Tropa de Elite (The Elite Squad) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Tropa de Elite (The Elite Squad) Reviews

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
January 13, 2009
A satisfactory enough cop movie, but not one that people will still be name checking years hence
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Robert Koehler
Christian Science Monitor
September 25, 2008
Given that Brazil, as a Latin American moviemaking powerhouse, steadily produces vibrant, vital films of real impact and humanity, it's a crime itself that Elite Squad may be the only Brazilian film that American audiences see this year.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
September 20, 2008
A depressing film that celebrates brute strength as the only means to stem the tide of violence and crime in Rio de Janeiro.
Full Review| Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
September 19, 2008
For nearly two hours, Padilha bombards viewers with senseless, sickening violence for its own sake.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Richard Mowe
Boxoffice Magazine
September 19, 2008
With no star names and a tough subject, it will be hard sell despite being a runaway hit on its home turf.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
September 19, 2008
Elite Squad is a relentlessly ugly, unpleasant, often incoherent assault on the senses from Brazil.
| Original Score: .5/5
Chris Barsanti
Film Journal International
September 19, 2008
A poor man's City of God that suggests the only answer to the problems of Brazil's slums are blazing guns wielded by a neo-fascist police force.
Edward Douglas
September 18, 2008
Trying to address important and serious social issues in this violent world rather than just creating something sensationalistic or exploitative gives Elite Squad an edge over normal police thrillers.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Top Critic
David Fear
Time Out
September 17, 2008
Elite Squad can't decide whether it wants to pull the lid back on what urban decay has wrought or simply open up a can of whup ass.
| Original Score: 2/6
Eric Kohn
New York Press
September 17, 2008
Elite Squad succeeds at putting the worst of the violent spectacles on screen, primarily through a series of nicely staged shootouts and torture sequences.
Top Critic
Jim Ridley
Village Voice
September 17, 2008
[Josť Padilha] recariously pitches the squad's brute force as less a necessary evil than the outgrowth of an existing evil -- a no-win situation that mocks liberal ideals and warps conservative pragmatism into domestic terrorism.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
September 15, 2008
It bears a resemblance to viscerally exciting seventies urban thrillers like The French Connection, in which only the fascists could do what needed to be done.
Cole Smithey
September 3, 2008
The film's message is that all of society is corrupt, so it doesn't matter who gets killed. It's a propaganda movie that shows no empathy for its characters or for its audience.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness
September 2, 2008
Padilha succumbs to monotonous, hollow flamboyance with his City of God clone.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
August 8, 2008
The moral dilemmas are gripping, but the film takes itself far too seriously to ever connect with us.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Derek Malcolm
London Evening Standard
August 8, 2008
A film that simply doesn't have enough cinematic flair to make it a better than average cops and robbers thriller.
| Original Score: 2/5
Anthony Quinn
Independent (UK)
August 8, 2008
Padilha gets as close to the daily violence as City of God, though this feels more like a documentary than an epic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Nigel Andrews
Financial Times
August 8, 2008
Padilha's style, honed in his hijack documentary Bus 174, is verismo with a vengeance. For two hours the viewer feels as hand-held as the camera, hauled about by the neck.

Daily Mirror (UK)
August 8, 2008
As for the plot, flashy editing and an over-reliance on jittery handheld cameras mean you'll struggle to tell what's going on - if you haven't already given up by then.

Total Film
August 8, 2008
Nothing is clear-cut in this intense brew of brutality, stupidity and genuine tragedy. We're left lamenting that it will go on, unless Brazil engages its brain before its fist.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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