Movie review by
David Gurney, Common Sense Media
Lolita Movie Poster Image
Classic love story not for kids.
  • NR
  • 1962
  • 137 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Characters are very selfishly motivated and do not change.

Positive Role Models & Representations

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Character shown in drunken stupor.

What 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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byCharity D. January 27, 2018

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... Continue reading
Adult Written bySofia18 June 18, 2020

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 ha... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old May 7, 2015
Wow. “Classic love story”? “Seduced by a 14-year-old and led into her trap?” “Lolita being liked by older men is cool and my kids should be like that!” coming f... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byElle J March 10, 2017

Lolita is NOT a love story!

Lolita is very interesting tale but beware it is not for younger audiences. The movie deals with serious topics such as incest, pedophillia, and death but it is... Continue reading

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?

Peter Sellers turns in a great performance, as Clare Quilty. He takes 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.

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love mature dramas

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