The Lost City (2005) Poster

(2005)

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10/10
Beautiful!
ricjalonso30 April 2006
As an American of Cuban parents, I had always heard the political rhetoric about Cuba as I was growing up. All the while I longed to see this beautiful island which my parents sadly left behind. Though Andy Carcia's film was not filmed in Cuba (it was filmed in the Dominican Republic) it gave me a chance to see a "Cuba" I had only heard about. As for the film itself, the conflicts of family, politics and love in the film is beautifully portrayed to reflect what has been a painful truth to a great number of Cubans. I definitely recommend this to all, Cubans and non-Cubans alike. I hope Mr. Garcia gets due recognition for this beautiful body of work. By the way... Is there an accompanying soundtrack album? The music was phenomenal!
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10/10
It was worthwhile going to see this movie
lawrenceraymond2 May 2006
An excellent movie with a small budget. Andy did a wonderful job on his first attempt. I am sure we will see more of him as a producer. Of course there is room for improvement and I think that if he concentrates in the details of the production without having to act at the same time we will probably see this improvement in his next work.

I liked the music specially the showman that portrayed Benny More. Also the choreography was very good and the dancers where spectacular, in particular the fellow that participated as a solo. The guy playing the trumpet at the beginning and end of the movie was superb.

It gives an overall picture of the history from that period in the island nation and without being documentary it respects the motives and shortcomings of any historical process such as this one.

Thanks Andy for this movie, and keep up the good work.
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10/10
Perfection
Cuban_Tyler_Durden23 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
That is the one word that can describe this movie. This film truly gives a remarkable portrayal of the events leading up and after to the Castro Revolultion. This is a labor of love for a Cuban-American actor, writer, and director for all his people and should be appreciated by the masses. While it discusses a political rhetoric, it is complemented by a painful love story between a man, his brothers, his parents, and the woman of his life. Even for people who know extensively of the history of Cuba, this is definitely something worth seeing for aesthetic reasons as well. Andy Garcia has done a remarkable piece of work and a great homage to the Cuban people. As a Cuban-Colombian-American living in Miami, this film means a lot to me and to many others. !Viva una Cuba libre!
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Very touching
jinyc1 May 2006
As an AmeriCuban who remembers her visits to Cuba as a small child, I was very touched to see on screen the Cuba that I knew was not just in my dreams.

What an excellent job in picking places that can make you really think it was filmed in Havana! You can feel as if you are really there! There are those who wonder how Andy Garcia could have portrayed Cuba so realistically when he left the island as a 5 year old child. But it is at those very young tender years that impressions are made that stay throughout ones lives. My early trips to Cuba have remained very vivid in my mind. I understand him so well.

You can feel that he put his all in this movie. Countless Cubans can relate to the story that is told. What a heart-wrenching moment when he leaves Cuba and his only keepsake is taken away from him! How many Cubans must have passed through this same scene?

The music warmed my soul. I would listen to it over and over.

And that last scene! well, I don't want to give it away. You have to see it.
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9/10
The Lost City
ag_law-yara1 May 2006
Born in 1962, in the mist of the turmoil, I left Cuba in 1967 thanks to the "Freedom Flights" at the age of 4. It was about time a film like this was done. I commend Andy Garcia and all involved for its historical accuracy. I am grateful for the "Ficos" of the time, like my parents. What courage and resolve. If history is not to be repeated, we must embrace it, learn from it, and not wash it from our memories. Incredible acting, music, scenery (thank you Dominican Republic). We need to remember "where we've been" so as to know "where we're going" - bring plenty of tissues; one box is just not enough. The only reason I gave it a 9, as opposed to a 10, is because I would have really liked to have seen some time dedicated to the family, specifically, the brothers, in their youth. The important relationship of the Cuban family would have been better understood if we had seen it from early on. The significance of the family nucleus, born of the parents' rearing, is crucial in the story of the Cubans. The relationship between the uncle and his nephews was synonymous with that but could have been further developed.
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5/10
Visually beautiful, maybe accurate historically, but a lousy script.
birck17 September 2006
I had hoped for better from Andy Garcia. The general idea is a good one: a quick look at the forces motivating the Cuban middle class to flee the island in the late 50's-mostly for the US, shown in terms of the disintegration of one upper-class Cuban family. But the dialogue is utilitarian and not much more, the characters are predictable, and what on earth was Bill Murray doing in it? He seems to be a sort of American clown visible only to Andy Garcia's character, like Harvey the giant rabbit. There are memorable visual moments in it, like the acres of white canopied tobacco plantation, with towering palm trees protruding; or Castro's guerrillas materializing out of the head-high sawgrass to intercept a mounted volunteer, or those great moody night shots along the Havana corniche. But the script is flat. It doesn't amplify the characters, and it barely advances the story. Judging by the comments preceding mine, I guess that my problem is that I'm not of Cuban extraction. I like well-made films, not films that stroke my particular political sensitivities, as this film seems to do for some viewers. THE definitive film about the Cuban revolution and/or the Cuban exodus and diaspora has yet to be made.
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9/10
Great movie!
og012228 April 2006
I think that for those who do not know what happened in Cuba during the revolution, this movie is a great film to watch (no matter what the critics believe). Not only do we learn how it happened, we also learn about the struggles of the Cuban people. As in a work of art, everything in this movie has meaning or significance. The story is real and is expressed with sentiment... a romantic, but also nostalgic feeling. Also, the movie captured many details of the Cuban culture (including family values). Finally, I'd like to add that to watch a movie about Cuba without the glamorizing of the revolution or any of its leaders is like a breath of fresh air. Andy Garcia is a genius!
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10/10
A most see film about the struggles of a Cuban family
aleidaco30 April 2006
As a Cuban Americans living in the USA since 1960, due to Castro's revolutions in Cuba, we are very proud of this movie and Andy Garcia's work and effort. We highly recommend this film; because for the first time that there is finally a movie that depicts the reality of Castro's revolution. A most see film about the catastrophic effects of Castro's Revolution in the Cuban family. Plus the fact that the cast, music, and directing are superb !!.Beautiful settings and photography. Andy deserves a sound track Oscar nomination for the well perform and coordinated music that clearly represents the rich and influential music of the period. Thank you to, Andy, Dustin, Steven, Bill, Enrique, Nestor and everyone that made this film possible.
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10/10
Superb message formidably executed.
Havanero29 April 2006
This movie is done within a specific framework where a Hollywood expectation of values would encounter a clash of perspectives due to its uniqueness. Taking into account certain limits such as budgetary restrains etc. and what appears to be a lack of support by the mainstream media in our country (USA) for this type of projection it seems to me an almost colossal achievement on the part of Mr. Garcia to produce and direct this classic of all films. The Lost City reminded me of a Dr. Shivago of the Caribbean done with incredible charm, taste and subtleness. This is not just a work of art but an act of love which cuts through the midst of a cultural maelstrom of rejection which every Cuban lover of justice and freedom has had to endure. Yes Andy you have achieved your goal and done it to perfection. Cuba and all lovers of freedom will forever commend you. Enrique E. Oliver
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8/10
Andy García's work of love and courage
mediatext4 May 2006
Critics all over have trashed this movie on account on its politics, angry at the way García has depicted Che Guevara as the real murderer he was, at the way he has portrayed the profound injustices and oppression of Fidel Castro's regime, at the way it does not conform to the sympathetic view Hollywood has always had about the Cuban Revolution. The movie suffers sometimes from the inexperienced hand of a first-time director, the lack of the epic budget it needed, and the poor acting of Inés Sastre but it is not a bad movie, not at all. It's an extremely entertaining film that uses its modest resources with great care to give us a dignified, sincere, notably balanced and very emotional document of the terrible experience of the Cuban people. Don't believe the extremely biased reviews of The New York Times, The New Yorker, and other media. Go and see it. Music lovers will enjoy a splendid mix of popular and classical Cuban music, and a great original score which will make a nice CD.
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10/10
Historical retelling of Cuba's suffering
Eddy521 May 2006
This movie is phenomenal. It is accurate down timing and historical figures. The love story is entrancing and the emotions strong. It is an incredible work of love on the part of Andy Garcia and is studded with some of the brightest stars of Hollywood. Though the truth of many the occurrences are sad, its a sorrow which needs to be shared so that many can understand the hardships which have been experienced in that country. None the less, the happy moments make for it. There is a very powerful theme of family and its importance to the Cuban culture. In fact, at one point, you almost swear your watching Andy Garcia back in his role as a Corleone. Also, Bill Murray plays an incredible role incredibly well. He adds an enjoyable aspect of humor to the movie.
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1/10
People who gave more than one star to this stinker doesn't know what a good movie is.
csarda13 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
First of all, I'm a Cuban, my father is a Cuban, so was my Grandfather.

And I despise Castro's regime.

One thing is to hate Castro's regime and another different thing is to say this movie is good.

I believe that people who gave more than one star to this poor turkey is speaking and writing out of political passion, not from a cinematic point of view.

I'm not going to criticize the poor and incomplete portrayal of the politics and reality of this movie,s vision of Cuba (I never saw a poor black guy or a Cane plantation worker in this movie, like Cuba was Disneyworld) This movie, AS A MOVIE, sucks donkey.

The main character is implausible, stereotypical and unreal (and bad acted to boot) First of all, is simply ridiculous that a Nightclub owner was the son of a intellectual University professor. Worse, a romantic night club owner with strong family principles and a passion for Classic Ballet!!.

In this lamentable parody of a movie, Garcia is a poor, pathetic and full of clichés caricature of a Puritan Casablanca's Bogart, better suited for films like AIRPLANE or SPY HARD.

Come on!!! Like it or not, EVERYBODY knows that, despite all the flamboyancy and quality of the spectacle, Pre-Castro Cuba's was a Maffia's paradise (As it was Las Vegas), and the Nightclubs were Luxury Bordellos with strong ties with the Maffia and any kind of Thugs and lowlifes (IF NOT DIRECTLY OWNED BY THEM), where, prostitution and illegal activities of all kinds were a commonplace.

And GAMBLING WAS ABSOLUTELY LEGAL IN PRE-CASTRO CUBA (still is in most of the Caribbean islands) so there was NO reason (other than pathetic soap opera moralism) for Fico to not fulfill Lansky's wishes.

The pathetic and unreal portrayal of a humble, nice and easy going Meyer Lansky is simply ridiculous.

The real Meyer Lansky was a though MAFIA BOSS, a ruthless murderer and one of the MOST powerful figures in Maffia's History, who didn't ask for favors.

In fact, He wouldn't had paid a personal visit to a stupid Club owner.

And NOBODY would say NO to Meyer Lansky so easily.

AH!! The Writer ( poorly played by a painfully miscast Bill Murray) is one of the most unnecessary, annoying and unfunny characters in cinema history since JAR JAR BINKS.

You take out Bill Murray's parts from this crappy movie and nobody wouldn't notice the smallest change.

This character has no impact at all in the entire movie, other than spitting unfunny and out of place one liners.

The "writer" is just annoying and unnecessary filler.

The rest of the characters are totally forgettable, severely undeveloped and incredibly unsympathetic.

There is no reason, background or origin for any of the character' s actions.

For example, Luis spouse (Ines Sastre) who played a simple wife who didn't show no political background, opinion or interest, who wasn't involved in any kind of political movement AT ALL who didn't know nothing about her husband's secret political activities during the entire film suddenly, out of nothing, in a blink of an eye becomes the quintessential symbol of Castro's revolution and his most powerful advocate, just because she was the wife of an "in the closet" revolutionary.

Pathetic.

The weak stories never gets to a developed state.

Ther is no conclusive moments. All the movie looks like a perennial first chapter of a very boring soap opera To worsen things, the movie is excruciatingly long and slow.

Special mention has to be made to Eduardo's revolutionary beard, a Landmark in the annals of the cheap looking make-up art in film history, only found in B or Z movies.

It looks like a cheap Halloween "werewolf" beard from PARTY CITY.

The only OK (Not fantastic, just OK) thing about this movie is the photography.

The Music was great.

But this was a MOVIE, not a CONCERT.

EEEEECH!! The Dialog!!! What can I say? There is one scene in which the conversation looks like it was entirely made out of SLOGANS and phrases taken from a clichéd political campaign scrapbook.

I'm sorry Andy, but your labor of love SUCKS.

Maybe next time.
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10/10
Amazing!
chrisbrito29 April 2006
Andy Garcia really hit close to home with this movie. The film does justice to every Cuban-American out there who has wanted the true story of his/her country's history to be told. The casting and acting were spectacular. As a Cuban-American I was pleased to see that the film was historically accurate. Furethermore, the movie shows how soo many Cubans were forced to give up their lives and families because of this revolution. The process of leaving your homeland for hopes of a new and better life is something this movie does an amazing job depicting. I hope everyone turns out to support the film whether you do or do not know the TRUE story of Cuba. Andy, te la comiste!
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8/10
Andy Garcia's Bittersweet Valentine To Cuba
george.schmidt8 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
THE LOST CITY (2006) *** Andy Garcia, Ines Sastre, Tomas Milian, Enrique Murciano, Bill Murray, Dustin Hoffman, Millie Perkins, Nestor Carbonell, Steven Bauer, Richard Bradford, Dominik Garcia-Lorido, Julio Oscar Mechosa, Juan Fernandez, Elizabeth Pena, William Marquez, Tony Plana, (Dir: Garcia)

Andy Garcia's Bittersweet Valentine To Cuba

Andy Garcia has always been a favorite of mine to watch on screen, with his fiery, impassionate no-holds-barred, cool-as-a-cucumber performances with both excessive and implosive turns and his passion is now on full display in his directorial debut, a valentine to his beloved homeland Cuba.

Garcia stars as Fico Fellove, a nightclub owner and musician in Havana, circa 1958, on the cusp of the Cuban revolution and a drastic turn of historical events that will forever change his heart and soul.

The ones that possess and fight for both of these are namely his loving family led by the patriarchal Federico (Milian), a good man of professorial status at the university and his caring wife Dona Cecilia (Perkins), who still insist their family meet for Sunday dinners promptly at six o'clock with no excuses. Those providing the turmoil are his brothers Luis and Ricardo (Carbonell and Murciano respectively) who consistently are chomping at the bit with their disputes about the impending revolution and the desire to remain a patriot despite the odds of Communism infiltrating the masses. Fico remains the peacekeeper and will not tolerate any disrespect towards his decent-hearted father but the dam will only hold for so long as the siblings go their separate ways.

When Luis is killed in an attempted coup-de-tat assassination on loathed Presidente Batista (Fernandez) Fico can only see the writing on the wall when he allows his heart to open to Luis' widow, the beautiful Aurora (Sastre); the two fall in love and marry. Shortly thereafter things get worse when Ricardo has fled to the deep jungles of the covert military ops of Fidel Castro after he was arrested and beaten by the corrupt chief of police, the vile hand crop bearing Colonel Candela (Mechosa) who has slain Luis. Fico knows this but is powerless to do anything, which makes the tragedy unfolding even more devastating for him to burden himself with.

Garcia does an admirable job in capturing the flavor of the late 1950s look of the imbroglio-to-be with an elegant production design created by Waldemar Kalinowski and gorgeous cinematography by Emmanuel Kadosh that does justice to his ideal yet struggling nation under fire. The surprisingly literate screenplay by G. Cabrera Infante is an informative although fictitious timeline of events potboiling but the simmering, languid pacing deserves a heavy edit with its lethargic run time of nearly two and a half hours. It is obvious Garcia is focused on how things are to be depicted and it is remarkable in this seven year labor of love finally has emerged but there is a somewhat uneven tone throughout in deciding to be a "Casablanca" tinged melodrama or a "Godfather" wannabe with its sprawling plot lines and economy with words. Although I love Bill Murray, his unnamed "Writer", is a court jester ham bone comic sidekick that is at times a tad distracting; oh who am I kidding - I loved him! His entrance alone is worth the price of admission in a seersucker suit (trousers altered to shorts for the humid climes) and a panama hat.

Although the aspirations of Garcia is a mixed crazy quilt of political intonations and soul-searching empathy he should be proud of delivering something that means something if not to the audience than to himself.
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10/10
Great, Excellent, Wow
falcocom2528 April 2006
This is Cuba, its music, its pain, its joy, its tears, its love and its hatred but this is Cuba. A lot of people are going to cry over this movie and lot are going to open their eyes too. Hollywood should take note of this movie and stop producing the crap they are doing now. We need movies with soul like this one. Thanks Andy!!! Viva Cuba Libre!!

This is Cuba, its music, its pain, its joy, its tears, its love and its hatred but this is Cuba. A lot of people are going to cry over this movie and lot are going to open their eyes too. Hollywood should take note of this movie and stop producing the crap they are doing now. We need movies with soul like this one. Thanks Andy!!! Viva Cuba Libre!!
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2/10
This movie is about the communist takeover of Cuba, and how it affects a Cuban nightclub owner and his family.
jewltoned29 May 2006
I hate to do this, because so much effort went into this movie, but I feel like I need to warn people: This movie is awful!! True, the scenes in the club are great, but the plot is laborious and the characters are unsympathetic and the director treats his audience like a kindergarten classroom. "CASTRO = BAD. Here's 16+ scenes of the communists doing bad things so that you'll get the point! Still don't get it? We'll have Che laugh maliciously just to hit the point home."

Also, the dialogue is reminiscent of Star Wars, Episode III. The lucky movie-goer will get to witness at least five scenes between totally uninteresting people where the conversation goes something like this:

"I love you"

"I love you too. *kiss* But we can never go back to the way we were."

"Why?"

"Because - things have changed."

"I know"

"I'll always love you."

*single tear* "Goodbye, so and so"

Anyway, it's really awful. Don't see it. Just buy the soundtrack.
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A straight-to-video release
loco_7324 June 2006
Having recently seen Andy Garcia's "The Lost City", I am still taken aback at how bad it is. I am not going to debate the politics of the movie or the central themes. Technically this movie is at best sub-par!!! I mean my god the acting ranges from really bad to just plain bizarre i. e. Bill Murray's character...what the hell was he thinking!?! I heard that Garcia wanted to direct this movie for a long time, and it wasn't until recently that he finally acquired the means to do so. The movie clearly is influenced by "Casablanca" and "The Cotton Club", "Havana" "The Godfather", and I thought, even "Buena Vista Social Club". Let me tell you flat out, this turkey does not come close to those movies! It has been a while since I have seen such a convoluted, fractured and aimless disaster of a movie. If there was a story or a message in the movie it got lost amidst all of the clutter of ideas Andy Garcia sought to include in this movie.

I read in an article that the original script came out to more than 300 pages, and Garcia had to be pushed to shorten it down to 125 or so! The plot, the storyline, the characters are all cartoonish, superficial and one-dimensional. This is not about being politically correct or being pro this and against that. I am just speaking as a movie fan who expected more from an artist such as Andy Garcia. I mean is this the same man from "Night Falls On Manhattan" "Hero", "The Dissapeareance of Garcia Lorca" and other good movies? I think not!

One critic called this movie, if it can be called that, a personal story that turned into a vanity project. How right he is. This encapsulates the main problem with this flop. I think that in making this movie, Garcia let his personal bias and feelings compromise his artistic integrity, and gave birth to an egotistical, narrow-minded infatuation with his own view on things. He confused the story he wanted to tell with his own ego-driven diatribe.

While he might be entitled to be enraged, biased and personally touched by certain events that affected him and his family, as a director he let that alone dictate the course of his own creation, without any thought of how the public, who perhaps is not familiar with the events portrayed in the movie, would assimilate and digest the story he so dismally tries to get across.

The one bright spot in this mess, was Ines Sastre. She is simply put fantastic, even in such a god-awful failure as this. When the movie reached the two hour mark I was ready to get up and leave the theater, the only thing that kept me in the seat was just looking upon her face, a face that tells its own story, even if it does not say anything! I would suggest that perhaps it would have been more interesting if Andy Garcia did a a documentary about his own experience as a Cuban exile, and about his family etc. Otherwise, "The Lost City" is not even worth renting!
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6/10
Misses the real story of Cuba
lastliberal7 November 2007
Watching this film, I am so reminded of Casablanca. Like Rick, Fico Fellove (Andy Garcia) is seemingly oblivious to the oppression and evil that surrounds him, only concerned with running his nightclub. Unlike Rick, Fico never changes and only connects with the enemy to save his brother or his friend.

The movie is just too darn pretty. It presents a Cuba that may be familiar to the upper class and the rich American tourists, and neglects to mention the Cuba that demanded a revolution. This Cuba, one of poor, uneducated peasants that were in virtual slavery on sugar and tobacco plantations and women who sold themselves to tourists, is seen only in Mikhail Kalatozov's Soy Cuba, which will be released in a deluxe edition this month.

The movie worth watching for Garcia's performance and the performances of Dustin Hoffman, Bill Murray, and Elizabeth Peña, as well as some great Afro-Cuban music.

It probably did great box office in Miami.
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10/10
Visually Stunning Film! I give it Two Thumbs Way Up!
johnandritzy11 September 2006
Andy Garcia's The Lost City is a feast for the senses. This film is pure art form. I'm glad Andy Garcia didn't compromise his standards. He waited sixteen years to make this movie so he could maintain artistic control over the film. It certainly shows. I was floored by the cinematography and amazing acoustics. The Afro-Cuban rhythms transported me back to the early years of my life in Havana. I loved the music and plan on buying both the film and the soundtrack.

Luis, Fico's brother whose revolutionary alias was "Peligro," or Danger, reminds me a lot of my father. My father was just like Luis. He was a member of the upper middle class who dreamed of a democratic form of government for Cuba. My father fought against Batista's oppressive and brutal regime, just like Luis did. There were many times my Dad could've been killed by Batista's henchmen. I wouldn't be here writing this review if that had happened. At one point Dad had to leave the country. He was exiled in Venezuela in 1958, the year before Castro took over the island. Young idealists, like Dad, and Luis, made Fidel's rise to power a reality. However, most had no idea Castro would become a totalitarian dictator who would destroy the island of Cuba.

The film's portrayal of what happened to Fico's family was right on the money. Many Cuban families were split apart during that turbulent period. Some families were politically divided, others were separated by the exile of family members who fled Fidel's regime. My family was no exception to this rule. The revolution made enemies of friends, and even family members. Fidel was, and continues to be, a dividing force for many Cubans on both sides of the Florida straits.

I just finished watching the movie at 11:15PM and suddenly I have a hankering for a "media noche." For those of you not familiar with it, a "media noche" is a snack size petite Cuban sandwich named after midnight. I wish I could just slip into my red dress and go dancing in old Havana. Beny More and his Afro-Cuban band is a favorite of mine. What I'd give to have seen him perform live on the stage. Oh, how I wish I had a time machine to go back to that era!

On a more serious note, many members of the Cuban aristocracy financed Fidel's rise to power. Just as it was portrayed in The Lost City, some members of the upper class not only paid with their wealth but with the blood of their sons and daughters. Not all rich Cuban families owed a privileged societal standing to Batista. Many wealthy Cuban families had been landowners since before Cuba gained independence from Spain. Batista had staged a military coup d'état in 1952, removing the prior elected leader, Carlos Prío. The brutalities committed under Batista's regime were real, but not nearly as horrific as the atrocities perpetrated against those who dared oppose Fidel Castro.
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10/10
Amazing and an Unforgettable Experience!
eileen8262 May 2006
Andy Garcia's efforts and love for this movie and Cuba is clearly evident. This movie represents a lot for us Cubans, it depicts the actual events that occurred and still occurs in Cuba. Those who are unfamiliar with Cuba and its history should definitely see this movie to understand where we are coming from. Open your eyes and really see our pain, our tears, our joy, our traditions, our history. This movie will always have a special place in my heart. I never have seen Cuba nor which to see it in its current conditions, but the Cuba that Andy and the cast portrayed in this glorious film is what I always imagined it to be. Thank you to those who made this film possible and who were brave enough to say the truth. To those critics who think that this movie is bogus, untrue, or radical: "Open your eyes!!!" To those who thought that Che was a hero, he wasn't! Please see this movie and learn about the Cuban culture and our history!
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7/10
A Long Look at Losing Havanna
mandy-113 June 2006
The music is great, of course, it is Cuba. The costumes are beautiful; so are the women and the men. Worth a look though for it's style and feel of the glamor that was Havana, the physical warmth and affection that lives in Cuban families and it's interesting anti-Castro portrayal of events. It even challenges the hero status of Che Guevara.

But Andy Garcia's tale of a wealthy family coming apart like this lovely island during the Cuban revolution suffers from the self-indulgence that so often weakens the work of writer/director/producer combos. Who is going to say, "Andy, enough of those close-ups of you looking longingly at your lost loves? After about an hour and a half, we sure wish someone would! It leaves me wondering why, with all Cuba has gone through, our government continues to punish Cubans with economic sanctions that do no harm to Castro, but keep the Cubans from thriving from their hard hard work and record breaking high literacy rates.
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4/10
I really wanted to like it
bernie-12217 August 2006
All the movies I've seen about Cuba have been disappointing, either biased or factually misleading. I was looking forward to this one redressing the balance. I was really disappointed.

It looked as if it might happen, but time after time I found myself suddenly lost, having had the thread I was trying to follow ripped away, leaving me to decide whether to try to pick it up again or look for another one. I don't think this was my fault; I don't usually have any trouble following a story, even a not-very-well written one.

So I blame the script and the editing; the camera work was quite good, although I was hoping for a good peek at Havana of that era, or even this one, but I since found out the film was shot in the Dominican Republic, which isn't going to look much like Cuba, methinks.

So, while I can understand why some people gave this film top marks, I am not able to do that for any movie that keeps losing me as consistently as this one did. Some of this could be redeemed on a repeat viewing, but I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to stay awake.

Sorry, Andy, maybe next time.
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1/10
Propaganda and rubbish
kharashelzonah-114 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Oh, these poor rich guys in Cuba. I'm SOOOO sorry for them, they were having SO MUCH fun - OK, some people were starving to death, the island was ruled by ruthless mobsters and American capitalists (don't ask me what the difference is), but what of it? - and this BAD GUY (oh yeah, the movie does its best to depict him as an elitarian d**k) Che Guevara came and spoiled all their fun! But... how can one be so insensitive as not to understand that those old-fashioned classy families were the actual grass-roots of Cuba, and that confiscating their goods to give them to the poor was a despicable act of hubris?

Andy Garcia had so much better just take on roles that suit him, like the lovey-dovey compassionate husband, outside of this crock of BS of a movie.

Does this comment contain spoilers? Nothing can possibly spoil this movie more than it is already by its very existence.
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3/10
Long, boring and overrated... Not worthy of 2.24hrs of your life.
Iva963 September 2010
As I wish to visit Cuba if I'll have the chance, I thought of this movie that it would be an interesting introduction to the city of Havana, to its people and to its history. Now, to be fair with the movie, it has great soundtrack and it shows people dancing everywhere (at least, they used to do so before Fidel came). Apart from that, the general feeling while watching the movie was that probably Andy Garcia had in his mind something like: "hey, I'm the producer, it's my money, so I'll direct it, make the score, and play the leading role!".

I noticed other comments about how deep and insightful this movie is. In my view it is far from that. We had our own share of communism in Romania, so I guess I know what I'm talking about. Mr. Garcia does not. He only has a shallow vision about what happened there, about the drama of the people and about what a revolution means (or at least this is what he shows to us).

Regarding the main characters, I found them to be unconvincing. I count here the entire family of the main character. And all the time we have close-ups of Mr. Garcia's eyes, reminding me about the expression of Steven Seagal.

I wouldn't have bothered to write a review, but I really felt cheated for the time I spent watching the movie. Whatever you want (history, romance, drama, good acting, etc.) try something else.
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3/10
Just about the worst dialogue I've ever heard.
mankoeponymous27 August 2009
I'm a huge Andy Garcia fan, and a big fan of Dustin Hoffman and Bill Murray too (they must've owed him money or something to have consented to grace this disaster with their presence), but clearly Garcia can neither write nor direct. I've been studying pre-revolution Cuba for months now and I keep coming back to try to watch this movie - visually it's a gorgeous depiction of the place and time. But I can only get through about twenty minutes of cringing through the horrible script before I have to turn it of. It's as if Garcia made a list of every cliché he could think of, and then had beautiful, talented actors deliver them in no particular order and with no particular depth of feeling. I'm afraid from now on whenever I see Garcia in any of my favorite movies he's done, part of my mind will be wondering what the hell he was thinking when he decided to shoot this script instead of hiring a real writer; I don't think even in Hollywood he could've found a screenwriter who couldn't have done much better.
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