X marks the spot! 40+ Adventure Movies Like Indiana Jones You Must See
The popcorn is popped. You and the kids are huddled together in front of the TV in your comfortable clothes. It’s movie night and you’re craving something adventurous. Well, few adventure movies are as fun to watch as IndianaJones. From plots to scripts, it’s hard to pick a favorite among these action movies to watch. But sometimes you crave something new. Maybe a movie with a bit more mystery or something that will leave you swooning? Or a film with a female lead? Or even a cartoon? Good news! Other movies like IndianaJones exist, similar in all the best ways, but different in the ones you won’t see coming.
But what is it about Dr. Jones that makes Indy originals the holy grail of cinematic fun? People still argue today about IndianaJones the movie was the best: The Raiders of the Lost Ark (nineteen eighty one), The cursed temple (1984), The Last Crusade (1989), or The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008). To state the obvious, Harrison Ford as globetrotting archaeologist Indy is one of the craziest heroes of all time. The character of Jones symbolizes epic adventure. He will leave a classroom on a whim to go on an adventure to the other side of the world. Dr. Jones is honest, decisive, intellectual and resourceful. His ability to recall historical information is fascinating. He adapts to any situation – a man who can teach a class, outsmart old traps, and infiltrate Nazi HQ in no time. Speaking of hats, Indiana Jones’ hat is perhaps the most famous in movie history. His hat and whip are simply iconic.
Everything he does, he does with conviction. He shouts: “This belongs to a museum!” while battling treasure hunters on a ship in a storm. And whether it’s giving up the Grail gift of immortality to save his father’s life or fulfilling a promise to return sacred stones in the cursed temple, he lives his life with integrity. It’s flawed, and that makes it relatable. The following films also have main characters who are tough, charismatic, or relatable.
movies like IndianaJones to get your dose of adventure
1. the Goonies (1985)
When a real estate development company plans to destroy their house to build a country club, a group of adventurous kids decide to go against them after discovering an old pirate map in the attic. If they find the treasure, they could keep the house! The teens face many dangerous obstacles as they navigate underground caverns, including pirate traps and are chased by a savage crime family called the “Fratellis”, who recently escaped from prison and hidden in town.
This movie is true 80s nostalgia. Mouth, Mikey, Data, and Chunk each have the type of personality of someone we all knew growing up. If you want IndianaJones, you will certainly recognize Jonathan Ke Quan (who plays Data). He performed “Short Round” in the IndianaJones movies.
2. The Mummy (1999)
For a fun-to-watch, action-packed scavenger hunt movie that still leaves room for comic relief, The Mummy is an excellent choice. A remake of the 1932 film of the same name, the 1999 version follows adventurer Rick O’Connell (played by Brendan Fraser) as he travels to the City of the Dead with a librarian and her older brother. They accidentally awaken a cursed high priest with intense supernatural powers. Chaos ensues.
The Mummy is arguably one of Brendan Fraser’s best roles. Of course, all the actors are hammered. But thanks to the great action throughout, this film is an entertaining watch.
3. Romanticize the stone (1984)
If you took the IndianaJones series, usurped it and placed it in Colombia, you would have Romanticize the stone. This 1984 action-adventure film stars Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. Joan Wilder (Turner) stars as a romantic adventure writer who needs help delivering a treasure map to her sister’s kidnappers in the Colombian jungle. She is aided by mercenary Jack Colton (Douglas) as they embark on a dangerous journey. A great pair, Turner and Douglas have great chemistry and great dialogue too. In fact, they also made a great pair in the sequel, Jewel of the Nile.
4. the Jewel of the Nile (1985)
Michael Douglas reunited with Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito for this 1985 action-adventure romantic comedy sequel to Romanticize the stone. As Romanticize the stone, this film also opens in one of Joan’s novels. Joan lives with Jack on his yacht until she decides to leave when the leader of a North African nation asks her to visit and write about him. When Jack discovers she’s in danger, he teams up with Ralph (Danny DeVito) to rescue her.
5. Jungle Cruise (2021)
In this new Disney film, Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) hires wily skipper Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) to explore the Amazon River and the surrounding jungle. They are looking for an ancient magic tree that holds the power to heal. The film is based on the Disney theme park riverboat ride of the same name.
6. DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990)
Don’t forget to watch duck tales on TV on the way home from school? DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp is a kid-friendly Disney film that also grabs adults. It combines a treasure hunt similar to the beginning duck tales episodes (which often included adventures in an ancient country) and a modern adaptation of Aladdin. In this story, Scrooge McDuck takes Huey, Dewey and Louie to Egypt in search of a pyramid and a magic lamp.
7. The golden finger (1964)
Investigating smuggling, James Bond uncovers a gold tycoon’s plot to contaminate Fort Knox’s gold stash. And, seriously, this 1964 spy movie has so much action! The golden finger sets the pattern for the 007 we know and love today: Auric Goldfinger as the megalomaniacal villain, the creepy henchmen, the chart-topping theme song and, of course, the Aston Martin. This car was equipped with 30 caliber machine guns, tire shredding blades, etc. And who can forget these famous replicas?
“Do you expect me to speak?”
“No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!”
8. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Based on Lieutenant TE Lawrence, this film follows the British adventurer and soldier’s experiences during the First World War. Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) is sent to Arabia to locate Prince Faisal with the mission of serving as a liaison between the British and Arab tribes – often at war – in their mutual fight against the Turks. Peter O’Toole’s performance is timeless and unique.
9. grave robber (2018)
This list wouldn’t be complete without some girl power! Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) is the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, Lord Richard Croft (Dominic West). Croft embarks on a dangerous journey to his last known location – a tomb on an island somewhere off the coast of Japan. This 2018 film is based on a 2013 video game of the same name and is a reboot of the grave robber series. The role was made famous in 2001 by Angelina Jolie, but this version is arguably better.
ten. apocalypto (2006)
Around the early 1500s, the Mayan kingdom was at its height – a world ruled by oppression and fear. A young hunter named Jaguar Paw is captured and taken on a dangerous journey to a Mayan city for human sacrifice at a time when the Mayan civilization is in decline. Produced, co-written and directed by Mel Gibson, this film features a cast of Native American and Indigenous Mexican actors. Not quite a treasure hunt movie but certainly loaded with adrenaline, brains and heart, just like our dear IndianaJones.
11. Librarian: Spear Quest (2004)
Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle) has earned 27 advanced degrees. His Egyptology teacher graduates him early and he is expelled from school. But Flynn needs a job, so he starts working at the Metropolitan Public Library. This library contains amazing artifacts like the Ark of the Covenant, Pandora’s Box, and the Golden Goose. When a fragment of the Spear of Destiny is suddenly stolen, Flynn is sent to the Amazon to retrieve the pieces. Can this bookworm save the world? This movie doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a family movie that you can watch with anyone from 4 to 80 years old.
Honorable mention for films like Indiana Jones
- Gunga Din (1939)
- King Solomon’s Mines (1985)
- Treasury of the Four Crowns (1983)
- national treasure (2004)
- The summary (2003)
- Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
- The Mosquito Coast (1986)
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
- Finding Ohana (2021)
- The three Musketeers (2011)
- Robin Hood (1991)
- 20000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
- Moby-Dick (1956)
- The never-ending story (1984)
- Flight of the Navigator (1986)
- The princess to be married (1987)
- The Mask of Zorro (1998)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
- Master and Commander (2003)
- Pi’s life (2012)
- Kong: Skull Island (2017)
- The Lost City of Z (2016)
- Dora and the lost city of gold (2019)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
- relic hunter (1999)
- Hell (2016)
- Hidalgo (2004)
- Jumanji (all!)
- Quigley below (1990)
- Operation Condor (1991)
If none of the movies above do it for you, Indiana Jones 5 is filming and is slated for release in 2022. It’s rumored to be set in the late 1960s and involve the space race.
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