Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny gets mixed reception from critics at Cannes

Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Walt Disney Studios)

The first reactions for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny are here – and they're pretty mixed. 

Set in 1969 at the heart of the Space Race, Harrison Ford's Indy is off on his final adventure with his goddaughter Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge). This time around, he’ll be battling Nazis and morally debating the methods America is using in order to beat the Soviet Union to the moon. 

In our own Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny review, we gave the movie four stars, and called it "a terrific thrill ride". Total Film reviewer James Mottram, who saw the film at Cannes Film Festival, writes that says Ford in "fine form" calling Indy’s last stand "a highly satisfying blend of action, humor and emotion".

Some of the other reviews, however, have been more tepid on the final film in the Indiana Jones franchise. Read on for what they had to say about the James Mangold-directed movie below.

Total Film – 4/5

"The action is slickly handled by Mangold, not least a thrilling tuk-tuk chase through Tangier. But best of all, this is an Indiana Jones film with tears in its eyes. We see the character has grown older, but not necessarily wiser. Drinking a bit too much, he’s full of regrets about pursuing fortune and glory and leaving his loved ones behind."

IndieWire - C

"It goes without saying that James Mangold is no Steven Spielberg, just as it would be wildly unfair to hold any Hollywood director to that standard. On the contrary, there’s something kind of admirable about the fact that Mangold found the chutzpah to close the book on the Bearded One’s signature franchise. What he didn’t find was a compelling reason to re-open that book in the first place. 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."

The Guardian – 3/5

"We all sat down to this movie hoping for a resurgence comparable to what JJ Abrams did with The Force Awakens, and if that didn’t exactly happen, it still gets up a storytelling gallop. Phoebe Waller-Bridge has a tremendous co-star turn as Indy’s roguish goddaughter Helena Shaw, who wears shorts and shirt making her look like a grownup, naughty Enid Blyton heroine. And in fact some amazing digital youthification effects give Indy himself a great opening flashback section back in the second world war."

Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones 5

(Image credit: Disney)

The Hollywood Reporter

"What the new film – scripted by Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, David Koepp and Mangold, with the feel of something written by committee – does have is a sweet blast of pure nostalgia in the closing scene, a welcome reappearance foreshadowed with a couple visual clues early on."

RadioTimes – 4/5

"In a film about the the past, its fitting that there are some references to former adventures, but Mangold and his scriptwriters don’t overdo the Easter eggs. There’s enough iconography – the whip, the fedora – close to hand anyway, to ensure you don’t forget you’re watching an Indiana Jones movie. 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."

Irish Times – 3/4

"The plot is hokum of the cheesiest hue, but the screenwriters – John-Henry Butterworth and David Koepp take scribe credits with Mangold – know that hokum is the mulch in which this franchise germinates. Though utilising too much (far too much) of the era’s computer-generated imagery, Dial of the Destiny is fustily old-fashioned throughout...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, director of Logan and 3.10 to Yuma, knows how to keep his foot on the pedal."

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny arrives on the big screen on June 30. While we wait, check out our guide to the rest of the best upcoming movies on the horizon in 2023 and beyond.

Lauren Milici
Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent's Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more.

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