Indiana Jones is one of the most iconic and beloved film series of all time. With the perfect balance of action and adventure, the films have captivated audiences even decades after their time in theaters. Likewise, with the addition of history and the supernatural, there is a little something for everyone to enjoy.
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However, for as popular as Indiana Jones is, other movies have come close to capturing the same type of magic from the film. In fact, some films are so incredibly close that it’s scary.
Updated on April 25th, by Matthew Wilkinson: With a fifth Indiana Jones installment coming in the future, there’s plenty of reasons to revisit these classic movies and enter the world of adventure. While it’s hard to get to the same level as Indiana Jones, there are many brilliant adventure movies that are just as exciting.
Whether it’s bringing the scares, the fun, or the overall scale and scope of the adventure, there are some fantastic movies out there to fill that adventurous fix until the next journey with Indy. So, here is our list of 15 great action movies to watch if you love Indiana Jones.
The Adventures of Tintin (2011)
As another film from Steven Spielberg, The Adventures of Tintin is a wonderful action/adventure story that is also perfect for a younger audience as well. Thanks to the iconic filmmaker’s influence, much of the movie feels as though it has a lot of older, classic elements that also made the Indiana Jones films so fantastic.
Likewise, with the inclusion of history and other fantastical elements from the film, it feels all the more similar to Indiana Jones. Thanks to the influence of Peter Jackson as well, The Adventures of Tintin was a stunning visual masterpiece. Though it is still very different from Indiana Jones, The Adventures of Tintin is perfect for anyone seeking the classical adventure feel.
Another fantastic animated movie that will fulfill any adventure craving is Pixar’s Onward. This movie sustains the usual standard that Pixar has set, mixing in all the emotions expected, from happiness and laughter all the way to utter sadness and heartbreak.
However, along the way it is simply an amazing adventure of two brothers trying to see their father one last time. Set in a mystical world where unicorns and pixies roam the land, there are some incredibly brilliant magical moments and a real sense of adventure.
Tomb Raider (2018)
The Lara Croft films have had a tendency to struggle finding great success. However, they have gone down as popular cult films. Inspired by the games, Lara Croft herself is very similar to Indiana Jones. Furthermore, the newest Tomb Raider film has the highest reviews out of the others in the series making it the most ideal film in the franchise for Indiana Jones fans.
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While this version is very modern and more based on survival, there are still several great things about it that relate to the Indiana Jones films. Though the recent one is also a bit darker than the ones before it, there are still plenty of great action and adventure moments that make it ideal for any Indiana Jones fan.
The Revenant (2015)
The Revenant is a far more serious movie than any Indiana Jones flick, and is perhaps considered to be a more adult adventure film. Of course, it is far more graphic and gruesome, but that only enhances the tension with how realistic everything is.
This western will grip audiences from the start and features some stunning acting from Tom Hardy and Leonardo DiCaprio in particular. It might lack the humor and light-hearted moments that Indiana Jones has, it more than makes up for it with the stunning details and fantastic action.
Romancing the Stone (1984)
With a heavier focus on the romantic side, Romancing the Stone is still very similar to Indiana Jones. With a rough and tough lead actor who very strongly resembles Indiana himself, Michael Douglas’ Jack Colton manages to capture the same action/adventure type hero that Ford did.
Granted, there are still some key differences between them, but the overall feel of the film plays out similarly to that of Indiana Jones. Likewise, with the inclusion of the treasure hunting element in Romancing the Stone, there are plenty of similarities for fans of Indiana Jones to enjoy in this film.
The Princess Bride (1987)
Another classic movie that Indiana Jones fans would absolutely love is The Princess Bride, which is an amazing adventure film. It has everything needed to make a great adventure, from sword fights and pirates to giants and romance, with plenty going on throughout.
It has the family feel that Indiana Jones does, with this being a movie that has plenty of light-hearted moments for everyone of any age to enjoy. While it might not have the historical nods that Indy’s adventures do, this film dips more into the fa
ntasy world, but it is just as enjoyable.
Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)
Despite the movie’s incredibly cheesy elements, Journey to the Center of the Earth is a great action/adventure family film. Though it isn’t anything too special in terms of plot or CGI, the overall story is still enjoyable and appropriate for a younger audience.
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With a very basic and predictable story, some jokes do actually manage to shine through. While the film’s sequel proved to be far worse, Journey to the Center of the Earth is a great movie that a lot of older Indiana Jones fans could happily sit down and watch with their kids.
King Kong (2005)
While Indiana Jones might not have a giant ape-like King Kong, the two movies do have many similarities. It’s set in the deep mystical jungle, with a brilliant old-school feel that has some fantastic action moments with a great mix of shooting and true fighting, alongside some over the top battles between Kong and the Dinosaurs.
There are plenty of fun characters within this film, all pushing for their own personal story and making their own judgments. With a stunning setting and some fantastical elements, this really is an adventure for the ages that feels large in scale, yet deeply personal at the same time.
The Goonies (1985)
The Goonies is effectively an Indiana Jones film that stars a younger group of kids. In fact, actor Ke Huy Quan even starred in both films, playing Data in The Goonies and Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). Furthermore, Steven Spielberg also had a hand in both projects, so it would make sense for the two films to have a similar feel to them.
Though The Goonies is far more family-oriented, it still has the same thrills in the adventure that the group is on. The mystery, cast, and aesthetics in The Goonies also tends to mimic that of the Indiana Jones films, adding to the charm and fun of the overall film. Needless to say, The Goonies is a must-watch for any fan of the Indiana Jones movies.
It doesn’t really matter which version of Jumanji, as both the 1995 original and the 2017 remake are absolutely brilliant films. they are perfect family-friendly adventures into an insane world as characters are dragged into a game that has danger around every corner.
They have all the beats that make Indiana Jones enjoyable within them, from the action and humor to the romance and puzzles that come with it. These films are incredibly entertaining and while there’s slightly less shooting and death as the Indy movies, there’s certainly just as much fun to be had.
National Treasure (2004)
Going beyond Indiana Jones in particular, many Steven Spielberg films have a great element of history incorporated into them. Because of this, it would make sense that National Treasure, a film revolving around history, would be fairly similar to Indiana Jones. Though National Treasure is much cheesier than Indiana Jones, there are still a lot of similarities between them that fans of either can appreciate.
Furthermore, National Treasure is a bit more family friendly, arguably making it a modern Indiana Jones for all audiences. With a heavy influence of history on top of a decent treasure hunting adventure, National Treasure would likely please several fans of Indiana Jones.
The Mummy (1999)
The Indiana Jones films have been known for including a dash of the supernatural in each of them. Between a great mix of action, adventure, and history, the supernatural elements always topped things off very nicely. Because of this, The Mummy would also make a great watch for any fan of the Indiana Jones series. Excluding the newest iteration starring Tom Cruise, The Mummy films actually fall very closely to Indiana Jones.
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With some pretty distinct characters, both films have the same type of feel to them in terms of adventure. Furthermore, there is a fairly nice balance of humor woven into both films as well that makes them even more similar. Though both tell radically different overall stories, there are plenty of similarities between them that make The Mummy worthy of a watch for any Indiana Jones fan.
Blade Runner (1982)
Also featuring Harrison Ford, Blade Runner is a truly fantastic science fiction story that holds up even today. Though Ford plays a much different character from Indiana, fans of one film have still enjoyed the other. Even with a heavy influence of science fiction in Blade Runner, Ford manages to capture a lot of the same charm that he had in roles like Indiana Jones or as Han Solo.
Likewise, both films are incredibly well-made and while Blade Runner doesn’t have as much action, still has many other things to appreciate about it. Overall, both films have their own unique aspects that help them to stand out amongst others in their respective genres. Because of this, Blade Runner has been deemed a classic much in the same way that the Indiana Jones films have.
American Outlaws (2001)
Though not very historically accurate, American Outlaws is based on the real life story of Jesse James, one of the most famous outlaws ever. Though history buffs are not very likely to enjoy this movie, there are still a lot of great and fun elements that make it well worth a watch.
The entire film does feel like an Indiana Jones movie, thanks to its stylistic action, time period, and general aesthetics. With a love story woven into a narrative revolving around a character very similar to Indiana himself, American Outlaws would make a great watch for any fan of the Indiana Jones films.
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Though The Da Vinci Code doesn’t have too much actual action in it, there are still many similarities between it and Indiana Jones. In one of the biggest examples, both films rely heavily on religious elements and historical clues in order to get to the end goal. Furthermore, both The Da Vinci Code and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) revolve around the discovery of the Holy Grail.
Both films approach the subject in radically different ways, each film has elements that make it worthy of praise. While The Da Vinci Code isn’t the closest movie to Indiana Jones, fans of the adventure series can still find things to enjoy in the mystery series.