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Lolita (1962)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0

audience

84

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 44,453

My Rating

Movie Info

"How did they make a movie out of Lolita?" teased the print ads of this Stanley Kubrick production. The answer: by adding three years to the title character's age. The original Vladimir Nabokov novel caused no end of scandal by detailing the romance between a middle-aged intellectual and a 12-year-old nymphet. The affair is "cleansed" ever so slightly in the film by making Lolita a 15-year-old (portrayed by 16-year-old Sue Lyon). In adapting his novel to film, Nabokov downplayed the wicked

Jun 29, 1999

MGM

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All Critics (41) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (39) | Rotten (1) | DVD (9)

Where Nabokov was witty, Kubrick is sometimes merely snide, but fine performances (particularly from Peter Sellers, as the ominous Clare Quilty) cover most of the rough spots.

May 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Far more satisfying than his later works (one hesitates to call them mere movies).

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The picture has a rare power, a garbled but often moving push toward an off-beat communication.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As a Kubrick film... virtually everything it does well was done better in his filmography.

May 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

"How did they ever make a movie of Lolita?" With great difficulty!

July 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Quickflix
Quickflix

Classic love story not for kids.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

While Kubrick may have likened himself to an ad-libbing thief of arts in 1962, his current persona seems the epitome of [Humbert] Humbert.

August 20, 2009 Full Review Source: City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

Far too subtle in its sexual intentions to reach what the novel was after.

February 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (3)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Lolita, with its acute mix of pathos and comedy, and Mason's mellifluous delivery of Nabokov's sparkling lines, remains the definitive depiction of tragic transgression.

October 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

A fascinating if problematic early film from Stanley Kubrick, perhaps the most obsessive of the great auteurs of the 1960s.

May 8, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Kubrick keeps the elegant black-and-white film big and luxurious and barren and sustains the cold humor.

October 16, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

A wonderful evocation of the book's humorous aspects, but -- censors be darned -- very little of its passion and sexuality.

November 10, 2005
Zap2it.com

Considering censorship issues in 1962 and the fact that Peter Sellers is miscast, Kubrick's version does justice to Nabokov's provocative novel, benefiting immensely from James Mason's towering performance in the lead.

July 22, 2005 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Classic Kubrick treatment of controversial best seller.

June 25, 2005
Video-Reviewmaster.com

Mason and Sellers (as Quilty) are standouts, but the film is too long by half, with much of the novel's sly eroticism excised.

November 4, 2004 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

Fascinating pitch-black comedy with many memorable moments

July 16, 2004
Kalamazoo Gazette

Creepy and blackly funny.

June 12, 2004
Shadows on the Wall

The centre does not hold

March 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide | Comments (9)
Apollo Guide

Brilliant and provocative.

October 1, 2003
FilmsInReview.com

While it doesn't quite rate the five-star status that some of Kubrick's later films attained, LOLITA is a definite must-have for the Kubrick collector

March 17, 2003 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

One of Kubrick's lesser works reminds us of just how great he was.

February 9, 2003
Juicy Cerebellum

Audience Reviews for Lolita

Stanley Kubrick's Lolita is a very good film, but it is far from his best work. The film is well crafted, but Kubrick would steadily mature as a filmmaker, and Lolita is one of his films that tends to really broaded his scope and he is able to pull something quite interested. However, the idea here is quite simple, and Kubrick is a filmmaker that was always known for epic pictures, however Lolita tackles a taboo subject, and in doing so, he manages to break new ground in filmmaking, however at the same time it's not a standout work either. I really wanted to enjoy it, and somewhat did, however, it's not his best work. I guess here, the film worked more as an experiment for Stanley Kubrick, of which each film he made tended to be big, bold and risky, which was the case with all his films. Yet, they always were entertaining, brilliantly acted and uniquely directed. Lolita is good, but it's my least favorite of Kubrick's works. I'm not saying the film is awful, far from it, but for many, it's hard to get into, and to walk away from that truly memorable Stanley Kubrick viewing experience. In his later work, he would definitely hone his craft, and deliver some of cinema's finest pictures. As a whole, Lolita is not a film to be seen by viewers who are new to Kubrick. The film works well, and it's engaging from start to finish. But like I said, it's not Kubrick's best, as he would constantly top himself with future films. Lolita is nonetheless essential viewing if you enjoy his work.
May 15, 2014
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

It feels more tame than I would have expected but Mason's performance is brilliant.
December 4, 2013
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

Whatever Kubrick directs turns into classics! This is no exception with its amazing direction, acting, and score!
November 24, 2012
paul o.
paul oh

Super Reviewer

Nabokov's perverse and sensual masterpiece being adapted to the screen was a remarkable achievement, considering its polemic subject and the year the film was released - and Kubrick was a genius to turn it into a subtle story that implies more than it shows while nevertheless remaining true to the novel.
June 19, 2012
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

    1. Clare Quilty: Say, what you take it away for, mister? That was getting kind of smutty there!
    2. Humbert Humbert: Do you have any last words?
    3. Clare Quilty: Listen, Mac. You're drunk, and I'm a sick man. This pistol-packing farce is becoming a sort of nuisance.
    4. Humbert Humbert: Do you want to die standing up or sitting down?
    5. Clare Quilty: I wanna die like a champion.
    – Submitted by Victor M (9 months ago)
    1. Charlotte Haze: Were there a lot of women in your life before me?
    2. Humbert Humbert: I've told you about them already.
    3. Charlotte Haze: Well, you didn't tell me about all of them.
    4. Humbert Humbert: Charlotte, if it would make you any happier, I will sit right down and I will make out a complete list of every woman I have ever known. Will that satisfy you?
    5. Charlotte Haze: Ohh, I'm lonesome...I think it's healthy for me to be jealous. It means that I love you. You know how happy I can make you.
    – Submitted by Victor M (9 months ago)
    1. Charlotte Haze: I forbid you to disturb Professor Humbert again. He is a writer and he is not to be disturbed!
    – Submitted by Victor M (9 months ago)
    1. Lolita Haze: 'Fraid somebody's gonna steal your ideas and sell 'em to Hollywood, huh?
    – Submitted by Victor M (9 months ago)
    1. Humbert Humbert: Our little starlet has had enough excitement for one evening...I wouldn't want you to miss any more piano lessons! You know what I'm talking about!
    – Submitted by Victor M (9 months ago)
    1. Humbert Humbert: Even in the most harmonious households such as ours, not all the decisions are taken by the female. Especially when the male partner has fulfilled his obligations beyond the line of duty. When you wanted me to spend one afternoon sun-bathing by the lake, I was glad to become the bronze, glamor boy for your sake, instead of remaining the scholar. Even then, I'd scoot along after you like an obliging little lap dog -- oh yes, I'm happy, I'm delighted to be bossed by you, but -- every game has its rules.
    – Submitted by Victor M (9 months ago)
View all quotes (9)

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