Prayer Focus
Movie Review

National Treasure

MPAA Rating: PG for action violence and some scary images

Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
STAFF WRITER

Average
Add to your list?
View your list
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults
Genre:
Action Adventure Comedy
Length:
2 hr. 11 min.
Year of Release:
2004
USA Release:
November 19, 2004
Featuring: Nicolas Cage (Ben Gates), Diane Kruger (Abigail Chase), Justin Bartha (Riley Poole), Sean Bean (Ian Howe), Jon Voight (Patrick Gates), Christopher Plummer , Harvey Keitel, more »
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Producer: Walt Disney Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, more »
Distributor: Touchstone Pictures
Copyright, Touchstone Pictures
Copyright, Touchstone Pictures
Copyright, Touchstone Pictures
Copyright, Touchstone Pictures
Copyright, Touchstone Pictures

“The greatest adventure history has ever revealed.”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “All his life, Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) has been searching for a treasure no one believed existed: amassed through the ages, moved across continents, to become the greatest treasure the world has ever known. Hidden by our Founding Fathers, they left clues to the Treasure’s location right before our eyes… from our nation’s birthplace, to the nation’s capitol, to clues buried within the symbols on the dollar bill. In a race against time, Gates must elude the FBI, stay one step ahead of his ruthless adversary (Sean Bean), decipher the remaining clues and unlock the 2000 year-old mystery behind our greatest national treasure.”

There is NO doubt that “National Treasure” is a fun, clean action adventure for the entire family. It is a wonderful offering for those that enjoy high wire suspense with an Indiana Jones type flavor.

“National Treasure” is a great historical trip. Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) takes us on a journey through several historical monuments. It is a whirlwind tour of Boston, Washington, D.C. and, of course, Philadelphia. Our journey begins in an attic above a Washington, D.C. residence. The year is 1974, and Ben’s grandfather Jonathan Adams Gates (Christopher Plummer) catches Ben reading a book about a family legend. Our sage begins to pass on the story of the Freemasons and their tireless pursuit to preserve historical treasures. The treasure is well hidden, and to find it you must solve some very difficult clues.

Ben’s father (John Voit) warns Ben that pursuit of the treasure is a waste of life. The story cuts to 30 years later, and the next important clue is found encased in a 200-year-old ship that frozen in the Antarctic. Ben’s partners soon turn the tables and steal the next clue. Mr. Gates and his whimsical friend Riley Poole (Justin Bartha) are now in a race to examine the Declaration of the Independence.

Director, Jon Turteltaub (“Cool Runnings,” “While You Were Sleeping”) handles this thrill-a-minute plot with tremendous ease. Our duo would not be complete without a female who is caught in the middle. Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger) is the director of the National Archives. Her character is drawn in when the Declaration is stolen. There are wonderful chases and the good guys always seem to be one step ahead of the bad guys. The cliffhanger suspense is similar to the classic Republic chapter serials.

There are some exchanges of gunfire, but the villains usually leave our heroes to live through a perilous circumstance. Yes, as you can imagine, this movie is VERY well acted. The plot is predictable, but VERY enjoyable. There is almost NO language and absolutely NO sex.

There is a fly in the cinematic plot ointment. I know there are some that feel they can watch a Harry Potter adventure and dismiss the strong occult overtones. This is after all the “Buffy” generation. You still cannot ignore well-crafted agendas. I know that John Travolta tried to pay tribute to Scientology, when he made the movie “Battlefield Earth.” “National Treasure” provides a strong platform of acceptance for the organization known as the Freemasons.

The Freemasons is a secret, anti-Christian group with roots that go deep into the occult. Many Masonic oaths are alliances to pagan gods. The organization is a form of morality and ethical standards veiled in secrecy. It is difficult to argue with a group that promotes unselfishness, tolerance, brotherly love and other acceptable virtues. This group has various level or degrees of advancement. It is all an attempt to promote an unholy trinity that is built upon the so called lost name of God.

The “Royal Arch” degree calls God as JAH-BUL-ON, or J.B.O. J- (Jehovah) Hebrew, B-(Baal) Babylonian and O-(Osiris) Egyptian. My grandfather was a Mason. I read lots of material trying to understand his position. I’m a minister/Christian counselor and have been recruited by the Masonic organization. First, Jesus NEVER did anything in secret. Second, the scripture declares, “what fellowship can righteousness have with unrighteousness? Can light have anything to do with darkness?” (II Cor. 6:14) The Freemasons work to elevate all beliefs that point to a supreme being. I do recommend the book, Should a Christian be a Mason? by E.M. Storms (written by a high ranking former Freemason and reviewed by a minister that was also a high ranking Mason.).

I took my 13-year-old son to see the film. He has no interest in the Freemasons as a result of viewing this together. I have raised both of my sons with strong doses of discernment. My primary objection is the glorification of the Freemasons. You now have been informed and can make your own choice.

Violence: Mild / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: None

Copyright, Touchstone Pictures
About Freemasonry

Can a Bible-believing Christian be a Freemason?
As an official Freemason Web site in Canada explains: “…to the Bible literalist, who believes all other faiths are false, the answer is most clearly No, the true Christian cannot be a Freemason.”

Examples of famous people opposed to Freemasonry
  • John Wesley
  • D.L. Moody
  • Charles Sumner
  • R.A. Torrey
  • Charles Finney
  • Alexander Campbell
  • Wendall Phillips
  • Chief Justice Charles Marshall
  • Daniel Webster
  • John Adams
  • John Quincy Adams
  • James Madison
  • Millard Fillmore
For information about the Freemasons

 

Further comments about the Freemasons

Dear Reader,

I mentioned the Freemason element of the film because I have a responsibility to our Christian readers to point out any theme that some may find objectionable. It is true that the Freemasons have done many admirable things. My grandfather was a Mason, and I know of their charitable work and humanitarian efforts. However, generosity is not the measurement to prove salvation or a right relationship with God. Jesus openly declared that “He was the way, the truth and the life.” I Corinthians 13 declares that if I give everything to the poor and have not “Agape” Love (that comes from a right relationship with God) then “I am nothing.” Paul also called our “righteousness as filthy rags.” The most important thing is that we have been redeemed and follow Christ. There is NO redemptive value in works.

My use of the prefix anti (above) is in the Greek/Biblical use of the word. The prefix anti in our language has come to mean simply against. The prefix anti, like anti-Christ, refers to a counterfeit Christ. The word Christian does presuppose the acceptance of Christ as the sole Savior and remedy for sin. Anti-Christian would be the acceptance of other religious belief systems. The scripture clearly presents one solution for sin and that their will be many other counterfeit choices. It is not called the “narrow” way by Jesus for nothing. “Narrow” does not mean narrow-minded, but the simple most direct path to redemption and a relationship with God.

If you are a Freemason, I apologize if I offended you. However, I am not alone in my opposition of the Freemasons. There are various Christian denominations and organizations that are opposed to members belonging to the Freemasons (and organizations like it).

for HIS glory,
Douglas Downs, Movie Reviewer

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—If you are boycotting Disney, it may be time to reconsider the method of getting Disney’s attention. National Treasure is an absolutely wonderful film for the entire family. It’s the kind of action film that Christians have been longing to see on the big screen.

Without all the religious expletives, the sex and the hard core violence, Disney delivers an action-packed adventure film full of chase scenes not without its heroes and villains.

Benjamin (Nicolas Cage), of the less than reputable Gates family, is trying to find a mysterious treasure cloaked in Masonic lore. There’s just one problem, the map is on the back of the Declaration of Independence. Without giving any spoilers, I’ll let you use your imagination for the rest.

The film displays virtues of honor, character, self sacrifice and family reconciliation. The only objectionable content was a scene or two with the camera noticeably zooming in on cleavage. They just had to do it!

Another thing that I would like to point out is that of the intertwined Masonry through out the story. Although I have known some very nice, friendly Masons who claimed to believe solely in Jesus, it is simply not compatible with Christianity. It draws from the wells of paganism, attempting to reconcile beliefs and gods to form a quasi religious secret society.

Overall, if you are looking for action and adventure without feeling guilty, let Disney know that this is what you want to see more of. Violence: Mild / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—JP Dill, age 34
Positive—Excellent family holiday movie for parents and older kids. I don’t recall any bad language or taking the Lord’s name in vain. One throw away scene, while showing no nudity and not sexual in nature has some slight double entandra, if even that. The main role played by Nicolas Cage shows good character and manners. The PG rating is mostly for violence and peril.

The bad guys, while leaving the heroes to die, multiple times, end up not being cold blooded killers at point blank range without any compassion. One of the bad guys falls to his apparent death, and while the bad guys do a lot of shooting, no one gets hit. One problem, with the movie’s theme, is that is goes to great lengths to submit a scenario where good people have to do bad things (break laws and steal things) to accomplish a greater good. This would be a great talking point with children as to when these situations are actually called for (in extreme and rare cases) in life: i.e. The American Revolution.

The locations and set designs are absolutely fantastic. For Hollywood and Nicolas Cage to make such a high budget, action-packed, plot-twisting, find-the-next-clue, thriller-shoot ’em-up with nothing more offensive than some old dead guys in their tombs, is truly amazing and rare. I hope Hollywood continues to cater to families in this way and realize that great movies don’t have to have filthy language, sex and gore in order to be blockbusters.

Masonic symbols and masonry are shown in a neutral light, and even though Masonry runs a foul of Christianity in my opinion, its role in our national heritage is a matter of fact (another great talking point with kids) and it makes for great conspiracy theories (see the classic movie “The Man Who Would Be King”).
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Jonah, age 41
Positive—…excellent and the acting was superb, I am glad that it didn’t have any nudity or any profanity. I think that this type of movie is very clean for the whole family.
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—twftm
Positive—I took my three children, ages 14, 11 and 8 to see this movie. It was not an offensive movie, but it did bring up the subject of freemasonry with my children. I was hoping for more laughs. My 8-yr old is normally afraid of intense movies, but she settled down and enjoyed it after the 1st half hour, so I would say it is not too intense. All in all the movie was exciting but I was not overly impressed with the acting and the plot was downright unbelievable. But hey, the movie was for the kids. I wouldn’t rush out and wait in line for this movie, but it is probably worth seeing at some point.
My Ratings: [Good/3½ ]
—PJ, age 41
Positive—(Note: I only missed about three minutes of this film.) “National Treasure” is an example of the type of movie Disney USED to make and seems to be making more of today. The premise, let’s say right off, is rather silly, that there is a treasure map on the back of the Declaration of Independence. (I pity the pour tour guides at the National Archives now.) However, once you decide that it’s “only a movie,” you can have a lot of fun.

First of all, as a high school history teacher, I was happy to see that the founding document of the United States is treated with respect (Despite the fact that it’s being stolen!) Nicholas Cage’s character even quotes from it at one point, although an obscure portion not many are likely to recognize.

I can see how critics would pan the movie. It’s not acceptable among most in the entertainment industry to uphold the institutions of our country right now. (How long since it HAS been? World War II?) It’s goofy in places, stretches your incredulity, and little too long, but I recommend it as suitable for older children, teens, and their parents. I hope it does well. That’s the only way we get more like it.
My Ratings: [Good/3½]
—Bob Robyn, age 53
Positive—Being the father of daughters, I have learned that my girls walk away from movies with different thoughts than boys. I saw this movie with my 11 year-old daughter. When I asked about the freemasonry elements and all the techno-gizmos, she said that those did not appeal to her; rather she was more interested in trying to solve the puzzles as the movie unfolded. One can nit-pick a movie apart, and to enjoy this one needs to suspend reality expectations. (i.e. a handful of men in two Artic snow cats discovering and digging-out in a few short hours a wooden American Revolutionary ship encased in ice for over 200 years?) At the end of the movie, we felt we learned a bit of history, had a fun ride searching for the “National Treasure,” and we would bring mom and sister to the movie over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Out of our post-movie discussion came a lovely teachable moment: we talked about what would happen if the Declaration of Independence was truly stolen. I was able to share that, while a precious piece of our country’s founding would be gone, our nation would not be diminished because our republic is built on the ideals contained within the Declaration… not the document itself. Likewise, I was able to make the analog to the Bible. While we do not have original documents for the entire Bible, our lives as Believers do not rest on the actual written documents but on the person of Jesus Christ—who He is and His redeeming power through the cross. Of course we know who He is through the Bible, inspired writings that have been divinely protected through the ages that will continue to inspire generations to come.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Jeff Mc, age 45
Positive—This was perhaps one of the best and most exciting movies my wife and I have ever seen, and definitely the top movie that our entire family has seen together (children ages 11 and 9). We are devout Christians, and I don’t understand the film critic’s hang-up with Masonry in the movie. The film doesn’t advocate any beliefs of this club, nor does it even mention what any of those beliefs are. The inclusion is strictly historical… The film uses the Masononic themes as strictly a cross-reference to our country’s founding fathers. Many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Masons, thus the need to include the reference. It was a joy to take my family to a clean movie, and see my children on the edge of their seats for two hours.
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Mike, age 49
Positive—I took my three boys (12, 11, 11) to see this movie last night and we all had a great time. It is a rare occurrence to not have to winch at what Hollywood puts out. Even the most benign films usually slip something objectionable in for “effect.” Not this film.

It is fun and clean. But there is something deeper. The movie draws you into the historical aspects of our country. Even if you say it is bit far fetched, the story stirs your interest in our heritage and take you through a tour of our past. I suspect kids will be motivated to take a renewed interest in American History, because this film, although contrived, made it come alive.

The issue of the Masonic influence has been mentioned in some reviews as a negative. But it is simply used as a thread to tie the clues together. It was not inserted with a subversive motive, it is part of our past during that period. The film does not promote this belief as “a better way,” which for me is the where the line needs to be drawn. Be careful with this line of thinking or would have to reject “The Ten Commandments” because it depicts Egyptology and spirit worship.

Looking at the full spectrum of options, let’s be sure to support “better” Hollywood films. Maybe someday they will get the message.
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—Ray Causey, age 48
Positive—This was a pretty decent family movie, nothing objectional in my opinion. You’ll especially like it if your a history buff, although I’m not sure how actual everything is. It has good action, some humor, and some very cheesy romance. Overall, it was alright.
My Ratings: [Good/4]
—Kriss, age 23
Positive—I was pleasantly surprised as I watched this movie. There was no gore (outside of a cut finger) and for once, the “bad guy” was not bent on destroying the world and being ridiculously vile. There are some similarities to the “Indiana Jones” type movies and this one even makes a comical “jab” at the propensity of action movies to place an ill timed kiss in the middle of tense scenes.

There is no foul language and no references to God’s name seem irreverent to me. (He is “called” upon but more in a prayerful “awe” and in asking for help rather than flippant or disrespectful use)

I love the lack of smut, the fact that most of it isn’t so implausible to be ludicrous, and the fact that it does have an interesting plot… all at the same time! There are two blatantly implausible scenes, (One involves a girl not getting thrown off of a moving vehicle and another in 200 year old ropes being still usable) and the movie does presuppose some things. Had they tried to answer all questions and show everything in its proper light, this movie would have been at least twice as long and lost much of its charm.

All in all, I enjoyed it. I wish I could decide if they were trying to make the Masons out to be the good guys or the bad guys in this film. In my mind that seemed to flip flop back and forth, but that could be due to my own personal opinions on the subject.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—C. Havig, age 35
Positive—Finally, a movie that makes learning History fun! I love American History, but I always had the football coach or some old boring guy teaching it (still done today, unfortunately). If I had had Benjamin Franklin Gates teaching me, it would have been a joy. To actually watch as someone recites the Declaration of Independence sent chills down my spine!

The best part is that we watched the movie in Philadelphia and had just visited Independence Hall that morning. (The free mason stuff is not at all a big part of this movie. If I hadn’t read this review first, I wouldn’t have really noticed it).
It’s not the best action movie ever, but it is worth it to see something revered above sex and gore. To high treason!
My Ratings: [Good/4]
—Laura Maples, age 41
Positive—This was a pretty decent family movie, nothing objectional in my opinion. You’ll especially like it if your a history buff, although I’m not sure how actual everything is. It has good action, some humor, and some very cheesy romance. Overall, it was alright.
My Ratings: [Good/4]
—Kriss, age 23
Positive—How nice to come out of the movie theater and realize I hadn’t been assaulted by sex, ultra violence and/or foul language. How nice that I could take my 10 year old to see it and not be embarrassed or tell him to cover his eyes or ears. How nice to see that the guy did the right thing and still won. How nice to see Hollywood can still put something like that out! This was an all around great film and one I feel good about recommending.
My Ratings: [Good/4]
—T. Sheffield
Positive—“National Treasure” is a movie. As Christians sometimes we have a tendency to forget that Hollywood portraits fictional work for the purpose of entertainment. I was entertained. I know of several friends who are Masons who chuckled at the Masonic references, knowing them to be inaccurate. The movie is action packed, suspenseful, no sex, bad language is at a very minimal. If you are a Freemason conspiratist, you may want to think twice about it. I do recommend it and rate it very well.
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Jim O, age 39
Positive—I particularly enjoyed National Treasure, it weaves an exciting story that keeps you on the edge of your seat right to the end. For young people it even relates a little history, and the views of our capitol alone are worth the price of admission. I am a Christian and a Freemason…
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—John Siggins, age 53
Positive—I found the film to be very interesting, If anything it leads you to want to learn more about your Country and its beginnings… As far as the Masonic references most people do not realize Freemasonry started out as a Christian only group, They did not use the term Grand Architect of the Universe until the 1700s before that they used Jehovah. Later men of the Jewish faith wanted to join, they could not say the name of God out of respect so Freemasonry started using God than took the term Grand Architect of the Universe from John Calvin… Remember Jesus Christ is the only way for Salvation.
My Ratings: [Good/4]
—Jake, age 28
Positive—I took my 11 year old daughter to see this and we both loved it .I would say it is for 10 and up.we can’t wait to get it when it comes out on dvd.
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—Mary C., age 36
Positive—My husband and I rented this movie last week. We were completely impressed! Way to go Disney! I know that some viewers were put off by the Mason-based part of the plot, but I simply viewed it as a part of the plotline based on a group in our country’s history. I was amazed that there was no foul language and nothing sexual to be offended by or uncomfortable with. I only wish that my husband, and I had seen it in theatres. I would gladly pay $8-$10 a ticket to support Disney’s awesome effort for a clean AND exciting movie! It can be done!! I only hope that they will continue to make actual family-friendly movies. If you have seen this movie yet, you should!
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Jennifer Hayes, age 23
Positive—This movie was fantastic and super clean. No cursing (I think one guy might have said something about hell once) no sex and only some non graphic action suspense violence. It is the only non-animated secular film that has come out in a long time that I feel good about letting my kids watch. It did have some bad guys trying to kill the good guys in it so very small children may be frightened by those parts. Spoiler: The good guys always come out okay and even the bad guys do if I remember correctly. My family was relieved to find a decent movie that was entertaining, fun, full of American History, clean and fun, or did I say fun already! I am a pastor and am very careful what we watch and what example we give our family and church family and this is one I would not hesitate to say go for it to just about any family with fairly mature children. Just be ready to explain some things to smaller kids because it is a fast moving plot that they will have a hard time keeping up with.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jeff, age 36 (USA)
Negative
Negative—…this is actually the second time I’ve seen the film. If you heard this statement from Billy Graham, after he made one of his films, it would make sense to you. “If one person gets saved from watching this movie, it was worth it.” If one person becomes a Free Mason because of this movie, it was a very bad movie. I grew up on “Raiders Of The Lost Ark.” When I was a kid, I thought that was the coolest movie I had ever seen, save Star Wars. When I was a child I thought as a child! Now it’s hard to watch films and not look at them through Christian eyes, especially since I have kids, which is why I went and saw the film the first time, to check it out for the kids. Is the film good?

Let’s measure the pro’s and cons. Is it a good action film, mostly free of the usual sensuality, swearing and graphic violence? Yes, on all accounts. Are there scenes which could cause a young brother to stumble, and could it cause someone to become interested in Free Masonary? Yes, on these accounts. I have read a Masons review of this film, he says it is far fetched, but is entertaining. Films effect the way people feel, it can even cause some people to act on what they’ve seen. The Passion had a dramatic effect on some people, some came to salvation through it. I just pray that this film doesn’t sway anyone towards, “The dark side” to borrow a phrase form a movie from a long time ago, in a galaxy far away. I can’t really recommend this film, even though it was mostly clean. I hope that company’s like Disney try even just a little harder, their almost there.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/3]
—Tim Stromer, age 38
Negative—This was probably one of the worst “adventure” movies I have ever seen! I think the director/writer tried to include every thrill scene from every adventure movie ever made. The dialog was stilted and most of the scenes had at least one unbelievable thing . For example, torches catching on fire (and lasting for a long time!!) after 200 years. Yea, right. Don’t waste your money. Go out and rent or buy an Indiana Jones movie. About the only thing good was that it was not offensive, which is not a resounding reason for spending money on this piece of junk.
My Ratings: [Good/1½]
—Stan Edington, age 55
Negative—This film is rubbish. An unbelievable and illogical plot with every action scene stolen from every other movie. (e.g., two separate teams break into the same impenetrable vault of th National Archive at exactly the same time… yeah right.) Don’t waste your time or your money. My wife and 18 year old daughter were of the same mind… the best part was the end so we could all go home.
My Ratings: [Good/1½]
—John S. Fox, M.D. (Australia), age 52
Comments from young people
Positive—This movie rocks!! It has a lot of info on historical things.There is no bad scenes in it. I recommend it!
My Ratings: [5]
—Ashton, age 12
Positive—National Treasure is awesome! I had received MANY promising remarks on the fact that it was a great movie, so I came with great expectations that spending my money on it was a good investment. But It turned out even better that I expected! I ended up thanking God on the way home afterwards that there was actually a clean movie this year in theaters! There have been other good movies in theaters this year (Spiderman 2, The Incredibles) but even those had some suggestive content in them.

One of the characters in National Treasure named Riley makes you laugh just about every time he opens his mouth and as a bonus to that nothing he says is gross or questionable. It keeps you on the edge of your seat yet it is not violent the only blood I remember is when he cuts his finger (making you kinda cringe). There are two kisses in it but they aren’t passionate.

The history they involve and mix with there own ideas is intriguing and I was ecxited to find that much of it I had just read about in my history sessions and could relate to. Please see this movie, and catch it while it’s in theaters if you can. The more business we can give them for this kind of a movie the better!! I am praying there will be more like it on the way!
My Ratings: [Excellent/4½]
—Cassia, age 15
Positive—Enchanting! I haven’t seen a good, curse word-free movie like this in a while (that’s not an insult, because some good movies do have one or two curse words, it’s just the truth). The acting, action, and special affects were awesome, and the screenplay? It fit the story perfectly, and still had room to give out some history on the side! I agree with the fifteen (or so) people that said Hollywood should make more movies like this. Shout it at the top of your lungs, everyone, because it’s happened: a box office smash hit that doesn’t have sex, nudity, cursing, gore, or *too* much violence, has been made!
My Ratings: [Excellent/5]
—Cassie, age 11
Positive—…really a genius plot and well done. Plus, it’s clean… Overall, the movie was great. It was a MOVIE so of course they had to make up something unrealistic. And what better way to do that then use our money and Declaration of Independence to send them on a treasure hunt? I thought the movie came together quite well. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. There are a couple of scenes of skeletons popping out of coffins and a little bit of suspense. But overall the movie will have you on the edge of your seat seeing where it’s going to lead you next. Younger children might not follow it as well so I recommend this movie for ages 12 and up
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Tim Whitaker, age 16
Negative—Personally, I’m surprised at the amount of positive reviews for this movie. I was very much offended by the way the main characters broke in and stole things like the Declaration and justified it by saying they were only stealing it to protect it from being stolen by someone else. Not only did they steal themselves, they also lied about their motive, when in truth they were after it to find the treasure just the same. I wasn’t impressed by this movie as I was by other Disney live actions like Hidalgo or Pirates of the Caribbean.
My Ratings: [Average/3]
Taran Gingery, age 17
Positive—I agree his movie can’t bring anyone to Christ just by seeing it and its lame, the heavies shoots always missing the heroes, falling on old boards from high and their not breaking. It was like the old westerns, there’s a hero, a woman, a side-kick (Riley was great!), and an evil heavy with his gang and lots of action. There is a scene when Gates makes a toast to the Founding Fathers saying “Here to the men who signed the Declaration that the risk of there lives, knowing that if the rebellion felled they wound be hang and my favorite had their intestines pulled out and burned!” For Hollywood to mention what our Fathers could of and did go through for our freedom shows their coming around to there scenes! Maybe they will even make a movie! Seen this film and think about our Christian Founders and how God was merciful to them and be grateful to God for giving us such men and our freedom and country.
My Ratings: [Excellent!/3½]
—Charlie, age 17
Positive—National Treasure is such an exciting movie! It has nothing wrong with it! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! The reason the Hollywood critics do not like it is because there is no bad language. I suggest this movie to Christians and everyone!
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Celeste Chesser, age 13
Positive—The movie was fantastic! The music and acting was very, very good. It is a good fun movie that a mother and her kids can go see and not be embarrassed bycussing, seex and nudity. And it is a good movie to spend your money on. And I really don’t think it’s an occultic movie, it’s just a good movie. I recommend it…
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—aaron, age 12
Positive—I saw the movie last night for the first time I thought the plot was far fetched and way out there but it was enjoyable none-the-less the only thing I didn’t like about the movie was that one scene had the hero and heroine in separate dressing rooms mind you but with just the door in front of them that made me feel uncomfortable but everything else was good. It does give your family something to talk about such as the freemasons and the founding fathers which I think is good to talk about
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Joel Gaffney, age 16
Positive—I thought this was very good, considering. No, it was nothing spectacular. But it was a CLEAN movie, and that’s something I haven’t seen in… a long time. Really, I don’t remember anything questionable. Even if some of the characters were a little stereotypical (Gates’ computer friend, for one, I thought), they were actually fairly well-developed and interesting. Dr. Chase’s thought process formed and changed throughout the movie, and I thought it was good to see the “good guy” get arrested for once. Sure, it was unrealistic, but so what? This is the movies. The only slightly troubling thing was how easily everyone seemed to dismiss Gates stealing the Declaration of Independence—stealing is stealing no matter the reasoning behind it. But all things considered, I’d have to call that a minor part of the movie.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/3]
—Caitlin, age 14
Positive—What an awesome movie. If you want clean, fun, adventure, then look no further. this movie was one thrill ride after another, which is hard to get without the junk. Also it had a fun story that you get trapped into. relating to one of the other viewers comments, sure some of the parts may not have been all that realistic, but what would a movie be without things like that? Besides, that’s the last thing I had on my mind when I watched it. There just aren’t enough PG movies like this. Go see it…
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Daniel Robison, age 16
Positive—I think if you want to go and see a good a good movie with your family that has no blood, sex, or nudity then this a movie to see. As far as realism goes, how real do we have to get before we lose are god-given imagination… Of course, I don’t believe that there is a map on the Declaration of Independence, but this was a good film that the whole family can enjoy without every thing that a “well” made R rated movie has in it. Now this movie does talk about Freemasons which I personally know very little of. I encourage you if you have any questions, Christian Spotlight has good sound biblical on this issue… Remember if we don’t start supporting good family entertainment Hollywood will not make it. Acting is great, Plot is imaginative, Good family fun.
My Ratings: [Excellent/5]
—Justin, age 15
Neutral—I feel I must take a neutral opinion after viewing this rather well-made movie. I must confess that it was refreshing seeing no sexual-overtones or obscene profanity when I go to the theaters. We took our youth group to see Dodgeball—and we were all embarrassed. But this movie is one I would CONSIDER taking a church group to see, if not for all the references to the Freemasons.

Just like the reviewer, my grandfather was a Mason also, and I went to a Middle-school where they made the students sit down and listen to Masons speak on different things (drugs, alchohol, ect.) My parents have always told me that this group was not a Godly group, and I was quiet upset that this film seemed to nearly promote them with constant Freemason symbols all throughout the film, highly visible and present.

But did I leave feeling like joining up with the Freemasons cult? No, but it was alarming to see such paganism promoted by a company which specializes in children’s entertainment. Scary, huh?
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4½]
—Alan Landrum, Texas, age 15
Positive—This was a very good movie! With the exception of the masons part, it was unobjectionable. In the believability area, though, it was kind of not so convincing. He figured out the clues way too fast for any normal person to believe. There’s no way, no matter how much training you’ve had, that you could figure out exactly how to find the clue within the first 5 seconds of seeing it, unless you have a ton of previous information. Otherwise, it was great! And funny. So see it.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Brittany, age 16
Positive—“National Treasure” was great. It is by far the best time I’ve had at a theater in a while. It has a great plot (there are a few problems with accuracy, but Indiana Jones wasn’t exactly a historical fountain of truth either) with heart-wrenching action that’s ultimately FUN. I’m a young filmmaker and don’t really get involved in movies, but in “National Treasure” all I was thinking was, “RUN! NO WRONG WAY! GET OUTTA THERE!…” You won’t have much more fun at a movie this year. It’s a good-natured treasure-hunt movie with a twenty-first century spin.
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—Justin Dobies, age 14
Neutral—The movie was alright, but I wouldn’t like to watch it for $9.75. Too much for that.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/3]
—Panchita, age 15
Positive—I thought this movie was really good! It was full of action and it was funny. There weren’t very many bad words, there was no sex or nudity, and there was some violence. The violence was the Indiana Jones type, though, and not quite as bloody. National Treasure kept you on the edge of your seat. I especially liked the character Riley; he added a lot of humor and lightened up the movie.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Brittney, age 14
Positive—It was the best movie I have ever seen! You couldn’t find out where the treasure is until it gets to that part—it’s unpredictable. It has a few scary parts (skulls, bones, guns) so I would not take very young kids (young=5 and under). It had no unacceptable language. It was a very modest movie. I hope they make more movies like these where the characters have great manners, incredible vocabulary, and appropriate for families.
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Grant, age 10
Positive—I thought this movie was incredible. It was like seeing Indiana Jones all over again, with more action and good graphics. I saw this movie with my family, and I think that kids of all ages would appreciate it. I think that Nicholas Cage did a wonderful job and the rest of the cast were phenomenal. I hope that Disney continues to make more movies with good moral content and no profanity or nudity. There was one scene where the young guy Riley takes the Lord’s name in vain, but other than that, there was nothing offensive.
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Jamie, age 17
Positive—I missed the first minute or so of this movie, but from what I saw this film is the perfect example of what a good clean movie should be. It has great acting, Nicolas Cage always being a favorite, and although the plot is unbelieveable, the director takes an incredible story and creates something for the entire family. There were both light and intense moments during the film which created the atmosphere of a terrific hunt. Being a U.S. History student, I could appreciate the historical references while also becoming engulfed in the story. It was a great movie for anyone up for an Indiana Jones/007 Treasure Hunt. Christians who enjoy good clean films should support this movie so more will be made in its likeness. I give this film a 10.
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—N. Blount, age 16
Positive—Watching movies at the theater is a very rare thing for my family, but all in all we saw this one 3 times [at the theater]. First my parents saw it, then my dad took my brother and I twice. Since it has come out in VHS/DVD, my brother and I have seen it too many times to count… Writing this for both of us, this was an awesome movie, and one of our favorites. Yea, it was a little predicable, but it was clean too, which is soooo rare. Definitely not for someone who doesn’t like action films, but aside from that I don’t really see why anyone wouldn’t like “National Treasure.”
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Jen Thaine, age 15
Movie Critics
…refuses to let you be bored…
—Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
…there is not a single moment in the movie that isn’t complete nonsense. But with a script decked out with fascinating historical tidbits from the American Revolution and Masonic lore, set pieces in and around numerous East Coast monuments and historical buildings and a tongue thrust firmly in cheek, “National Treasure” is an above-average popcorn movie…
—Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter
…rip-roaring…
—Allison Benedikt, Chicago Tribune
…an adventure zipped up with a light smattering of history. But, unlike “Da Vinci [Code],” “Treasure” doesn’t expect us to believe in its hooey…
—Chris Hewitt, St. Paul Pioneer Press
…“National Treasure” is fun. Or fun enough… fast-paced treasure hunt…
—Ed Blank, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review