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Parents' Guide to


By David Gurney, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Abuse framed as love story in mature book-based drama.

Movie NR 1962 137 minutes
Lolita Movie Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 9 parent reviews

age 18+

An utter waste of perfectly good paper.

1 person found this helpful.
age 18+

The Kids reviews are more accurate than the Parents

Shame on you “parents.” What the actual fudge is wrong with Gen Xers and Boomers? This movie and the book behind it are horrifying. Nothing in this is “romantic” and as someone who saw this for the first time in a film class at 16, I can assure you that your average high schooler is NOT ready for this to be a provocative art piece - it’s a film that shapes your perspectives on relationships and that’s just so unhealthy for any young person to internalize. If Lolita is a “hero” AND a “sex symbol,” how many of these parents would be proud if their daughters followed in her footsteps? I will tell you how many: NONE. This movie is only good for two things: getting pervy older men and damaged women off on a societally damaging fantasy, and starting a conversation on pedophelia and child exploitation. That’s it. That’s the only value in this movie since the art of the novel was somehow lost in the screenplay adaptation. Definitely allow your daughters to watch this if you want your future sons-in-law to be eligible for AARP before you are.
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (9 ):
Kids say (14 ):

Stanley Kubrick's poor film adaptation rewrites Vladimir Nabokov's novel about a sexual abuser into a darkly comedic "love story" between an adult man and a teenage girl. At the time of its initial release in 1962, Lolita received critical acclaim for avoiding censorship by heavily veiling its sexual references and removing the novel's most disturbing events (Nabokov is credited with Lolita's screenplay, but Kubrick and producer James Harris rewrote almost all of it). While this film isn't remembered as Kubrick's best, it's surprising in its ability to make viewers sympathize with such an ill-intentioned character as Humbert. It's also known for popularizing the perception that Lolita was a sexually savvy girl in control of her abusive situation.

Lyon, only 14 at the time of filming, turns in a compelling performance as a resourceful teen who can also be childish. So does Peter Sellers as Clare Quilty, who takes on several different personas throughout the film to fool Humbert -- a preview of his multiple roles in Kubrick's next film, Dr. Strangelove. The danger of this film isn't in the acting or cinematography: Both deliver in that classic black-and-white movie way. It's in the depiction of Humbert as a bumbling-but-earnest guy, even when he's laughing about his wife's death or acting on his inappropriate fantasies toward a child.

Movie Details

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