Central Station (Central do Brasil)


Central Station (Central do Brasil)

Critics Consensus

Director Salles transcends road-movie clichés and crafts a film that is as moving as it is universal.



Total Count: 48


Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,516
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Movie Info

Dora is a former school teacher who makes a living by writing letters for illiterate people passing through Rio de Janeiro's main train station, Central Station. Among her clients are Ana and her nine-year-old son Josue, who has a fierce desire to meet his father, whom he has never seen. Dora has become stoically indifferent to her charge, choosing arbitrarily to send some letters and discard others with the help of her neighbor Irene. A sudden accident leaves Josue orphaned at the station and this is when Dora's life begins to change dramatically. Swayed by a curiously maternal compassion, Dora commits to returning Josue to his father in Brazil's remote Northeast.


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Critic Reviews for Central Station (Central do Brasil)

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (45) | Rotten (3)

  • As beautiful as it is wrenching.

    Feb 14, 2001 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
  • its blatantly manipulative pairing of an adorable young boy and a selfish, honesty-challenged older woman ... so calculating that I could never get emotionally involved.

    Jan 1, 2000
  • Salles directs simply and watchfully, with an eye that seems to penetrate all the characters who are encountered on Dora's and Josue's journey.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/5
  • [Salles'] imagery, like his storytelling, is clear, often unaffectedly lovely, and quietly, powerfully haunting.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 4.5/5
  • Central Station is both literate and emotionally-powerful -- an increasingly rare combination.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The movie's success rests largely on the shoulders of Fernanda Montenegro, an actress who successfully defeats any temptation to allow sentimentality to wreck her relationship with the child.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Central Station (Central do Brasil)

  • Oct 31, 2016
    Warm and deeply moving, this is not your typical road movie but a wonderful drama that will make you laugh, cry and in the end feel like you got to know these characters and shared this unique experience with them - a merit also of its two magnificent central performances.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2011
    Central Station is of a tale of sorrow that brought two strangers together to embark on an uncertain journey. Sophisticated cinematography and lush musical score. Metaphor-rich, heavy, moving, and very powerful that is surely to deliver a pinch in the heart.
    Jan Marc M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 13, 2011
    Clichés are clear and present but the character connection and the cinematography are also clear and present. One commmentary slightly deviated from the movie's main topic, though: Perhaps I was the only guy on Earth who spotted Walter's indirect commentary against religiosity and idolatry, not only because of the hidden texts of the Bible briefly shown in a particular shot (Psalm 115.8; Isaiah 44.9). Pay attention to the pilgrimage scene and how it ends. Looks like we have something more than just a dramatic story going on. Unfortunately, that topic didn't fully evolve... 85/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 08, 2009
    Central Station was like a road trip movie between a woman and a child. It showed Dora's identity,which was similar to the atmosphere of Rio De Janeiro. Working as a letter writer at the Central Station, she was a cold heart person caring for her own well being. She hated her customers and chose not to mail the letters she wrote for them. All changed when she met Josue, a 9 year old boy, whose mother died in a tragic accident, Dora took care of Josue, and went on a journey along the countryside to find his father. They passed through series of trials throughout the movie.The ending made it emotional, because I was expecting Dora and Josue to remain friends.The story, the tone the acting,everything meld together and created a fascinating and beautiful work in its simplicity.
    Daisy M Super Reviewer

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