The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box

  • Review Date: January 9, 2014
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Solid Victorian adventure is too dark for younger kids.
  • Review Date: January 9, 2014
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The message of this movie is to stay true to your word, to do everything in your power to protect your loved ones, and to realize when you need to summon your courage to do the right thing, even if it's scary and potentially dangerous.

Positive role models

Captain Charity shows up again and again to help Mariah and his brother. Mariah is a devoted older brother who will stop at nothing to save his little brother and help defeat the nefarious villain who kidnapped his parents. Sacha kindly and selflessly helps Mariah, even though it's in her best interest to ignore his mission.

Violence

There's realistic violence that includes: gun violence and many shots, a man ordering the deaths of several characters by saying "Kill them all!"; a father who sacrifices his life by pushing someone (and himself) to their death in order to save his child; a man nearly choking one character; and a special weapon that vaporizes people. Children are kept as slaves and forced to do hard labor for the villain.

Sex

Mariah and Sacha are obviously smitten with each other but they mostly stare at each other longingly, fall on top of each other, and eventually share one kiss.

Language

Insults like "imbecile," "stupid," "coward," and "sniveling."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Henchmen smoke cigarettes, and adult guests drink at hotel dinner/parties.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box is based on the British young-adult fantasy series Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box. This period adventure follows the 17-year-old son of antiquities experts whose parents and then little brother are kidnapped. There's more violence than you'd expect from family fare and it includes dark and tense scenes of people being shot at, nearly choked, gagged and bound, enslaved, and left to drown and die. Because of the violence, this movie is definitely more for older tweens and up than younger kids. There's also some smoking and drinking and light romance that's tolerable for the intended audience.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

THE ADVENTURER: THE CURSE OF THE MIDAS BOX is based on the first book in British author G.P. Taylor's Mariah Mundi series. Set in Victorian England, the story follows 17-year-old Mariah Mundi (Aneurin Barnard), the older son of antiquities experts. When his parents and later his younger brother are kidnapped, a mysterious friend of the family named Captain Charity (Michael Sheen) reveals that the nefarious supervillain Otto Luger (Sam Neill) is responsible, because he's looking for a pair of amulets that open a Midas Box -- a nearly supernatural box from ancient Egypt that can turn anything placed inside into gold. Charity sends Mariah to the Prince Regent hotel on a remote island. Since Luger owns the hotel, young Mariah is supposed to work as a porter while actually spying in order to find his brother -- or the Midas Box -- before Luger has his family killed.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Director Jonathan Newman scored a terrific cast for what had the potential to be a really fascinating combination of The Mummy and Harry Potter -- with handsome Mariah (looking like a younger, taller Elijah Wood) coming into his own as a teen Indiana Jones type. Unfortunately, the movie's plot is overly packed with intrigue and detail that will make it difficult for even adult audiences to follow. Despite the presence of excellent actors like Sam Neill and Michael Sheen -- who seem up for absolutely any kind of film, regardless of genre -- the story doesn't quite gel until the very end, at which point the weighed-down plot has made the film seem an hour longer than it's 98 minutes.

But there's something to be said for a movie that makes kids think more and pay strict attention. Older tweens and young teens who can handle the darker scenes of violence and the topsy turvy plot lines may appreciate that although it's not the zippiest adventure, it's not a complete misfire. And while it's doubtful there should be a sequel, at least viewers may be inspired to read the source book, visit a museum, or learn more about ancient artifacts.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. Is the movie's violence more intense than you'd expect from a family-friendly adventure?

  • Those who've read the book: How does the movie compare? Why do you think the filmmakers changed aspects of the story?

  • How does the end of the movie set up a sequel? Would you like to see Mariah's next adventure?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 10, 2014
DVD release date:February 11, 2014
Cast:Aneurin Barnard, Michael Sheen, Sam Neill
Director:Jonathan Newman
Studio:RLJ Entertainment
Genre:Fantasy
Topics:Adventures, Book characters, Brothers and sisters
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:adventure action and violence, some peril and brief smoking

This review of The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byBluerhiker May 24, 2014
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Excellent film

My boys are going to love this film! It has just enough suspense and adventure.
What other families should know
Great role models
Parent Written byJamesMGilliam May 25, 2015
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Dark and disturbing for young kids

This is a very dark movie and not appropriate for young kids. I totally disagree with the previous review. It's a good thing that I previewed it before allowing my 8 and 10 year old daughters watch it. There is a scene in the beginning where someone murders another person by placing a stick of dynamite in his mouth. Granted it only shows the explosion, but that imagery is too much for kids. There are also the scenes of kids being used as slaves attached to cables. One scene shows some kids being sucked into holes in the earth via the attached cables. (..Like that's not gonna give my kids nightmares..)
What other families should know
Too much violence

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