What Are Critics Saying About ‘Tomb Raider’?

The reviews are in.

Tomb Raider Reviews
Alicia Vikander in ‘Tomb Raider.’ Warner Bros.

We’ve already written about Tomb Raider‘s box office prospects and if it stands a chance at breaking Hollywood’s video game curse. Now that the Alicia Vikander-led film is finally upon us, it’s time to examine if the film is any good or not.

The reboot boasts an interesting cast, headlined by the talented Oscar-winning Vikander and featuring a villain performance by the always entertaining Walter Goggins. Dominic West and Daniel Wu star with Roar Uthaug (The Wave) directing.

Given the franchise’s history under Angelina Jolie and the popular and well-received rebooted version of the video game, many fans were excited when it was announced that Vikander had joined the project. However, Tomb Raider‘s promotional material hasn’t really captured the zeitgeist and social media buzz has been limited.

That seems to fit in with the movie’s mixed critical reactions so far.

iO9’s Germain Lussier:

“But really, it’s all about Vikander as Lara. There’s rarely a moment when we aren’t rooting for Croft because of Vikander’s natural, powerful performance. It just so happens that her performance, the action, the character development, and those supporting roles never amount to anything particularly special, unfortunately.

In the end, it’s an enjoyable, but forgettable, action movie that feels more like the training stage of one of the games rather than a complete experience.”

Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman:

Tomb Raider, let’s be clear, is hokum: brisk but derivative, a compendium of jungle-chase pulp spun into something stylishly watchable. Yet when a movie like this one is made with a semblance of the human touch, and when it gives an actress as alive as Vikander a chance to carve out a true character instead of just inhabiting a series of stronger-than-life poses, you walk out feeling honestly entertained rather than jittery with overkill. It’s something that shouldn’t be so rare: escapism that breathes.”

ScreenCrush’s Matt Singer:

“I cannot explain why films based on popular games remain so hard to get right, but we’re now at 20 years of Hollywood consistently screwing it up. This is why I propose a Video Game Movie Threshold Test. Before any new video game movie is put into production, a tribunal of experts on both mediums is convened to read the potential film’s screenplay, look over its designs, and consider its casting. Then they must decide: Would they rather see this movie or play the game it’s based on for the duration of the planned movie’s approximate runtime? If they pick the latter, the project gets shelved. If this Tomb Raider had to cross that threshold, there’s no way it would have been made.”

THR‘s Todd McCarthy:

“When all the one-dimensional supporting characters and familiar action moves fall by the wayside, the one thing left standing is Vikander. Slim and not tall, she doesn’t cut the figure of a muscled powerhouse, but here she fully embodies physical tenacity and grit, along with absolute determination not to give in or up. The film strains credulity even for a vid-game fantasy by letting the leading lady recover awfully quickly from bad injuries, but other than that Vikander commands attention and is the element here that makes Tomb Raider sort of watchable.”

TheWrap’s Alonso Duralde:

“Since the genre of video games-turned-into-feature films has inflicted some real doozies on audiences, Tomb Raider towers above most of its peers by being merely OK. By any other measure, this is a saga of fits and starts, and we can only hope for smoother sailing if the film inspires the sequels it clearly hopes to engender.”

Tomb Raider arrives in theaters on March 16.

What Are Critics Saying About ‘Tomb Raider’?