‘Lost City’ is must ‘Z’ movie



The new adventure drama “The Lost City of Z,” starring Charlie Hunnam, has received positive reviews from critics and currently carries an 88 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

JOSHUA ROUSE, Staff Writer

The year is 1905. British Officer Percy Fawcett seeks decorations and recognition in order to rebuild the family name that his father ruined due to his reckless living.

In order to ease territorial tensions in South America, Fawcett is assigned to mapping the border between Peru and Brazil.

While braving the dangerous jungles, Fawcett finds evidence of an ancient civilization which he calls Z (pronounced Zed per the British English pronunciation).

Upon coming back to England, Fawcett is determined to return to the continent and uncover the location and secrets of Z, believing it to be the redemption he has searched for his whole life.

Directing: 5/5

James Gray both directed and wrote this adaption of the 2007 novel of the same name by David Grann. Percy Fawcett was a real person and his expeditions for Z really did happen.

Gray handles this well.

While other biopics often run the risk of romanticizing their subject’s exploits or even falling into the generic formula for a biography movie, “The Lost City of Z” remains fresh and captivating throughout the entire 140-minute run time. Not only is the story and the character of Percy emotionally investing, but Gray has plenty of mastery from the director’s chair to keep things engaging. “Lost City” feels like a long movie, but it’s never sluggish.

This is largely due to Darius Khondji’s cinematography. With Gray and Kohnji at the helm, the craftsmanship of “Lost City” is definitely one of the high points of this film.

Writing: 5/5

There is a lot Gray manages to pack in and successfully unravel as the plot develops. Not only does it cover two decades worth of Fawcett’s life, it touches on British classism, sexism, European racism and even the patriotism of WWI. With all of these “isms” and resulting themes working in the background, as well as Gray’s masterful filmmaking, “Lost City” lands as more of an intellectual movie than an emotionally dramatic one.

This is not to say that it’s hard to get involved with the characters and the story; rather, it’s that the intelligence of “Lost City” shines all the brighter.

The film clips along at a satisfying rate, managing to cover all its bases as we watch Fawcett’s physical as well as internal journey — we follow him as he grows from ambitious young man to humble and determined dreamer.

Acting: 5/5

Charlie Hunnam leads the cast with a strong performance as Percy Fawcett. The effort Hunnam puts into the role is certainly some of his best work and adds to the emotional investment that the film asks of the audience.

Robert Pattinson puts on a good show as Fawcett’s second-in-command of the expedition, Henry Costin.

Sienna Miller plays Fawcett’s caring and headstrong wife, Nina.

The oldest Fawcett boy, Jack, is played by different actors as he grows. He comes to be played by Tom Holland in his teen years. Even though Holland doesn’t show up until the latter half of the movie, he still gives an inspired performance to make up for his lack of screen time.

Other big names include Ian McDiarmid, Angus Macfadyen, Franco Nero and Harry Melling.


Part biopic, part adventure drama, “The Lost City of Z” is an entirely satisfying experience with expert craftsmanship by James Gray. This is supplemented by a powerful performance by Charlie Hunnam as Percy Fawcett, a man who follows his dreams at any cost.