Critics Consensus

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



Reviews Counted: 47

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 102,849


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 4.1/5

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Movie Info

Terry Gilliam's 1985 film is a surrealist nightmare of a low-level bureaucrat in a dismal world of the near future.

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Jonathan Pryce
as Sam Lowry
Robert De Niro
as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle
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/Salesman
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 Works
Nigel Planer
as Charlie, Department of Works
Gorden Kaye
as MOI Lobby Porter
Tony Portacio
as Neighbor in Clerk's Pool
Winston Dennis
as Samurai Warrior
Diana Martin
as Telegram Girl
Jack Purvis
as Dr. Chapman
Elizabeth Spender
as Alison/Barbara Lint
Anthony G. Brown
as Porter, Information Retrieval
Anthony Brown
as Porter, Information Retrieval
Myrtle Devenish
as Typist in Jack's Office
John Pierce Jones
as Basement Guard
Ann Way
as Old Lady with Dog
Terry Forrestal
as Burning Trooper
Don Henderson
as Black Maria Guard
Howard Lew Lewis
as 2nd Black Maria Guard
Howard Lewis
as Black Maria Guard
Oscar Quitak
as Interview Official
Patrick Connor
as Cell Guard
Sadie Corre
as Midget Woman
View All

News & Interviews for Brazil

Critic Reviews for Brazil

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (10)

  • It's like a stoned, slapstick 1984: a nightmare comedy in which the comedy is just an aspect of the nightmarishness.

    Jan 2, 2018 | Full Review…
  • [A] darkly funny and truly visionary retro-futurist fantasy.

    Mar 12, 2011 | Full Review…
  • Brazil is a stinging, Strangelovian satire of the power of the bureaucracy in an Orwellian landscape.

    Oct 16, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Brazil offers a chillingly hilarious vision of the near-future.

    May 30, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    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.

    May 30, 2007 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    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
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
Alex roy

Super Reviewer


A brilliant mad mess of a movie concerning a simple, mousy man (Jonathan Pryce), who is stuck to a boring, dead-end job in an Orwellian future, but still has big dreams of what he wants to become. The humor is pitch-black, the acting is precisely over the top, and the story is jammed packed with sublime jabs at society's clinging to clutter that is not making us better in the long run. The film's delightfully silly take on bureaucracy is a huge driving point to its success, where Gilliam continually finds ways to spice up his story while never missing a chance to take a swipe at something he hates. Not everyone's cup of tea to be sure, but besides "Monty Python and the Holy Grail", this is Gilliam's masterstroke. Although the relationship between Pryce and dream-girl Kim Greist could have used more work, with Greist's performance failing to leave a lasting impression, the story still succeeds on virtually every front. Not a perfect film, but very close to one.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

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