For Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage
), history isn't just a dry record of what's occurred in a distant and half-forgotten past... for him, history is alive, vital, and occasionally it offers the
possibility of finding extraordinary treasures. After his astonishing discovery of the riches of the Templar Knights, Ben has become the world's most famous treasure hunter... although he
prefers the term "treasure protector."
Ben and his father, university professor Patrick Gates (Jon Voight), are shaken by the discovery of one of the long-lost pages from the diary of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth. The diary was found on Booth's body when he was killed; however, several pages had been torn from the diary and have never been found... until now. Surprisingly, the information on this page seems to implicate their ancestor Thomas Gates as a co-conspirator in the assassination of President Lincoln.
Ben must work with his now ex-girlfriend, American history archivist Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger), and his tech-wiz partner, Riley Poole (Justin Bartha), in a globe-trotting adventure which dangerously criss-crosses the inner sanctums of Washington, D.C., Paris, London and the American heartland.
As Ben, Patrick, Abigail and Riley meticulously unravel clues which threaten to turn history, and their lives, completely upside down, their search for historical truth widens into a hunt for perhaps the most mysterious and highly guarded book on earth and, from that, to a famed mythological treasure. Much to Patrick's consternation, Ben calls upon a secret weapon -- his formidable mother and Patrick's ex-wife, linguistics professor Emily Appleton (Helen Mirren), who hasn't spoken to Patrick in 32 years. She is soon caught up in the intrigue, but the team is not alone in its pursuit. The man who brought the lost page to Ben's attention, Mitch Wilkinson (Ed Harris), has his own family history to uncover. But his ambitions are less noble than merely discovering treasure, putting him on a deadly collision
course with the others in a desperate effort to uncover the secrets that lie beneath the half-burnt diary page from America's past.