The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec Movie Poster Image
French comics-based adventure is engaging for tweens.
  • PG
  • 2013
  • 107 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The movie's messages include the power of sisterly bonds, the dangers of political corruption, and the ingenuity of intelligent, curious helpers.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Adele is an incredibly smart, courageous, and quick-thinking woman who doesn't need men to rescue her from danger. She bravely goes into dangerous circumstances if they'll help her save her sister.


Adele gets into dangerous situations and is nearly killed several different times. A villain orders her shot by firing squad (but she escapes); a man is shown impaled; a scary dinosaur terror bird flies toward a car and topples it. A man is strangled to death, and another man turns to ash for disturbing a sacred tomb. Characters get into fights and try to catch Adele.


A politician touches his mistress' thigh, and she moans with pleasure. They kiss and giggle. Adele is shown in the bathtub (but only her bare shoulders; her long hair covers her back).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink and smoke cigarettes. Adele mentions a couple of times that her last name means dry white wine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec is based on a popular French comic-book series about a pre-WWI journalist who investigates mystical occurrences. Director Luc Besson adapted the stories into a French film in 2010, and it has since been dubbed in English. The content is pretty sophisticated for younger audiences; there is some violence (deaths and near deaths) and a sexually charged scene between a corrupt politician and his scantily dressed mistress. Characters, including the heroine protagonist, smoke cigarettes and drink wine or champagne.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8 and 12-year-old Written byFrancophone Boston February 25, 2014

Exciting and sometimes scary adventures in Egypt and Paris

The movie is exciting and should be OK for kids above 11. But many scenes are quite violent for younger children. The details of how Adele's sister got i... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old February 5, 2015

great....might be

this is a great film for the original French only. it's good but jut a little "scary" it's rediculas and funny. You should watch this.

What's the story?

Based on the historical comic book series by Jacques Tardi, THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF ADELE BLANC-SEC chronicles the daring escapades of protagonist and investigative reporter Adele Blanc-Sec (Louise Bourgoin) into the mystical and the occult. Adele has gone to Egypt in hopes of finding the entombed doctor to Pharoah Ramesses II. She believes that an imprisoned scientist, Professor Espérandieu (Jacky Nercessian), can reanimate the legendary doctor, who in turn might be able to revive her comatose sister Agathe (Laure de Clermont). With the help of her number-one fan Andrej Zborowski (Nicolas Giraud) back in Paris, Adele must evade her nemeses long enough to save her sister.

Is it any good?

The gorgeous and expressive lead actress Louise Bourgoin makes cynical and whip-smart Adele come to life with considerable charm. Besson has an entire filmography filled with action films which have courageous female leads (La Femme Nikita, Colombiana, The Fifth Element, The Messenger), so it's no surprise he knows how to turn Adele Blanc-Sec into a big-screen heroine.

Adele is like an early 20th-century Lara Croft meets Indiana Jones, and the best part is that despite her beauty, she has no time for romance. She'll happily accept a man's help (like the sweetly devoted Zborowski, who's so tongue-tied he can't even pronounce his last name around her), but really, she's got it under control. The movie's various set pieces are visually impressive, the action precisely directed, and the peril realistic without being overwhelming for under-13 audiences. This is a thinking audience's action film that demands younger audiences pay attention, and if they do, they'll be rewarded with a unique heroine and a historical fantasy to remember.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether the movie makes you interested in reading the graphic novels. How does the movie compare to the comics?

  • How is Adele a unique heroine? How is she different from other females depicted from the same time period?

  • What do you learn about different cultures in the movie? What other adventures would you want to see Adele tackle?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comics

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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