Cidade de Deus (City of God) Reviews

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Film4
November 8, 2011

Another passionate piece of Latin American filmmaking, which documents a tragic period in Rio's history and highlights the horrors of life in poverty-line communities. Technically a remarkable filmmaking achievement too.

Nell Minow
Common Sense Media
December 22, 2010

Powerful, but only for 17 and up.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Nick Rogers
Suite101.com
September 25, 2010

Each chapter is endowed with powerful, uncompromising, beguiling and, sometimes, deceptive momentum. What seem like innocuous turns become so critical to the narrative that they tie into the ruthless idea at hand: You never see the bullet that kills you.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com
December 31, 2009

Brazillian director Mereilles' splashy feature debut, a dynamically exciting portrait of Rio's violent gangs, immediately established himsef as an international talent to watch, and the Oscar nods only reaffirmed that status.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
David Rooney
Variety
Top Critic
June 17, 2009

City of God delivers a bruising, visceral experience of the vicious spiral of violence that draws kids into a life of crime, brutality and murder as the only avenue open to them.

Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
June 12, 2009

Fernando Meirelles' Brazilian slum epic is a profound, stylistically expansive depiction of three decades of child gang warfare on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro with non-actors playing their poverty-ridden lives for the camera.

Full Review | Original Score: A+
Joe Lozito
Big Picture Big Sound
July 14, 2007

Director Fernando Meirelles creates an aura of fear unlike any film in recent memory.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Jason Gorber
Film Scouts
June 21, 2007

Kinetic, exciting, brutal, it's a supreme achievement and better than almost any film you're likely to see this year.

Full Review | Original Score: A
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
Top Critic
June 24, 2006

The performances, many from non-pros, are terrific.

Jeffrey Overstreet
Looking Closer
January 15, 2005

City of God is not the easiest film to watch, but it is a masterpiece all the same, maybe the best crime drama since the Godfather films.

| Original Score: A-
Mark Sells
Oregon Herald
August 13, 2004

A staggering masterpiece.

Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Kent Turner
Film-Forward.com
June 25, 2004

At a full-throttle pace and exciting from beginning to end, directors Lund and Meirrelles grab hold of your attention and don't let go.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Martin Scribbs
Low IQ Canadian
June 13, 2004

Directors Kátia Lund and Fernando Meirelles stir all the cinematic virtues into this finely-crafted narrative.

John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis
June 8, 2004

It's a grim epitaph for hypocrisy, and the film provides no comfortable answers for solving any of the problems it so well describes.

Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
May 19, 2004

Difficult to watch but hard to look away from.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Lance Goldenberg
Weekly Planet (Tampa, FL)
May 10, 2004

We've seen this story before, more or less -- the blood, the budding psychopaths, the all-too-young victims of urban decay -- but never quite like this.

Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Wesley Lovell
Cinema Sight
April 18, 2004

As we see kids of no more than ten or twelve run through the streets with guns shooting those who don't give them what they want, we can't help but pity them.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Steven Snyder
Zertinet Movies
March 17, 2004

"City of God" is a movie that, for the lack of a better term, incites us. It elicits a response. It pounds away at us until we break...

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
Top Critic
March 11, 2004

The living conditions it projects are as horrendous as I had feared, but the movie is surprisingly easy to take as a rollicking homicidal entertainment.

Brian Mckay
eFilmCritic.com
March 4, 2004

Films like City of God are a wake-up call that something must change. Yet the only answer it finds is the most daunting question - "How?"

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5

Sight and Sound
June 18, 2012

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