Uncharted Movie Review - Prima Games

Uncharted Movie Review

by Bryan Dawson

We all know that a vast majority of movies based on video games are going to be terrible. For whatever reason, Hollywood doesn’t think the stories featured in these mega popular games can stand on their own, so they must be changed. The changes would probably work if movie studios hired quality writers and directors, but they rarely do. Case in point, Sony and the upcoming Uncharted movie.

When Sony announced it was going to buy Bungie, one of the primary reasons was to turn its IP into films. It could be a good investment for Sony because Uncharted has already made $40M overseas despite the fact that it’s nothing more than a poor man’s Indiana Jones. Although the opening weekend is being fueled by Tom Holland’s recent Spider-Man success, and the name recognition of the brand, the quality of the film is middling at best.

Uncharted Movie Review

We all know that the Uncharted games are an exceptional take on movies like Indiana Jones. So when you turn around and make a movie out of Uncharted, there’s a fairly high bar there. No one really expected the Uncharted movie to be just as good as most of the Indiana Jones films, but people were hoping for something more than what we got.

Taking a step back, Uncharted is not a terrible film. It has some high-flying action sequences, and there are times when you see the inspiration from the game clear as day. The problem is that if you want more than some action and a few nods to the game, you won’t find it here.

Uncharted plays out similar to National Treasure, and the Dan Brown movies like Da Vinci Code. But all of those movies are better than Uncharted in almost every way. That doesn’t mean Uncharted is bad, but it’s certainly underwhelming, and a missed opportunity. There’s nothing about Uncharted that makes it stand out, especially if you’re not a big fan of the games.

Related: Uncharted Director ‘Working on’ Jak and Daxter Film Adaptation

Tom Holland stars as Nathan Drake, but if you said he was a powerless Peter Parker in this movie, it would be difficult to argue that claim. Holland plays the role almost exactly the same way he plays the Marvel superhero. Mark Wahlberg phones in the same kind of performance, mimicking many of his past roles, and not bringing anything new to the character of Sully.

Sony hired the director of the first Venom movie, and the writers behind Men in Black: International and Transformers: The Last Knight. To be clear, Sony hired the writers of the lowest grossing films in the Men in Black and Transformers franchises to write Uncharted. There seems to be a flaw in the logic of that decision, but those same writers are working on Sony’s upcoming Kraven the Hunter film, so Sony is clearly fond of them. For the record, Amy Hennig, the person responsible for much of the story in the Uncharted games, is not credited at all for anything to do with the film.

If you’re looking for some fun action and don’t really care about much else, you’ll find that in Uncharted and probably love the film for it. However, if you’re looking for something more akin to the games, or just an adventure movie that is close in quality to Indiana Jones or National Treasure, you won’t find that here. Uncharted is about as generic as it gets, with some sprinkles from the games thrown in for good measure. There is a mid-credits scene if you wish to stay through some of the credits.



  • High-flying action sequences.
  • A few brief moments when it looks like the game has truly come to life.


  • Generic adventure film with nothing to make it stand out from similar movies.
  • Not enough inspiration from the games.
  • Unnecessary changes to Nathan Drake’s origins and familiar relations.
  • Uninspired writing and acting.

Score: 4.5 out of 10


Bryan Dawson

Bryan Dawson has an extensive background in the gaming industry, having worked as a journalist for various publications for nearly 20 years and participating in a multitude of competitive fighting game events. He has authored over a dozen strategy guides for Prima Games, worked as a consultant on numerous gaming-related TV and web shows and was the Operations Manager for the fighting game division of the IGN Pro League.