The subject of this investigation is to study the buckling of cross-ply laminated orthotropic cylindrical thin shells with variable elasticity moduli and densities in the thickness direction, under external pressure, which is a power function of time. The dynamic stability and compatibility equations are obtained first. These equations are subsequently reduced to a system of time dependent differential equations with variable coefficients by using Galerkin's method. Finally, the critical dynamic and static loads, the corresponding wave numbers, the dynamic factors, critical time and critical impulse are found analytically by applying a modified form of the Ritz type variational method. The dynamic behavior of cross-ply laminated cylindrical shells is investigated with: a) lamina that present variations in the elasticity moduli and densities, b) different numbers and ordering of layers, and c) external pressures which vary with different powers of time. It is concluded that all these factors contribute to appreciable effects on the critical parameters of the problem in question.