Rolling Stone gives it 1 out of 4 stars and condemns it:
And director Jon Turteltaub (Phenomenom) directs with robotic cheerlessness. For Cage, this is a paycheck movie. For Bartha, it's an attempt to make the public forget he was in Gigli. For Kruger, who played Helen in Troy, it's proof positive she can't act. For the audience, it should be torture.EW gives it a B- and says, "The movie is about as nourishing as a bowl of trail mix, but it's hard to stop eating." Empire Online gives it 2 out of 5 stars and concludes, "Pulling off the neat trick of being simultaneously moronic and mildly educational, National Treasure is The Da Vinci Code lite -rubbish certainly, but not without a certain charming stupidity." DVD Talk calls it "a fun, light-hearted adventure in the vein of Indiana Jones" and says it's "an entertaining adventure that the whole family can enjoy---and that makes this film something of a rare gem in its own right". Roger Ebert closes with this:
Cage, one of my favorite actors, is ideal for this caper because he has the ability to seem uncontrollably enthusiastic about almost anything. ... "National Treasure" is so silly that the Monty Python version could use the same screenplay, line for line.Rotten Tomatoes has a critics core of 44%.