The Librarian: Quest for the Spear

  • Review Date: January 16, 2009
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 106 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Brainy Indiana Jones wannabe is a so-so adventure.
  • Review Date: January 16, 2009
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 106 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Portrayal of native people in the Amazon is unrealistic (they speak Portuguese that deep in the Amazon?) and condescending (their native dress, dancing, and adornments are stereotyped).


The Serpent Brotherhood uses guns to threaten their target. They inject poison into Marshall's neck. They even point guns at monks at a Buddhist temple. Flynn's geeky passes at Nicole provoke her to violence. She slaps him, threatens him with a machete, and tells him, "I hate you so much."


Flynn does not take a hint easily. He lusts after Nicole, who wears tight clothes. Women are objects of desire.


PG level: "I hate a kiss ass," "don't piss them off," "damned good," "don't screw with me."


The Metropolitan Library and its supposed treasures are touted.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Nicole has a glass of champagne on the airplane.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has some fun moments that will appeal to kids (especially those into the Indiana Jones movies), although it may be too talky for some. There is some PG-level profanity, violence involving guns, and a rather condescending portrayal of native people.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Following in the footsteps of adventure movies that marry intellectual pursuit and adventure (the Indiana Jones and National Treasure movies come to mind,) THE LIBRARIAN attempts to make a hero out of Flynn Carsen (played by Noah Wyle of E.R..) Flynn is a classic nerd. He lives with his mother (Olympia Dukakis), has 22 college degrees, speaks many languages, and has never had a girlfriend. When he's invited to apply for the position of Librarian at the Metropolitan Library, he proves that he has the intellectual acumen to do the job. What he doesn't realize is that his job is going to change his life. In fact, when the Spear of Destiny is stolen from the library, he is charged with recovering the missing pieces, and saving the entire world from unspeakable evil.

Is it any good?


Though Flynn Carsen is a loveable nerd and unlikely hero, his protectors at the Metropolitan Library (played by Bob Newhart and Jane Curtain) have complete faith in him. As he bungles through the jungle, and traipses across the world to save the Spear of Destiny from falling into the hands of the evil former librarian Edward (played by Kyle Mac Laughlin), he falls in love with his bodyguard Nicole (Sonya Walger.) Those viewers who have seen Raiders of the Lost Ark, will recognize similar scenes and eerily comparable musical score. But there is none of that movie's subtlety in this made-for-television facsimile. Some of the historical facts seem muddled, and most of the special effects are unbelievable. But kids will likely enjoy the driving pace of the adventure, though the lengthy getting-to-know-you conversations between Flynn and Nicole might be a drag to younger viewers. To its credit, this movie gives libraries and the people who keep them running their moment in the sun.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's presentation of history. Is it realistic? How do you know what is fact and fiction? Have you seen any marvelous things in a museum before? What gives an object power? Is it what it actually is, or what we believe it is?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 30, 2004
DVD release date:August 30, 2005
Cast:Kyle MacLachlan, Noah Wyle, Sonya Walger
Director:Peter Winther
Studio:Turner Entertainment
Run time:106 minutes
MPAA rating:NR
MPAA explanation:Not Rated

This review of The Librarian: Quest for the Spear was written by

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  • 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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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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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 5 and 8 year old Written byAddison1 August 11, 2009
I was surprised at the language used in this movie. It was recommended to me by a friend with kids of a similar age, but there were several times I cringed at the needless language ("I hate a kiss a$$" and "Don't p!ss me off" are a couple of examples). There was a scene where Noah Wyle was in bed, wrapped up in a sheet, which strongly implied that he had been involved with the female lead, Nicole. I liked the strong female character of Nicole, but not enough to let my kids watch the rest of this series.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 10 years old April 15, 2014

Full of action

It was amazing I loved it. It's full of action, nothing too scary. One person dies but nothing too graphic. Perfect movie for an 8 years and plus


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