Lolita

Movie review by David Gurney, Common Sense Media
Lolita Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 16+

Classic love story not for kids.

NR 1962 137 minutes

Parents say

age 15+

Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 15 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

An utter waste of perfectly good paper.

age 15+

Downplays abusive nature of manipulative, pedophilic relationship

I loved the book; this movie is not true to its intentions. Kubrick made his adaptation back when it would have been censored and banned from theaters if it had been as graphic as the book. So he downplayed the sexuality of it, and did not show the extent of hurt and abuse that Lolita was experiencing while in a physically and psychologically abusive relationship with a pedophile and predator. Taking away the depth of the book made it more commercially successful + accessible to slightly younger audiences, but that was a bad idea because younger people watching it do not see how traumatizing and scarring the experience was for Lolita. That may give them the message that what Humbert did was basically okay, when it WAS ABSOLUTELY NOT. This book was just not meant to be a movie, in my opinion. There is really not that much that happens in the book (Kubrick adds to Clare Quilty's role in order to make it feel like there's more of a plot). The reason why it is such a loved book is not because of the plot, but because of the beautiful language and the way that Nabokov (the author) somehow makes you empathize both with the pedophile predator (Humbert) and his victim, Lolita. This adaptation's satirical take just did have the same impact -- I would recommend reading the book instead.

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

For kids who love mature dramas

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