We know that if you’re as excited for Indiana Jones and the Dial and Destiny as we are, you’ve probably already taken some precautionary liberties so as to percolate your patience for one of the best movies of the summer. You may have already binged the classic films in the franchise such as Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Temple of Doom, some of the true greats in Harrison Ford’s catalogue. You may have even watched some Star Wars to compare the heroic theatrics of Indiana Jones versus Han Solo.
But even after enjoying all there is to offer from these legendary annals of Hollywood history, and seeing the just-released flick itself, you might be craving a bit more adventure. That’s where the best movies like Indiana Jones come in! These films are all defined by their swashbuckling setting, historical aesthetic and backdrop, and masculine explorers who will hustle and tussle their way to the top.
Back before Brendan Fraser was winning Academy Awards and inspiring millions of fans with his incredible tenacity and comeback story, he was trying to save the world from the dangers of Egyptian mummy Imhotep in The Mummy. From the desert setting all the way down to the supernatural threats of the antagonists, this movie is about as close as you’re going to get to Raiders of the Lost Ark if you have a hankering for more adventure.
Nicolas Cage has become somewhat of a guilty pleasure for us. Constantly made fun of on the internet for supposedly mediocre acting and subpar films, Cage is actually one of the most prolific stars in Hollywood across the last 30 years. His starring turn in National Treasure was an exciting one that many families hold dear to their hearts. Cage plays a historian trying to find lost riches, although obvious complications arise that lead to action and side quests along the way. Some have criticized the loose plotting of the film, but that doesn’t take away from the fun.
Viggo Mortensen was on top of the world in the early 2000s after playing Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings films. One of his first roles after the Tolkien franchise finished was in Hidalgo. Mortensen plays a horse racing adventurer who must harness the talent of his equine to defeat the riders from Arabia. The desert setting will remind any fans of Indiana Jones how much they love adventure, and fans of Westerns will also enjoy this one.
If there’s one fictional hero that resembles Indiana Jones the most, Uncharted’s Nathan Drake might take the cake. Drake is an adventurer often getting into trouble while exploring expansive historical sites for artifacts and treasures. Sound familiar? Tom Holland embodies the character very well, one that was conceived for the original video games by Naughty Dog for the Playstation series of consoles before being adapted for the big screen. Nathan Drake uses much of the same charisma and courage to save the day that Indy does.
Although set in a different time period and with pirates as the protagonists instead of archeologists, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is an all-time favorite of adventure fans since its release in 2003. Johnny Depp gives a perfect turn as Jack Sparrow, a bumbling yet headstrong scavenger who will do anything it takes to protect and gain control of his ship from the outside world, mainly Captain Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush). The Curse of the Black Pearl spawned four sequels so far, but this first film remains the gold standard of one of Disney’s most profitable properties.
A movie known as almost an intentional re-imagining of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Romancing the Stone puts more of a focus on the female lead in the adventure. Joan Wilder is the protagonist, a woman who uses the aid of a local American living in Columbia to try and find her sister in the South American environment. There is much more romance and humor used in this film than Indy’s, so those looking for an exact replica might be taken aback by the tone before getting into the meat of the movie.
The superstar cast of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is what makes this remake of the Robin Williams film such a tremendous family event. When four young students travel into the titular video game, they must cope with their new embodiments as video game explorers. Humor and cast chemistry help ground this wild adventure.
Jurassic Park redefined what it meant to create a summer blockbuster when it was released in the early 1990s. Although the adventurers’ motives aren’t similar to the characters in Indiana Jones, that same sense of fear, surprise, and enthralling action is omnipresent as the characters try to escape the dinosaurs and science experiments of the fictional theme park. Grab your popcorn and experience the thrill of life-threatening monsters all over again like it’s your first time with the film.
The best film on this list from a historical standpoint, Lawrence of Arabia is an inherently hefty adventure story that shows the power struggles and traumatic fallout of T.E. Lawrence after he works with the Arabian tribes to win independence during World War I. This is a long film, clocking in at nearly four hours.
The story of King Kong has spanned the course of a century, with many different film adaptations and reiterations. The reboot for the Monsterverse released in 2017 is a very fun and expansive look at the creatures that inhabit the land of Kong. Samuel L. Jackson gives a solid performance as one of the military members who tries to put his stamp on Skull Island when visiting the exotic locale in the 1970s. The sense of scale and mystery will satisfy adventure fans for sure.
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