Treasure Hounds

Movie review by Renee Longstreet, Common Sense Media
Treasure Hounds Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 6+

Routine boy-and-dog treasure hunt with fart jokes.

PG 2017 88 minutes

Parents say

age 7+

Based on 4 reviews

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

Community Reviews

age 2+

The real mystery of this movie is how it got made

Here's the good thing I can say about Treasure Hounds. I hope the people who made it enjoy the film and had fun making it. If you were not directly involved in the creation of this film, you will find no enjoyment in it, and showing it to your kids would be an insult to their intelligence. This movie does not have a plot. It does not have characters. It follows the template of "kid moves to a new town" movie and misses almost every mark it's supposed to hit. It begins with our protag Jack and his mom going to his grandfather’s house after the grandfather died. The grandfather was, in the mom’s words, “a mean old coot who only liked Jack.” How do we know he’s crazy? Well, he had an AIRPLANE in his FRONT YARD! Whoa? Do you know how crazy that is? You will, because the movie spends 5 minutes showing shots of the mom and kid looking at the plane when they arrive at the house. But wait, that’s not all, there’s also a CANOE in the LIVING room! Kooky uncle Jack sure had a lot of crazy things in places they weren’t supposed to be! The movie stars Jack, the new kid in town. Jack is not a kid. He is a grown man trapped in a boy's body. The kid protag in kids movies is supposed to be someone the kids can identify with, but there is no way a child could empathize with this kid at all. The movie is just him and his mom, and the mom is the real child of the movie. First off, the mom doesn’t even tell Jack they’re moving. They show up at the grandpa’s house, under the pretense of selling it because he left it to them in the will, when a moving van pulls in behind them. That’s how Jack realizes that he will no longer be returning home, or going to the same school, and life as he knows it is now over. All this because the mom was too anxious to tell her son that they were moving. Jack walks out in a huff. It’s then that he meets his friends, goth girl, stupid kid, and rich prissy girl. And that about sums up their “personalities.” Goth girl’s whole “alternative” shtick is literally just that she dresses in black. The “dumb” kid makes a bunch of jokes you’d hear from a very unfunny grandfather, and the prissy rich girl is obsessed with being “cool” if cool was wearing pink and being obsessed with makeup. Goth girl (who’s name is Twyla, which is just… wow) and rich girl get in lots of “arguments” which consist of “Go put on some makeup” “Go wear a black dress!” Because they’re girls and their personalities are what clothes they wear. Anyway, when Jack gets back home, he tells his mom he forgives her, since she was apparently waiting at home with baited breath hoping her son would let her off the hook. Then, she asks him to clean the basement, bringing us into a MONTAGE! Some CRAZY SILLY music starts playing as we watch Jack slowly clean the basement! Yep. Clean it. Just cleaning. He’s not doing anything kooky, he doesn’t appear to be having much fun, it’s just him cleaning out the basement. He even sweeps it, which like, who is this kid? What 12 year old just totally cleans a basement with no complaints and does such a good job that he even finishes it out with a nice broom sweeping? Ugh, ugh, ugh. Anyway, I haven’t even mentioned the dog yet, and that’s because the dog plays no actual role in the story. Jack never really bonds with it, or cares about it, it’s just there, and Norm McDonald’s voice is playing over the movie while the dog runs around. I could literally go through this movie scene by scene and write a detailed list of everything they did wrong and how they so fundamentally misunderstand how stories work, but I don’t think I need to. If what you’ve read so far has not turned you off, imagine watching a full hour and a half of that accompanied by some of the worst, flattest acting you’ve ever seen. There’s only one other scene I want to talk about, and that’s this: At one point, Jack says he wants to find the treasure so he and his mom can move back home. This causes the mom, the “adult”, the start crying and upstairs to her room. Jack then walks up there and plays the role of a… dad. “What’s wrong?.... You know I’ll always love you no matter where we live.” Bad writing and acting are bad enough, but this is the REAL reason you shouldn’t show this movie to your kids. It tells children that the burden of emotional labor is on them. They have to be the ones who try to understand their parents, and comfort THEM when they’re upset, all while suppressing their own emotions and taking responsibility. That is not a message for a 12 year old. Jack was forced to move without even a warning, no one is comforting him about the fact that his grandpa just died, even though it’s mentioned several times that he and the grandpa were friends, and when he wakes up to find burglars in the house, it is again up to HIM to comfort the mom. Kids should be sympathetic towards their parents, but they’re KIDS, they need to know that their parents values them and will be there to comfort them during difficult times. This movie portrays a boy who must take charge and constantly tiptoe around his mother’s feelings, because apparently she is completely incapable of acting like an adult. If that’s how you want your kids to see you, then, by all means, show them this unfunny and flat movie. If, however, you want something that might stimulate your kids on an intellectual and creative level, I’d show them literally anything else.
age 6+

Family fun and mystery

My 7 year old grandson loved this movie! If you , like our family, want clean, wholesome family fun and laughs with a little mystery thrown in, you will like this. Some adults may not rate this highly but it's great for kids, and we enjoyed watching it and hearing the laughs of our grandson.

Movie Details

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