The Lost City (PG)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner04/12/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 143 mins

Andy Garcia's directorial debut is a flawed and overlong but nonetheless watchable drama with strong performances, a superb soundtrack and bizarre appearances from Dustin Hoffman and Bill Murray.

What's it all about?
Directed by Andy Garcia, from a screenplay by renowned Cuban novelist Guillermo Cabrera Infante, The Lost City stars Garcia, Enrique Murciano (from Without a Trace) and Nestor Carbonell (from Lost) as Fico, Ricardo and Luis Fellove, three brothers whose family loyalties are torn during the Cuban Revolution. While Ricardo heads to the mountains to fight alongside Che Guevara (Jsu Garcia), Luis embraces the cause and operates as a covert revolutionary, eventually staging a daring attempt on Batista's life.

Meanwhile, Fico continues to operate his successful nightclub, fending off lucrative offers from gangster Meyer Lansky (Dustin Hoffman) and hanging out with his wise-cracking, enigmatic friend The Writer (Bill Murray, supposedly representing the voice of the author). However, when he falls for Luis's wife Aurora (Ines Sastre) and she in turn is adopted by Castro (Gonzalo Menendez) as one of the widows of the revolution, Fico finds himself with a difficult decision to make.

The Good
Despite its flaws, The Lost City remains watchable, thanks to strong performances, stunning cinematography (courtesy of Emmanuel Kadosh) and a terrific soundtrack by Garcia himself. Murciano and Garcia are particularly good, while Dustin Hoffman's two-scene cameo as Meyer Lansky is an all too brief treat.

The Bad
That said, the film is undeniably patchy in places; for one thing, it's at least 30 minutes too long and drags horribly in the middle section. In addition, as enjoyable and as weird as Bill Murray's performance is, it feels like it belongs to a completely different film. Indeed, it often feels like The Lost City can't quite make up its mind as to what it wants to be: a family drama, a love story, a historical epic, a musical or even, at times, a black comedy.

Worth seeing?
In short, The Lost City is something of a mixed bag, but the performances, soundtrack and cinematography just about make up for its flaws.

Film Trailer

The Lost City (PG)
The Lost City has been reviewed by 1 users
01 The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (tbc)

Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, ...

02 The Theory of Everything (tbc)

Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Emily Watson

03 Pride (15)

Bill Nighy, Andrew Scott, Dominic West, Imelda Sta...

04 What We Did on Our Holidays (12A)

David Tennant, Billy Connolly, Rosamund Pike, Anne...

05 The Guest (15)

Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Ethan Embry

Content updated: 02/09/2014 22:19

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

A Most Wanted Man

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars as a German spy master who manipulates a tortured Chechen immigrant for his own ends.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films

Hot Tickets

Film 4 Summer ScreenFilm 4 Summer Screen

Taking over the big screen at Somerset House again for August 2014, the Film 4 Summer Screen series brings a variety of classics and brand new films to audiences in the capital.