The Skeleton’s Compass parents guide

The Skeleton’s Compass Parent Guide

This movie is a map to boredom.

Overall C

Online Rental: A group of middle-schoolers stumble upon a skeleton in the woods behind their house. The skeleton has a compass and journal, which lead the group on an adventure beyond their wildest imagination.

Release date September 6, 2022

Violence B
Sexual Content A
Profanity A
Substance Use C

Why is The Skeleton’s Compass rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated The Skeleton’s Compass Not Rated

Run Time: 81 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Champ (Luke Loveless) is having a crummy summer. His dad’s inability to find work has forced the sale of their home and property which have been in the family for many generations. Upset at leaving his friends, Champ goes for a walk in the woods, only to discover a skeleton plus a compass and journal that promises to lead him to a fortune in gold. With the family home at risk, Champ and his friends need to find the gold in time to stop the sale.

I’ve learned a lot in my years as a film critic. One of the most important lessons is that if the writer and/or director has the same last name as the lead actor, it’s going to be a bad movie, and doubly so if said lead actor is a kid. The Skeleton’s Compass takes this rule a step further by having a producer share a last name with the writer and lead. Low budget nepotism productions are never good. Ever. Heed my warning.

This film has some of the worst writing I’ve ever been subjected to and that’s saying a lot. The dialogue is clunky, the plot just kind of happens, and the characters make inconceivably stupid choices at every turn. The entire script feels contrived and juvenile. The opening monologue from Champ feels like one of those “what I did this summer” speeches we all had to do in middle school, with the writing chops of a 12-year-old to boot. The message the writer tries to impart is fine: family is more important than gold. But it’s muddled and pretty much negates itself in the end (spoiler warning), since the gold solves all the problems and is used for good things, like saving for college and giving to charity.

On top of the subpar writing, this production is burdened with weird editing, strange musical choices, and a whole lot of bad acting. I was both bored and annoyed for the entire runtime. Although relatively light on negative content (aside from some gunshots and old-timey drinking) I can’t see most kids enjoying this. It’s too boring for the very young and too juvenile for the middle school crowd.

In case it wasn’t obvious, I recommend sitting this one out. This movie is the cinematic equivalent of an eyeroll.

Directed by Sandra L. Martin. Starring Luke Loveless, Caleb Baumann, Reagan Shumate. Running time: 81 minutes. Theatrical release September 6, 2022. Updated

Watch the trailer for The Skeleton’s Compass

The Skeleton’s Compass
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Skeleton’s Compass rated Not Rated? The Skeleton’s Compass is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Violence: Characters are threatened with guns in multiple scenes. A man is shot and killed.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: The script contains some mild insults such as “jerk” and “dimwad”.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A man is noticeably drunk in a few scenes and shown carrying a bottle of moonshine. He later discusses becoming sober and turning his life around. A man is offered moonshine.

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The Skeleton’s Compass Parents' Guide

Why are some characters so obsessed with gold? What does Champ realize is more important than gold?

Home Video

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It it’s treasure you’re after, there are many better kids’ movies about hunting for a pot of gold. The zaniest of these is probably Muppet Treasure Island which reimagines the Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel with Kermit the frog as the ship’s captain facing Tim Curry as a mutineer. The same novel gets an animated adaptation with a steampunk aesthetic in Treasure Planet.

Treasure hunting combines with a strong pro-family message in Finding ‘Ohana, which has the added bonus of being set in Hawaii.