21. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

directed by Steven Spielberg

You don’t have to be an aficionado of early adventure serials to get to the pure pleasure vibe that keeps Raiders chugging ever forward. It’s a cliche to say a movie is like a roller coaster but this one really does follow the same trajectory. You’ve barely had time to recover from careening down one peak when you start climbing another one, each drop building momentum that feeds the next one. They don’t really need an Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. Every great roller coaster fits the bill.

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