fans of Indy's derring-do — and his track record of being betrayed by lovers like Elsa and friends like Mac. Pearce's Fernand is a bratty and evil piece of work, and Caviezel's Edmond spends the film attempting to undo the damage Fernand has caused him by creating plenty more — all for the sake of vengeance.

This movie also contains more exotic locations than you can shake a sword at. Much of it was filmed on and around the island of Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea between Italy and Libya. The old fortresses and structures with seaside views used in key scenes lend the movie a very "Raiders" sense of timeless adventure.

6. Jurassic Park

Few movies manage the fabled "four-quadrant" appeal the "Indiana Jones" franchise has, except for the movie that started one of Spielberg's other little film franchises: "Jurassic Park." This 1993 action-adventure movie entrances audiences in every age and demographic bracket, even if its countless sequels can't quite claim the same.

The first "Jurassic Park" film turns Michael Crichton's novel into a family-friendly adventure that also explores the sheer hubris of man. The movie has chills, thrills, and moments of sheer delight, plus equal parts dinosaur snot, wry humor, and deeply powerful moments of human connection. Audiences can come for the action-adventure and stay to get their heartstrings tugged by watching action fedora paleontologist grump Dr. Grant (Sam Neill) get slightly less grumpy through the power of love. It's a lot like watching Indiana Jones deal with raptors.

"Jurassic Park" screenwriter David Koepp also wrote for "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and "Dial of Destiny." This, along with Spielberg's directorial influence, shows that Indy and "Jurassic Park" are in each other's four-quadrant DNA — the mosquitos trapped in each other's amber, as it were.

5. Overlord

You know how the old saying goes: You can't make an "Indiana Jones" without punching a couple Nazis. For those who prefer their Nazi punches with zombies, 2018's "Overlord" is an underrated B-movie thrill ride that fits the bill. Its high-octane alternate history hijinks would have Indiana Jones smirking with pride — and Mads Mikkelsen's Dr. Voller quaking in his goose-stepping boots.

"Overlord" is set the night before D-Day, and follows a team of paratroopers who discover their mark in a German village is actually surrounded by a bunch of zombies, accidentally created by Nazis in their quest to make deathless super-soldiers. The deathless super-soldier serum comes in handy at times, but there's always a price to pay for using it, as our heroes discover while battling the creators and users of said elixir. "Overlord" is a very R-rated movie in comparison to the PG-rated "Temple of Doom," but like that Indy flick, "Overlord" is surprising in both its violence and its emotional underpinnings.

At the end of the day, "Overlord" is a hyper-violent festival of Nazi punching. The movie is produced by J.J. Abrams and stars Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Pilou Asbaek, and Joseph Quinn in a small role. It has to be seen to be believed, but be warned — you'll gasp harder than Mola Ram's victims at some of the gore.

4. The Mask of Zorro

Indy's old diver friend in "Dial of Destiny" is played by Antonio Banderas. Banderas happens to be the star of another throwback action-adventure film that is stylishly stuffed with heroic saves, epic fight sequences, and the quest for ill-gotten gold and fairly chaste romance. While "Puss in Boots 2" fits that bill, we're talking about 1998's "The Mask of Zorro."

Another old-fashioned caper like the "Indiana Jones" movies, "The Mask of Zorro" follows a vengeful thief as he becomes the protégé to a slightly more noble swashbuckler. The movie deals with the true difference between what's right and wrong, battling egos, warring neighbors, puffed-up politics being played at by true criminals, swordfight upon swordfight, and, of course, a little visit to El Dorado.

Much like Indy's tales, "The Mask of Zorro" feels both out-of-time and timeless. Some of this is helped along by how the movie uses real places and people as touchstones in its plot. Steven Spielberg has a hand in this film as well, as executive producer and an influence of the film's character connections, practical effects, stunt action, and stunning sets. Just like Harrison Ford's Indy, Antonio Banderas' Zorro brings depth, charm, and a little romance to everything he does on screen, from the flash of his blade to the flash of his smile.

3. The Fall

Much like tomb sand in a pair of well-worn boots, heartache haunts the "Indiana Jones" franchise. The rarity of being able to watch an action-adventure hero like Indy age over the course of 42 years has allowed the films to address deeper themes than the average actioner. "Crystal Skull" and "Dial of Destiny" both deal with heavy subjects of loss and redemption, even if they do so with a light touch. "The Fall" does this heavy lifting in a similar way.

Tarsem Singh's 2006 action-adventure stars Lee Pace as heartbroken 1920s stuntman Roy Walker, who is convalescing in a hospital after a stunt gone wrong. Roy's hospital bed is next to that of a young girl laid up with a broken arm. They develop a friendship, and Roy tells her a story about a lovelorn quest full of heroes, villains, and sights to behold.

Roy's tall tales take form in the girl's imagination, and take place all over the world. Just like the Indy series, "The Fall" globe-trots to beautiful and far-flung locales to tell a truly emotional and life-affirming tale. Recall "Last Crusade," which shot its climactic scene at the Treasury, aka Al-Khazneh in Petra, Jordan. This site is a wonder of the world, and a wonder of film — just like the settings of Tarsem's "The Fall," which shot in 24 countries, each more stunning than the last.

2. Home Alone

The Breath of God, the Word of God, the Path of God, the Filthy Animal. Indiana Jones and Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) have something major in common: booby traps. If you love the traps, challenges, and riddles Indy must solve to survive in every one of his movies, you'll love 1990's "Home Alone."

Written by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus, "Home Alone" tells the heartwarming tale of Kevin, a young boy forgotten by everyone at Christmas — including two thieves looking to rob his supposedly empty house. Kevin takes advantage of their ignorance — and stock of every toy and household object — in order to weaponize his home more thoroughly than the literal Temple of Doom.

Indiana Jones can't move a muscle in a supposedly secret tomb without setting off some ancient booby trap or unearthing a pit of snakes, skeletons, or all manner of creepy crawlies. But in comparison to Kevin, Indy has it easy. Setting off and surviving traps is child's play — it's making them that's the hard work. "Home Alone" has one more significant Indy claim to fame: Director Chris Columbus wrote a script for "Indiana Jones and the Monkey King,"which never got made — much like Kevin's favorite fictional flick, "Angels with Filthy Souls."

1. Logan

Indiana Jones is a reluctant hero, and a more than reluctant father figure when it comes to Short Round (Ke Huy Quan) and his own son, Mutt (Shia LaBeouf). Still, the relationships between Indy and the young people he's responsible for teach him a lot about himself and help him save the day, sometimes the kid, and definitely his own soul. This is also true of "Logan."

"Logan" is a 2017 "X-Men" movie starring Hugh Jackman as Logan, aka Wolverine. It's a superhero flick, but an uncommon one — this is a deeply poignant action-adventure story about the power of love against adversity. Logan is unexpectedly charged with taking care of Laura, a mysterious young girl who has more in common with Logan than he first expects — so much so, in fact, that she's being hunted by all manner of bad guys. Directed by "Dial of Destiny" director James Mangold, "Logan" tells its redemption tale in a familiar odd-couple buddy-film format, fortified by muscular action scenes, thrilling escapes, and heartbreaking reckonings. Plus, Boyd Holbrook shows up as a blonde bad guy in "Logan" and "Dial of Destiny." You truly love to see it.

"Logan" and "Indiana Jones" prove just how deeply action films can reach into the human heart, without sacrificing one speck of screen time to anything remotely boring. "Logan" is a thrill ride in every sense of the word: You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll gasp, and you will quote "Shane" to anyone who will listen. Like "Dial of Destiny," "Logan" is proof that even late installments in movie franchises that don't put a premium on emotionality can pull out heart-healing surprises when they're least expected — and most needed.