Box art for Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia

action & adventure, drama, foreign

Winner of seven Academy Awards®, including Best Picture (1962), this is the restored director's cutof the breathtaking masterpiece.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 13
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
0 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
0 out of 5
3 out of 5

Mature teens will appreciate this gripping epic.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a lavish and gripping movie, beautifully filmed, that commands your attention despite a length of nearly four hours, and a complex lead character. Although tame by modern standards, the battle scenes are still powerful, and could frighten some kids. Because of its complexity and length, this isn't a movie for young children. Mature teens will appreciate this gorgeous production.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about and research together the historical basis for the movie.

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: It reduces a legendary figure to conventional movie-hero size amidst magnificent and exotic scenery but a conventional lot of action-film clichs.

- Bosley Crowther, New York Times, Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Fresh: Approach it from whatever angle you like, performances, script, cinematography, score; David Lean's sweeping biography of T.E. Lawrence is unarguably magnificent.

- Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Monday, November 29, 2004

Fresh: Spell-binding cinema.

- Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

5 stars

Do I personally consider this to be in the Top 5, 10, or 15 Greatest Films of All Time? Well, let me watch some more movies, then I'll get back to you. Is it an excellent film in it's own right? Why yes. It is fantastic. It's also quite odd, and a little darker/cynical than I was expecting. It deserves the title 'epic', and not just because it is long. It is long, but the scope of things, and the ambition also contribute to it being epic. To use the old cliche, they don't make them like this anymore. Honestly, they probably couldn't. I mean, it's not financially or technically impossilbe, but it probably wouldn't be advised, or commercially wise to do so. That upsets me, because judgments like that make it seem as if all modern viewers would be capable of experiencing a film like this. I would love to see an epic like this made in the same style as Old Hollywood epics with overtures, entr'actes, exit music, no CGI, practical effects, real extras, etc. I honestly think if people weren't brainwashed by add-influenced editing and stories, and made to belief that CGI is the way to go, that epics like this could still be made this way. Since that is not likely to happen, I can only hope that people can learn to appreciate these older films. They set the standard for generations to come, even if the way things are done has become more efficient. Even for viewers who aren't film nuts, it's not hard to see the influence that this film has had on films that came after it, especially the camera work, music, and ensemble casting. Entire books have been written about this film, so I really don't have a whole lot to contribute to say other than that yeah, there's a lot one can read into this, and, even though it is a tad too lengthy (and the second half loses steam), it's still an engaging film, and I was amazed at how little I got bored. It is inaccurate, but I expected that. I don't have as many complaints about the inaccuracies, as the film doesn't depict my area or time period of study, b ut the way I view this, and other history based films, is to look at the big picture, and review the movie for how it holds up overall. Even with inaccuracies, this is still a marvelous film, and I am really amazed and how it was made. I would kill to be able to make a films as technically, cinematically, and artistically impresive as this. Other raves: Great cast giving terrific performances. O'Toole got robbed for not getting the Oscar for this- the film that launched his career and made him a legend. His talent is just as mesmerizing as his astoundingly blue eyes. Guinness is great, as is Sharif. I also really like Quinn. The location shooting is something that everyone notices and talks about. How could they not though? It's the real star here. The desert looks gorgeous, and this film begs to be seen on a big screen (either in a theater or an impressive screen at home). The music is sweeping, evokes all knds of emotions, does everything that perfect accompaniment music should, and is one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard. Bottom line, whether this is truly one of the best films ever made or not, it needs to be seen regardless. It's a true cinematic gem.

- cosmo313, Friday, August 13, 2010

4 stars

Let me say, Peter O'Toole has the most GORGEOUS EYES I HAVE EVER SEEN! lol ok know that I have gotten that out of my system. Yes Lawrence of Arabia is a Classic and Yes it is Fantastic, but the problem I have with this movie is the same I have with all of the other epic techni-color movies form the late 50s and 60s (the king and i ect.) Its far toooooooo lloooonnnggg. I believe alot of the stroy was slow and could have been left out. A much beetter and shorter, Epic desert movie would be The English Patient which stars my favortie Ralph Fiennes. I know that Fiennes has stared in a kind of run-off of this movie and I believe that I would enjoy that one better...

- MissMorganLeee, Thursday, July 8, 2010

4 stars

Peter O'Toole stars in his breakthrough role as T. E. Lawrence, a British officer who united the nomadic tribes of Arabia to defeat the occupying Turkish forces during World War I, while preventing the British Empire from taking over in their stead. David Lean's sweeping biopic is epic in every sense of the word. It is character study, war movie and birth of a nation all rolled into one near four hour package. Lean's stunning visuals show human beings as insignificant insects on the face of one of the harshest environments on Earth, the savage beauty of which seduced the young idealistic Lawrence. The story shows him to be a little more complex that the usual heroic revolutionary figure, a typically hard headed Brit who was too stubborn to consider defeat and really an outsider from both his Arab comrades and the British society from which he came. Becoming traumatized by both his military experiences and the fact that he became little more than a political pawn used by both sides he abandoned his cause and returned to England but not without becoming an almost mythic figure. O'Toole is incredible in his defining role creating a believable snapshot of history in the making, with all of the principle players realized in a non-judgemental and unpatronizing way. Its sheer length makes it something of an undertaking, but its well worth the investment. One of the classics.

- garyX, Sunday, May 2, 2010