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Bus 174 (Ônibus 174) (2002)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 8.2/10
Critic Reviews: 27
Fresh: 27 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.

audience

89

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 6,679

My Rating

Movie Info

In June of 2000, a young homeless man, evidently high on drugs, made a failed attempt to rob a bus in a wealthy Rio de Janeiro neighborhood. When his plans went awry, the young man, Sandro do Nascimento, armed with a pistol, took the bus passengers hostage. Soon, cops and reporters surrounded the bus. A SWAT team arrived. About four hours later, the incident came to a horrific and tragic end. Filmmaker José Padilha's documentary, Bus 174, explores the events of that day. The film uses a great

Jul 20, 2004

$0.1M

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All Critics (76) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (75) | Rotten (1) | DVD (4)

A tense documentary with multiple layers of meaning.

June 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Padilha allows neither easy answers nor ironic commentary, producing on both sides of the conflict a world of inconsolable grief.

May 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Slightly overlong for overseas audiences, José Padilha's film (co-directed by editor Felipe Lacerda) makes it crystal clear why this incident proved so traumatic for many Brazilians.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This smart, absorbing movie, which has been sharply edited by Felipe Lacerda, never feels like it's spreading itself too thin.

March 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An extraordinary portrait of a life lived always in the shadow of despair.

March 5, 2004 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Interviews, images and events accumulate, driving the story to its sad end with the implacable momentum of a Greek tragedy.

February 5, 2004 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Relentlessly gripping.

December 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

Masterful.

May 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

Much more troubling than any fiction...

July 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Padilha lays out the story with a crusader's fury while remaining careful not to slight the testimony or the suffering of Sandro's hostages.

May 19, 2004 Full Review Source: City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

If City Of God cracked the skin, Bus 174 digs deep into the wound. An astounding, depressing triumph.

May 14, 2004 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

reminds audiences that simple techniques are sometimes the most effective means of telling a dramatic story

May 10, 2004 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

A stunning indictment of Brazil's social meltdown, this startling documentary plays like City Of God -- except this time the bullets are real.

April 23, 2004 Full Review Source: BBC

As thoroughly researched as any documentary in recent memory.

April 7, 2004 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

A sizzling Brazilian real-life documentary by director Jose Padilha that outdoes reality TV in its dosage of reality.

April 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Full of the kind of surprises, twists and cruel irony that have fueled many a Hollywood thriller.

March 21, 2004 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

Examines how this tragic saga stemmed from the deep fissures in Brazilian society, which pit a vast population of slum-dwelling street kids against the police and society at large.

March 19, 2004 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

It's a chilling tale that leaves us with the fear that Latin America's exploding social problems may well be beyond solution.

March 5, 2004 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

There's no denying the subject matter is compelling, and the heightened sense of tension goes a long way toward redeeming the film.

March 5, 2004 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

A searing and fascinating example of a 'ripped from the headlines' story expanded to uncover some uncomfortable truths about how a nation handles its social problems.

March 5, 2004 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

To serve and protect... and blow your face off with a shotgun.

March 4, 2004 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
Oz
eFilmCritic.com

Audience Reviews for Bus 174 (Ônibus 174)

The intentions behind making this documentary might be good (i.e. achieving an award :p), but it moves very briskly. The more-than-often-repeated threat by the hijacker to "Set the heat up" made my blood boil. Guess his vocabulary was limited. The documentary is bearable otherwise. And even if the documentary was made with pure intentions, I wonder how long will its message last (assuming that it's not being conveyed to deaf ears), if at all it does.
May 17, 2011
imrealgod

Super Reviewer

A fantastically well-done and dilacerating piece of documentary that dives deep into an open sore in Brazilian society and exposes some of the most horrible social issues that have been bursting out of control in a city dominated by violence and indifference.
September 28, 2010
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

The phrase 'Edge of your seat' is usually more commonly used to describe a thriller or suspense movie, not usually a documentary. Not the case here, the intense build up to the final conclusion is immense, its almost unbearable. This makes for one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. Highly recommended!
September 9, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic][color=royalblue]"Bus 174" is a Brazilian documentary about a hostage crisis in a city bus in Rio de Janeiro in 2000. Several people were held hostage by a street person, Sandro do Nascimento. The police due to a lack of funding and training do not do a very good job of containing the scene, so the media's cameras get a lot closer to the scene than would normally happen. Luckily, the makers of this excellent documentary, Jose Padilha and Felipe Lacerda, have bigger things on their mind than making a sensationalist film. By using Nascimento as a sample case study, they examine the precarious state of street people in Brazil and some of their individual histories. The prisons of Brazil are shown to be brutal hellholes but the police hesitate when at the scene of the hostage crisis. Which goes to show that the police may act a completely different way when there are other people watching them. [/color][/font]
February 13, 2005
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Bus 174 (Onibus 174) (DE)
  • Bus 174 (UK)
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