Cidade de Deus (City of God)

2003

Cidade de Deus (City of God)

Critics Consensus

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

91%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 159

97%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 251,924
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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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Critic Reviews for Cidade de Deus (City of God)

All Critics (159) | Top Critics (40)

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

    Nov 8, 2011 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Jun 17, 2009 | Full Review…

    David Rooney

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The performances, many from non-pros, are terrific.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Difficult to watch but hard to look away from.

    May 19, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Mar 11, 2004 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Observer
    Top Critic
  • It's like Scorsese meets Peckinpah and Sergio Leone, with a samba soundtrack.

    Mar 21, 2003 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Cidade de Deus (City of God)

  • Sep 06, 2016
    As good as everyone says it is. Check this out.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 26, 2015
    City of God isn't only a brilliant film just because of how well it was created, but more of because it delivers an important message to the world.
    Maymay A Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2015
    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 L Super Reviewer
  • Dec 13, 2014
    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 H Super Reviewer

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