Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
During the Cold War, Soviet agents watch Professor Henry Jones when a young man brings him a coded message from an aged, demented colleague, Henry Oxley. Led by the brilliant Irina Spalko, the Soviets tail Jones and the young man, Mutt, to Peru. With Oxley's code, they find a legendary Show more... skull made of a single piece of quartz. If Jones can deliver the skull to its rightful place, all may be well; but if Irina takes it to its origin, she'll gain powers that could endanger the West. Aging professor and young buck join forces with a woman from Jones's past to face the dangers of the jungle, Russia, and the supernatural.
David Denby Crystal Skull isn't bad -- there are a few dazzling sequences, and a couple of good performances -- but the unprecedented blend of comedy and action that made the movies so much more fun than any other adventure series is mostly gone.
Richard Roeper There's nothing but entertainment value here.
David Edelstein The action is the movie's raison d'etre, of course, but the setups are wittier than the payoffs.
Dana Stevens Expecting Brando-esque menace or Dreyfus-ian uplift from the Indiana Jones tetralogy is like going to the candy counter at the mall multiplex and asking for some goat cheese and a nice cabernet.
Christopher Orr Even as the movie occasionally trips over its nostalgias, it's still a likable, if unremarkable, entertainment, a pleasant echo of past delights.
Jonathan Rosenbaum The character and plot contrivances are dumber than ever, but this is basically vaudeville, not narrative, and the thrills keep coming.
Stephen Hunter It's romantic manliness at its purest, almost but not quite schmaltz, ideally calculated to please true believers and ironic snorters at once.
Scott Foundas We're also (relievedly) a long way away here from the strenuous self-importance of the Bruckheimer-era blockbuster, and one should never look even such modest gift horses in the mouth.
Stephanie Zacharek At his best, Spielberg is certainly capable of tapping, to almost unnerving degree, collective moods and fears and longings, both emotional and cultural.
Rex Reed It's as contrived and convoluted as all the other Indiana Jones movies, but not as much fun.
Joe Morgenstern Sitting through Steven Spielberg's slog down memory lane means waiting for surprise, waiting for delight, waiting for daylight after turgid trudges through Peruvian caves, and waiting for an abstract story to coalesce.
Robert Wilonsky Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is as joyless as its predecessors were blissful.
Jennie Yabroff Spielberg is an efficient, consummately competent director, and the action sequences deliver exactly what's promised, if nothing more.
Peter Howell Indy IV may not entirely be the grand return that everyone had hoped for, but it's still great to see a good old friend come around again.
Christy Lemire It's admittedly a pleasure to see Harrison Ford back in the role. Once you get past the initial reintroduction, though, it's obvious that this fourth film in the Indy series really has no idea where to go.
Andrew O'Hehir Even in its inflated and creaky fourth incarnation, the Indy series retains a certain unassuming quality, at least compared to Hollywood's recent monstrous productions.
Kirk Honeycutt Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull gets swamped in a sea of stunts and CGI that are relentless as the scenes and character relationships are charmless.
Richard Corliss Once it gets going, Crystal Skull delivers smart, robust, familiar entertainment.
Todd McCarthy Director Steven Spielberg and star Harrison Ford have no trouble getting back into the groove with a story and style very much in keeping with what has made the series so perennially popular.