World War Z
The Bling Ring
Jack the Giant Slayer
21 And Over
Tells a familiar story with an emotional intensity and a high eroticism that makes a lacerating impact.
| Original Score: 3/4
Brazilian filmmaker Sergio Machado scores a strong debut with this look at young hustlers in a lovers' triangle.
Machado ... saturates his directorial debut with rich, golden color, defining it with close, handheld shots that accentuate the feeling of skin on skin.
| Original Score: B
Machado, a former assistant to Central Station filmmaker Walter Salles, doesn't seem to have a particular cinematic destination in mind for these characters, and the rather abrupt ending doesn't work.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
The result is something you've seen many times but never quite like this.
Machado allowed his actors plenty of space to internalize and create their moments, which consist of rage hidden behind subtleties, libidinous pressure at the edge of containment.
| Original Score: 4/5
As universal as the plot may be, it must be said that Karinna, Deco and Naldinho's longings, resentments, economic desperation and confusions are unnervingly palpable throughout.
The themes are all familiar and the plot unfolds slowly and in predictable ways, but there's plenty of heat generated by the three leads.
| Original Score: 3/5
This frenetic potboiler about a love triangle on the Salvador waterfront smacks of liberal slumming and bristles with faux authenticity.
Brazilian actress Alice Braga (niece of legendary Sonia Braga) is something special: beautiful and innocent without make-up, seasoned and hard in a pair of short shorts and a gold push-up bra.
This is nothing really special, but it gets the job done.
| Original Score: 2.7/5
The story wears thin long before it's over, but Machado draws strong performances from his leads and makes excellent use of its rundown locations.
| Original Score: 2/4
The film is gritty and graphic, with 'artsy' takes where the camera holds on a motionless actor. But art it isn't.
| Original Score: 1/4
Machado remains nonjudgmental while getting convincing performances from Braga and, as the young men, Lazaro Ramos and Wagner Moura.
| Original Score: 3/4
There's also something patronizing about the zeal with which Machado wallows in the muck, especially since his characters' lives revolve entirely around sex.
Another fine example of Brazilian cinema at its best.
| Original Score: 8/10
The movie turns out to be a predictable and somewhat sentimental lower-depths love triangle, but Ms. Braga almost makes it work.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
A pleasurably swollen Brazilian soap opera.
| Original Score: B+
It's slick homogeneity, co-produced by Salles and co-funded by the Brazilian petroleum giant Petrobras, of a kind that commonly finds U.S. distribution while far better, riskier, more memorable films on the international table are ignored.
In the end, Lower City is never quite as energetic as it wants to be, touched by the strange, milky lethargy that steeps every waterfront film.