Lara Croft - Tomb Raider

Critics Consensus

Angelina Jolie is perfect for the role of Lara Croft, but even she can't save the movie from a senseless plot and action sequences with no emotional impact.



Total Count: 157


Audience Score

User Ratings: 556,142
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Movie Info

A popular video game comes to the screen with this big-budget adventure starring Angelina Jolie as a buxom heroine recalling equal parts Indiana Jones and James Bond. Jolie is Lara Croft, a proper British aristocrat groomed at schools for the children of the elite. Croft leads a double life, however, as an acquirer of lost antiquities through questionable means, highly trained in combat skills with the help of a robotic opponent called Simon. Despite her exciting profession and a life of wealth and breeding, Lara pines for her father, Lord Croft (Jon Voight), whose passing left her orphaned. On the eve of a celestial event that will also mark the anniversary of Lord Croft's death, Lara comes up against an ancient organization called the Illuminati, represented by the sinister Powell (Iain Glen), who's in pursuit of an ancient relic with power over time and even death itself. With the aid of her high-tech support team, Lara travels to some exotic locales in search of the artifact, including a foray into a decrepit Asian temple guarded by lethal stone apes and other creatures that spring to life. Filmed at various locations in Great Britain as well as Iceland and the Angkor Wat temples of Cambodia, Tomb Raider co-stars Noah Taylor, Chris Barrie, Daniel Craig, Rachel Appleton, Leslie Phillips, Mark Collie, and Julian Rhind-Tutt. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

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Angelina Jolie
as Lara Croft
Iain Glen
as Manfred
Jon Voight
as Lord Richard Croft
Chris Barrie
as Hillary
Richard Johnson
as Distingiushed Gentleman
Robert Phillips
as Assault Team Leader
Rachel Appleton
as Young Lara
Henry Wyndham
as Auctioneer
David Y. Cheung
as Head Laborer
David K.S. Tse
as Head Laborer
Ayla Amiral
as Little Cambodian Girl
Stephanie Burns
as Little Inuit Girl
Ozzie Yue
as Aged Buddhist Monk
Wai-Keat Lau
as Young Buddhist Monk
Carl Chase
as Ancient High Priest
Richenda Carey
as Imperious Woman
Anna Maria Everett
as Shocked Maid
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Critic Reviews for Lara Croft - Tomb Raider

All Critics (157) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (32) | Rotten (125)

Audience Reviews for Lara Croft - Tomb Raider

  • Sep 16, 2014
    Why, I just can't believe that Angelina Jolie could possibly condone grave robbing! Seriously though, Indiana Jones raided the lost ark, and all this chick is raiding is some old tomb... that is filled with ancient artifacts of great power which is pursued by the Illuminati. ...Yeah, well, other than that, Lara Croft is not as cool as Indiana Jones... even if she is a hot British chick with a great deal of wealth, and advanced, video game-grade combat skills. Shoot, on top of that, it took Indy until his third movie to hang out with an old James Bond, and on her first movie, Croft hangs out with Daniel Craig at one point, well before he was James Bond, which isn't to say that this film didn't commit some form of fan service at the time of its release. Jolie finally had to face up to being Jon Voight's daughter, so, naturally, this is big-time fan service to fans of the Voight family... whose fanbase is largely focused on hard-hitting dramas like "Midnight Cowboy", or "Deliverance", or "Coming Home", or a bunch of other stuff that only Jon Voight has been in. Come to think of it, Jolie didn't really start getting dramatic until well after this film, so maybe her being disowned by the respectable Voight name was daddy's idea, but now that Voight can't afford to only do the heavy stuff, he and Jolie are going to have to take the commercial train together. Financially, I'd say it paid off, but critically, on the other hand, definitely not so much, and really, while I think that the film is reasonably entertaining, I can see where some people are coming from. As an early 2000s action-adventure popcorn piece, this film is not much of anything new, following the same style and lame score, and lazily manufacturing a very typical plot formula that, no matter how overdone, is still a little hard to figure out. Overblown and improbable in its juggling so many themes and happenings that converge somewhere along the way, this film's story is convoluted, and yet, so much about it is so simple, and that stresses the silliness and contrivances, until the plot becomes near-senseless, with a lack of focus that is exacerbated by a lack of coherency. Storytelling gets to be seriously disjointed, tossing characters and plotlines about to exacerbate a sense of convolution, and never really coming down to any sense of nuance to distinguish the characters, or their place in the story, amidst all of the action that seems to not be fluffy enough for writers Patrick Massett and John Zinman. The storytelling attempts to maintain some sort of extensive tension, suddenly and jarringly broken by comic relief which is made all the more aggravating by a consistency in sheer genericism and predictability, sometimes further exacerbated by a cheesiness that never leaves the storytelling, even with the tension that thrives on contrived and ludicrous atmospherics and happenings. Really, looking through all of the missteps, in its basic nature, this film is so popcorny, with a heavy emphasis on action to drive the progression of the plot, until sense behind the action is lost in the wake of overwrought style, not compensated for by a cornball telling of a simultaneously convoluted and superficial plot, thus making for a film with plenty of laziness and no resonance. At the same time the film has plenty of entertainment value, and that really gets it by, at least as decent, but it's hard to have all that much fun with something this generic, disjointed, superficial and altogether silly. The final product will fail to endear for so very many, but if you are willing to check your brain in and take this film for what it is, while entertainment value is challenged by the stupidity, it does thrive, even in concept, to a certain extent. Man, I really don't want to direct that much compliment to Sara B. Cooper's, Mike Werb's, Michael Colleary's and Simon West's video game-inspired story, because it is so formulaic, convoluted, disjointed, superficial and, well, if you will, stupid, but it is dynamic, with a fun, if somewhat campy narrative behind an adventurous scope whose approach can make or break the entertainment value of this film. David Allday's, John C. Hill's, David Lee's and John Fenner's art direction does a fine, sometimes exceptional job of capturing this scope, celebrating and, with the help of production designer Kirk M. Petruccelli and set decorator Sonja Klaus, building upon culturally versatile and mythologically nifty settings to catch your eyes in between the less practical designs. The more ambitious visual effects are dated something fierce, but all the designs are generally adequately well-rendered, and conceptually cool in the first place, particularly when used to polish up action sequences that, upon coming into play, are excessive to the point of losing substance, but never to the point of losing style and entertainment value, achieved through wild staging and acrobatic choreography that, no matter how over-the-top, dazzles through and through. That action really thrives on the efforts of West, as director, because even though substance is not on his side as a lazy, hopelessly superficial storyteller, he hardly falls short on style, whether it be in his celebration of Peter Menzies Jr.'s handsome cinematography and Graeme Revell's often lamely trite score, or in his flashy scene structuring which leads to a fairly tight sense of pacing and dynamicity to the disjointed, but expansive plot. West really does manage to capture some sense of adventure just fine, enough so to capture some sense of fun, and while that does not justify the silliness and sloppiness of this popcorn fluff piece, it does charm enough to make up for a lot of shortcomings. About as much charm, at the very least, is found in a decent cast that features the charismatic Daniel Craig, the effectively antagonistic Iain Glen and Richard Johnson (Oh, what a terribly unfortunate name), the delightful Noah Taylor, and, of course, Angelina Jolie, whose convincing English accent and presence make sure that the arguably impeccable casting choice is not squandered, and that an endearing lead stands. Yes, there is a fair bit about this film that is endearing, and although about as much is distancing, entertainment value and charm stand firm enough to make for a fun, if flimsy affair. Bottom line, this is a formulaic, convoluted and rather ludicrous plot, whose conventional, disjointed and cheesily overwrought and superficial telling renders the final product pretty decidedly inconsequential, almost mediocre, but the fun factor in the senseless plot is brought to life by art direction that is rich with scope and versatility, visual effects that are nifty in concept, and thrilling action that is tightly orchestrated by Simon West's lively direction, whose charm is outweighed by that of an endearing cast, headed by the well-selected and convincing Angelina Jolie, who helps in securing "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" as an entertaining popcorn piece, for all of its superficiality and messiness. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Jun 12, 2013
    The movie does operate on its own semi-amusing internal logic (the characters non-reactions to statues coming alive, or time travel is pretty hilarious) which makes about half of the movie watchable, the rest is kind of boring.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 09, 2013
    Such an extraordinarily bad movie, it's almost enjoyable to watch. That doesn't take away from the fact that it sucks though.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 11, 2012
    To the delight of fanboys everywhere Angelina Jolie straps on the guns and brings video game legend Lara Croft to the big screen. In this adventure Croft must battle the Illuminati in a race to find the Triangle of Light, which possesses the power to control time. This is a horrible adaptation and makes no sense whatsoever. And the acting is pathetic, as the characters have no depth or dimension to them. Director Simon West is able to infuse a lot of fun action into the film, but it's all action for action's sake. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is a substandard action film that's uninspired and underdeveloped.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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