Tomb Raider

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Tomb Raider Movie Poster Image
Noisy, violent reboot feels like a wasted opportunity.
  • PG-13
  • 2018
  • 118 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 30 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 38 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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.


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.


Lara wears a tight tank top throughout, though she's not as sexualized here as in previous incarnations.


A few uses of "s--t." Characters start to use "f--k," but stop (making only a "fuh" sound).


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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byIheartrams1500 March 21, 2018

Don’t judge it based on the originals

First and foremost, this is a different plot than the movies with Angelina Jolie. I’ve seen comments and reviews based on those movies alone. And that’s just no... Continue reading
Adult Written byMelanie W. March 15, 2018

Disappointing movie and quite violent for kids

I loved the original Tomb Raider and this looks like it should be a great action film but there's quite a lot of drama and plot is average. I'm pretty... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byBored_Strawberry June 7, 2018

Don't listen to the bad reviews!

I honestly don't know why so many people are giving this movie so much hate. Sure, it wasn't exactly like the games but that's what kept you on y... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byEllaMella December 16, 2020


This was a great action movie! I don’t know why it is rated so low but this is my favorite movie!! It is action packed but has a storyline with it instead of ju... Continue reading

What's the story?

In TOMB RAIDER, Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) works as a courier and practices kickboxing, barely making ends meet. In truth, all she has to do is sign a paper acknowledging that her father (Dominic West) is dead, and she can claim his massive inheritance. But she refuses to believe that he's gone. She finds a clue to his papers and records and decides to follow his trail to an obscure island off the coast of Japan. Lara hires a boat and captain (Daniel Wu) in Hong Kong, but they crash on the rocks. On the island, they discover the evil Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins), who's searching for a source of great power and claims to have killed Lara's father. Before long, the tomb of the ancient Queen Himiko is found, but is the secret within worth finding?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Tomb Raider's violence. How strong is it? Does the fact that it's largely bloodless affect its impact? Are all types of media violence created equal?

  • Is Lara Croft a strong female character? Do you consider her a role model?

  • Is Lara Croft objectified based on her appearance? Does she present an unrealistic body image?

  • How does this film compare with the previous two movies? With the video games? Which do you like best, and why?

  • How would you describe Lara's relationship with her father? How well do they communicate? How does it compare to your own relationships?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action and strong women

Themes & Topics

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