Cidade de Deus (City of God) Reviews

  • 6d ago

    A hauntingly real dive into Rio's seedy side, exploring the turf wars and drug scene of the city's worst neighborhood during the culture-rich 1970s. Beginning with an uncomfortably close look at their hopeless childhood living conditions, we see how, for many of these kids, guns and violence are literally their only chance at getting a leg up on life. Not that they're all sympathetic victims, either: some people are just born bad. Most of them, actually, seem to prefer a short career of quick gains and tragic ends. Why slave away for fifty years, selling fish out of a rickety old cart like your parents, when you can just live fast and die young? Take the eventual warlord Li'l Dice/Li'l Z for example: a malicious orphan who discards his older friends' warnings and cuts a violent swath through the city, thugs and innocents alike, before he's old enough to shave. His brand of me-first barbarism spreads through the community like a plague, spawning countless imitators while earning fear and respect in equal measures. Even the kids who try to make good, like the conflicted narrating photographer Rocket, dip their fingers into that drug-fueled honey jar when life gets tough. It's inescapable and, for a while, it all works out. The gangs enforce their own rules, a strict code that effectively eliminates random crime and establishes a sense of predictable normalcy for the unconnected population. It can't last forever, and it doesn't (there's an intense, if fleeting, power vacuum after the two bigwigs finally settle their score), but for a time that senseless chaos somehow produces its own twisted sense of order. Cruel and unflinching, with an appropriately frantic visual character, City of God swings with power. It'll touch you and hurt you, attract and repulse, and ultimately stick in your gut for days.

    A hauntingly real dive into Rio's seedy side, exploring the turf wars and drug scene of the city's worst neighborhood during the culture-rich 1970s. Beginning with an uncomfortably close look at their hopeless childhood living conditions, we see how, for many of these kids, guns and violence are literally their only chance at getting a leg up on life. Not that they're all sympathetic victims, either: some people are just born bad. Most of them, actually, seem to prefer a short career of quick gains and tragic ends. Why slave away for fifty years, selling fish out of a rickety old cart like your parents, when you can just live fast and die young? Take the eventual warlord Li'l Dice/Li'l Z for example: a malicious orphan who discards his older friends' warnings and cuts a violent swath through the city, thugs and innocents alike, before he's old enough to shave. His brand of me-first barbarism spreads through the community like a plague, spawning countless imitators while earning fear and respect in equal measures. Even the kids who try to make good, like the conflicted narrating photographer Rocket, dip their fingers into that drug-fueled honey jar when life gets tough. It's inescapable and, for a while, it all works out. The gangs enforce their own rules, a strict code that effectively eliminates random crime and establishes a sense of predictable normalcy for the unconnected population. It can't last forever, and it doesn't (there's an intense, if fleeting, power vacuum after the two bigwigs finally settle their score), but for a time that senseless chaos somehow produces its own twisted sense of order. Cruel and unflinching, with an appropriately frantic visual character, City of God swings with power. It'll touch you and hurt you, attract and repulse, and ultimately stick in your gut for days.

  • Jul 09, 2020

    One of the best films you'll ever see. Really glad to see people universally praise this super original work, just wish more studios had enough confidence to support unique stories like this instead of lazily funding sequel after sequel of garbage.

    One of the best films you'll ever see. Really glad to see people universally praise this super original work, just wish more studios had enough confidence to support unique stories like this instead of lazily funding sequel after sequel of garbage.

  • Jul 08, 2020

    This is a masterful exploration of the life in the slums of Rio de Janeiro focusing on the story of Rocket, a young, would be photographer and his family and friends. The movie is set in the 1970s and told in flashbacks and vignettes which tell the tales of prominent figures and events in Rocket's life. The slum, known as The City of God, is a violent place, riddled with gangland killings and drug dealer turf wars. Against this background, Rocket grows up and, through a combination of luck, quick wits and determination he manages to not only survive, but reach the fulfilment of his dreams. It is an extremely violent world where life is cheap and killing is commonplace. The movie doesn't shy away from this and the casual nature of the violence makes it all the more shocking. However, there is a lot of humour too. The movie is framed by a scene involving a chicken that is hilarious. Directors Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund trad the line between shocking and funny with enormous skill and rightly gained nominations in the Oscars, BAFTAs and other award ceremonies back in 2002. A great film which is entertaining and relevant to today, I can't recommend this highly enough.

    This is a masterful exploration of the life in the slums of Rio de Janeiro focusing on the story of Rocket, a young, would be photographer and his family and friends. The movie is set in the 1970s and told in flashbacks and vignettes which tell the tales of prominent figures and events in Rocket's life. The slum, known as The City of God, is a violent place, riddled with gangland killings and drug dealer turf wars. Against this background, Rocket grows up and, through a combination of luck, quick wits and determination he manages to not only survive, but reach the fulfilment of his dreams. It is an extremely violent world where life is cheap and killing is commonplace. The movie doesn't shy away from this and the casual nature of the violence makes it all the more shocking. However, there is a lot of humour too. The movie is framed by a scene involving a chicken that is hilarious. Directors Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund trad the line between shocking and funny with enormous skill and rightly gained nominations in the Oscars, BAFTAs and other award ceremonies back in 2002. A great film which is entertaining and relevant to today, I can't recommend this highly enough.

  • Jun 21, 2020

    AMAZING. Everything about this movie was awesome. The acting was excellent and so were the action and the plot itself. The story-line was one of the best EVER. The characters were developed really well, and that really draws you into the movie. 10/10 GREAT MOVIE.

    AMAZING. Everything about this movie was awesome. The acting was excellent and so were the action and the plot itself. The story-line was one of the best EVER. The characters were developed really well, and that really draws you into the movie. 10/10 GREAT MOVIE.

  • Jun 15, 2020

    One of the best movies I've ever seen.

    One of the best movies I've ever seen.

  • Apr 28, 2020

    It is the pure of 70's Brazil. Corrupt, violent, delayed, social disturbed, completely rotten by inequality and miseducated. It's the best Brazilian movie ever! It's a shame that movie hasn't won an Oscar.

    It is the pure of 70's Brazil. Corrupt, violent, delayed, social disturbed, completely rotten by inequality and miseducated. It's the best Brazilian movie ever! It's a shame that movie hasn't won an Oscar.

  • Apr 09, 2020

    A masterpiece, the best Brazilian film ever made

    A masterpiece, the best Brazilian film ever made

  • Apr 02, 2020

    Any criticism this film receives either side, there's an agreement in between. The taut approach creates an immersive inescapable aura that puts you minimally at gunpoint or maximally at an overlooking perspective that really showcases outstanding technical merits and powerful performances replicating authentic neorealism and weighing down the heaviness of a sourly brutal coming of age story irrationally run by a directed cycle's supposedly honest, disturbing outlook. But what to criticized is burying the origin point of the excessive violent like it's the main displeasing focus rather than insightfully investigating the influential point behind the gangster survival path paving through raw poverty. The blood tainted, naturally gunslinging, decaying picture is a struggle between the cinematic marvel and horrific lifestyle with no end nor beginning besides just shooting straight forward in a discomforting nature. (B+)

    Any criticism this film receives either side, there's an agreement in between. The taut approach creates an immersive inescapable aura that puts you minimally at gunpoint or maximally at an overlooking perspective that really showcases outstanding technical merits and powerful performances replicating authentic neorealism and weighing down the heaviness of a sourly brutal coming of age story irrationally run by a directed cycle's supposedly honest, disturbing outlook. But what to criticized is burying the origin point of the excessive violent like it's the main displeasing focus rather than insightfully investigating the influential point behind the gangster survival path paving through raw poverty. The blood tainted, naturally gunslinging, decaying picture is a struggle between the cinematic marvel and horrific lifestyle with no end nor beginning besides just shooting straight forward in a discomforting nature. (B+)

  • Mar 30, 2020

    Perfeito! Incrível! Uma das melhores produções brasileiras de todos os tempos!

    Perfeito! Incrível! Uma das melhores produções brasileiras de todos os tempos!

  • Mar 22, 2020

    Essa historia é incrível!

    Essa historia é incrível!