Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Movie review by
Randy White, Common Sense Media
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Movie Poster Image
Thrilling third Indy actioner focuses on hunt for grail.
  • PG-13
  • 1989
  • 128 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 81 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Ingenuity, teamwork, and trying to do the right thing are ultimately rewarded, although some of Indy's methods are iffy. Courage and standing up to bullies (in the form of the Nazi party) are strong themes. The power of a father-son relationship is explored and emphasized. Additional themes include integrity and perseverance.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Indy is a lovable anti-hero -- a self-interested scoundrel who isn't always a great role model but whose heart proves to be in the right place. He's brave, resourceful, loyal, and smart, and he's dedicated to preserving historical artifacts and protecting them from those who would misuse them. Henry wasn't the best father to young Indiana, but he proves how much he genuinely cares for his son.

Violence

Hand-to-hand combat, action-filled chases (boats, planes, tanks, more), beatings, and gun fights. Bad-guy minions are killed in fairly gruesome ways, including beheading. Indy uses a whip frequently. Henry is shot at point-blank range and almost bleeds to death. Lots of peril. Threat of fire and drowning. At one point, other characters briefly think a main character has died. A bad guy meets his end in a scene that could disturb younger viewers (potential spoiler alert: he ages extremely rapidly and briefly becomes a dessicated, mummy-like being before disintegrating).

Sex

It's insinuated that Indiana and his father slept with the same woman. Some kissing/embracing. Banter.

Language

Language includes "damn," "my God," and "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation).

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A character lights a cigarette (accurate for the era). Indy and another character have champagne; later, Indy has a cocktail.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade has lots of hand-to-hand combat, action-filled chases, and gun fights. Main characters are in near-constant peril, and one is shot point blank and almost bleeds to death. Minor characters are killed in somewhat gruesome ways, including beheading; a bad guy meets his end in a fairly disturbing scene. There's a bit of kissing/banter, and it's implied that two men have slept with the same woman. Language is mild, and there's ultimately a strong message about the importance of the father-son relationship.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8 year old Written byThe Benevolent ... April 9, 2008

Great fun but not for every child

Maybe my favourite of the Indiana Jones movies. Sean Connery and Harrison Ford are wonderful together. Some scenes can be terrifying for children, such as when... Continue reading
Parent of a 8 and 8 year old Written byElanaE February 11, 2013

Watch with you kid.

Let kids choose if they want to watch it but make sure there is an adult around.
Kid, 8 years old June 7, 2010

Haha!

I saw this movie when I was 5, and when the guy drank from the wrong Grail, I was REALLY scared. Now, I laugh at it. Good for 9+
Teen, 14 years old Written byFigment95 February 8, 2010
This movie shouldn't be marketed at kids. There's a lot of blood and gore, and the big finale includes decapitation. Not for kids, but good for teens.

What's the story?

At the start of INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE, in 1912, young Indiana Jones (River Phoenix) risks his life to save Coronado's Cross. But his father, Henry (Sean Connery), isn't impressed. A jump to 1938 finds Indy (Harrison Ford) discovering that his father has vanished while searching for the coveted Holy Grail. Off to Venice, where Indy is followed by a secret brotherhood dedicated to maintaining the secret of the grail. Indy finds his father, but a run-in with Nazis leads to a whole new set of problems. Can father and son save one of the world's most precious relics from Hitler's minions?

Is it any good?

The chemistry between Ford and Connery is fun to watch. Both actors have impeccable timing and are obviously enjoying themselves. While some of Indy's previous sidekicks were annoying, Connery's character is a worthy companion and foil. Since father and son have a past, you care about their relationship.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade also includes the return of Indy's milder-mannered side -- a hero who can be tremendously awkward when not battling bad guys or untangling ancient mysteries. Much of the movie's success is due to a tongue-in-cheek attitude that begins when young Indy can't find the rest of his Scout troop and loudly declares that "everyone is lost but me." Ahh, that's the Indiana Jones we know and love.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what Indiana Jones stands for and how he shows that in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. If he's a good guy, why does he break the rules? Is that OK? What separates him from the "bad" guys? Are real-life bad guys as thoroughly evil as the ones in movies?

  • What are the effects of the frequent use of cartoonishly evil Nazis as "bad guys" in action movies? Does it trivialize or obscure their real atrocities, especially the Holocaust?

  • How does Last Crusade compare to Indy's other adventures? Which one do you like best?

  • How do the characters in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade demonstrate courage, humility, and integrity? What about perseverance and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

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