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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie's main argument seems to be that it's better to sacrifice a few to save a great many (at least concerning the "treasure" that everyone is after). Characters do also persevere against challenging odds.
Positive Role Models
Lara is certainly a strong, determined woman who perseveres, but her main attribute is her stubbornness, which rarely takes her in the right direction. She seems heavily influenced by others, rather than truly independent. She kills bad guys with no repercussions and no remorse.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of guns and shooting. Characters hit with arrows. Deaths. Fighting, punching. Beating with a shovel. Rifle butt to the head. Kick in the face. Lara takes punishing falls and fights and is punched by men. (She often cries in pain.) Splinter of wood through stomach. Stabbing with spikes. Bloody wounds shown. Bicycle crashes. Explosions. Lots of skeletons.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lara wears a tight tank top throughout, though she's not as sexualized here as in previous incarnations.
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A few uses of "s--t." Characters start to use "f--k," but stop (making only a "fuh" sound).
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Products & Purchases
Offscreen tie-ins to video games, other merchandise.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A character is said to be drunk; he's later shown nursing a hangover.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tomb Raider is a reboot of the video game-based Lara Croft action series, which also inspired two previous movies. The violence is largely bloodless but very intense, with lots of guns and shooting, arrows, fighting, beating, bludgeoning, stabbings, crashes, and explosions. Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) takes a lot of physical punishment, often crying out in pain or terror; she also kills people with no repercussion or remorse. Lara wears a tight tank top throughout (paralleling the games), but otherwise sex isn't an issue. Language includes a few uses of "s--t" and a couple of cut-off uses of "f--k." A secondary character is said to be drunk and later nurses a hangover. The movie is very noisy and, alas, not much fun, though it does stress the value of sacrifice and perseverance. But die-hard Croft fans -- and/or viewers hungry for female-driven action movies -- will likely give it a chance. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It would be great to finally see a good Lara Croft movie, but -- despite an appealing new star -- this Tomb Raider reboot repeats the last two movies' problems. And it even adds some new ones. Based on the hit video game series, all three of the Tomb Raider movies (including this one, 2001's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and 2003's Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life), are loud and relentless, with the action more like a thick bludgeon than a thing of swiftness or beauty. Scenes that are supposed to be exciting are more like an avalanche of noise and effects, with very little room to breathe. Most of all, Tomb Raider forgets to be fun.
Perhaps even worse, while the first two movies lacked character development, the new film -- based loosely on the 2013 game -- has too much, so much that Lara's personality is buried. Her every motivation seems to be due to her father or other, mostly male, characters. And she's not even as cocky or confident as Angelina Jolie was; she spends most of the movie screaming, crying in pain, or running away. There are precious few moments in which she stands up for herself or makes a choice for herself. Even finding the treasure isn't her idea. It's a shame that a franchise that was originally inspired by Indiana Jones -- and could have given us a great female action hero -- seems to have forgotten all the cool things that make adventuring worthwhile.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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