Parents' Guide to

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

By Randy White, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Indy's first raucous adventure has peril, stereotypes.

Movie PG 1981 115 minutes
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 96 parent reviews

age 18+

The Ending is a Short Horror Film

Great action, but as someone who was traumatized from the face-melting scene as a child, I HIGHLY discourage any parents letting their children, or even young teens for that matter, watching the ending. If you do choose or catch them watching the film, make sure you stop the movie right before the tables turn and tell them that they shouldn’t even think about watching it until they’re sure they can tolerate it, no matter how much they beg. Believe me, they will regret it. No minor should EVER be subjected to see something that graphic.
age 14+

Awesome, but how is this movie only 11 +?

A lot of other dads told me this movie is okay for children. It is not at all. This movie is so scary. Even being 43 years old, I found it terrifying! There is impalement, Bloody stabbing and intense action. I was watching it with my 13 year old( I had watched this movie when I was kid about age 9) and I remebered to cover his eyes on many occasions. The violence much too much for a 11 year old. Don't get me wrong though, this is an awesome movie!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (96 ):
Kids say (244 ):

When director Steven Spielberg and writer-producer George Lucas set out to re-create the serial adventure movie of the 1940s, they forged a masterwork. The key to the success of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is Ford's Indiana Jones, the archaeology professor and grand adventurer who seems perfectly at home as both a mild-mannered Clark Kent type -- right down to the glasses -- and a larger-than-life hero. Ford played a similar character in the Star Wars series, but here he's front and center. With Raiders, Ford established himself as one of the greatest action-adventure heroes of all time.

Despite the movie's quality, it's fun to note the small continuity and effects errors. If you go back to the film, you and your kids can make a game of picking out where even the best filmmakers make little mistakes. But it will be important to discuss how, despite its entertainment value, the film has aged poorly in terms of how it depicts people of color, most of whom are shown as violent and barbaric.

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