There’s nothing quite like the thrill you get while searching for treasure. This is probably why reality shows of that nature have been highly successful over the years. Hollywood does what it does best and puts this interesting concept on a massive scale through cinema, with huge stakes and frantic set pieces. Fans do love a good treasure hunt and this is why we’ve created a list of movies like National Treasure for you to go through.
National Treasure, directed by Jon Turteltaub, follows the story of Benjamin Franklin Gates, a historian and treasure hunter, who has gone on a life-long search for a treasure that dates back to the creation of the United States. He soon discovers a clue, which necessitates him getting his hands on the Declaration of Independence. This movie is a fun ride for fans, despite its somewhat unbalanced plot, which garnered some ire from movie critics. If you enjoyed National Treasure all the same, then here are 15 movies like Treasure Island that we’re sure you will enjoy too.
List of Movies like National Treasure
- The Mummy
- Lara Croft: The Tomb Raider
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
- Fool’s Gold
- Black Sea
- The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
- Lost City Raiders
- TinTin and the Golden Fleece
- Treasure Island
- Blood Diamond
1. The Mummy (1999)
The Mummy is among the list of suspenseful and epic movies like National Treasure. It follows the story of some explorers looking for treasure in the Sahara Desert. Set in the 1920s, these explorers get more than they bargained for when they release a 3000-year old priest who is back for revenge.
This movie is exciting from start to finish, and gained good reviews from fans and critics alike. It was praised for its great use of visual effects, and more energetic tone compared to the 1932 original which it is based off of, instead opting for a style more like an Indiana Jones film.
2. Lara Croft: The Tomb Raider (2001)
Angelina Jolie is the titular character in Lara Croft: The Tomb Raider. The movie follows the story of Lara Croft, an orphaned millionaire heiress and archaeologist who goes on a dangerous adventure to retrieve an ancient artifact that has the power to control time itself.
Lara Croft is a movie which has widely varying reception from critics and audiences respectively. It was widely panned by critics, but got favorable reviews from movie goers, due to its exciting plot and the allure of Angelina Jolie. If you’re looking for a rollercoaster ride similar to films like National Treasure, then this might be the one for you.
3. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
The Indian Jones franchise isthe benchmark for epic adventure stories, rivaling other franchises like Star Wars, Pirates of the Carribeans, and other movies similar to National Treasure. This is the franchise’s fourth installment, taking place 19 years after the events of the previous film. It’s set in 1957 and follows Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones as he searches for a telepathic crystal skull.
The movie was a massive box office success earning $790.7 million from a $185 million budget. It’s a thrilling watch, And Harrison Ford gives a great and energetic performance well into his latter years, especially for a role so demanding. This is a movie that you definitely have to watch.
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4. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is one of the epic adventure movies similar to National Treasure. For the first time we are introduced to the eccentric and hilarious Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp. Depp fully embodies the role of the pirate who leads his crew in pursuit of a valuable piece of treasure.
It was deemed as the best blockbuster of the summer of 2003, boosted by an ensemble cast of comically funny characters, and a good amount of frantic and exciting action set pieces. If you’re a fan of over-the-top action movies, then this one is made just for you.
5. Fool’s Gold (2008)
Matthew McConaughey shows up for the first time on this list, but not the last. He plays the character of Ben ‘Finn’ Finnegan, who is reeling from a wrecked marriage and a wrecked boat, while on a quest to find a treasure known as the Queen’s Dowry, in a similar vein to films like National Treasure.
Despite negative reviews, Fool’s Gold was able to garner a whopping $111 million at the box office, and has some recognizable faces in its cast, alongside McConaughey, including Kate Hudson, Donald Sutherland, and comedian Kevin Hart. If you’re looking to sit back and enjoy a good mix of rom-com and action, then this movie is for you.
6. Uncharted (2022)
The most recent movie in this list is Uncharted. Uncharted, directed by Ruben Fleischer,features our friendly neighborhood Spider-man, Tom Holland, who plays Nathan Drake, and Mark Wahlberg as Victor Sullivan. Together they go on an adventure to recover a 500-year old fortune belonging to famous explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
Uncharted is based on the best-selling video games series developed and published by Naughty Dog. It suffers a bit of the same pitfalls as most video game adaptations, but still found its audience especially fans of the franchise, as it made upward of $400 million at the box office. A high octane adventure similar to films like National Treasure, you definitely have to give it a watch.
7. Black Sea (2014)
Black Sea is another risky adventure similar to movies like National Treasure. The story is centered on a former naval officer Robinson, played by Jude Law, who puts together a crew of out-of-work sailors for a mission to find a huge stash of gold. Everyone is promised their fair share, but greed threatens to get in the way of everything.
Jude Law gives a magnetic and powerful performance in Black Sea, helping elevate this suspenseful thriller. It’s a story of how greed can always creep its way in. You should give this a watch if you’re a fan of films with a darker tone compared to movies similar to National Treasure.
8. The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines (2006)
In The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines, we follow the story of Noah Wyle’s Flynn Carlsen, an adventurer and Gabrielle Anwar’s Emily Davenport, a more highly qualified archaeologist than Carlsen. Together they use a map to search for the mines of King Solomon.
The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines is the second movie in the The Librarian franchise series, centered on Carlsen, who takes it upon himself to protect secret artifacts around the world. If you’re a fan of globe-trotting adventures, then why not give this one a try?
Also Read: Movies like Limitless
9. Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
We have an animated feature next in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, which follows the story of an inexperienced young adventurer who discovers that he is the key to solving an ancient mystery. But to do that he needs to find the lost empire of Atlantis, an interesting adventure in the same vein as films similar to National Treasure.
Michael J. Fox voices Milo Thatch, a cartographer who has the goal of completing his late grandfather’s quest. This vision becomes a reality when a billionaire funds the expedition to discover the lost city of Atlantis, kicking everything into gear.
10. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
It’s another epic adventure similar to films like National Treasure, and yet another video game adaptation in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Dastan, the adopted son of the King of Persia, who gains access to unquantifiable power known as The Sands, after he is given a dagger.
With the help of an Alamut princess known as Tamina, played by Gemma Aerton, he goes on the run after being accused of killing his adoptive father. Together, they try to uncover the real truth behind the king’s death and those who plan on destroying their kingdom.
11. Lost City Raiders (2008)
In the Lost City Raiders, the year is 2048, the Earth and its inhabitants are suffering from massive flooding, with large bodies of water sinking huge skyscrapers. The story is centered on a man and his two sons who are given the task of finding an ancient lost relic located in one of these submerged buildings.
Full of dangerous adventures as in movies similar to National Treasure, the writers also manage to infuse a cool romantic subplot into its otherwise action-packed story. So if you’re looking for a mix of the two then you should give Lost City Raiders a watch.
12. TinTin and the Golden Fleece (1961)
An old-timey movie, TinTin and the Golden Fleece is full of thrills and adventure in the same way as films similar to National Treasure. It centers around the characters of TinTin, Professor Haddock, and Captain Haddock, all of whom inherit a ship known as the Golden Fleece.
They get caught in the middle between a group of pirates and the police, as they go on an adventure to search for treasure. It was first released in France and was followed up by its sequel, TinTin and the Blue Oranges, another whirlwind adventure, released in 1964, with the same actors reprising their roles.
13. Gold (2016)
As promised, Matthew McConaughey shows up again on Gold, a globe-trotting adventure similar to films like National Treasure. McConaughey is Kenny Wells, a prospector who goes on a journey to the Indonesian jungle to find gold.
The adventure through the forest contrasted well with his boardroom adventures back in Wall Street. The movie has been praised for the impressive acting performance by Matthew McConaughey as well as an exciting premise. If you enjoyed National Treasure, you’ll like this too.
14. Treasure Island (1990)
Treasure Island is based on the classic 1883 novel of the same name. A classic story that has been adapted countless times, and the benchmark for adventure storytelling, that movies like National Treasure seek to recreate or build upon. It stars Charlton Heston as Pirate Long John Silver who wants a boy’s treasure map for himself.
This young boy is Jim Hawkins, played by Christian Bale, during his child actor days. It stays true and accurate to source material. It makes use of a replica ship constructed solely for the purpose of filming, which is quite impressive if I say so myself.
15. Blood Diamond (2006)
Leonardo DiCaprio is a white South African mercenary who goes on a quest to recover a rare gem in a war-ridden 1990s Sierra Leone. With the help of Jennifer Connelly’s Maddy Bowden and a black Mende fisherman they embark on their adventure to recover this potentially life-changing gem.
Of course, we are treated to a great performance by DiCaprio, as well as Djimon Hounsou’s performance as Solomon Vandy. All in all, it’s an enthralling watch full of gripping scenes and a frantic final act. It’s a must watch if you love adventure films like National Treasure.
Here are a few movies like National Treasure that didn’t quite make the list but you can watch regardless:
1. Night at the Museum (2006)
2. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
3. Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003)