Cidade dos Homens (City of Men) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cidade dos Homens (City of Men) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 13, 2016
A worthy follow-up and conclusion to the TV series, but unfairly shadowed by the greatness of City of God. The two long-time friends now deal with problems that are more compelling than before, and they even get caught up in a war between rival gangs that could cost them their friendship.
½ June 3, 2015
Emotional portrait of how it is to grow up in Rio's favelas.
½ May 3, 2015
A look at life in the streets of Rio de Janeiro is gritty but not always engaging.
March 29, 2015
Not as good as City of God but still captivating.
½ November 20, 2014
A bit too melodramatic and it will unfortunately be compared to the much superior City of God. When it focuses a bit more on the gang and poverty aspects it is a much more interesting movie, but the movie gets bogged down early by an uninteresting plot involving two kids and their dads.

While the cinematography is still nice, this movie is just no City of God. It's hard to get into because the first half hour or so is just so uninteresting. Even now I can't remember some of the characters names or how they related to each other. The ending is also way too ridiculous and almost like something out of a soap opera. Why the one friend would shoot his other friend or even think of doing so was just so unlikely and made the Ace character far less likable (and because of his neglect for his son and constant whining it already was difficult to like him).

Still, it's a decent watch for those who are huge fans of City of God. It's like revisiting the same place, only it's not as memorable as the first time. If you haven't seen City of God, go watch that first. If you have seen it and you want to see more, then this isn't so bad.
July 14, 2014
This film is a sort of sequel to City Of God,
I thought it was good and even though it's not as intense or violent as City Of God, it still holds some pretty good moments and complete somehow the first film.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ June 29, 2014
"City of God" was harsh enough, and now, God is leaving things in the hands of men, and teenaged men, no less, so this ought to be real hardcore. For those of you who wanted to see more of kids being brutal gangsters in "City of Gold", then this is the coming-of-age film for you, you sick, demented freak. More than that, this film is for those jerks who say that you can't make a decent sequel, or TV shows into decent movies... you know, because this film is based on a TV show. Yeah, I hadn't heard about the "City of Men" series, but then again, as much Mexican TV as we're being bombarded with in the States, I'm not especially enthusiastic about splitting hairs and actively seeking out Brazilian TV. I was offensive enough with my jokes about black people in Brazil with my opener for "City of God", and now I'm poking fun at Portuguese, so, needless to say, I better not visit Brazil any time soon if it's this brutal. Man, Rio de Janeiro is supposed to be pretty, but it has a dark side, and in case you didn't get that after a major film and four seasons of a TV show, here's yet another reminder that the filmmakers felt that you needed. Hey, I'll take it, not just because I'm apparently four seasons behind on this show, but because this film was reasonably worth waiting for, which isn't to say that this is on the level of its predecessor, falling, or rather, dragging itself shy of its potential.

Running not but a little over 100 minutes, this film is a good deal shorter than "City of God", and I suppose that it's therefore not as overlong, but it is overdrawn enough to spend too much time with certain story layers and segments, to where the eventual shifts jar so greatly that the narrative ends up feeling pretty unnervingly disjointed. If the structural dragging does nothing else, it leads to limp spells in material which in turn lead to dry spells in thoughtful, perhaps even too thoughtful direction by Paulo Morelli, whose tension is adequate, but hardly compared to the intensity of Fernando Meirelles' direction, no matter how hard the filmmakers work to emulate elements of the predecessor. There are a few twists and turns to this sequel, but in so many ways, this film shamelessly succumbs to the formula of its predecessor, which was itself formulaic, thus, you end up with a follow-up to an almost innovative drama that is ironically hardly unique, being almost tired, particularly with its melodramatics. Although "City of God" was often too real to be all that comforting as a grimy drama, it was at least consistently genuine, and while this film is far from contrived, it does feel a little manufactured with its histrionics at times, as though it is ambitiously struggling to sustain a sense of conflict and weight, through all the limitations in dramatic meat. There is a fair bit to complain about, of course, but when you get down to it, the biggest shortcomings seem to be of a natural persuasion within more narratively tamed and less layered story concept, whose interpretation simply tries to juice things up. All of the dragging, histrionics and overall ambition ironically end up driving you to focus more on how there's only so much potential to this drama, which is promising, make no mistake, but just not as juicy as its predecessor, at least enough to handle the consequential shortcomings' blows and retain reward value. The final product ultimately succumbs to underwhelmingness, but it at least fights a good enough fight to border on overcoming the shortcomings, even going so far as to rest upon the shoulders of compelling style.

Allowed to play with his modernist flare a little bit more, without the accompaniment of Ed Cortês, Antonio Pinto turns in a score that is still unevenly used, yet subtly, but surely more unique than the score to "City of God", being rich with a fast-pace, when not tastefully tender Brazilian flare that colors up the film about as much as cinematography by Adriano Goldman which, while arguably too derivative of the visual style of "City of God", all but captivates with a ruggedly shady grit that fits this drama like a glove. Stylistically, the film excels, often as surely as it predecessor did, and sometimes more so, and such style does do a lot to keep the film engaging, partly through its flavoring up entertainment value with aesthetic value, and largely through its fitting the nitty and gritty, yet tasteful story. Thinner, more formulaic and more disjointed, this film's story is lacking compared to that of "City of God", even in concept, but there's also something more compelling about this more intimate crime thriller, whose retaining a degree of tension establishes a degree of potential that is ultimately done an injustice in too many places in overambitious storytelling. Even Elena Soarez's and Paulo Morelli's script tries too hard in too many places, but when it finds realization through structural and dramatic excess, it sees well-rounded characterization and a certain surprisingly tasteful thoughtfulness that is augmented by Morelli's direction, which, for all its being so overblown, yet still not as biting as the direction of the predecessor, bits when it most ought to. Mind you, that simply means that this film is adequate as a thriller which fails to consistently engross, but it's nonetheless a relative success as a pretty engaging, if often sloppy, and ultimately intimate, character-driven drama. If nothing else keeps the heart of this dramatic character thriller pumping, it is the acting, something that I admittedly find more impressive here, due to there being more material for the cast to bring to life with charisma and layers, with leads Douglas Silva and Darlan Cunha most standing out with their chemistry and individual nuances. These very young talents, at not even 20, drive the final product a respectable distance, and while the final product isn't quite pushed to a rewarding state that it couldn't achieve merely with strong performances, the acting, in addition to other elements which meet ambition with inspiration, engage plenty, just not as much as it could have.

In conclusion, the structure is draggy and disjointed, while a lack of the tension from the predecessor, plenty of conventions and a fair deal of melodramatics, all behind a story of only so much scope, secure the final product as underwhelming, but just barely, as sharp score work and visual style compliment the flare of a story that is truly done justice by the tasteful, if overambitious writing and direction, and solid performances - particularly those of Douglas Silva and Darlan Cunha - that secure Paulo Morelli's "City of Men" as, maybe not as rewarding, but as serviceably compelling as a continuation in a brutal portrayal of the dark side of Rio de Janeiro.

2.75/5 - Decent
½ November 26, 2013
It's almost impossible to follow its predecessor, "City of God," which was essentially a perfect 10. City of Men is similar in its beautiful direction, cinematography, and violence but lacks the same punch in terms of storyline and character development.
November 21, 2013
Cidade dos Homens concede-nos uma visão realista da vida das favelas, nomeadamente a pobreza, violência, as disputas territoriais, a busca pela "glória", a troca de tiros entre grupos rivais e acima de tudo ao enfoque que se dá ao risco de uma criança nascer sem um tutor/pai que o ajude a andar por "bons caminhos".
85% :D
½ October 20, 2013
not as good as city of god, but still a good movie
½ July 30, 2013
Credible companion piece to Fernando Meirelles' City Of God (Cidade de Deus - 2002). As authentic looking but not nearly as technically innovative, we still are unable to look away from the grit and the tension. The relentless heat of the favelas is palpable.

Like Meirelles, Paulo Morelli leaves us with few solutions and only a glimpse of a difficult and uncertain future.
May 28, 2013
if you dont mind wathcing subtitles this is really good. Also watch city of god.
April 11, 2013
A spiritual sequel to the 'City of God' is one of the few names given to this tale about two close friends born into the Brazilian slums of Rio de Janeiro who each explore and come to terms with the role fatherhood has played in their lives while avoiding the violent culture of gangs. It certainly adopts some of the power from 'City of God' and correctly applies it to a more emotional, family influenced story less concentrated on the gangsters without losing its authenticity. However, this it turn means it lacks the energy and rawness of its 'predecessor' which means it doesn't attain the same level of quality. Seeing as the 'City of God' is such a great film, this is hardly a deep criticism.
January 22, 2013
recording to view soon as I find time...
December 8, 2012
If you liked City of God... Don't watch this.
October 27, 2012
If you like international cinema this is a very watchable film but I must admit that I expected it to be more engaging than I found it to be on first viewing. I don't I'd want to watch it again.
garyX
Super Reviewer
½ August 3, 2012
As two friends from the slums of Rio approach their 18th birthdays, a war between two gangs tears their community apart. Continuing the themes of City Of God, City Of Men takes up the story of life in the Brazilian ghetto as the boys become "men", brought up in an society where the family unit is all but defunct. Girls have to grow up at a very young age in an environment where they have no access to contraception and no money for abortion clinics, made pregnant by boys who have no roots, no emotional connections or sense of responsibility as they grew up without role models, having been brought up fatherless themselves and left to fend alone on the dog eat dog streets while their mothers go out to work. The film has the same combination of excellent visuals, intelligent characterisation and amazingly naturalistic performances of the original. It doesn't quite have the same sense of complexity or originality of City Of God, but does once again manage to create a real sense of what it must be like to grow up on these mean streets, showing the incredibly tense gun battles through the darkened slums as anything but glamorous and appealing. It does share the same underlying message as well; if the cycle is not broken, then history will continue repeating itself and nothing will ever change.
½ July 25, 2012
Quite different from "City of God" but a thoroughly captivating film nonetheless.
½ July 12, 2012
Although it is not really a sequel comparisons with 'City of God' will always be made, this is not as inventive or vibrant as the 2002 movie but it still has a decent story and a similar air of authenticity.
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