Well, the premiere has been held in Cannes, the embargo is lifted, and the first reviews are now starting to spread online for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. How is the franchise capper? Does it give Indiana Jones the send-off he deserves?

In 1969 New York, archaeologist Indiana Jones has spent a decade as a college professor. When an old evil rises, and somebody from his past gets involved, it is up to him to ensure that an ancient and powerful artifact isn’t claimed by those who would use it to do harm.


So what do people think? These are mostly serious reviewers, so let’s see what they had to say:

“Indy’s final date with destiny has a barmy finale that might divide audiences – but if you join him for the ride, it feels like a fitting goodbye to cinema’s favourite grave-robber. [Mangold] moves confidently through action set-piece after action set-piece, keeping up a frantic pace – but he is clearly at pains to keep track of the man under the hat.”

John Nugent, Empire Online

“However much action swirls on the surface of this kind of film, its foundations are built of reassuring nostalgia…[Mangold] is never anything but brisk… it moves along in the frame-by-comic book frame way that ‘Raiders’ did, but with more international destinations.”

Stephanie Bunbury, Deadline

“The film is loaded with mayhem but painfully short on spark and bravado: there’s no shot here, nor twist of choreography, that makes you marvel at the filmmaking mind that conceived it. Even the unapologetically pulpy climax… feels frivolous and offhand”

Robbie Collin, The Telegraph

“The final reel may take a serious flight of fantasy, but unlike those aliens in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it somehow feels an apt journey for Indy. Perhaps the film could’ve been more daring – it feels fairly safe – but fans will leave cinemas feeling like their old hero had one final great outing in him”

James Mottram, Radio Times

“Exciting and excessive in equal measure, so over-the-top that an audience needs to throw up its collective hands and suspend disbelief… There are some beautifully affecting moments. If this is the final Indiana Jones movie, as it most likely will be, it’s nice to see that they stuck the landing. ”

Steve Pond, The Wrap

“Nobody with a brain in their heads will compare Dial of Destiny favourably to the first three films. There is a sense throughout of a project struggling to stand beneath the weight of its history. But Mangold… knows how to keep his foot on the pedal… Think of it as one of those halfway decent David Bowie albums from the 1990s”

Donald Clarke, The Irish Times

“This one has quite a bit of zip and fun and narrative ingenuity with all its MacGuffiny silliness that the last one (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) really didn’t… The finale is wildly silly and entertaining.”

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“Tonally, the film wavers. It pulls in too many different directions at once. On the one hand, this is an exercise in affectionate nostalgia. On the other, like its predecessors, it’s an old-fashioned matinee adventure in which characterisation is deliberately broad. Certain episodes are knowing and ironic, while others seem painfully naive.”

Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent

“Not only is ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ an almost complete waste of time, it’s also a belabored reminder that some relics are better left where and when they belong. If only any previous entries in this series had taken great pains to point that out.”

David Ehrlich, Indiewire

“A sluggish sequel that in fits and starts recaptures the playful derring-do of the previous chapters, but director James Mangold, taking the reins from Steven Spielberg, never delivers the rollicking adventure that franchise fans have come to expect”

Tim Grierson, Screen

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is out on June 30th, 2023.

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