Classic love story not for kids.
  • Review Date: November 14, 2005
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1962
  • Running Time: 137 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters are very selfishly motivated and do not change.

Positive role models

No one you want your kids to emulate.


A shooting. A woman commits suicide by running in front of a bus.


Many veiled references to sexual relationship between an old man and a young girl. Nudity.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Character shown in drunken stupor.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie deals with an older man having a strong desire for a teen girl that leads to an affair. There is a shooting and a woman commits suicide by running in front of a car -- both are implied and off-screen.

What's the story?

Professor Humbert Humbert (James Mason) seeks a relaxing summer in the resort town of Ramsdale, New Hampshire, where he finds a room to rent in the house of a shrill, middle-aged widow, Charlotte Haze (Shelley Winters). He is immediately infatuated with her daughter, Lolita (Sue Lyon). Charlotte falls for Humbert, and he marries her to stay close to Lolita. When his new wife finds his diary containing his confession of love for Lolita, she commits suicide. Humbert pulls Lolita out of summer camp under the guise that her mother is sick and they need to return home. A long and somewhat tense road trip follows, where Humbert eventually seduces her and reveals the truth about her mother. Lolita, who had been enjoying his attention until this point, realizes the grave nature of her situation, and is forced to remain his concubine -- that is until a mysterious stranger pokes his nose in the affair, threatening to expose their illegal relationship to the world.

Is it any good?


Translating a controversial novel like LOLITA to the big screen was an incredible feat in 1962. Director Stanley Kubrick, working from author Vladimir Nabokov's own screenplay, was able to convey the forbidden thoughts and actions of Humbert without upsetting censors. While the film isn't remembered as one of Kubrick's best, it's quite engaging and even surprising in its ability to make viewers sympathize with an ill-intentioned character like Humbert.

Peter Sellers turns in a great performance, as Clare Quilty, taking on several different personas throughout the film to fool Humbert and gain access to Lolita -- a preview of his multiple roles in Kubrick's next film, Dr. Strangelove.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about representations of teen girl sexuality, from Lolita's sunglasses to Britney Spears' school girl uniform. Why do these images become popular in our culture? Do you think they are ever powerful -- or offensive?

  • In the end, is Lolita portayed as powerful or simply pathetic?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 12, 1962
DVD release date:June 12, 2001
Cast:James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon
Director:Stanley Kubrick
Studio:Samuel Goldwyn Company
Run time:137 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Lolita was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written by Alice July 3, 2011
age 13+

Lolita (Didn't know what else to call this review)

This may not be Kubrick's best work, but I love this film. And Lolita's infamous heart shaped sunglasses are just too cool. I actually went out and bought a pair of them after I saw this movie. Anyway, this is very good. However, I agree with the reviewer who said that it is flawed by the cuts that the studio made.
Kid, 10 years old May 30, 2010
age 8+


Just kinda boring,hard to get into.But just sexual refrences.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written bywho3697cares January 28, 2009
age 13+
One of my least favorte Kubrick films. Don't get me wrong, I like it, but it is flawed by the studio cuts do to the nature of the film. It can be seen as a preview for his next dark comedy, Dr. Stangelove.


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