Adventure movies are often associated with lazy Sunday afternoons and family-friendly fare. That said, there can be some hairy moments in the great classics of the genre. Who didn't want to run through a jungle with a hat and a golden statue being chased by natives with blow-darts after seeing Raiders? Or go off exploring weird caves with your best mates like in the Goonies? Here's ten of the best adventure movies...



A surprise hit when it initially landed in cinemas, How To Train Your Dragon had the perfect blend of action, adventure, comedy and thrills to make it a classic of the genre. A young Viking boy makes an unlikely friend in a dragon named Toothless and forms a deep connection with it. However, this flies in the face of Viking tradition which states they must kill and defeat every dragon they meet in battle. The boy's father, Stoik the Vast (Gerard Butler), is leader of his village and attempts to set an example for his son. However, as the son learns, ignorance isn't changed easily. A critical and commercial hit, the sequel was equally well-received.



It's a plot device that's been recycled more than a few times - young, marginalised boy is sucked into a fantasy world where he becomes embroiled in a quest to rid it of an evil that threatens the world. Chronicles of Narnia, The Pagemaster, Jumanji - they've all worked off a similar blueprint. However, what made The Never-ending Story so special was that it wasn't strength or courage, but imagination that made the world a better place. Also, who DIDN'T bawl their eyes out when the horse falls into the swamp? Or wanted to be friends with Falkor to fly around on?


8. LABYRINTH (1986)

David Bowie's junk on display aside, Labyrinth was a pretty dark film with some very adult themes. You had authority figures stealing children away, a clearly much-older Bowie trying to seduce a prepubescent Jennifer Connolly and a lot of violence for a supposedly family-oriented film. Even by today's standards, it's still a bit of a watch. Jim Henson, mastermind of the Muppets, would later say that its poor critical reception demoralised him from making any other films. His son, Brian Henson, would take over the reigns of the company and Jim would unfortunately pass away four years later in 1990.


7. THE LION KING (1994)

The Lion King is more closer to a Shakespearean drama than an adventure than anything else. A young prince is supplanted by his villanous uncle in order to seize control of a kingdom. Sound familiar? This aside, The Lion King is one of the crown jewels in Disney's animation catalogue. A powerful story with a strong cast, coupled with one of the finest soundtracks in recent memory and you have a modern classic.



It did nothing to save the fate of the DeLorean Motor Company, but it sure as hell made everyone want one. Of course, it wasn't always a DeLorean. Director Robert Zemeckis initially had the idea for it to be - get this - a refrigerator. However, studios execs warned him that kids might try and copy it by locking themselves in refrigerators after seeing the movie. Launching the career of Michael J. Fox and giving the world Huey Lewis & The News, Back to the Future's easy charm and endlessly quotable lines makes it the perfect adventure movie. Also, mad props to Robert Zemeckis for recently saying there'd be a remake of this over his dead body. Respect, man. Respect.



People may be more familiar with O Brother's soundtrack, however it's based on the oldest adventure of all - Homer's Odyssey. Three men escape a chain gang and set out across the American South during the Great Depression in an attempt to seek a fortune. On the way, they meet a guitarist who sold his soul to the devil, river sirens and a "cyclops" - all to the tunes of bluegrass and country music. Directed with great care and thought by the Coens, O Brother is one of their finest achievements.


4. THE GOONIES (1985)

It's hard to imagine a film like The Goonies being made in today's culture. For one, that amount of children being let out without phones or adult supervision seems unlikely. Nevertheless, Richard Donner's kids' adventure brings back fond memories for all who have seen it and wanted to find pirate treasure. A band of youths, led by a plucky young chap who'd later go on another adventure involving a ring (Sean Astin), set out to find a sunken ship that will help them save their home. However, a criminal family led by one of the most terrifying villains in our childhood wants to get there first. Goonies never say die!


3. CAST AWAY (2000)

A FedEx employee, famed for his productivity and timekeeping, finds himself on an island with an abundance of the one thing he's been saving - time. The film lives or dies on Tom Hanks' central performance, but what's more is that you truly believe he's all alone. His physical transformation aside, it's amazing to see Hanks disappear into the role. Whether it's muttering to a volleyball or his ecstasy at creating a fire for the first time, you're along for the ride with him. 



Regardless of what you may think of the Hobbit, the original trilogy of JRR Tolkien's work is immense in both scope, tone, allegory and length. An ancient ring, embued with powers beyond reasoning, falls into the hands of a hapless young Hobbit who must journey to a far-off land to destroy it. Along the way, he'll battle Orcs, Urak-Hai, his own consciousness and the prevailing evil of his time. An epic in the classical sense, Lord of the Rings reinvigorated Hollywood's concept of adventure and fantasy, sparking a new interest in the genre that's given birth to many more. 



We can vividly remember watching the opening of the Ark of the Covenant and seeing the Nazis' head melt clean off on RTE before the 5PM watershed. How nobody caught it is unbelievable, but it stuck with us. Not just for that, mind. Harrison Ford's square-jawed performance as the gravedigging archaeologist fuelled a generation of would-be stuntmen and gave us one of cinema's greatest heroes. Spielberg's direction was spot-on, hurtling the story forward with ease. Just don't mention the Crystal Skull.