Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

Movie review by
Yvonne Condes, Common Sense Media
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Movie Poster Image
Mediocre action "threequel" is livened by stellar cast.
  • PG
  • 2014
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 30 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids are introduced to historical characters, which can lead to conversations about what is and isn't historically accurate.

Positive Messages

Being loyal and helping friends no matter the cost are ongoing themes. Several characters learn to accept change. Be true to yourself and love what you do.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Larry is as surly as ever, but he comes through to save his friends. Most of the group puts the others before themselves. Larry's son, now a teenager, learns to stand up for himself. At first, the vain Sir Lancelot wants to help with Larry's quest, but he turns on the group. Security guard Tilly falls asleep at her job.

Violence & Scariness

The opening scene foreshadows that the "end will come." The animals and dinosaurs come to life and terrorize party guests. Sir Lancelot fights a dinosaur (and later a giant snake) with a sword. Octavius and Jebediah are trapped by lava and fire from a volcano. Statues come to life and move around in a creepy way. Lancelot turns on the group. For a moment, it appears that Dexter, the Capuchin Monkey, and the rest of the gang have died.

Sexy Stuff

Laa, a Neanderthal, and Tilly, a security guard, flirt and kiss.


Words include "hell" and "dang it."


Posting on Facebook is mentioned, and iPhones are used often. A woman is seen playing Candy Crush. World of Warcraft is mentioned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Young adults drink at out of red solo cups at a house party; adults drink wine at a fundraiser.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb follows the same formula as the first two movies (Night at the Museum and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian), this time taking Larry and his gang of historical friends on the road to London. Expect more of the same slapstick (and sometimes crude) humor fans will already be familiar with. Some kids might find a few scenes scary -- ancient statues come to life, a giant snake attacks the group, characters are trapped by a volcano's fiery output, and at one point it appears as if significant characters have died -- and there's talk that the "end will come." There's also some flirting and kissing between a Neanderthal and a security guard, as well as mild language ("hell," etc.) and a little drinking. While this installment isn't as lively as the first two, it does have positive messages about friendship and loyalty.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byledryte January 9, 2015

Highly disappointed

This movie was extremely innapropriate... that is coming from an 18 year old guy. It was like the movies goal was to make one feel awkward. The roman centurion... Continue reading
Adult Written bylezmatos May 11, 2015

Great movie

First off,no characters die. If you watch it and PAY ATTENTION to the film, none of our favorite characters die. And when they say "The End Will Come"... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old February 10, 2015

Best movie of all time

This movie is great but there is a lot of violent scenes and consumerism. At the beginning there is a party with people drinking wine. A character brings up the... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old January 24, 2015

Another Night

It was a good family movie and not to mention Robin Williams last movie.

What's the story?

The ancient tablet of Akmenrah is starting to die away -- and with it the magic that brought the exhibits in New York's Museum of Natural History to life. Night security guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) takes the gang -- including Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams in one of this last roles), Octavius (Steve Coogan), and Jedediah (Owen Wilson) -- to London to find out whether Akmenrah's parents know the secret that will save them all ... or if the end truly has come.

Is it any good?

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB is very similar in plot and themes to the first two Night at the Museum movies, but unfortunately it's much less fun. Larry is still a sad sack, only this time he's worried what his son, Nick (now a high school senior), will do with his life, as well as how he can save his friends at the museum. Stiller is frankly phoning it in for this last installment of the franchise (he's a bit better in his other role as the Neanderthal who thinks he's Larry's son); the times when the movie really comes to life are when Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) bursts into a scene with sword drawn as Sir Lancelot. And Ben Kingsley and Ajali Jay are perfect as pharaohs with the key to keeping the magic alive, and there are a couple of fun cameos near the end.

But overall there's not enough to make Secret of the Tomb worth seeing unless you're a diehard fan of the first two. The most poignant scenes occur not so much because of what's happening in the film, but because it's one of Williams' last appearances -- he played Roosevelt in all three movies. Not to give away too much, but he says goodbye in a touching way.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the message behind all of the action and fancy effects. Why is it important to help your friends?

  • There are a few times when characters (Lancelot, Nick) feel like they're not being heard. Do you ever feel the same way? How do you handle it?

  • Did you notice anything in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb that wasn't historically accurate or was different from what you've learned in school? How could you find out more about the famous people and figures depicted here?

  • Larry has a hard time letting Nick make his own decisions. Do you think Nick should be allowed to decide whether or not he wants to go to college? Kids: What decisions do you wish were up to just you?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love history

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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