Story

This movie is based on the video game series Tomb Raider and begins when hero Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) is still a novice adventurer. Lara is the heiress to a fortune and a spectacular stately home but is living undercover as a London-based hipster bike courier. Seven years previously, Lara’s father Robert Croft (Dominic West) went missing on an expedition to find the lost Japanese tomb of the demonic queen Himiko.

When associates of her father contact Lara and ask her to sign papers that recognise that her father is deceased, she uncovers a clue that her father might still be alive. Impulsively, Lara decides she must travel in her father’s footsteps and discover whether he’s still alive. On her journey to the remote Japanese island, she encounters treacherous waters, dangerous villains and constant peril.

Themes

The supernatural; loss of a parent; British class structure and wealth; corporate intrigue

Violence

Tomb Raider has a lot of violence. For example:

  • Many scenes feature hand-to-hand combat with punching, kicking and wrestling moves. People are seriously hurt or killed.
  • Many scenes show characters using weapons and tools to kill, hurt or maim others. These include handguns and machineguns.
  • Lara holds a man under water until he drowns. This is in self-defence.
  • A man is shot at close range, in cold blood, because he’s sick and can’t keep working.
  • A man is brutally kicked in the head.
  • A man is hit in the face with the butt of a gun.
  • The movie glamorises violence. For example, Lara is a very attractive hero who shows a keen interest in guns. The very final scene shows her illegally buying two handguns. She holds them up, smiles and says, ‘I’ll take two’.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Tomb Raider has many scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • There is a montage of hand-drawn images of a demonic witch, demons and scary supernatural creatures.
  • Many scenes feature great peril and tension. For example, Lara clings to a rusty plane above a gigantic waterfall, parachutes using a broken parachute, and walks on rickety ladders and bridges over deep ravines.
  • A scary scene shows a boat being smashed against rocks and capsizing in a ferocious storm at sea while people try to escape.
  • Threatening men carry machineguns and hold people captive.
  • One scene shows a ‘river’ of skeletons.
  • A mummified body sits up in its coffin.
  • The tomb has many booby traps, which are designed to trap people inside and kill them. The traps include spikes that come up from the floor and impale people, giant rolling balls that squash people, and collapsing floors.
  • Lara must pull a shard of metal out of her body. The wound is later stitched up with a needle and she must endure the pain.

From 5-8
Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.

From 8-13
Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Over 13
Younger children in this age group might also be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Sexual references

Tomb Raider has some sexual references. For example:

  • A young man in a restaurant is attracted to Lara. His parents encourage him to ask her on a date, but he’s too intimidated.
  • On the boat, a sailor constantly gazes at Lara with admiration and says suggestively, ‘Some men like dangerous women’.
  • The villain strokes Lara’s cheek in a suggestive and threatening way and says, ‘I have two daughters – dark hair like you, pretty like you’. Then he pauses threateningly.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Tomb Raider shows some use of substances. For example, the sailor who takes Lara to the island is initially an alcoholic who drinks on his boat.

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Product placement

The following products are used or displayed in Tomb Raider:

  • The movie is a based on the video game Tomb Raider.
  • Lara rides in a Volvo car. The car is also promoted separately in a cinema advertisement using the Lara Croft character. The advertisement is shown directly before the movie.

Coarse language

Nothing of concern

Ideas to discuss with your children

Tomb Raider is a fast-paced action movie based on a video game. Although the plot is predictable and formulaic, the action sequences are tense and exciting. Older viewers might find the movie fun.

Lara is a strong female action hero who shows exceptional, superhuman-like physical strength and endurance. Although Lara is extremely attractive, the movie doesn’t overtly sexualise her as the video game does.

Tomb Raider does significantly glamorise violence and the use of weapons, however, and there are many scenes that are likely to disturb younger viewers. For these reasons, the movie isn’t recommended for children under 13 years, and we recommend parental guidance for children aged 13-15 years.

The main messages from Tomb Raider are to bravely follow your instincts and to make decisions for the good of humanity, rather than for personal gain.

Values in Tomb Raider that you could reinforce with your children include bravery, independence and physical strength.

You could also talk with your children about:

  • the purchase and use of guns
  • the power of large corporations
  • absent parents and children who feel neglected
  • the English class structure and class-based prejudice and stereotypes.