Adventure Movies

15 Best Treasure Hunting Movies & TV Series, Ranked

November 19, 202311 Mins Read

Who can mistake the child-like appeal of movies like The Goonies and television shows like The Librarians where there are no limits as they go off in search of dazzling treasures worth more than money and adventures they’ll remember forever? With some buzz around a possible National Treasure 3 in development, treasure-hunting movies and series must be binged.

While the tropes of travel, history, mysteries, and artifacts stay the same, these treasure-hunting films and series include unique ways of telling each adventurous journey into the unknown. With some being adapted from movies and video games to original stories, these action-packed series and movies will get you in the mood for treasure-hunting! TV shows and movies about treasure hunting aren’t going out of style, with the very best ones capturing the thrill that comes with the search.

15 ‘Without a Paddle’ (2004)

Director: Steven Brill

Image via Paramount

There’s something endearing about underrated early 2000s comedies, and Without a Paddle is a classic! After the death of a close childhood friend, Matthew Lillard, Seth Green, and Dax Shepard star as Jerry, Dan, and Tom decide to take the trip they dreamed of as children; to find DB Cooper’s Treasure.

A down-to-earth adventure film, Without a Paddle is a story about friendship and keeping the inner child alive. The mix of personalities from Seth Green’s paranoid doctor to Dax Shepherd’s compulsive liar makes for a perfect combination of ridiculous encounters, including Burt Reynolds, who has been isolated in a cabin since the ’70s.

Without a Paddle

Release Date
August 20, 2004

Matthew Price , Andrew Hampton , Jarred Rumbold , Carl Snell , Antony Starr , Dax Shepard


Watch on Showtime

14 ‘Uncharted’ (2022)

Director: Ruben Fleischer

uncharted-movie-social Tom Holland
Image via Sony

An adaption of a popular video game of the same name, Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg headline this action-adventure film. Uncharted focuses on the origin of the classic treasure-hunting duo, Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan, as they search for the fortune of Ferdinand Magellan.

Uncharted‘s charm in the lovable characters is brought to life with the mix of tuxedo parties and lost caverns in the jungle. It may not be among the best treasure hunt movies, but being the origin story of the two main characters in the games, this fun film is the perfect gateway into treasure-hunting films!


Release Date
February 10, 2022

1hr 56min

Watch on Netflix

13 ‘Tomb Raider’ (2018)

Director: Roar Uthaug

Alicia Vikander’s Tomb Raider is a film that’s closer to the rebooted video game of the same name from 2013, which is a more gritty and realistic origin story. Lara Croft travels to Asia when she discovers her father’s last known destination when he is reported missing. Convinced he is still alive, she follows his footsteps in discovering a mystery surrounding the mythical Queen of Yamatai.

Following the Angelina JolieTomb Raider films of the early 2000s, Norwegian director Roar Uthaug took on the colossal task and delivered a suspenseful mystery and entertaining adventure full of twists and turns and packed with incredible stunts.

Tomb Raider

Release Date
March 5, 2018

Roar Uthaug


Rent on Apple TV

12 ‘Relic Hunter’ (1999 – 2002)

Creator: Gil Grant

tia carrere in relic hunter series sydney fox

Relic Hunter is the female version of Indiana Jones. Following Sydney Fox played by Tia Carrere, a university professor of history, with her team Nigel played by Christien Anholt and Claudia played by Lindy Booth as they find ancient relics and treasures that have been missing for hundreds or thousands of years.

Relic Hunter has action, history, and intrigue as Sydney and Nigel travel the world in search of these treasures. Coming up against many different characters like thieves and criminals, the three seasons were packed with adventure and mystery.

Relic Hunter

Release Date
September 25, 1999

Tia Carrere , Tanja Reichert , Christien Anholt


Watch on Roku

11 ‘Blood & Treasure’ (2019 – 2022)

Creators: Matthew Federman, Stephen Scaia

blood and treasure season two danny and lexi

A fantastic adventure TV series starring Matt Barr as Danny and Sofia Pernas as Lexi takes the treasure-hunting tropes back to their roots! Danny, an antiquities expert, and Lexi, an art thief, team up to stop a terrorist who funds his attacks with stolen treasure.

Currently, with two seasons, Blood & Treasure follows many similar titles like Uncharted and National Treasure with action and crime taking center stage. Lexi and Danny work so well with their polar opposite personalities as they travel to beautiful places and encounter some dire situations in Blood & Treasure.

Blood & Treasure

Release Date

Matt Barr , Sofia Pernas , James Callis , Oded Fehr , Katia Winter , Alicia Coppola


Watch on Prime Video

10 ‘Romancing the Stone’ (1984)

Director: Robert Zemeckis

A man and woman stand in the jungle
Image via 20th Century Fox

Among the best movies of 1984, director Robert ZemeckisRomancing the Stone takes audiences on an exhilarating adventure set in the jungles of Colombia. There, an unlikely romance blossoms between Jack Colton (Michael Douglas), a rugged explorer, and Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner), a romance novelist who gets his help finding her kidnapped sister.

This romance soon turns into a treasure-hunting adventure as the duo decides to seek the treasure the kidnappers are looking for and take it themselves. The artifact in question is the “El Corazón,” a huge emerald worth a lot of money. While some aspects of the film haven’t aged well, it’s still worth watching (or revisiting) for its entertaining blend of comedy and action.

Romancing the Stone

Release Date
March 30, 1984

106 minutes

Rent on Apple TV

9 ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ (2011)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Tintin and Captain Haddock examine a map
Image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Hergé‘s iconic comic books are brought to life in the beloved classic, The Adventures of Tintin. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the 2011 animated adventure film revolves around the young journalist Tintin (Jamie Bell), who sets out on a quest to find the treasure of a ship called the Unicorn. However, he’s pursued by a dangerous nemesis.

With animation that holds up well and stellar performances from a talented cast – which includes Bell, Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, and more – The Adventures of Tintin is a cinematic adventure worth experiencing over and over. The timeless classic is also known for its faithful adaptation of the source material, which translates beautifully on the big screen.

Watch on Netflix

8 ‘National Treasure’ (2004)

Director: Jon Turteltaub

national treasure

National Treasure is the quintessential treasure-hunting movie of the early 2000s. Following Nicolas Cage in an over-the-top performance as Ben and his ‘guy in the chair’ Riley played by Justin Bartha, as they plan to steal the Declaration of Independence to find a map to the hidden Freemason Treasure.

With action, adventure, and a museum heist, National Treasure is the perfect balance of mystery and suspense. From uncovering the secret map to the villain Sean Bean hot on their trail, there’s no surprise Disney made a sequel, National Treasure: Book of Secrets that tries to capture the magic of movies like National Treasure.

National Treasure

A historian races to find the legendary Templar Treasure before a team of mercenaries.

Release Date
November 19, 2004


Watch on Disney+

7 ‘Treasure Planet’ (2002)

Directors: John Musker, Ron Clements

Jim and John Silver on the bow of a space ship in 'Treasure Planet'
Image via Walt Disney Pictures

A relatively underrated film in Disney’s collection of blockbusters, Treasure Planet is a gorgeous animated movie set in a futuristic world where space pirates exist. The film is centered on Jim Hawkins’ (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) journey through space as he searches for the mythical Treasure Planet. Alongside him is the intimidating and experienced John Silver (Brian Murray), who wants to find the treasure just as badly.

Despite premiering in 2002, Treasure Planet’s visuals are still a marvel to witness today. This is undoubtedly due in part to the creative blend of sci-fi and traditional swashbuckling adventure genres that it displays, not to mention the unexpectedly emotional moments that make Jim’s story unforgettable.

Watch on Disney+

6 ‘The Mummy’ (1999)

Director: Stephen Sommers

Rick and Evi embracing and looking ahead in The Mummy.
Image via Universal

When a group of treasure-seeking adventurers goes deep into an ancient tomb hoping to strike gold, they unleash a horrifying 3000-year-old cursed high priest instead. The Mummy, while initially focused on a treasure hunt gone wrong, is soon centered on how Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) and Evelyn Carnahan (Rachel Weisz) work together to protect the world from sure destruction.

The 1999 film directed by Stephen Sommers birthed the iconic franchise and is still considered the best movie in the trilogy. Full of daring stunts, cutting-edge visuals for its time, and a remarkable performance by Fraser, it’s easy to see why The Mummy holds a special place in fans’ hearts to this day.

The Mummy (1999)

At an archaeological dig in the ancient city of Hamunaptra, an American serving in the French Foreign Legion accidentally awakens a mummy who begins to wreak havoc as he searches for the reincarnation of his long-lost love.

Release Date
May 7, 1999

124 minutes

Rent on Apple TV

5 ‘The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles’ (1992 – 1996)

Creator: George Lucas

young indiana jones chronicles sean patrick flanery

Everyone already knows the classic films of the 80s, but Indiana Jones also had a television series. Opening the show with a much older Indiana, played by George Hall, as he tells his stories from his youth, played by Sean Patrick Flanery and Corey Carrier.

Only going for two seasons, George Lucas had actually prepared for at least 70 episodes. Aimed at kids and teens, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles was educational, and the stories centered around famous figures and historical events. With a recent installment in the Indiana Jones franchise, it’s time to revisit Young Indiana once again and re-live the nostalgia.

The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

Release Date
March 4, 1992

Sean Patrick Flanery , Corey Carrier , Lloyd Owen , Margaret Tyzack


Watch on Disney+

4 ‘The Librarians’ (2014 – 2018)

Developer: John Rogers

the librarians the series whole team Rebecca Romijn Noah Wyle

A brilliant series spin-off, The Librarians had three films before the Rebecca Romijn-led show came along. The Librarians follows Eve Baird and her team, who have the important job of keeping mystical and famous historical artifacts from getting into the wrong hands.

This quirky series is like Supernatural mixed with Legends of Tomorrow, which makes it stand out from other treasure-hunting shows. The light-hearted series delves into alien invasions, haunted houses, and even the mystery behind the Bermuda Triangle!

The Librarians

Release Date
December 7, 2014


Watch on The CW

3 ‘Outer Banks’ (2020 – )

Creators: Josh Pate, Jonas Pate, Shannon Burke

Image via Netflix

Like the sleek production of Point Break and a sense of adventure straight out of Stand by Me, Outer Banks follows four friends as they search for missing treasure and answers to the disappearance of one of their fathers.

Outer Banks is beautifully filmed and well-written, so there is no surprise this popular series is about to go into its fourth season. From the childlike excitement of finding a lost treasure to the twists, turns and dangers of the town’s secrets, Outer Banks is a unique series that has it all!

Outer Banks

Release Date
April 15, 2020

Chase Stokes , Madelyn Cline , Madison Bailey , Rudy Pankow


Watch on Netflix

2 ‘The Goonies’ (1985)

Director: Richard Donner

Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, Jeff Cohen, and Ke Huy Quan in The Goonies (1985)
Image via Warner Bros.

The Goonies is among the best treasure-hunting movies that have stood the test of time and are a classic among movie buffs. Following a group of kids whose homes are being threatened with foreclosure, go on a search for the long-lost treasure of a pirate named One-Eyed Willy.

Created by Steven Spielberg and directed by Richard Donner (known for the 1978 Superman and Lethal Weapon), the duo produced a visually engaging family adventure film. From treasure maps, skeletons, and pirate ships, childhood dreams, and fears come alive in The Goonies.

The Goonies

Release Date
June 7, 1985


Watch on TNT

1 ‘Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark’ (1981)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Harrison Ford in 'Indiana Jones and The Raiders of The Lost Ark'
Image via Lucasfilm Ltd.

Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark is an action-adventure film that revolutionized the genre, forever remembered as one of the top treasure hunt movies. The award-winning classic introduced the world to the daring titular archeologist (played by Harrison Ford), who races against a group of Nazis trying to get their hands on a powerful relic that could turn the tide in their malevolent plans.

The fact that there is a fifth (if somewhat underwhelming) film – Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – says everything audiences need to know about the adventure movie’s enduring legacy. The first installment is also the film with the biggest focus on treasure hunting, while also featuring the franchise’s legendary stunt work, jaw-dropping set pieces, and fantastic performances from its talented cast.

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.

Release Date
June 12, 1981

115 minutes

Watch on Disney+

NEXT: ‘Indiana Jones’ Movies Ranked from Worst to Best

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