THE LOST CITY OF Z is the kind of movie that will probably stick in the minds (and hearts) of intelligent audiences long after other, more heralded attractions have come and gone.
James Gray (shown at left) -- whose earlier family dramas from Little Odessa (1994) through Two Lovers (2008) were always fraught and fascinating, until he hit that weirdly-phony-but-gorgeously-photographed bump in the road from 2013, titled The Immigrant -- this new film is not only his best yet, it may very well become a part of the movie canon in terms of exceptional "exploration" films.
What Mr Gray chooses to show and tell us, as his movie moves back and forth between early 20th Century England and several trips to the Amazon jungle in South America, gives us a rich and surprisingly deep portrait of British family life and in particular one man's (the explorer Percy Fawcett) desire to discover what he can about earlier civilizations, along with his deeply help conviction that what unites the world's many "tribes" is their common humanity.
Charlie Hunnam (above and below) in what is certainly his finest role so far, is finally, if strangely, triumphant. (What a blessing for us and for him that Hunnam didn't have to star in the crapola Fifty Shades of Gray and its sequel, as was initially announced.)
Robert Pattinson (below and barely distinguishable, so immersed is this actor in the role) as Fawcett's second-in-command,
Sienna Miller (below) as his able and enduring wife,
The New Yorker's for one) have objected to the lack of "madness" in this adventure film. Yet Gray offers both suspense and surprise on these Amazon journeys. But because he is more interested in ideas than action (Percy Fawcett's actions are as much of the mind as of the body), the filmmaker keeps his movie grounded in these ideas, the major one being of our common humanity.