Harrison Ford has been one of the most widely recognized faces in Hollywood for decades. And for good reason: he’s racked up billions of dollars in box office grosses and nearly 100 screen credits, including leading roles in two of the most beloved (and lucrative) film franchises in cinematic history. With all that big-screen glory under his belt, it’s only natural to want to take a look at Ford’s filmography and figure out how all of his movies stack up. That’s what we’re here to find out, but first some ground rules: this list includes every major Ford film with the exception of voice acting, bit parts, and cameos. So as good as Apocalypse Now is, it won’t be on this list, and neither will 1967’s Luv, although we’re sure Ford made a very convincing irate motorist. Without further ado, here’s every Harrison Ford movie ranked from worst to best.
Hollywood Homicide (2003)
The honor for worst Harrison Ford movie could go to a number of different releases, but for our money, this is the golden goose. Hollywood Homicide alternately tries to succeed as an action movie, a comedy, and—if we could give it any credit—a parody of both, but all those strings pulling in different directions ultimately leave it stuck in the middle, a sad, lonely failure of a film with no clear purpose, only a steadily growing heap of terrible jokes.
All the star power in the world couldn’t stop Paranoia from putting audiences to sleep, although it had enough marquee stars to give it a shot. Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, and Liam Hemsworth all put in admirable efforts, but with such an inane script, there’s only so much anyone could do. The only thing about this movie that will make you paranoid is when you start to wonder whether you’ll ever get back the time you spent watching Paranoia. Spoiler alert: you won’t.
Random Hearts (1999)
Without a doubt, Sydney Pollack was a visionary director. Out of Africa and Three Days of the Condor are classics of American cinema, and Tootsie ought to be played in every hospital delivery room, just so everyone sees it at least once. But somehow, Pollack’s 1999 drama Random Hearts never managed to hit its mark. It starts out well, telling the story of a man and a woman whose cheating spouses died in a plane crash, then slowly devolves into a structureless montage of moments, none of which resonate or seem to have any bearing on each other. Bottom line, Random Hearts is a random mess that leaned way too hard on a convoluted and overly complicated screenplay.
Extraordinary Measures (2010)
A drama about two parents who will do anything to cure their children of a rare genetic disease sounds like a ready-made tearjerker, and unfortunately, that’s exactly what Extraordinary Measures became—a cookie-cutter melodrama that chucks soapy tragedy at the viewer like a barrage of weepy ninja stars and leaves them in strategic locations on the floor, hoping you’ll slip and twist an ankle. Extraordinary Measures exists in a world where subtlety is kids dying in hospital beds and "acting" boils down to a sticky syrup of sad shouting. If you look closely, you can actually see Harrison Ford thinking about what he’ll buy with his paycheck.
It isn’t necessarily terrible, but there isn’t much about Firewall that stands out. It’s pretty run-of-the-mill as far as techno-thrillers go, and as a movie outside the constraints of genre, it’s definitely one of the lower points on Ford’s resume. Firewall plays with a potentially interesting premise—a group of tech-savvy thieves kidnap a man’s family and blackmail him into helping them rob the bank where he works—but stumbles on a couple plot holes and fairly uninspired directing. If you’re looking for cyber-kidnapping, Swordfish did it better.
Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
With a muddled plot, troublesome dialogue, and lackluster directing, what could have been a fun movie never quite managed to find its groove. Unfortunately, the main outlaw here is Harrison Ford, whose tired acting suggests he’d woken up too many mornings in the drunk tank before saddling up for production. Cowboys & Aliens is worth a watch for Paul Dano’s performance, but not even the draw of cowboys literally fighting aliens can carry this blockbuster flop.
Morning Glory (2010)
Feel-good, inspiring rom-coms aren’t for everyone, and when it comes to Morning Glory, your mileage may vary. Rachel McAdams plays a plucky television producer tasked with breathing new life into a floundering morning show. To make it happen, she has to butt heads with a self-centered anchorman, played by Ford. Morning Glory never crosses into heavy territory, but to its benefit, it never tries to. With surprisingly funny one-liners and an uplifting spirit, it has infectiously charming moments.
The Frisco Kid (1979)
Hey, remember that cowboy comedy Harrison Ford starred in with Gene Wilder? No? Well, it happened. Directed by Robert Aldrich, The Frisco Kid follows a rabbi (Wilder) who heads into the American West and teams up with a bank robber (Ford); together, they get into silly adventures. It’s basically Blazing Saddles with a different stereotype, and although most of the movie is painfully dated today, it’s worth a watch if only to peek into the chaotic world of ’70s-era social satire.
The Devil’s Own (1997)
At times, The Devil’s Own feels like two separate movies squeezed into a jacket that can only fit one. Ostensibly, it’s about an IRA terrorist who hides out in an unwitting police officer’s home. Brad Pitt, as the fugitive terrorist, was originally the star of the film, but according to the director, the casting of Harrison Ford as the police officer led to numerous script rewrites in a bid to expand Ford’s role and capitalize on his star power—and that’s where the movie fell apart. Instead of sticking to the main story of Pitt’s IRA operative, The Devil’s Own loses itself trying to tell multiple stories.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
A million jokes have been made about that nuclear-proof fridge, but look: ignore that part of the movie. Ignore the refrigerator, the ancient aliens thingy, Shia LaBeouf‘s Tarzan whatever, that waterfall car-boat claptrap, all the unnecessary CGI, and did we mention the refrigerator?—ignore those, and the fourth installment in the Indy franchise comes out to be a decent action adventure for kids. For kids—which is really what the Indy series has always been about. Did anyone really believe two adults and a Goonie could parachute out of a plane in an inflatable life raft? No, if Crystal Skull committed any sin, it’s that it strips away the added layers that allow adults to fall in love with Indy movies along with their kids. An Indy for a new generation isn’t necessarily a bad Indy. Maybe it should have been a better Indy. But if any of us bothered to spend less time watching Indiana Jones and more time having kids, those kids would have loved it.
This remake of the classic Audrey Hepburn film does a passable job of upholding the comedy and romance of the original, but like many remakes, 1995’s Sabrina doesn’t create a vision of its own in the process. It feels like a story we’ve all seen before (and not only because many people have seen the exact story before). At its heart, it’s a tale of a working-class girl falling for a rich man. In this case, that rich man has a brother, and both of them fall for the girl. Harrison Ford’s romantic comedies don’t always resonate, but this one is well-acted enough to interest fans of the genre.
Force 10 from Navarone (1978)
Early in his Hollywood career, just a year after A New Hope, Ford starred in the World War II epic Force 10 from Navarone, a sequel to the popular 1961 hit The Guns of Navarone. Despite a gap of 17 years between the two films, Force 10 earned mostly favorable reviews from critics. Although few people were blown away by the film, the young Ford gives a solid performance and holds his own alongside heavyweight Robert Shaw.
Ender’s Game (2013)
Ender’s Game was hit or miss for a lot of critics. While the visual effects are spectacular, they’re entirely ruined by characters with all the personality of a sock you pulled out of the dryer too early. No matter how many space battles you green-screen behind a damp sock, it’s still a damp sock, just sitting there, crumpled up and hogging the chunk of attention you usually reserve for explosions. Which are great, by the way. Ender’s Game has great explosions. Just…not much else.
Six Days Seven Nights (1998)
Harrison Ford was made for adventure comedy, so the script for Six Days Seven Nights probably felt like money in the bank—a grizzled-but-handsome loner gets stranded on a tropical island with a beautiful-but-snooty New York editor who’s never seen a banana outside a 12th Avenue Fairway Market. They hate each other, they fight, they bicker, but then they learn to get along and work together and fall in love, and also pirates attack. On another island, Ross from Friends has a dance seizure. It’s a time-tested formula.
So why didn’t it work? For all the solid acting and luscious set pieces, Six Days Seven Nights was simply too married to its own "co-stars that hate each other and then don’t" formula to take any real risks, although it’s worth a watch for Ford’s cynical, present-day rendition of Han Solo and to take the edge off a Sunday morning hangover.
Hanover Street (1979)
Despite some heavy-handed melodrama, Hanover Street manages to tell an intriguing story. An American pilot (Ford) in World War II falls in love with a married British nurse, then has to work with her husband on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines. The success of the film rested solely on Ford, who was a breakout star at the time, and possibly due to that, the plot gets pretty weak as the story progresses. Ford does a little flying and a lot of soulful gazing over tabletops. In other words, Hanover Street is nothing to write home about, but if you’re just looking for more Ford heroics circa early Star Wars, there are worse ways to spend two hours.
K19: The Widowmaker (2002)
Somewhere between directing the best movie ever (Point Break) and directing a movie that won a jillion Oscars (The Hurt Locker), Kathryn Bigelow signed on to helm K-19: The Widowmaker. Set in the early ’60s, K-19 follows a Soviet crew trapped aboard a damaged nuclear submarine. While it certainly isn’t the best film of Bigelow’s career, K:19 resonates under a strong hand that makes the most out of a story that probably would have sunk completely under a different director. There’s just enough grit and humanity in the performances that it’s possible to ignore those Russian accents and enjoy K-19 as a decent wartime thriller.
The Age of Adaline (2015)
There are two moments that really work in Age of Adaline, which is in all other ways a sappy fantasy-romance. The first is the visually stunning car crash at the beginning of the movie. The second is when Harrison Ford’s character finally comes to terms with his past. In fact, it’s Ford’s emotional, conflicted performance—which only happens in the last 30 minutes or so—that turns Adaline into something bigger and more real than, say, 13 Going on 30.
Working Girl (1988)
Fun, upbeat, and ultimately fairly forgettable, Working Girl follows a young secretary, played by Melanie Griffith, who pretends to be a Wall Street executive when her boss breaks her leg on a skiing trip. The star of the show is easily Griffith, whose energy and charisma carry the movie effortlessly. Her chemistry with Ford is believable enough, making Working Girl a solid rainy day watch for rom-com fans.
The Mosquito Coast (1986)
For such an overlooked movie, The Mosquito Coast offers one of Harrison Ford’s most dynamic performances to date. The problem is, you kinda hate the guy for it. He takes on the role of Allie Fox, a megalomaniac inventor who ships his family down to Central America to start a Utopian society. He’s the worst kind of person possible—a legitimate genius so caught up in his own vision that he doesn’t realize he’s ruining the lives of everyone around him—and Ford plays the part so well that you can’t bring yourself to like anything about the guy, which is both the film’s charm and its Achilles’ heel.
Regarding Henry (1991)
Regarding Henry forces Ford to step out of his wheelhouse of charming, capable men of action to play a snooty scumbag of a lawyer who becomes a convalescent gunshot victim with brain damage. He handles both sides of the role admirably, but it’s the supporting cast that brings this film together. Annette Bening is a powerhouse of subtlety as Ford’s long-suffering wife, and Kamian Allen does a fantastic job—in what turned out to be her only film—portraying Ford’s daughter. It’s an emotional ride, but if it has a downside, it’s that much of the film only seems to want to make sure you feel. Still, the scene of Ford’s daughter teaching him to read again is worth the price of admission.
An earnest, heartfelt portrayal of racism in baseball, 42 dives headfirst into home plate to deliver an unflinching view of racial division in the ’40s and how one man turned the sports world on its head. A pre-Black Panther Chadwick Boseman delivers a powerful performance as Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in the MLB. The only reason this movie isn’t higher on this list is because, although Harrison Ford does a fantastic supporting job, 42 is really a Boseman movie. In that category, it ranks right at the top.
Presumed Innocent (1990)
On the surface, Presumed Innocent is a slow-burn courtroom thriller, but the core of the movie is a study of humanity that presents its characters as multi-dimensional, real human beings. In other words, you never know what to expect from anyone, and therein lies the film’s saving grace: a depth of conflict and gray morality that raises Presumed Innocent over most legal thrillers. Even if sitting in a courtroom for most of a movie doesn’t get your heart racing, it’s still a provocative study of human nature anchored by superb performances from Ford and the supporting cast.
Patriot Games (1992)
Choosing between Ford’s two Jack Ryan films is a hard gamble, but we’re flipping a coin here and starting with Patriot Games as the lesser of the two, albeit by a thin margin. Patriot Games is a little too by-the-numbers to be a truly great political thriller, but what it does deliver is explosive action, great acting, and solid directing, all adding up to a fun movie that makes you think it’s a little more than your average Bond adventure.
What Lies Beneath (2000)
This psychological thriller got the bum’s rush from critics when it was released, and in many ways, that was warranted. The pacing is relentlessly slow, and the finale is cheesy enough to give you blisters on your groaning muscles. But what raises What Lies Beneath above the level of a watery grave is director of photography Don Burgess’ camera work, which single-handedly carries the film from start to finish. From the long, gorgeous tracking shots to the subtle framing tricks that reveal exactly what the audience needs to see—when they need to see it—What Lies Beneath is a case study in suspense cinematography. If only the rest of the movie was half as good.
Roman Polanski’s Frantic is an unconventional take on a suspense thriller, and that’s precisely what makes the film so effective. Contrary to its name, the movie isn’t a bit frantic. Rather, Polanski’s directing injects every scene with a sense of quiet control. Tedious moments that would seem aimless in any other movie feel charged with meaning, and by the time the tension ramps up, you’re completely hooked. From a pure acting standpoint, Ford delivers one of his best performances here, and his pairing with Emmanuelle Seigner’s Michelle feels like a match made in heaven rather than the seedy underbelly of Paris.
Clear and Present Danger (1994)
The second time was the charm for Harrison Ford’s turn as Jack Ryan. Clear and Present Danger takes everything great about Patriot Games, polishes it, and makes it bigger. Admittedly, the internal conspiracy angle may go a little too far in this one, but it is a CIA-centric political thriller, so that’s always going to be a…ahem…clear and present danger. And while the cast does a remarkable job, the real heroes here are the screenwriters, who took a Tom Clancy book thick enough to bludgeon a bear and condensed it into a tight two-hour movie.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
Ranking the first three Indy movies is a lot like juggling cats: nobody wins, and eventually you’re bound to lose some blood. But let’s get this out of the way. Aside from the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Temple of Doom is easily the hokiest Indiana Jones effort. We already mentioned that life raft parachute, and eight million people have talked about how annoying Willie is, so let’s get straight to the fatal flaw that ruins Doom from the outset: it takes away the character of Indy.
See, Raiders established that Indiana Jones is a world-renowned archaeologist. He meticulously does his research before he goes out to get the historic artifact. But Doom disregards all of that and has Indy essentially stumble into a mystic temple. The guy literally falls out of the sky and lands in an adventure, a setup that takes about the same effort as writing "Suddenly, Indy heard all the Nazis in his attic." Anyway, aside from that, it’s still a great movie. The last 30 minutes alone make up for the first hour of clumsy exposition.
While roles like Indiana Jones, Deckard, and Han Solo may have launched Ford to fame, it was movies like Witness that cemented him as a leading actor in serious dramas. A massively entertaining thriller with a unique story, pitch-perfect acting, and brisk direction at the hands of Peter Weir, Witness is nothing less than top-notch storytelling, straight and gimmick-free. This is also the film that landed Ford his only Oscar nomination.
Air Force One (1997)
Somehow, there’s always been some confusion about Air Force One possibly not being one of Harrison Ford’s best thrillers, so let’s clear the air on that right here. It is. Is it perfect? No. Is the CGI sometimes terrible? Oh, unquestionably. But it is a hell of a lot of fun? You bet your presidential fanny pack. Air Force One is an unabashed thriller that plays fast and loose with the action and takes a firm zero-tolerance stance on half-assing it. That, and Gary Oldman, who is to Harrison Ford what Alan Rickman was to Bruce Willis in Die Hard. And if you don’t agree with that analogy, get off my plane.
American Graffiti (1973)
One of the best Americana films ever made, American Graffiti follows several teenagers as they cruise around their hometown one night before heading off to college. It’s a tagline you’ll see often, and it’ll never convey exactly how great this movie is. It’s charming, nostalgic, and, above all, real. Ford returned briefly in the 1979 sequel, More American Graffiti, which was so far removed from the quintessential original that it barely bears mentioning. But there it is.
Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)
You could argue that Return of the Jedi marked the beginning of George Lucas’ penchant for sacrificing story in favor of cutesy marketing devices (hellooooo Ewoks), and you might be right, but that doesn’t make RotJ a bad film by any means. It just makes for more parts you have to sit through to experience the rest of it. Where it succeeds is in successfully rounding out the original trilogy and giving us one of the best single moments in the entire franchise—when Darth Vader turns on Palpatine to protect his son from being tortured.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015)
More than 30 years after Return of the Jedi, Star Wars finally returned to form with The Force Awakens, bringing back the old crew with a slew of new characters designed to propel the franchise into the future. The Force Awakens hit all the right notes, with high-stakes action juxtaposed by quieter moments of reflection, and if it had any downside, it’s that it hit every note a little too perfectly. Director J.J. Abrams knows a thing or seven about story development, and he’s excelled in his career by doing just this thing: knowing exactly when to inject emotion. The Force Awakens bit us right in the feels with calculated teeth, and God help us, we liked being used.
The Fugitive (1993)
There’s something magical that happens when everything comes together just right in a movie, and The Fugitive captured a heaping handful of that fleeting mojo. At that moment in time, every separate aspect of this film coalesced into a near-perfect whole—it’s thrilling and endearing, high stakes and deeply personal. It’s the essence of a thrill ride distilled into a potent liquor of cinematic glory. Suffice it to say there will never be another movie quite like The Fugitive. That’s not just idle talk—they tried with the belated spinoff/sequel U.S. Marshalls, but couldn’t rein in the magic carpet that carried The Fugitive.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
This movie is great in so many ways that it’s impossible to list them all here. Highlights include Sean Connery, punching Nazis off a zeppelin, fighting tanks on horseback, Austrians saying goodbye, and the all-time best line ever, "He chose…poorly." But for all that, The Last Crusade does have its weaknesses. It’s got its goofier moments, and while Indy’s backstory is gripping cinema when you’re 12, in hindsight it isn’t really all that necessary. The silver lining in that cloud, though, is one of the best scene transitions in cinema. So, yeah, there aren’t a whole lot of negative oats to throw at this horse. Let’s move on.
Blade Runner (1982)
Now that it’s technically a franchise, we feel safe calling Blade Runner Harrison Ford’s third best franchise, which is a pretty mind-blowing statement. Because Blade Runner is a mind-blowing movie, and easily one of the best—or at least most influential—sci-fi movies of all time. Ridley Scott’s vision for the futuristic noir is unmatched to this day, and whether or not Deckard is a replicant, he’s definitely, uh, a replicant in our…in our hearts. Or he isn’t, depending on your personal views. Not sure where we were going with that one. We like it, that’s the main thing.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Denis Villeneuve’s highly anticipated sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic definitely delivered on its promises. Blade Runner 2049 is a masterful display of direction and lighting, making the high-tech dystopia look downright gorgeous. And in true show-don’t-tell filmmaking style, the movie plays light with the dialogue, opting to suck audiences in through experience rather than leaden exposition. Harrison Ford’s grizzled Rick Deckard brings a roughneck quality to his scenes that perfectly counters the oily-smooth look of the rest of the movie, and Ryan Gosling does a fantastic job of picking up the torch as the film’s protagonist. In every technical way, Blade Runner 2049 is perfect. Sure, it’s a little short on heart, but let’s not forget: it’s literally a movie about a bunch of robots.
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
A New Hope is great. It’s a film composed of pure entertainment, an imaginative vision created in an increasingly cynical, technologically jaded age where dreams were in short supply. Seeing those childhood dreams in blazing glory on the big screen, well, there was nothing else like it. In the same way a child in ancient Greece might have experienced a play about Achilles or Zeus, A New Hope gave a moviegoing generation a pantheon of heroes for the digital age. But is it the best Star Wars film? No. It may have been the first, but the best was still to come.
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
An exceedingly small number of trilogies can call the second installment the best, but Empire Strikes Back is, for many, the prototypical Star Wars film. It’s the one that took the heroes introduced in A New Hope and gave them a genuinely epic storyline full of moral decisions and burgeoning romance and AT-ATs stomping around and getting leg-lassoed. It’s got more of the good stuff — more Han, more Leia, more battles, and more emotional impact. More importantly, Empire has one of the most epic climaxes in movie history. You may think differently, but for our money, this is the best Star Wars film.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Han Solo is a great action hero, but let’s put aside bias and face the facts: there’s no galaxy in which Harrison Ford kicked more ass than he did in Raiders of the Lost Ark. From the golden idol to the government warehouse ("Top men"), Raiders is pure cinematic espionage, creeping in and stealing the layers of your heart one by one. And more than that, it made archaeology seem like a legitimately cool career. We can only imagine how many kids were disappointed with their college majors when they finally grew up.