Brazil (1985) - Rotten Tomatoes

Brazil (1985)



Critic Consensus: Brazil, Terry Gilliam's visionary Orwellian fantasy, is an audacious dark comedy, filled with strange, imaginative visuals.

Movie Info

Terry Gilliam's 1985 film is a surrealist nightmare of a low-level bureaucrat in a dismal world of the near future.more
Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Charles McKeown, Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard, Laura Kerr, Frank Gill, Jr.
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 31, 1998
Universal Pictures


Jonathan Pryce
as Sam Lowry
Robert De Niro
as Archibald 'Harry' Tu...
Michael Palin
as Jack Lint
Kim Greist
as Jill Layton
Ian Holm
as Kurtzmann
Peter Vaughan
as Helpmann
Jim Broadbent
as Dr. Jaffe
Barbara Hicks
as Mrs. Terrain
Sheila Reid
as Mrs. Buttle
John Flanagan
as TV Interviewer/Sales...
Ray Cooper
as Technician
Brian Miller
as Mr. Buttle
Simon Nash
as Boy Buttle
Prudence Oliver
as Girl Buttle
Simon Jones
as Arrest Official
Derek Deadman
as Bill, Department of...
Nigel Planer
as Charlie, Department...
Gorden Kaye
as MOI Lobby Porter
Tony Portacio
as Neighbor in Clerk's ...
Winston Dennis
as Samurai Warrior
Diana Martin
as Telegram Girl
Jack Purvis
as Dr. Chapman
Anthony G. Brown
as Porter, Information ...
Elizabeth Spender
as Alison/Barbara Lint
Anthony Brown
as Porter, Information...
Myrtle Devenish
as Typist in Jack's Off...
John Pierce Jones
as Basement Guard
Ann Way
as Old Lady with Dog
Terry Forrestal
as Burning Trooper
Howard Lew Lewis
as 2nd Black Maria Guar...
Don Henderson
as Black Maria Guard
Howard Lewis
as Black Maria Guard
Oscar Quitak
as Interview Official
Patrick Connor
as Cell Guard
Sadie Corre
as Midget Woman
Brian Miller
as Mr. Buttle
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Brazil

Critic Reviews for Brazil

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (9)

[A] darkly funny and truly visionary retro-futurist fantasy.

Full Review… | March 12, 2011
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

Brazil is a stinging, Strangelovian satire of the power of the bureaucracy in an Orwellian landscape.

Full Review… | October 16, 2008
Top Critic

Brazil offers a chillingly hilarious vision of the near-future.

Full Review… | May 30, 2007
Top Critic

Terry Gilliam's ferociously creative black comedy is filled with wild tonal contrasts, swarming details, and unfettered visual invention -- every shot carries a charge of surprise and delight.

Full Review… | May 30, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Fortunately the story of an alternative future is realised with such visual imagination and sparky humour that it's only half way through that the plot's weaknesses become apparent.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A superb example of the power of comedy to underscore serious ideas, even solemn ones.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Brazil

Gilliam's funny and disturbing commentary on a modern society (only half pretending to be about some imaginary "other place" yet spot on accurate about our own after 30 years!) that sort of protects us all while sort of feeding on us is beyond price. Jonathon Pryce is spot on as a Stan Laurel everyman haplessly trying to right an impossibly wrong world. And the title? Its a dream destination that no one ever gets to.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

A tour-de-force of dark comedy, terror, whimsy, and insufferable bureaucracy.

Kase Vollebregt
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer


Terry Gilliam's Brazil is a highly engaging black comedy that uses a dystopian society as its backdrop, and puts a unique twist on the genre, and through Gilliam's camera lens, it's a truly bizarre and memorable vision. The dystopian genre is very interesting, and it's one that is always exciting to see what they'll come up with it. With Brazil you have something totally different, you have hints of humor thrown into the film's storyline, and it adds something to the enjoyment of the film. Dystopian society films are often dark, nightmarish portraits of a society, but with this film we get something very different. The formula here has been reworked to give the storyline a bit more range than your standard dystopian film, and in turn it makes for a truly engaging experience. In the hands of Terry Gilliam, you have a well crafted picture with some truly stellar performances from its cast, especially from lead actor Jonathan Pryce who lights up every scene that he's in. Brazil is a great film, one that succeeds at delivering a different take on your standard dystopian society film, and in the hands of Terry Gilliam, he crafts a standout picture that is sure to please genre fans looking for something a bit different. Brazil is eccentric in the way that it's told, and it makes for a truly entertaining two and a half hours. If you enjoy Gilliam's work, you're sure to enjoy this. What makes Brazil great is the fact that it has your standard dark, atmospheric elements than are synonymous with the genre, but there are also lighter touches comic relief to really make it stand out among other films. Brazil is great filmmaking and one of the finest dystopian society films I've seen. With a great mix of comedy and serious content, Brazil is a standout genre film that elevates the bar and makes for a truly worthwhile viewing experience.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Brazil Quotes

Holly: Put it on big boy, I won't look at your willy.
– Submitted by Jordan H (13 months ago)
TV Interviewer/Salesman: How do you account for the fact that the bombing campaign has been going on for thirteen years?
Helpmann: Beginners' luck.
– Submitted by Dov D (3 years ago)
Mrs. Terrian: There's been a little complication with my complication.
– Submitted by Dov D (3 years ago)
Dr. Jaffe: Just me and my little knife! Snip snip - slice slice... can you believe it?
– Submitted by Dov D (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

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