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By Noelle Buffam · March 26, 2011

Adventure film is a genre that revolves around the conquests and explorations of a protagonist. The purpose of the conquest can be to retrieve a person or treasure, but often the main focus is simply the pursuit of the unknown. These films generally take place in exotic locations and play on historical myths. Adventure films incorporate suspenseful puzzles and intricate obstacles that the protagonist must overcome in order to achieve the end goal.

Examples of Adventure Film:

Pirates of the Caribbean – A meek blacksmith joins forces with a free-spirited pirate and his cursed ship to rescue his love, the governor’s daughter.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – When his father goes missing, famed archaeologist Indiana Jones must find him and ultimately stop the Nazis from obtaining the Holy Grail.

National Treasure – A modern day treasure hunter is in a race against the FBI to find a war chest hidden by the Founding Fathers. 

Adventure Sub-genres:


Swashbuckler Film:

This sub-genre is characterized by lavish sets and costumes. Swashbuckler film often includes period weapons, castles, and dramatic battles. The story usually revolves around a damsel in distress and the charming hero.

Examples: The Three Musketeers, The Mask of Zorro, Robin Hood.