The Lost City reviews — what the critics say about the Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum adventure movie

The Lost City
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum are off on a whirlwind adventure in The Lost City, a new movie due to hit theaters on March 25 in the US (April 15 in the UK). But what are the critics saying about it?

The Lost City stars Bullock as reclusive romance novelist Loretta Sage on a book tour with her cover model Alan. However, when an eccentric billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe) kidnaps her believing her latest book reveals the location of a lost city and its treasure, it’s up to Alan to rescue her and escape from the jungle. Da’Vine Joy Randolph (Only Murders in the Building), Raymond Lee (WandaVision), Patti Harrison (Shrill), Oscar Nuñez (The Office) and Brad Pitt also star. 

For anyone old enough to remember the Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner movies, Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile, this plot probably sounds very familiar! Still, imitation is the best form of flattery and with Bullock and Tatum — both masterful at comic timing — we can expect some much-needed escapist fun.

After a first screening at the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW), the reviews are starting to come in for the romantic adventure movie. So we’ve rounded up everything the critics are saying about The Lost City.

The Lost City reviews — what the critics are saying

The reviews are in for The Lost City, and they are pretty solid. The movie’s Rotten Tomatoes score currently sits at 73% "fresh" off of 60 reviews, while Metacritic’s average of collected reviews scores The Lost City at a 61, which puts it in the "good" range for the review aggregator site.

What to Watch's review of The Lost City isn't as high on the movie. Reviewer Christina Izzo says that while the stars are committed, the movie takes too much from its inspiration to offer much new or exciting.

The general takeaway from these reviews seems to be that despite any weak areas The Lost City may have, it is a fun romp and a refreshing change of pace from all the superhero and IP-driven movies that have dominated the theaters recently.

*Scores and reviews as of April 1, 2022*

Ratings and reviews

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Metacritic: 60

Abby Olcese, 3.5/4
“The Lost City” is interested in hitting viewers’ expectations head on. It does so on a level that may seem obvious, but is done with an amount of care that’s sure to hold up to repeat viewings.”

Peter Debruge, Variety: 70/100
“Even at the movie’s masks-on SXSW Film Festival premiere, “The Lost City” was a breath of fresh air: the kind of breezy two-hour getaway that doesn’t take itself too seriously, delivering screwball banter between Bullock and Tatum — a guilty-pleasure treasure hunt that pretends to be more progressive than it really is by alternating between who’s saving whom.”

Martin Tsai, TheWrap: 70/100
“After two years of cloistering due to the pandemic, audiences might relish the prospect of immersing themselves in a swashbuckling adventure featuring exotic locales.”

Marya E. Gates, The Playlist: B-
“Wearing its influences on its sleeve, the film doesn’t break new ground but does find a fresh spin on a tale as old as time.” 

Valerie Complex, Deadline
"Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum make slapstick comedy look good [...] Most of all, they know how to have a good time, and the energy they emit is infectious."

Mick LaSalle, The San Francisco Chronicle: 25/100
"The Lost City is a big mess — a big enough mess that it doesn’t even get credit for knowing it’s a mess — but it stars Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum, so that helps. It doesn’t make it worth seeing, but it keeps the experience outside the realm of pain."

Audience seem to be enjoy the movie (plus Channing Tatum and his mane), as the audience score currently sits at a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes.

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The Lost City Trailer

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.