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Cidade de Deus (City of God) Reviews

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UUd I

Super Reviewer

January 17, 2012
I like narrative movie and I was shock that this movie base on true story.A shocking and disturbing, but always compelling look at life in the slum dog of Rio de Janiero.
MANUGINO
MANUGINO

Super Reviewer

November 24, 2009
If you run it will get you. If you stay it will eat you.

Great Film!!! Not only are the characters in City of God absolutely fascinating, and also very endearing, but also convincingly acted by groups of young and unknown actors. The stories are well-told, and at times, funny, and at others, brutally shocking. The cinematic style of the film gives a nod to Tarantino, with some clever time-jumping, freeze-framing, and texts indicating another chapter of the film. In every sense, a bit of a Brazillian "Pulp Fiction" or "Goodfellas", but with its own unique flavour to it. The City of God is a marvel, and a highly recommended film to watch, but not recommended for the over-sensitive or easily distressed.

Brazil, 1960's, City of God. The Tender Trio robs motels and gas trucks. Younger kids watch and learn well...too well. 1970's: Li'l Zé has prospered very well and owns the city. He causes violence and fear as he wipes out rival gangs without mercy. His best friend Bené is the only one to keep him on the good side of sanity. Rocket has watched these two gain power for years, and he wants no part of it. Yet he keeps getting swept up in the madness. All he wants to do is take pictures. 1980's: Things are out of control between the last two remaining gangs...will it ever end? Welcome to the City of God.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

January 1, 2007
Following the lives of a group of friends and their extended circle growing up in the slums of Rio De Janeiro, this story will strike a chord with the poor and desperate around the world. Honest and hardworking Rocket slaves away for a pittance while watching brutal hoods take everything they want without conscience with the authorities caring little for this unwanted underclass so the ruthless run free to perpetuate an endless cycle of violence when desperation gives way to greed. This film is a stunning experience as you watch children play cops and robbers with real guns as only the most coldblooded and heartless survive; the cinematography is truly gorgeous, almost too much so considering the subject matter. The performances are also totally convincing all round, even to the smallest child. Direction is similarly flawless, brilliantly revisiting characters and plot points at strategic intervals and masterfully recreating a sense of time passing and the evolution of this criminal "dynasty", only for it to be shockingly ended by the next generation. Add to this the fact that this story is actually true and you have a film of incredible resonance. One of the best crime stories you will ever see.
Idrees K

Super Reviewer

May 11, 2011
Disturbing does not come close to describing some of the scenes in this film, but what's even more disturbing is the fact that many of those scenes happen every day in some places.
Jan Marc M

Super Reviewer

September 10, 2011
City Of God accounts a photojournalist's first-hand true story narrative on the roots and cycle of crime and violence and the ironic cruelties of life set Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Shocking, disturbing, and devastating epic, yet powerful and compelling. A staggering masterpiece.
Jay H

Super Reviewer

July 31, 2011
A compelling account of a 1970s gang war in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, "City of God" manages to not only entertain the audience as we might be entertained during any violent inner-city story, but it also manages to set aside time to explore its main characters, creating a Lord-of-the-Flies-esque view of the sort of behavior to which we might resort under an anarchistic setting. This film is often found on all-time-best-movies lists, and for good reason. There are so few films as well-made and compelling as this.
Eric A

Super Reviewer

July 31, 2011
Raw movie filled with greed and struggle, keeping you gripped throughout.
shauna1354
shauna1354

Super Reviewer

October 10, 2007
Magnificent, powerful and totally compelling.
I felt transported into the City of God whilst watching this film, the director really makes you feel every inch of the film and care for and despise some of the characters.
It's a solid yet exciting film with faultless performances. Leandro Firmino was especially excellent as Li'l Zé, I don't think I've ever hated a character as much.
This film is wonderfully crafted with beautiful cinematography that takes you on an exhilirating and brutal journey into the slums of Rio de Janeiro. Probably one of the best foreign films I have seen, it stays with you. See this movie.
paul o.
paul o.

Super Reviewer

January 15, 2011
I dont always watch foreign films but City of God is sooooo good! The story was beautiful, the editing was spot on, and the dialogue was intense. Showing the rough lifestyle of people in Rio de Janiero, Rocket attempts to become a photographer while exiting the city of god and its violence.
jamers2011
jamers2011

Super Reviewer

August 19, 2010
One of the closest things to a perfect film I have ever seen. Brilliant doesn't quite describe how brilliant this film is. Excellent in every way! One of my favorites and one of the best. You absolutely must see this.
Mark W

Super Reviewer

June 12, 2010
Cidade de Dues (City of God) is a story of the "favelas", the slums of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and the hardships of the people living there, just trying to get by and survive the violent envornment they live in. Two friends are at the heart of the story striving to make ends meet and escape the chaos around them. One chooses photography as a means of escape and uses his surroundings as his work. The other struggles to pull himself away from the gang, gun and drug culture which puts their friendship at risk.
A very brutal, violent but totally gripping and powerful film that doesn't shy away from the dangers of living in extreme poverty.
Quite simply an absolute belter!!!
Sophie B

Super Reviewer

May 17, 2010
Technically this is a great film and I loved watching the characters grow and the cinematography was great. It really shows the class divide in Rio and I just lvoed the setting. The acting was really good and natural. I didn't really like the story and I didn't find it entertaining in that way as it was just about drugs and gun violence. It was interesting to watch to see what happened and how things turned out but it wasn't something I'd watch again. It shows very clearly that crime just can't be stopped in an area like this. It will continue to thrive, even when the gang leaders are taken out.
Dean !

Super Reviewer

December 31, 2006
A great film based on a true story of the life of a group of friends growing up in the slums of Rio. Drawn into a violent life of crime, drugs and murder from a young age. The way it charts the life of the friends and brothers through the years and how their actions effect them in the future is very well done. A very entertaining film!
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

April 7, 2007
Gripping, honest and beautiful storytelling, looks amazing on the screen and just sears its viewer. [I'll likely say more about how the Best Foreign Language Oscar was stolen from this one in 2002 once I've seen the shortlisted competitors and can prove it, but let me just say this: it must've been one hell of a year for movies to leave this out.]
flixsterman
flixsterman

Super Reviewer

December 28, 2008
I was absolutely engrossed in this story from beginning to end. The only knock on this film is that it most likely put a dent in Brazil's tourist trade. Simply outstanding cinema.
Dan S

Super Reviewer

October 21, 2007
A violent, thought-provoking look at the slums of Rio de Janerio. Heart pounding and unrelentingly harsh and brutal to the end, but has a unique perspective on the underbelly of some South American societies.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 16, 2009
An extraordinary and quite brutal film about the youth in Brazil. It's powerful stuff and sadly based on real life. Highly recommended viewing!
sanjurosamurai
sanjurosamurai

Super Reviewer

January 18, 2007
astounding film. brilliant camera work, excellent acting, and a stunning story.
kpn666
kpn666

Super Reviewer

February 22, 2009
Welcome to the world... the City of God. Founded in 1960 in the southern corner of Rio De Janiero, used as a slum housing area for immigrants and the poor. A place that was supposed to be a symbol of peace and freedom.No.Welcome to the dark world of crime, drugs, violence and cruelty to which there is no escape. Rocket is a young boy living with his parents and older brother, growing up in the city, and watching the city grow around him. Torn between the need to make it out and successful, but seeing that the most likley way is through crime, he finally gets his unexpected break through sheer blind luck and the audacity of the criminals to which his life revolves around. Seeing his brother growing up as a hood and getting killed, seeing drugs destroy people, and seeing how the greed and thirst for blood and power can destroy a world, he becomes the observer through his narrative, eyes and ears and the lens of his camera. The narrator of life in this modern hell, fuelled by the desire for success and survival.Its gruesome, brutal, tough and not even the tough survive, only the smart ones. The movie revovles around the history of City of God as a cesspool of degenerates and debauchery, from Rocket's peers becoming the Kingpins of Crime, to the rise of kindergaten kids weilding weapons, consuming drugs and terrorising the innocent. Noone is safe... and its ironic to see that the world Rocket wants no part of, is the world which will bring him his glory.Its easy to lose yourself in this film, which is exactly the way I like it. forget you are at home watching this, you are too busy living 30 years into the past in another world, a world which did exist and still exists to this very day. The lure of power and greed is something noone can resist if you lived and breathed these boys and men, and how could you turn away, if all you had was your pride and will?Its authentic and unnatural at the same time... Ive seen war zones and my share of slums in movies and life, and this is no exception. I guess the info about the director and crew using the real settings and real "favelahs" to star in the film, are true. How else could it be so damn real?? Or surreal... I wish I could sit on the beautiful golden beach with a hot girl... but then again I wouldn't want to do a full 180 in a second and stare down a pistol. Life changes as easy as a flip of the coin.Whats pretty shocking, or cool, is the protrayl of young boys hardend at an early age to drugs, death and crime. We see boys no older than 8-10 year old pulling the trigger, swearing, smoking pot and at the end, symbolsing the never ending cycle of hell as they take over after the bloody climax. Guns, blood, sex and drugs, its the 60's to 70's at its worst. And one of the best foriegn language films ever. If I had a pet ape, he'd give four thumbs up.
Daniel H

Super Reviewer

March 6, 2007
An amazingly well paced, organized and enthralling plot combined with a wonderful attention to detail and character development.

Few films cinematically activate an honest setting like this without losing the feeling that a gritty reality lies behind it. Instead, the favela setting is evident not merely the aesthetics of the film, but the acting itself... which, after all, is the main focus of the film: the characters struggle over where their identities end and where their environment begins.

Powerful and meticulously orchestrated, City of God is a film that deserves to be seen.
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