Emily Asher-Perrin, arguing Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is the finest of all the Indy films:
Steven Spielberg has spent nearly his entire career picking apart bad father-son dynamics, and though it grates at times, The Last Crusade is one of the places where it works to an utterly charming end. Ford and Connery form a super team that needed to occur on screen, and the film chooses not to spend the bulk of the narrative angsting over past wrongs between them. Instead, we see a lot of exchanges that remind us of how we interact with our own parents, moments of utter exasperation, communication meltdowns, pride paired with shock, and the protectiveness that overwhelms on both sides of that relationship.
In the (far too many) debates I’ve had on the Raiders of the Lost Ark v. Last Crusade topic, I’ve usually come down on the side of Raiders. While I agree with Asher-Perrin that the first in a film series often does get overrated, Raiders, regardless, has some of the my favorite set pieces of the entire trilogy (yes, I said trilogy): the giant rolling stone/golden monkey head opening, the lopsided fight in the Egyptian streets, and the Well of Souls sequence. It’s not as funny overall as Last Crusade, but I think it achieves a more dynamic tone (less whimsical, but still pulp).