Some might say actor Nicolas Cage is a national treasure all by himself, and the fact that he starred in one of the most quintessential adventure movies also called National Treasure only solidifies the deal. In the 2004 blockbuster film, Cage plays Ben Gates, a historian who is on a hunt for Templar Treasures, all while trying to save the Declaration of Independence before a group of bad guys gets to it first. It wasn’t exactly a critical hit at the time, but if you like fun adventure movies with a modicum of history tied into it, it’s easy to get hooked. And no worries, you don’t need to be an American history whiz to follow along. In fact, if you can comfortably answer “Are You Smarter Than Fifth Grader” questions, like interesting facts, and love history, these are most definitely the films for you. Yes, plural. The original spawned two other films, the 2007 National Treasure: Book of Secrets and an upcoming as yet untitled movie. Exciting, right?
Cage has personal ties to the movie, as he told Vanity Fair that he actually spent some time of his life looking for the actual Holy Grail. He said, “I almost went on — you might call it a grail quest. I started following mythology, and I was finding properties that aligned with that. It was almost like National Treasure.” He added, “One thing would lead to another. It’s like when you build a library. You read a book, and in it, there’s a reference to another book, and then you buy that book, and then you attach the references. For me, it was all about where was the grail? Was it here? Was it there?”
Alas, it doesn’t seem like Cage ever found the grail but his character Ben Gates has had more success in that department. Read on to check out more movies like National Treasure if you, too, can’t enough of the hunt.
If you haven’t seen the Da Vinci Code or Angels and Demons, we highly suggest you start with those first, as this is the third installment of Robert Langdon’s (played by Tom Hanks) adventures in solving ancient mysteries whilst being hunted by people who want to protect them. But if you’re a National Treasure fan, you’ve likely already seen the first and second movies already. In this one, Langdon is trying to regain his memories after waking up in an Italian hospital all while stopping a villain from unleashing a virus across Europe.
Fool’s Gold (2008)
This movie is the perfect mix of rom-com and adventure. Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson play a married couple, Finn and Tess, respectively, having issues because Finn has spent all of his energy, time, and their money hunting the Queen’s Dowry. But he finds a clue to the whereabouts of the treasure that he believes to be the final key and ends up dragging Tess and her boss along with him. Drama ensues — but there’s a happy ending, at least.
Loosely based on Michael Crichton’s book, this is a classic jungle adventure movie about a group of scientists led by Karen Ross (Lauren Linney) to go find a billionaire’s son who got lost hunting diamonds in the region. Coming off the success of Jurassic Park, also based on a Crichton book, this movie got bad critical reviews at the time, but as Roger Ebert put it in his 1995 review, “Only a very particular kind of filmgoer is likely to relate to this movie: one raised on Saturday matinees, with a good sense of the absurd and an appreciation for movie clichés.” Touché.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
This 2001 movie starring Angelina Jolie spawned a whole new interest in the Tomb Raider books, video games, and then future movies. The movie sees Lara Croft looking for Pandora’s Box, all while traveling all over the world, mountain climbing, scuba diving, and taking out any number of people who get in her way.
The Mummy (1999)
Brendan Frasier stars in this remake of the 1932 movie about an adventurer named Rick O’Connell who goes to the City of the Dead with a librarian (played by Rachel Weisz) where they inadvertently wake up Imhotep, a cursed Egyptian high priest who lived during 1290 B.C.E. The best thing about this movie is that there are a number of follow-ups — The Mummy Returns, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, and the prequel, The Scorpion King.
Night At The Museum (2006)
Don’t write this one off as just for kids, because this adventure comedy is really for the whole family. Starring Ben Stiller as Larry Daley, a nighttime security guard at the Museum of National History who discovers that an ancient curse makes the things at the museum come alive at night, for better or worse. The curse follows him in the sequels, Night At The Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian and Night At The Museum: Secret of the Tomb.
Romancing The Stone (1984)
This classic adventure movie stars Kathleen Turner, Michael Douglas, Danny DeVito, among others, and did one thing that none of the movies on this list have actually done: won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture in 1985. It’s about a woman, Joan, who goes to find her kidnapped sister in Colombia but needs an ancient map and an emerald to pay the ransom. The adventure is real, as is the romance that blossoms between her and Michael Douglas’ character, Jack.
More Movies Like National Treasure
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom
- Blood and Treasure
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
- Da Vinci Code
- The Goonies
- Angels and Demons
- League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
- The Last Templar
- Jewel of the Nile
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Blood and Treasure
- Mission Impossible: Fallout
- King Solomon’s Mines
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