The Legend of Tillamook's Gold

Movie review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
The Legend of Tillamook's Gold Movie Poster Image
Poor acting/directing make this teen treasure hunt a bust.
  • NR
  • 2008
  • 107 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The messages of the film are wholly family friendly -- friendship, family, health, happiness, and the earth are more important than money.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The teen girl pursues her quest for treasure with passion and diligence. She uses her brain, her body, and her spiritual visions to find what she's looking for. Along the way, she makes some poor decisions like sneaking out at night, deceiving a (bad) authority figure, ignoring her mother's demands, and putting herself into a life-threatening situation. There are a few consequences for her actions, but not always, and they are not the focus of the movie.


In a fantasy/flashback a slave is killed offscreen. A character with a sharp knife briefly seems threatening. A scary dog barks and growls at the teen. In one brief scene a young man grabs the teen's arm forcefully because he's upset with her.


Older teens kiss passionately in one brief scene. They later decide to get married and the parents imply it's because she's pregnant. Boy has crush on main character and in the end they hold hands and embrace chastely.


The occasional "hell" and "damn." Teens and adults sometimes call each other "stupid" or "idiots."


Monster energy drink gets a few close-ups.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The bad uncle drinks beer frequently. Another negative character smokes cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this live-action/fantasy film focuses on the experiences of a teenage girl whose parents are having marital difficulties. The parents argue frequently about money and responsibility, often within earshot of the girl. One argument ends with the mother throwing a bowl of food at the father. The teen and her older sister discuss the possibility that their parents might divorce. The movie revolves around a legend that involves a slave and several scenes briefly show a man in chains who is eventually killed, though the murder is not explicitly shown. The teen gets into dangerous situations several times, though they resolve positively. During the climax of the film, the father's life is in serious danger.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAmelia N. December 18, 2017
This movie is a story about a family that is trying to put itself back together. The younger daughter becomes interested in an old legend of gold coins. Through... Continue reading
Adult Written byMary K. December 1, 2017

Time Well Spent

This film has some really good messages, some humor and some great scenery. It gives good messages for developing kids while not stressing out younger viewers w... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

After her father loses his job, the family of 14-year-old Julie (Suzanne Marie Doyon) moves back to the father's hometown in coastal Oregon. While the mom and dad struggle with money and their relationship, the teenager becomes fascinated with a Native American legend that suggests a cache of hidden gold is buried on a nearby beach. The girl sees visions and hears voices that encourage her quest, and along with help from her father, grandfather, and a local Native American elder, she gets closer to finding the treasure than anyone else has. In the end, she learns the value of family and companionship trump gold.

Is it any good?

The fantasy elements in this film don't mesh well with the rest of the story, and it's sometimes hard to follow the story's chronology. The movie is based on a simple and satisfying premise -- a teen girl becomes obsessed with a legend and with some magical intervention, makes an important discovery, all while learning a greater lesson. But the poor production quality matched with odd directorial choices and abysmal acting make this a movie to skip unless very desperate. Actress Suzanne Marie Doyon, who plays the teen girl, exudes a sweet presence, but that's not enough to carry the entire movie. Her facial expressions barely change, whether she's talking to a magical elk or watching her father drown in the ocean. Also, the mother (Julie Campbell) comes off as completely unappealing. Her character could have been portrayed more complexly -- as a woman struggling with financial stress and the marital strain that comes with it -- but instead she seems petty, cruel, and obnoxious.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what they consider treasures. In the film, the girl chases a gold treasure but in the end she calls something else her "greatest treasure." What is her greatest treasure and what is yours?

  • What did the Native American say was his treasure?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy

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