冒险片包括海盗片（英語：swashbuckler film）、灾难片（英語：disaster film）、历史片（英語：historical fiction），类似史诗片（英語：epic film）。主要情节元素是迷失的大陆、沙漠、丛林，人物去英勇寻宝或探险而展开未知旅程。题材来源于历史故事、传说、冒险英雄的事迹等。国王、战争、叛乱和海盗是常见的职业元素。冒险片同时也结合科幻片（英語：science fiction）、奇幻片（英語：fantasy film）和战争片（英語：war film）的情节结构而出现。
- as a genre, the adventure film, also sometimes referred to as the "action-adventure" film, is one of the most uniformly popular and stable of categories. [2011-04-13]. （原始内容存档于2011-01-19）.
- the viewer of adventure films can live vicariously through the travels, conquests, explorations, creation of empires, struggles and situations that confront the main characters, actual historical figures or protagonists.. [2011-04-13]. （原始内容存档于2012-05-30）.
- adventurefilms. [2014-03-17]. （原始内容存档于2012-05-30）.
- Ken Dancyger (2007) and Jeff Rush Alternative scriptwriting, Fourth edition. quote:
Stereotypes abound in the adventure genre. Examples range from the mad scientist in Dr. No to the mindless thugs in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The racism implicit in the latter film and films such as First Blood are by-products of the stereotyping rampant in the adventure genre
- Thomas Pynchon (1997) Slow Learner. quote: "Modern readers will be, at least, put off by an unacceptable level of racist, sexist and proto-Fascist talk throughout this story [written in the 1950s]. I wish I could say that this is only Pig Bodine's voice, but, sad to say, it was also my own at the time. The best I can say for it now is that, for its time, it is probably authentic enough. John Kennedy's role model James Bond was about to make his name by kicking third-world people around, another extension of the boy's adventure tales a lot of us grew up reading. There had prevailed for a while a set of assumptions and distinctions, unvoiced and unquestioned, best captured years later in the '70's television character Archie Bunker."