Movie review by
Stefan Pape, Common Sense Media
Luxor Movie Poster Image
Slow-paced drama about lost love; some language, sex, drugs.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 85 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Learning to confront and come to terms with your past. Removing yourself from the materialistic world and striving to help others less fortunate.

Positive Role Models

Hana is an aid worker who dedicates her time to helping others in countries around the world. She's an independent woman, travels alone, and navigates her way around these foreign landscapes without needing the assistance of others. In many ways she is a free-spirit. However, she is also quite lonely and haunted by her memories.


Someone collapses due to the heat of the sun.


Suggestion of a one-night stand as a character is seen leaving a hotel room. Another scene depicts two characters lying in bed, post-coital, both naked but covered by the bedsheets.


One use of the word "f--k" and some use of "crap."


Characters stay in fancy hotels.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink and smoke cigarettes socially. A character is seen drunk, dancing in front of a room full of people. Two characters smoke pot together.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Luxor is a pensive romantic drama about an aid worker who must come to terms with her past, with some drinking, drugs, infrequent language, and suggested sexual encounters. Hana (Andrea Riseborough) is presented as a very dynamic, independent female lead. She is strong-willed and travels around Egypt and other foreign nations entirely by herself, very much having her wits about her. She is vitally flawed, with her emotional fragility -- particularly evident after encountering a former lover -- providing a realistic portrayal. The language is infrequent with one use of "f--k." Hana has sexual encounters with more than one man, but these are suggested, not depicted. She is seen sneaking out of a hotel room following a one-night stand, and later she is seen lying in bed with somebody else, naked, but covered by the bedsheets. Characters drink alcohol socially and smoke. In one scene, a character becomes quite drunk -- she humiliates herself, so it's not presented in a particularly positive light. Two characters also share a joint together.

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What's the story?

LUXOR tells the story of British aid worker Hana (Andrea Riseborough) who returns to Egypt for work, where she inadvertently encounters her former lover Sultan (Karim Saleh). This coming together brings up a host of past memories she seems to have suppressed, as she struggles to reconcile with her own history, while focusing on where she turns next.

Is it any good?

Luxor is a movie that is very much for the patient viewer. A slow-burning, pensive drama, it languishes through its narrative as calmly and nonchalantly as its main character, Hana, wanders through the streets of the Egyptian city. Indeed the city of Luxor is integral to the story, with its history adding to the movie's precarious balance of past and present.

Some viewers may struggle with the pace of the movie, as it's fair to say not a lot happens. But the movie does remain an absorbing character study that thrives in the notion of haunted memories, and how the past can catch up, painfully, with the present. Though a flawed film that lacks dramatic tension at times, thanks to the brilliant turn by Riseborough, Zeina Durra's second feature remains engaging for its modest 85-minute runtime.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the character of Hana in Luxor. Would you describe her as a strong female role model? What character strengths does she show? How refreshing is it to see an in-depth character study of a woman, who isn't reliant on the men that surround her?

  • How is sex portrayed in the movie? Is it affectionate? Respectful? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

  • Talk about the drug and alcohol use in the movie. Are there any real-life consequences? Why is that important?

  • Did the lack of action impact your enjoyment of the movie? Why or why not?

  • The movie is very much about how we are haunted by our own memories. Talk about your own memories. Are they generally happy or sad? What good can memories serve?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama

Character Strengths

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