The Lost City Reviews Are Here, Check Out What Critics Are Saying About The Sandra Bullock Action Romance

Sandra Bullock is Loretta in The Lost City.
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum are teaming up to add a little adventure to the romantic comedy genre. The highly anticipated The Lost City, set to hit theaters on March 25, seems like a blast. Between the trailer, which shows off the movie’s star-studded cast, and the behind-the-scenes stories (like Bullock staring at Tatum’s crotch for a two-page monologue) have us really excited to see what this one is all about. The film premiered March 12 at the South By Southwest Film Festival, so the reviews are in!

The Lost City centers on author Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock), who gets kidnapped by an eccentric billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe). With this, she comes to depend on pretty cover model Alan Caprison (Channing Tatum), who portrays her novels’ long-haired hero Dash, to save her. The film, directed by Aaron and Adam Nee, also features Brad Pitt and Dwayne Johnson. It seems like a can't-miss premise and cast, so let’s take a look at what the critics have to say about it.

Peter Debruge of Variety says this is definitely a guilty pleasure movie. It takes the age-old adventure movie and polishes it up for a new audience:  

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.

John Defore of THR says The Lost City is an enjoyable throwback that drew inspiration from 1984’s Romancing the Stone and Indiana Jones. The stars, particularly Channing Tatum, elevate the film and save it from becoming generic action:

The Nees push their luck when they look past ‘Stone’ to draw on the adventures of Indiana Jones; here, action is best when it’s comedic and character-driven, not reminding us of genre masterworks. But if failing to live up to the example of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ were a crime, much of Hollywood would be in jail.

Robert Daniels of IndieWire grades the movie a B-. He agrees that sequin jumpsuit-clad Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum’s chemistry saves the movie, saying it’s the swooning stuff that romance novels are made of. The Magic Mike actor's physical comedy is perfectly complemented by Brad Pitt’s former Navy SEAL Jack Trainer: 

Pitt moves swiftly, easily disabling a cadre of brooding henchmen while Tatum plays Alan with slapstick appeal by taking crushing pratfalls and leaning into a knowing bodily awkwardness. Tatum has always been a physically aware actor, often downplaying his brawny exterior for laughs. And he’s never been better here, employing a nervous nimbleness and hesitant daintiness for precise gags.

The Wrap critic Martin Tsai says The Lost City never fully commits but has plenty of fun along the way. Brad Pitt’s role may be bigger than a typical cameo, but he's a show-stealer -- and audiences may not feel his role is big enough:

After the quick-witted and action-packed first act, the film switches gears into full romance-novel mode. Unfortunately, 'The Lost City' never manages to sustain or recover once Pitt’s rousing cameo is over. It’s still pleasant, though it’s unlikely to satisfy those thirsting for action and adventure.

James Preston Poole of Full Circle rates it a 5 out of 10, noting that Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum are fully committed, and audiences who are there to see their banter will leave satisfied. Anyone looking for anything more, however, might be disappointed: 

The Lost City‘s screenplay feels closer to something written by an algorithm. Jokes are the low-hanging assorted fruits of slapstick and customary quips. They’re all telegraphed from a mile away, none eliciting more than a chuckle. Make no mistake, the best bits are absolutely in the trailer, including a guest appearance by a very high-profile actor.

Critics seem to be in agreement about the enjoyability of the stars, if not for the action/adventure portions that apparently harken back to Raiders of the Lost Ark. If you want to check this one out, The Lost City premieres in theaters on Friday, March 25. Be sure to check out our 2022 Movie Release Schedule to see what other films are coming soon.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.