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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 7 March 2010
I caught this movie on TV and have just ordered the DVD. I was surprised and even amazed that I had never come across it before. It will now become part of my "All Time Greats" collection - movies I don't mind watching time and again. The cast is superb (Hoffman, Garcia, Bradford, Murray), the camera work is amazing, the music and dance elements are spell binding, and the story fully justifies the 2 hrs+ length. I didn't find, as others have, that it slackened off in its pace.

It was obviously never meant to be an all-out "action" movie and there are some similarities to Cabaret, in that it is set in a nightclub at a time of great social upheaval with violence taking place on the streets. Only in this instance violent scenes cut back to scenes displaying the amazing rythyms of Cuban music and dance.

I can't recommend it highly enough. If I could give more than 5 stars I would.
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on 14 January 2008
This is a great movie. Nice soundtrack, nice story. It gives a touch of what was Batista dictatorship and the excessive obsession to make changes.
A love story, but most of it a story about family and how a family can be together when a Revolution is on the way, with so many passion and different points of view. It's not about politic, but believes.
It's a mix of feelings were you will be confronted by those who were against the dictator, but also not happy to have Castro.
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on 14 June 2010
At last someone has had the courage to tell the truth about the Cuban revolution! Andy Garcia deserved an academy award for this intelligent, and beautifully filmed movie!Everything about THe Lost City is perfect, the photography, the music and the acting. The fact that the Guardianistas dislike this movie tells you everything you need to know about the power of its message. A must see!
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on 31 May 2012
A good historical movie to show how right were many middle class Cubans to despise the Batista dictatorship and how wrong they were to believe that supporting Castro and Guevara would improve things much. Yet, the widespread criticism that Garcia does not show enough of the poor and destitute of pre-revolutionary Cuba is only partially mitigated by his ridicule of Batista in the first part of the movie. The title itself (translated "Adieu Cuba" in the French version) betrays a certain nostalgia by the author for the bygone days. But in the end the viewer is left with a strongly negative view of both Batista and Castro, as well as Guevara. Well deserved.

The movie is a bit long but well worth its time for it allows the viewer to savour the colors, music and atmosphere of Cuba 50 years ago. But this is perhaps due to the long script by Guillermo Cabrera Infante.
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on 3 June 2009
First of all, it is not a political movie. It is based on a family and what happened to them when changes came to Cuba during those years. Andy Garcia is Cuban. As far as I know, there has not been a movie about Cuba done by a Cuban. It is tragic when you cannot go back to the country you belong. Andy Garcia has done an incredible job in this movie. He not only directed, acted, produced it, he also wrote the music and gather all those beautiful music of Cuba from that period into this movie. I think this movie deserves a five star rating. Go to and read the reviews there.
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This vanity project of Andy Garcia obviously was borne out of the one thing that signally fails to come across on screen - passion. The story revolves around his character, a night club owner in 1958 Cuba. Through his eyes and through the relationships he has with both his family and the woman he loves, we see the events unfold of the revolution and its aftermath.
It's a potentially compelling story, and has been evoked with some stunning set design and memorably vivid recreation of pre-revolution Cuba, but ultimately this story of a family being torn apart by political and ideological differences just lacks momentum and, oddly - drama - to work. Garcia, who not only stars but co-wrote and directs, seems to want to be the new Godfather - its easy to spot the mannerisms and acting tics, but while he has the beginnings of the flab of a Brando, he lacks the intensity. There is an interesting subtext to the movie where we see him strive to remain an observer to events, as symbolised by his constantly picking up his Super 8 to capture events important to him - but ultimately he puts down the camera and the events involve him too deeply for him to remain an observer. Less interesting by far is the appearance of Bill Murray, who appears as The Comedian - a true observer, who comments wryly on proceedings while not being part of them. It's a device which alas does not add any depth to the narrative but merely drags it out in a way that takes one out of the story rather than illumining it.
Another problem with the movie is that for a film which purports to get under the skin of the revolution and its effects, it signally fails to show any reason for the discontent. We see a wealthy and happy family in a pristine Havana, and then a brother goes off to join the revolution - why he does is never really explored. The scenes of violence we do see rather symbolise what is wrong with the movie - we see grenades being thrown, gunshots, explosions - and when the smoke clears, the locations filled with marble and beautiful furnishings remain unscathed. In the same way the movie fails to scratch beyond the surface, and fails to niggle its way into your emotions.
One factor which might raise the movie by a star to watchable for you, is if you are a fan of Cuban music - authentic and atmospheric music permeates the movie, and the movie seems more like a labour of love for the music, rather than the country, at times.
Being of Cuban descent, Garcia clearly had the energy to craft something special - it's just a shame that his energy failed to weave its way into the resulting film. What we ultimately have is a movie of loud gunshots and Cuban music in beautiful locations, alternated with mumbled conversations of seemingly great portent, which ultimately lead to - very little of interest.
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on 9 December 2012
I ordered this DVD as having recently visited Cuba and stayed at the Hotel Nacional in Havana, I was interested. Anyone staying at this hotel will note that there is a lot of history, pictures etc. around the Mafia and this is portrayed in the film. Also I am a fan of Andy Garcia who is from Cuba. The only thing is that it is rather long, but this didn't spoil my enjoyment.
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on 6 July 2010
The first thing to bare in mind about this film is the perspective, from which it is derived. A rich successful night club owner, who loses almost everything when the revolution succeeds. I know nothing about Andy Garcias life story, but as he is of Cuban descent and living in America I suspect that this is the kind of story he was exposed to in his formative years.
I have only two negative criticisms of the film. Firstly, because of the perspective he has taken, the story is told with a right wing American slant, which shows, almost none of the good things that went with the revolution.But if you want factual history, there are, I am sure plenty of good books at this site on the subject.
Bill Murrays character is my second problem. Having a device like this in a film, especially a film like this, is a good idea. But this particular effort simply does'nt work. I understand Murray was told to improvise, but he does'nt seem to know what it is, he is trying to achieve.
Other than that it is a very good story, with an excellent cast. Another reviewer mentioned that the music was a "labour of love," I totally agree.
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on 8 September 2014
This manages the rare feat of making the Cuban revolution boring. And virtually ignores the bulk of the Cuban population

You'd also never guess that prostitution was legal in Batista's Cuba, or that Lansky and other mobsters already had several casinos operating, also quite legal.

No indication of the social inequalities that made people support the revolution.

Nothing is said about Batista having started out as a moderate radical who was supported by Cuba's small Communist party when he was elected President in 1940. Or why he later came back as a dictator.

A bunch of silly trivia, really
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on 23 September 2014
Excellent A+++
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