The Vault Parent Guide
Not every suspense film needs to be original. Sometimes it's enough to be a heckuva lot of fun.
Parent Movie Review
Famed 16th century British privateer Sir Francis Drake earned his reputation raiding Spanish galleons returning from the “New World”, making him one of the wealthiest and most notorious sailors in the Atlantic. As such, the value of his treasure is almost incalculable…if you can find it.
Luckily for Walter Moreland (Liam Cunningham), he’s found a vital clue. Unluckily, his find was confiscated by the Spanish government and secured in an impenetrable bank vault. But Walter doesn’t believe in giving up. With Drake’s treasure within his reach, Moreland decides to hack the vault. To that end, he recruits Thom Laybrick (Freddie Highmore), a brilliant engineering student from Cambridge who gained fame for devising a solution to oil spills in the Gulf. Even with all those brains, the vault in question is an enigma which no one has ever solved…but Thom isn’t just anyone.
A good heist movie makes for a fun ride, and this is no exception. The Vault has all the standard ingredients: A determined team of charismatic criminals, a seemingly insurmountable challenge, and an extra helping of tension and suspense. With this one, you also get the added bonus of pirate treasure, which is a way cooler prize than you usually get. I mean, sure, you could just take a ton of cash out of a casino, or a few tons of gold out of some federal reserve…but isn’t it more fun to hunt down pirate gold?
The Vault is, apparently, the first R-rated movie Freddie Highmore has been in, which makes sense considering the last thing I remember seeing him in is either The Spiderwick Chronicles or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – neither of which is exactly festooned with adult content. And frankly, neither is The Vault. Literally the only reason this is rated R is the profanity, which at almost two dozen sexual expletives, eliminates itself from family movie night. However, depending on your position on cussing, this could be suitable for mature teens. Frankly, I’ve watched worse movies with my grandmother – not that she had a great time, but my point stands.
Even though The Vault isn’t the most original movie, and the average viewer can predict most of the plot, it’s still a lot of fun. Not every suspense flick needs to be unique and convoluted. Sometimes, you just want some fun, easy storytelling with creative problem solving. And, of course, pirates. Have I mentioned the pirate treasure yet? There’s pirate treasure in this, in case I didn’t. Put the kids to bed and get out the popcorn…Directed by Jaume Balagueró. Starring Famke Janssen, Freddie Highmore, and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey. Running time: 118 minutes. Theatrical release March 26, 2021. Updated October 2, 2021
Watch the trailer for The Vault
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Vault rated R? The Vault is rated R by the MPAA for language.
Violence: Individuals are threatened with guns.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are 23 uses of sexual expletives and 17 scatological curses. There are also infrequent uses of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Individuals are shown drinking in small amounts socially and one individual is seen smoking a cigarette.
Page last updated October 2, 2021
The Vault Parents' Guide
Is there a “good guy” in this story? Who do you think Drake’s treasure belongs to? Drake was a privateer for the British crown, but also a war criminal and slave trader. Does the gold belong to either of them? It was raided from Spanish ships, so is it Spanish? The Spanish stole it during their brutal colonization of South America. Who has the best claim on the gold?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Those with a bent for piracy, or privateering as the case may be, might enjoy Michael Crichton’s Pirate Latitudes.
Related home video titles:
The classic heist film (one which is even referenced in this movie) is Ocean’s Eleven. For more ensemble theft, try The Italian Job or Sneakers. Another high-tech heist with a youthful collaborator can be found in Baby Driver. Hurricane Heist sees a dangerous raid on the US Treasury…during a category 5 hurricane. If you want a more espionage-focused film, Goldfingerpits James Bond against a devious criminal with plans to rob Fort Knox itself.
Viewers who are more interested in the treasure than the heist will likely enjoy the Pirates of the Caribbeanfilms, but if you want a more accurate depiction of combat in the age of sail, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a far better choice. If you’re looking for more films with a mix of crime and archaeology, I’d recommend National Treasure(and the sequel, subtitled Book of Secrets) or Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.