Tomb Raider

image for Tomb Raider

Short takes

Not suitable under 10, not recommended 10 to 13, parental guidance recommended 13 to 15 due to violence and disturbing scenes.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Tomb Raider
  • a review of Tomb Raider completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 22 March 2018.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not suitable due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 10 to 13 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 13 to 15 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Tomb Raider
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Action violence and a sense of peril
Length: 118 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

This movie is based upon the video game series “Tomb Raider” and takes us back to when the central hero Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) is only 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 Lara is contacted by some associates of her father to sign papers recognising that her father is deceased, she uncovers a clue that her father may still be alive. Impulsively, Lara decides she must travel in her father’s footsteps and discover whether he is still alive. On her journey to the remote Japanese island she is besieged by treacherous waters, dangerous villains and constant peril.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

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

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is extensive violence in this movie including:

  • many scenes involving hand to hand combat with punching, kicking and wrestling moves where people are significantly hurt or killed
  • many scenes involving weapons and tools used to hurt or maim. These include hand guns and machine guns and show people being killed.
  • 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 is sick and unable to continue working.
  • A man is brutally kicked in the head.
  • A man is hit in the face with the butt of a gun.
  • There is significant glamourisation of 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, holding them up and smiling, saying “I’ll take two”.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are many scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There is a montage of hand drawn images of a demonic witch and various demons and scary supernatural creatures.
  • Many scenes of great peril and tension, such as: Lara clinging to a rusty plane above a gigantic waterfall, parachuting using a broken parachute, walking on rickety ladders and bridges over deep ravines.
  • A scary scene of a boat being smashed against rocks and capsizing in a ferocious storm at sea whilst people attempt to escape.
  • Threatening men carrying machine guns and holding people captive.
  • 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, such as: spikes which come up from the floor and impale you, giant rolling balls that squash you, collapsing floors.
  • Lara must pull a shard of metal out of her body – the wound is is later stitched up with a needle and she is shown enduring the pain.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the scenes mentioned above

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above

Product placement

  • The movie is a based on the video game Tomb Raider.
  • Lara is seen in a Volvo car. This was also advertised separately from the film in a cinema ad using the Lara Croft character, shown directly before the film. 

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A young man in a restaurant is attracted to Lara and his parents encourage him to ask her on a date but he is too intimidated.
  • On the boat, the sailor constantly gazes upon Lara with admiration and makes the suggestive comment “Some men like dangerous women”.
  • The villain strokes Lara’s cheek in a suggestive and threatening manner and makes the comment “I have two daughters, dark hair like you, pretty like you... (threatening pause)”.

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • The sailor who takes Lara to the island is initially an alcoholic who drinks on his boat.

Coarse language

Use of "shit" and "fu..." (not full word).

In a nutshell

Tomb Raider is a fast-paced action film based on a video game. Although the plot is predictable and formulaic, older viewers may find it fun, and the action sequences are tense and exciting. Lara is a strong female action hero who shows exceptional, superhuman-like physical strength and endurance. Although Lara is extremely attractive, the film does not overtly sexualise her in the manner of the video game. However, the film significantly glamourises violence and the use of weapons, and there are many scenes which are likely to disturb younger viewers. For this reason it is not recommended for children under 13 and parental guidance is recommended for the 13 to 15 age group.

The main messages from this movie are to bravely follow your instincts and to make decisions for the good of mankind, rather than for personal gain.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include bravery, independence and physical strength.

Parents may also wish to discuss:

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