Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 47


Audience Score

User Ratings: 102,872
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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
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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

  • Apr 13, 2016
    A beautifully filmed dystopian society by director Terry Gilliam. The story is about a man who doesn't really have much motivation or drive to move up in the world so his mother pulls strings to get him promoted. He doesn't want to until a mysterious beautiful woman who witnesses the state arrest the wrong man compels him to do so. Beautiful sets that look as if they inspired Tim Burton's "Batman."
    Joseph B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 28, 2015
    Brazil is such an amazingly imaginative film, it makes you wonder how it ever managed to get produced. The direction takes you on this stunning roller coaster ride through a dystopia theme park. The dark humor works great, with the world being so terribly bad that it is more ridiculously funny than horrifying. All-in-all Brazil is one of those films where you have to see it, even if you end up not liking it, to at least have seen it.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 13, 2015
    Stuffy and extremely political, I found Brazil to be quite disappointing in the fact that most of it seems to serve as a kind of propaganda of sorts, desperately attempting to satirise things that have already been satirised. 3 and a 1/2 stars are rewarded for the films good performances and the Monty Python-esque visuals and humour. Brazil is an over-long but generally enjoyable political headache.
    Harry W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 20, 2014
    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 r Super Reviewer

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