[Screen It]
    

 

"NATIONAL TREASURE"
(2004) (Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Mild Extreme *Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Minor Heavy None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild *None Mild Mild Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Adventure: A modern day treasure hunter teams up with a government worker to figure out historical clues left by America's founding fathers and track down an immense and ancient treasure before his adversary does the same.
PLOT:
For six generations, members of the Gates family have been pursuing clues -- believed to have been left by America's founding fathers -- that might lead them to the legendary Knights of Templar treasure that's rumored to be hidden somewhere in the U.S. After discovering a centuries old oceangoing vessel buried in the Arctic Circle, Benjamin Franklin Gates (NICOLAS CAGE), his assistant Riley Poole (JUSTIN BARTHA) and their financier Ian Howe (SEAN BEAN) have found another cryptic clue.

This one is the most telling, however, leading Ben to believe that the location of another clue or perhaps a map to the treasure is located on the back of the Declaration of Independence. When Ben won't go along with Ian's decision to steal that famous document, the two violently part ways, with Ian believing the other two to be dead.

Realizing they have little time and finding themselves unable to convince National Archives conservator Abigail Chase (DIANE KRUGER) of the legitimacy of their claims, Ben decides that the only way to protect the Declaration is to steal it and keep it out of Ian's hands. Utilizing an elaborate plan, they manage to do just that, but end up having to save Abigail from Ian and his goons who arrived on the same night with the same quest.

After getting some help from Ben's estranged father, Patrick Gates (JON VOIGHT), who states he wasted decades of his life hunting for what he now believes to be just a myth, Ben shows Abigail that he wasn't crazy as they find more clues hidden on the back of the fragile document. Trying to stay one step ahead of Ian and his goons as well as federal agent Peter Sadusky (HARVEY KEITEL) and his men who are hot on their trail, Ben, Abigail and Riley race from one historical location to the next, collecting clues that they hope will lead them to the treasure.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Those who are fans of big-budget, action-adventure films may want to, as might those who are fans of anyone in the cast, or who might be history buffs.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For action violence and some scary images.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • NICOLAS CAGE plays a man who's spent his life following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and their ancestors in trying to find the treasure. He goes to great lengths while doing so including stealing the Declaration of Independence (for the clues, but also to keep it out of Ian's hands).
  • DIANE KRUGER plays the initially skeptical National Archives conservator who reluctantly joins Ben's quest but eventually believes in his theory and helps him anyway she can.
  • JUSTIN BARTHA plays Ben's faithful assistant who feels that he's constantly in the shadow of him and Abigail on their quest.
  • SEAN BEAN plays Ben's former partner who turns against him and will do anything (including kidnapping and attempted murder) to get his hands on the clues and treasure.
  • JON VOIGHT plays Ben's estranged father who assists them despite believing the treasure is just a myth and their quest a wild goose chase.
  • HARVEY KEITEL plays the FBI agent who's hot on Ben and the others' trail and wants to arrest them for stealing the Declaration of Independence.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-rated, action-adventure film. Rather surprisingly (for this day and age), the film contains just one minor expletive, a few religious-based references and some colorful phrases. A father asks if a woman is pregnant after his adult son says he's in trouble (she's not), a woman shows some cleavage and some ancient statues show bare breasts.

    Violence consists of men shooting at others with the intent to kill, a miscellaneous man falling to his death (no final impact), a big gunpowder explosion and some brief but non-graphic historical violence. Some of those scenes, other perilous moments and the sight of some mummified and/or skeletal human remains may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary, but mainly only to very young viewers (while older kids will likely find such material as adventuresome). The film's villains obviously have bad attitudes, while the heroes commit a crime (theft) to prevent those villains from stealing a historical document.

    An estranged father/son relationship is briefly shown, some brief drinking occurs and some imitative behavior is present. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • In an imagined reception scene, people hold drinks.
  • Miscellaneous people have and hold drinks at a gala reception where Ben, Abigail and another person raise a toast (and Ben guzzles his down so that he can leave the scene).
  • We see a wine bottle in Patrick's kitchen.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Ben and others find a frozen and mummified body in a recently unearthed, centuries old ship in the Arctic Circle (the sight of tight skin and exposed teeth, etc. may be scary to younger kids). They then find another and Ben moves its skeletal hand to retrieve something.
  • Ben purposefully cuts his finger to get some blood flowing to use as ink on an ancient roller he's found.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Ian mentions actions in his past that were of questionable legality.
  • When Ben won't go along with Ian's plans on borrowing the Declaration of Independence to get the invisible map off the back, Ian immediately turns against Ben and sees him as his enemy while plotting to steal that historic document.
  • Ben decides that the only way he can protect the Declaration of Independence is to steal it and keep it out of Ian's hands.
  • Riley breaks into a subway tunnel room to gain access to wiring for the Archives' surveillance camera network.
  • Ian's goons abduct Abigail and attempt to kill Ben in various scenes.
  • Patrick covers for Ben and the others by lying to Sadusky.
  • Ben admits to stealing some spending money from Patrick while at his house.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers, but will likely seem adventurous to older kids.
  • Ben and others find a frozen and mummified body in a recently unearthed, centuries old ship in the Arctic Circle (the sight of tight skin and exposed teeth, etc. may be scary to younger kids). They then find another and Ben moves its skeletal hand to retrieve something.
  • One of Ian's goons holds a gun on Ben, and then points it at Riley. In turn, Ben lights a flare and points out that they're standing on spilled gunpowder inside an ancient ship. Ben then throws it, but Ian catches it, although his arm then catches on fire. He then drops the flare that ignites the gunpowder that burns toward a large keg of gunpowder. Ian and his goons get out and run back to their vehicles, while Ben and Riley race through an escape hatch in the bottom of the ship and close hatches just as the flames hit the keg. We then see a massive explosion that rips apart much of the ship, but Ben and Riley emerge relatively unscathed.
  • Ben and Riley pursue Ian and his team in a car chase through the city. During this, Abigail ends up dangling off the lead truck's door as it swings open in traffic. A goon shoots at the guys in the trailing van, while a passing bus zips quite close between the two vehicles. Ben manages to grab and get Abigail into the van just in the nick of time.
  • Ian realizes that Riley is using a hired kid to retrieve certain letters off some archival letters in a museum. He then follows the kid, making us think that he's going to nab Riley, but when he gets there, Riley is gone.
  • We're lead to believe that Ian and his goons will find Ben in the process of finding another clue, but when they arrive, Ben is already gone.
  • When Ben, Abigail and Riley see that Ian and his goons are nearby, they decide to split up, resulting in two foot chases throughout Philly as the "good guys" try to avoid the bad guys.
  • While fleeing Ian's goons, Abigail accidentally runs into a biker and falls to the street. The Declaration of Independence (in a tube) rolls out into the street and is nearly run over several times, as is Abigail as she runs out trying to save it (Riley pulls her out of the way just in time).
  • To get away from Sadusky's men, Ben jumps off the deck of a docked naval ship (falling a long distance into the water, but he's okay).
  • Ben learns that Ian's goons have his father as well as Riley and Abigail.
  • One of Ian's goons breaks open a crypt inside a church (with a sledgehammer), revealing a skeleton inside it.
  • Ian's goons make Patrick and others walk down a very old wooden structure that looks rather unstable. As they proceed, one of Ian's goons falls through the wood, and travels down and hits a platform below before continuing to fall and disappearing into the distance (presumably to his death, but no impact is seen or heard). The various platforms then begin to collapse, with members of both parties scrambling to hold on and/or jumping off to other platforms. Abigail ends up dangling off one platform and Ben catches her, but then lets go (she falls to a safe platform) to grab the Declaration of Independence. Ben then ends up dangling and we see the nailed board he's holding onto starting to come out of the platform, but he then grabs a rope and swings down to safety just in time.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns: Carried and/or used to threaten and attempt to kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Muskets/Canons/Swords: Briefly seen in several historical flashbacks.
  • We see Ian's team readying plastic explosives and handguns for their attempted robbery of the Declaration of Independence.
  • A guard is hit and knocked unconscious by the charge from a taser-like weapon.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Who's the stiff?" "Bloody," "Shut up," "Idiot," "What the hell is this?" "Holy mackerel" and "Freaks."
  • Ben purposefully cuts his finger to get some blood flowing to use as ink on an ancient roller he's found.
  • Riley breaks into a subway tunnel room to gain access to wiring for the Archives' surveillance camera network.
  • Ben takes a photo of a custodian's security pass and then makes a fake one for himself.
  • As Ben takes off a glove by using his mouth, he may purposefully or accidentally give him "the finger" to his father in the process.
  • To get away from Sadusky's men, Ben jumps off the deck of a docked naval ship (falling a long distance into the water, but he's okay).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Young Ben's grandfather is suddenly there with him in the attic.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of action-oriented and some suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 hell, 5 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use of "For God's sakes."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Abigail shows some cleavage in her gala dress in several scenes, including when she bends over in it.
  • When Ben, Abigail and Riley show up at Patrick's door and Ben says he's in trouble, Patrick wonders if Abigail is pregnant (she isn't but later wonders why he thought that).
  • We see Abigail's bare shoulders (front and back) as she changes in a dressing room (we see over the dressing room door).
  • We see breasts on various ancient statues (that look of Egyptian or older variety).
  • Abigail gives Ben a map at their home. When he asks what it leads to, she suggestively says he'll figure it out as she heads inside (a possible sexual reference but it's never made clear as the scene ends there).
  • SMOKING
  • None, but Ben and the others find an ancient and ornate pipe (that's more of a clue than a smoking device).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Patrick briefly mentions his late wife and we get the sense that he and Ben have an estranged relationship.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Conspiracy theories and theorists.
  • Ben decides that the only way he can protect the Declaration of Independence is to steal it and keep it out of Ian's hands.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We briefly see some non-graphic violence in some historical flashbacks as Ben's grandfather relates the history behind the treasure to the boy. We see an ancient guard hitting another person and then some Revolutionary War combat (canons firing, an explosion knocking a person through the air and opposing forces clashing).
  • Ben purposefully cuts his finger to get some blood flowing to use as ink on an ancient roller he's found.
  • One of Ian's goons holds a gun on Ben, and then points it at Riley. In turn, Ben lights a flare and points out that they're standing on spilled gunpowder inside an ancient ship. Ben then throws it, but Ian catches it, although his arm then catches on fire. He then drops the flare that ignites the gunpowder that burns toward a large keg of gunpowder. Ian and his goons get out and run back to their vehicles, while Ben and Riley race through an escape hatch in the bottom of the ship and close hatches just as the flames hit the keg. We then see a massive explosion that rips apart much of the ship, but Ben and Riley emerge relatively unscathed.
  • Ian's team causes some property damage to get into the bottom of the Archives.
  • A guard is hit and knocked unconscious by the charge from a taser-like weapon.
  • One of Ian's goons fires several shots at Ben who uses the protective glass frame that holds the Declaration of Independence to shield him.
  • One of Ian's goons fires at Ben and Abigail, striking Riley's van.
  • Ian's goons abduct Abigail.
  • Ben and Riley pursue Ian and his team in a car chase through the city. During this, Abigail ends up dangling off the lead truck's door as it swings open in traffic. A goon shoots at the guys in the trailing van, while a passing bus zips quite close between the two vehicles. Ben manages to grab and get Abigail into the van just in the nick of time.
  • A goon aims his gun at Ben who uses a document decoy to escape from him.
  • Goons shoot at Ben in a cemetery (hitting the headstones) and Ben then hits one and knocks him unconscious as he exits the scene.
  • A goon shoots at Ben as a foot chase continues.
  • While fleeing Ian's goons, Abigail accidentally runs into a biker and falls to the street.
  • One of Ian's goons breaks open a crypt inside a church with a sledgehammer.
  • Ian's goons make Patrick and others walk down a very old wooden structure that looks rather unstable. As they proceed, one of Ian's goons falls through the wood, and travels down and hits a platform below before continuing to fall and disappearing into the distance (presumably to his death, but no impact is seen or heard).
  • Ian aims his gun at Riley.
  • Federal agents hold their guns on bad guys as they arrest them and slam the leader up against a car while busting him.



  • Reviewed November 10, 2004 / Posted November 19, 2004

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2014 Screen It, Inc.