National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets Movie Poster Image
Action-packed treasure hunt sequel has peril, violence.
  • PG
  • 2007
  • 124 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 26 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 45 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Hacking into official computer systems, breaking laws, and, in one instance, kidnapping the president. Bad guys trick good guys into finding treasure, then threaten them and use violence. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

No positive role models. 

Violence

Frequent raucous action-adventure-style scenes, including car chases (banging, crashing, screeching), shooting, and fighting. There's a reenactment of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, but the gunshot to his head isn't particularly graphic. In a flashback scene, a young boy sees his father shot and killed. A man is knocked out in his home. Ben struggles against being taken into custody by British police. Tense teetering and near falls from precarious surfaces inside a cave; rush of water nearly drowns people trapped in the cave. 

Sex

Some romantic, chaste kissing between the main couple. A couple of scenes feature brief shots of women's cleavage. In one flirtatious scene, Abigail shows off her tight dress and cleavage in order to distract a man; she kisses him passionately, then dismisses him.

Language
Consumerism

Borders Books, Ferrari, iPod, and Apple laptops featured prominently in some scenes. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A few scenes set at bars, restaurants, or parties include background drinking. Emily suggests that her brief marriage to Patrick started with a drunken encounter. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets is a 2007 sequel in which Nicolas Cage plays a treasure hunter in search of the City of Gold. The action in this fast-paced adventure sequel is loud and sometimes tense (car chases, near falls from high ledges in a dark cave, etc.), but for the most part it's pretty tame. The most troubling scene comes early, when, in a flashback to 1865, a child sees his father shot and killed; the sequence also includes a reenactment of Abraham Lincoln's assassination (not bloody, but obvious). In the present day, there's some shooting, car crashes, hand-to-hand fighting, and threats made with guns. Expect some cleavage shots, plus innocuous flirting and kissing. There are also moments where the lead characters are in England and adopt cringe-worthy fake English accents while saying every stereotypical British expression they can think of.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bySinfoniarc September 24, 2011

Great Family Movie!

As a parent in his early 30s of children who are ages 8 & 10, this movie reminds me much of The Goonies...without all of the bad language. While the mov... Continue reading
Adult Written bySpud April 9, 2008

Not for sensitive kids

I wouldn't call this sequel as family-friendly as the first National Treasure. There was no bad language, I have to give it points for that, but it didn... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old August 22, 2012

Nice Family Movie but...

There is some stuff you should know, Mitch dies, a cheesy kissing scene to create a distraction, the guys in the movie are flirts, Ben kidnapped the president,... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byILoveCSM March 17, 2016

Good, but the first one was better.

This is a good movie, but the first National Treasure is slightly better. But this good film is good for ages six and up, because of some violence. But like the... Continue reading

What's the story?

In NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS, history fanatic/inveterate puzzle solver Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) is making his living lecturing on his family's contributions to U.S. legacies. So imagine his horror when another self-proclaimed patriot, Mitch Wilkinson (Ed Harris), asserts that a Gates ancestor was a "mastermind" in the assassination of Ben's favorite president, Abraham Lincoln. Declaring that he must clear his family's name, Ben takes off on a treasure hunt along with his history-buff dad, Patrick (Jon Voight), ex-girlfriend/archivist, Abigail (Diane Kruger), and sidekick Riley (Justin Bartha). Ben's mother (Helen Mirren), who hasn't spoken to Patrick for 32 years, joins the team as translator. The treasure hunt takes the crew from Paris to London to Washington, D.C., with each location affording glimpses of historical monuments and occasions for Cage's antics. Soon the hunters are being hunted by FBI agents (led by Harvey Keitel). 

Is it any good?

It's never a good sign when you can figure out a secret plot before a movie's characters do. Then again, that's not very hard to do when the plot is the same as the first time you saw it. Unfortunately, this sequel adds precious few new ideas to the blueprint established in National Treasure.

As in the first film, Cage is the primary draw, alternately goofy and smirky and always entertaining. Frankly, he's the only cast member who can make the unwieldy expository dialogue seem at all plausible.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the differences between real history and "Hollywood history." Why do you think filmmakers bend the facts so often? Is real history less entertaining than the kind that's manufactured for the movies?

  • How does this movie compare to other adventure movies? Were there any scenes that seemed similar to scenes in other action/adventure movies? 

  • How is background music used in this movie during action sequences? How would these scenes be different without the music? What are some other ways in which background music is used to heighten scenes in movies? 

  • Do you think this movie is trying to prompt kids to take an interest in history? What do you know about the historical sites featured in the film (the White House, Buckingham Palace, and Mount Rushmore)? How could you find out more?

Movie details

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