‘Not a family night out’: What parents need to know about ‘The Lost City’

Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum in “The Lost City”. Here’s a look at how the movie got its PG-13 rating and if it’s right for your kids. (Kimberley French, Paramount Pictures)

Estimated reading time: 4-5 minutes

THE BOOK TOUR – It’s the weekend, so it’s time to figure out what you’re up to for date night. For my money, I’d suggest catching “The Lost City” at the theater for a fun night out.

You can read my full review of the movie here and why I think it’s a fun action, romantic comedy.

What I’m doing here is a little different. This is a guide to help you better understand what kind of content is in “The Lost City” and why I suggest it be an adult night out movie and not a family night out.

As always, I’m not telling you what’s or isn’t appropriate for you or your children – only you can make that decision, I’m just here to share my opinion and let you know what’s in the movie so that you can make a more informed choice.

Here’s what parents need to know about “The Lost City.”


Although “The Lost City” doesn’t have any sex scenes, that’s how it likely got its PG-13 rating. There are several sexual jokes and innuendos throughout the film. I’m not sure they’re incredibly vulgar like some comedies, but there’s quite a bit of sexual jokes and talk.

There is also an extended scene of bare male buttocks. This is played for laughs, but it lasts for a few minutes with a few different close-up shots of the behind. The nudity isn’t meant to be “sexual” in the situation, but the jokes and conversation push it in that direction.

There are also outfits for shirtless men and women that show off some cleavage. I understand why the movie received a PG-13 for sexuality, but some would say it’s closer to an R rating. The jokes don’t quite reach the level of some other PG-13 comedies, like “Anchorman” or the “Austin Powers” movies. It’s the only rear nudity scene that pushes her to this edge.


There is language in “The Lost City”, but it was less than I expected for a movie like this. That’s your typical PG-13 fare, and maybe less than in some of its counterparts.

I didn’t have a notebook jotting down every swear word I uttered as I watched; but I don’t remember being shocked or surprised by either term, and I’m quite sensitive to that when I plan to write a parental review of a movie. That’s not to say there’s no language in the movie, but it’s more comparable to a Marvel movie than other PG-13 comedies.


There’s quite a bit of violence in “The Lost City,” with multiple deaths and lots of mayhem, but most of it is played for laughs. Like many PG-13 films, many people are shot and killed in this film, but most are done offscreen.

There is one death, however, which is somewhat graphic. You don’t see the actual injury, but there is a fair amount of blood and brain matter that can be seen. Writing this I feel like the words make it more graphic than it actually is, but it was a bit of a surprise when it happened.

There’s a lot of fighting, gunfights, and violence in the movie but, as mentioned, most of it is played for laughs and isn’t overly graphic, without that scene.


“The Lost City” is an overall lighthearted film that takes place against the backdrop of a much darker plot. The film is very funny; but when you pull it out, you realize that the film contains some dark subject matter, including murder, kidnapping, slavery, corruption, and other subjects that don’t seem so “light”.

Still, the film never takes itself too seriously, and these things happen in an absurd world with a light and fun tone, despite some themes.


To me, “The Lost City” is a grown-up PG-13. Depending on the maturity level of your kids, 13 may still be a bit young for this one. I would say older and older teens are best suited to see this movie.

With sexual innuendo, nudity, violence, and some disturbing themes, it’s not a good kid’s movie or teen movie. I don’t think an R rating is necessary, but given that Marvel movies are PG-13, that rating can be a little misleading for movies like “The Lost City.”

“The Lost City” is officially rated PG-13 for violence and some gory imagery, suggestive material, partial nudity, and language.

About the Author: John Clyde grew up around movies and annoys his friends and family with his movie facts and knowledge. He also has a passion for sports and pretty much all things awesome, and those just happen to be the three things he writes about. To read more of his articles, visit John’s KSL.com author page.

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