In the early 1980s, filmmaking legends George Lucas and Steven Speilberg created Hollywood’s seminal action-adventure franchise starring Harrison Ford as a thrill-seeking archeologist and college professor named Indiana Jones. The adventures of Indy have now spanned over four decades, culminating in this year’s final film,
Now that Dial of Destiny is in theaters, we’ve created a guide to help you navigate the series’ story so far. Scroll down to find out how to watch the Indiana Jones films in order, by narrative chronologically or release date.
How Many Indiana Jones Movies Are There?
The Indiana Jones film saga includes five movies. The franchise’s canon also includes The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, a TV series that ran for two seasons (and four made-for-TV movies) in the ‘90s. If you’re curious to know where you can stream all five of the films, we have a breakdown of where to stream every Indiana Jones movie online to point you in the right direction.
Dozens of other Indiana Jones stories have been told through novels, comics, and video games. However, for the sake of this list, we’ve only chronicled the films and TV series.
Indiana Jones Movies in Chronological Order
These blurbs contain mild spoilers, including characters, settings, and broad plot points.
0. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992-1996)
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles stars four iterations of the intrepid adventurer: the child (played by Corey Carrier), the teen/young adult (Sean Patrick Flanery), the middle-aged man (played in a single episode by Harrison Ford), and the elder (George Hall).
The series primarily follows Flanery’s teenage/young adult Indy adventuring around the world, encountering and working with real-life historical figures, including former U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt, writer Leo Tolstoy, artist Pablo Picasso, infamous gangster Al Capone, famed jazz musician Louis Armstrong, and neurologist Sigmund Freud, among others. The series also explores Indy’s background, notably his relationship with his father.
1. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
Temple of Doom is the first Indiana Jones movie chronologically, despite being released after Raiders of the Lost Ark. Set a year before its predecessor, Temple of Doom kicks off with Indy surviving an assassination attempt in Shanghai before parachuting out of a cargo plane into northern India. There, alongside companions Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) and Short Round (Ke Huy Quan), Indy agrees to help the locals locate their missing children and stolen sacred stone.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is considered the series’ “darkest” movie — the film’s dozens of deaths include a man’s heart being ripped from his chest, while a grotesque dinner scene features delicacies such as live snakes, giant beetles, eyeball soup, and monkey brains served fresh within their decapitated heads. Temple of Doom, alongside Gremlins, led to the creation of the MPAA’s PG-13 rating. (The rating system previously consisted of G, PG, M, and X.)
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Over 40 years ago, Raiders of the Lost Ark kicked off the Indiana Jones franchise. Set in 1936, Raiders of the Lost Ark takes Indy on a globetrotting adventure from South America and the U.S. to Africa and Asia. His first on-screen adventure pits Indy against Nazi forces, a recurring antagonist group in the series. The two parties race to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant, a gold-plated chest believed by Adolf Hitler to house divine power capable of aiding the Nazis in world domination.
3. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Indy’s next global adventure featured another quest for an ancient artifact: the Holy Grail, a relic said to hold the power of immortality. Indy’s estranged father, Henry (Sean Connery), spent much of his life researching the Grail, eventually going missing in its pursuit. Guided by his father’s extensive notes, Indy sets off to find both his father and the relic, once again racing against the Nazis. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is the last film before the time jump to newer films.
4. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
After a nearly 20-year hiatus, Indiana Jones returned in 2008 with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The series’ fourth and most recent entry introduced Shia LaBeouf as Mutt Williams, the son of Indy and Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), who returns for the first time since Raiders of the Lost Ark. Cate Blanchett stars as the primary villain, a Soviet agent named Irina Spalko.
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull once again sees Indy and his companions racing against a nefarious entity (this time the Soviets) to obtain another artifact of great power: a telepathic crystal skull with which the Soviets plan to control the masses. In addition to the familiar globetrotting and double-crossing, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull introduces extraterrestrial elements into the series formula.
5. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023)
The next and final Indiana Jones movie is Dial of Destiny – the first Indy movie since Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was released 15 years ago. Alongside Harrison Ford and Mads Mikkelsen, Dial of Destiny stars Boyd Holbrook, Antonio Banderas, John Rhys-Davies, Toby Jones, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Indy’s goddaughter Helena. The story follows the latter’s reunion with Indy, as the two of them work together to chase down an ancient artifact with incredible power.
James Mangold (Logan) directed the film, making Dial of Destiny the franchise’s first film not helmed by Steven Spielberg. (Spielberg told Deadline he was “peripherally involved” with the movie.) It’s also the first Indiana Jones movie distributed by Disney, following its purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012.
How to Watch the Indiana Jones Movies By Release Date
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
- The Temple of Doom (1984)
- The Last Crusade (1989)
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (TV series: 1992–1996)
- The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
- The Dial of Destiny (2023)
Future Indiana Jones Stories
While Dial of Destiny is being called the conclusion to Indiana Jones’s story, we know of two additional projects currently in the works. The first is a Disney+ TV series, which Disney and Lucasfilm were said to be “actively” pursuing as of November 2022. The second is an Indiana Jones video game from Bethesda’s MachineGames, the studio behind the more recent Wolfenstein games. The game, set during “the height of” Indy’s career, will be a “mash-up” of different genres, according to Bethesda’s Todd Howard. We don’t yet know if we’ll see the game at the upcoming Xbox Games Showcase.
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