By almost any measure, 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' is one of the most successful and entertaining movies ever made. As long as you ignore the ending, which might be the worst ending ever for an otherwise great movie. Because Indiana Jones doesn't do anything. He literally does nothing. He's tied to a pole, and the Nazis open the Ark and it kills them and Indy had nothing to do with it. The exact same thing would have happened whether he was there or not. The entire point of the movie was to keep the Nazis from using the Ark, and the Ark did that by itself. Our hero had zero effect on the outcome of the story.
Which is weird, because the rest of the movie is so awesome. Why was the ending so bad? Why would Steven Speilberg do that? Is it because he actually sort of sucks?
Well he has an interview in the new Entertainment Weekly, and he says he had doubts about the ending even while making it.
"I was a little bit dubious about what happens when they open the ark. What actually is going to come out of the ark? There were a lot of crazy things in the script. I wasn't sure how much we could actually get on the screen. We made a lot of it up as we were in postproduction."
Oh ok I guess he didn't have any doubts. Except for how to film scary angel faces. But what a thrill it was to see Indiana sheepishly open his eyes and hope the danger had gone away while he was shrieking. I fucking hate you Steven Spielberg.