Cidade de Deus (City of God) (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

Cidade de Deus (City of God) (2003)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: A shocking and disturbing, but always compelling look at life in the slums of Rio de Janiero.

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Movie Info

Fernando Meirelles' City of God is a sweeping tale of how crime affects the poor population of Rio de Janeiro. Though the narrative skips around in time, the main focus is on Cabeleira who formed a gang called the Tender Trio. He and his best friend, Bené (Phelipe Haagensen), become crime lords over the course of a decade. When Bené is killed before he can retire, Lil' Zé attempts to take out his arch enemy, Sandro Cenoura (Matheus Nachtergaele). But Sandro and a young gangster named Mane form an alliance and begin a gang war with Lil' Zé. Amateur photographer Buscape (Alexandre Rodrigues) takes pictures of the brutal crime war, making their story famous. City of God was screened at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.

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Cast

Matheus Nachtergaele
as Sandro Cenoura (Carrot)
Phelipe Haagensen
as Bené (Benny)
Douglas Silva
as Lil' Dice
Seu Jorge
as Knockout Ned
Alice Braga
as Angélica
Emerson Gomes
as Young Stringy
Darlan Cunha
as Filé-com-Fritas
Leandra Miranda
as Lucia Maracana
Graziella Moretto
as Marina Cintra
Karina Falcao
as Shorty's wife
Sabrina Rosa
as Galinha's Girlfriend
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News & Interviews for Cidade de Deus (City of God)

Critic Reviews for Cidade de Deus (City of God)

All Critics (156) | Top Critics (37)

I came away from this film impressed by its narrative control but unmoved by anything it had to say.

November 8, 2011 | Full Review…
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

City of God delivers a bruising, visceral experience of the vicious spiral of violence that draws kids into a life of crime, brutality and murder as the only avenue open to them.

June 17, 2009 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

The performances, many from non-pros, are terrific.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Difficult to watch but hard to look away from.

May 19, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

The living conditions it projects are as horrendous as I had feared, but the movie is surprisingly easy to take as a rollicking homicidal entertainment.

March 11, 2004 | Full Review…
New York Observer
Top Critic

Hard to watch but even harder to tear your eyes away from.

March 20, 2003 | Rating: 5/5
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Cidade de Deus (City of God)

½

With an elaborate plot centered on a dozen characters (most of which are played by excellent amateur actors from slums), Meirelles creates a stylized and superbly-edited modern classic that throws us into a war between rival factions in a dangerous Brazilian favela.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

If you don't like guns, this movie will be very painful for you. But a compelling glimpse into gang violence in Brazil in the 1970s.

Letitia Lew
Letitia Lew

Super Reviewer

½

A young boy grows up amid gang violence in Rio. More of a chronicle of disparate gangs than a cohesive plot, City of God is frenetic filmmaking at its finest. Quick camera pans, storylines that stop and start, and bloodletting violence fill this film with the type of energy that is reminiscent of Tarantino and Scorsese. Based on true stories, the film is more about environment than plot, and the feeling is both harrowing and shocking. There's no one central performance that strikes me as remarkable because all of the performances ring with authenticity. Overall, this is one of the finest portraits of gang violence produced outside of America.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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