Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny: Read the first reviews following its Cannes debut

Cue the rousing John Williams theme tune... Everyone's favourite archaeologist-cum-action-hero is readying to dust off his leather hat and whip once again, as the long-awaited blockbuster Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny comes galloping into town (showing in Cineworld cinemas from June 28).

This fifth instalment in the series sees Harrison Ford returning once again as the globetrotting hero, though Dial of Destiny is the first film in the Indiana Jones franchise not to be directed by Steven Spielberg or feature a story by George Lucas. This time, James 'Ford v Ferrari' Mangold took over directorial duties, with a team of writers creating the plotline.

Set during the Space Race of 1969, it sees an ageing Indy and his goddaughter Helena (Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge) trying to locate a legendary dial that could change the course of history. As we've come to expect from these films, though, they find themselves up against a formidable foe in the shape of Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen) – a former Nazi now working for NASA.    

Though we have a little while to wait until Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny arrives in UK cinemas, the film made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival last night (May 18). So, what did critics make of this much-vaunted new blockbuster? Here's a round-up of what they had to say...



Empire's John Nugent gave the film a healthy four stars out of five, and was particularly blown away by the ending: "The script hints at something wild from the off, but you’re never quite sure it’s going to go that wild," he wrote. "Believe us when we say: it goes that wild. It is a true swing for the fences. Dial of Destiny has the kind of final showdown that almost makes the finale of Crystal Skull feel subtle."


Another reviewer to love the movie was Stephanie Bunbury of Deadline. Claiming that "it could give late-vintage Fast and Furious a very, very speedy run for its money when it comes to spectacular (and spectacularly ludicrous) SFX stunts," she concluded: "It's fun; it's wacky; it works."


For Geoffrey Macnab of The Independent, the lead actor was undoubtedly the best thing about the film. "Harrison Ford is the hero of the hour," he wrote. "He never loses either his scowl or his doggedness. He plays even the flimsiest scenes with conviction and dry humour. His performance carries the movie."  


Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian said that Dial of Destiny didn't quite live up to his expectations, but conceded that it was still entertaining. He wrote: "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."


As for James Mottram of Radio Times, he felt that there was more to give, but still gave the film the thumbs-up. "Perhaps the film could’ve been more daring – it feels fairly safe," he wrote. "But fans will leave cinemas feeling like their old hero had one final great outing in him."


Finally, the BBC's Nicholas Barber thought the film was perfectly adequate, but not especially memorable. "The good news is that it isn't a disaster. It's a respectable, competent addition to the series," he opined. "The bad news is that a disaster might have been more worthwhile."