Bus 174 (Ônibus 174) Reviews

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Deborah Young
Variety
June 10, 2008
A tense documentary with multiple layers of meaning.
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Patrick Z. McGavin
Chicago Reader
May 8, 2007
Padilha allows neither easy answers nor ironic commentary, producing on both sides of the conflict a world of inconsolable grief.
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Time Out
January 26, 2006
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.
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
March 12, 2004
This smart, absorbing movie, which has been sharply edited by Felipe Lacerda, never feels like it's spreading itself too thin.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Mary Brennan
Seattle Times
March 5, 2004
An extraordinary portrait of a life lived always in the shadow of despair.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Matt Weitz
Dallas Morning News
February 5, 2004
Interviews, images and events accumulate, driving the story to its sad end with the implacable momentum of a Greek tragedy.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
January 22, 2004
Padilha edits the lethal standoff into a human tragedy, a journalistic thriller and a powerhouse social drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
December 12, 2003
Padhila's carefully assembled documentary has the fascination of a car wreck -- only any number of social themes ripple through this real drama.
| Original Score: B+
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
December 12, 2003
A fluid and forceful indictment of a culture of neglect.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 12, 2003
It shows us the spectacle of what happened while explaining the many factors why. It is extraordinary in the way it balances the sensational with the sensible.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
December 5, 2003
The movie brilliantly uses this intense narrative as a platform from which to observe some of the deeper flaws in Brazilian culture.
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
December 5, 2003
What starts off as a documentary about a hostage crisis in Rio de Janeiro deepens with every passing minute. By the end, you realize you've seen an extraordinary movie, easily one of the best of the year.
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
December 5, 2003
This is patient filmmaking, trading sensationalism for the rewards of investigation.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
November 7, 2003
It operates as a multi-pronged critique of a society in which the media, the police, the state and public itself are implicated in precisely the kind of violence that gripped the nation of Brazil that day.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
November 7, 2003
Padilha does much more than just present a hostage situation. He hunts down people who knew Nascimento and reconstructs his tortured life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jennie Punter
Globe and Mail
November 7, 2003
It is Padilha's sensitivity, thoroughness, persistence and artful assembly of all the angles on this story that gets us heart-wrenchingly close to understanding the 'why.'
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 24, 2003
If you have seen the masterful 2002 Brazilian film City of God or the 1981 film Pixote, both about the culture of Rio's street people, then Bus 174 plays like a sad and angry real-life sequel.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ernest Hardy
L.A. Weekly
October 24, 2003
Tough and relentless, dazzlingly researched and crafted.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
October 23, 2003
A thoughtful, analytical yet still emotional film, meticulously investigated and absolutely compelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
October 23, 2003
Here is a model example of how TV footage and documentary interviews can both reconstruct an event and help us understand it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
October 9, 2003
Padilha is onto so many issues sparked by one relatively simple act of crime.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
October 9, 2003
Uncovers a complex, multilayered tragedy with a surprisingly wide range of victims and perpetrators.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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V.A. Musetto
New York Post
October 9, 2003
The drivel they call 'reality TV' pales in comparison.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
October 8, 2003
It shares a bitter interest in slum desperation with last year's Brazilian-underbelly docudrama City of God, ''Bus 174'' pulls ahead, I think, by not confusing cinematic pizzazz with the content of misery.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
October 8, 2003
Tense, engrossing, and superbly structured, Bus 174 is not just unforgettable drama but a skillfully developed argument.
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
March 27, 2003
A deceptively straightforward film that has the force of tragedy and the depth of first-rate investigative journalism.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Richard James Havis
Hollywood Reporter
March 24, 2003
While evincing no sympathy for the hijacker, the filmmaker eloquently details the road that led him to commit his crime.