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Spielberg is wrong about the worst Indiana Jones movie

Steven Spielberg has been very open about what he considers to be the worst Indiana Jones movie and it's not the one you think it will be.

Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones

The Indiana Jones 5 release date is quickly approaching, and that’s got us thinking about the franchise as a whole. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the Indiana Jones movies span four films, all focusing on a different exciting adventure.

While it’s widely agreed that three of these films are among the best adventure movies ever made, there’s one film that’s the black sheep of the franchise. We’re talking, of course, about the 2000’s movie Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, which is widely reviled by the fandom for introducing aliens to the franchise.

It’s easy to presume then that of all these films, Spielberg dislikes Crystal Skull the most. However, you’d be wrong. Spielberg actually isn’t very fond of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and considers it the worst movie in the series.

As far back as 1989, Spielberg’s been saying how he doesn’t like Temple of Doom. “I wasn’t happy with the second [Indiana Jones] film at all. It was too dark, too subterranean, and much too horrific,” he told The Sun Sentinel. “I thought it out-poltered Poltergeist. There’s not an ounce of my own personal feeling in Temple of Doom.”

However, his feelings towards the thriller movie haven’t improved over time. As recently as 2017, he told documentarian Susan Lacey that Temple of Doom wasn’t the type of film that he wanted to make [via IGN].

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Let’s be honest, though, while we agree that Temple of Doom is a little darker in its sensibilities than either of the previous Indiana Jones films, it’s still much better than Crystal Skull, and that’s not just nostalgia talking. The evidence is on the screen.

Harrison Ford just seems to care more in Temple; he’s not sleepwalking through the film, and the step pieces are far more exciting. So Steven, but if we were writing a list of the best Steven Spielberg movies, we’d put Temple well above Crystal skull.

Anyway, if you love Temple of Doom, then check out our list of the best horror movies, or if you prefer Crystal Skull (opinion is a broad church, after all), we’d recommend you give our best alien movies list a read. Finally, if you’re just bored of arguments about movies from more than a decade ago, we have a list of the best new movies coming in 2023.