Underrated Movies Inspired by Lost Cities


Sandeep Singh

Lost cities have long been a source of fascination and wonder. Relics and ruins of forgotten civilizations give us a glimpse of past lives and earlier times. These exciting settings have inspired fiction and entertainment for centuries, and there’s no shortage of films exploring the idea. Here are just a few underrated examples.

Kong: Skull Island

This 2017 King Kong film distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures was a massive hit, grossing over $500 million and garnering decent reviews from critics. The film is a rebooted take on the Kong universe, taking viewers back to a Vietnam-era 1973 expedition to the giant ape’s domain. The film takes place on Skull Island, a fictional island inhabited by ancient human civilizations and prehistoric creatures. Although it takes a more fantastical approach, the film is inspired by lost cities of old.

The Ruins

This 2008 horror flick takes our unsuspecting heroes to Mexico in search of Mayan ruins. It takes on the darker, more horrifying aspect of lost cities and ancient civilizations, providing a gripping and chilling experience you won’t soon forget. The Ruins, like plenty of other movies, series and the online casino game Gonzos quest, is inspired by Aztec temples and legends, such as the sunken Aztec temples.


2018’s Aquaman was the aquatic DC hero’s debut on the big screen. The titular hero, played by Jason Momoa, must return to his home of Atlantis to become the rightful king of the ancient civilization. Although it has been the source of much speculation for centuries, Atlantis is generally accepted to be a fictional city conceived by Plato as an allegory for the hubris of nations. It is primarily found in his work Critias, in which Atlantis is defeated in their invasion of Ancient Athens and ultimately submerged into the Atlantic Ocean by the Gods.


Adapted from Michael Crichton‘s 1980 book of the same name, Congo was a big hit when released in the Summer of 1995. Although the film wasn’t received warmly by critics, it has since become a cult favourite due to its depiction of a fictional lost city in the heart of the Congo. Roger Ebert liked the film, calling it “a splendid example of a genre no longer much in fashion”.

The Lost City of Z

2016’s The Lost City of Z was a biographical film centred around the life of Percy Fawcett, played by Charlie Hunnam, a British explorer who became consumed by his search for the Amazonian lost city. The film explores Fawcett’s multiple excursions into the Amazon rainforest over several decades. The pioneering explorer journeyed deep into South America at a time when its thick jungles were largely undiscovered. It’s an excellent period adventure and one of the finest films to depict the search for a lost city.


These are just a few of the many films inspired or based on lost cities of old. The Indiana Jones movies are the most famous examples, with Lost World and the recent comedy The Lost City. Don’t miss out on the excitement and wonder of these remarkable settings and the mysteries within!