Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 129 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Brazil is a surrealistic nightmare vision of a "perfect" future where technology reigns supreme. Everyone is monitored by a secret government agency that forbids love to interfere with efficiency. When a daydreaming bureaucrat (Pryce) becomes unwittingly involved with an underground superhero and a beautiful mystery woman, he becomes the tragic victim of his own romantic illusions. [Universal Pictures] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. 100
    A ferociously creative 1985 black comedy filled with wild tonal contrasts, swarming details, and unfettered visual invention--every shot carries a charge of surprise and delight.
  2. It's a glimmering hunk of fractured brilliance riddled with Orwellian paranoia encased in a production design seemingly pieced together from the shared dreams of Franz Kakfa and Salvador Dali, and shot from cruelly low angles.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    There is not a more daft, more original or haunting vision to be seen on American movie screens this year... A terrific movie has escaped the asylum without a lobotomy. The good guys, the few directors itching to make films away from the assembly line, won one for a change. [30 Dec 1985, p.84]
  4. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    One of those rare gems that prove equally stunning on both aesthetic and cerebral levels.
  5. This modern cult classic is a triumphantly dark comedy directed by one of the film world's truly original visionaries, Terry Gilliam. "Imagination" is this futuristic film’s middle name.
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Chillingly hilarious.
  7. Brazil doesn't add up to much, not only because its cautionary tales are familiar, but because it has no real point of view, nothing urgent under its facile symbols. And the story winds on and on looking for a finish. Three or four times I reached for my coat prematurely. [17 Feb 1986, p.26]

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 47
  2. Negative: 6 out of 47
  1. Jul 4, 2011
    One of my favourite films of all time. In some ways it could be viewed as a horror film, as well as being darkly satirical. It sure as hell scared me.
  2. Oct 29, 2010
    I originally saw Brazil when I was 8 or 9 years old, and man did that movie leave a mark on my psyche. For years I thought about its images until one day I tracked it down at Blockbuster and re-watched it. This movie joins the many groundbreaking films that bombed at the box office and only achieved greatness in retrospect (for many at least). This is definitely Gilliam's masterpiece (for now) and shows off his strengths and the caliber of imagination that he possesses. Brazils dystopian society is nothing new, Orwell wrote of 1984 and this movie is inspired by his book. It takes many of the fears/concepts of 1984 and modernizes them, eventually leaving behind the source of inspiration and developing into its own mythos. The movie reflects a much distorted look at what humanity and society can become and views the world through twisted, fun-house mirror lenses. The effect is definitely more shocking in how he takes very ordinary things, like an automated printer that can issue a warrant for arrest, and shows just how dangerous it can be to take the human elements out of society in an attempt to make things run "smoothly and sterile". He is definitely trying to make a point at what terrifies him in the modern world: past, present, and future; but underneath all the social commentary is really a story about a man who wants to be free in many ways. Sam Lowry is a man with no joy in life; having a unsatisfying job, living in a overly bureaucratic, fear-mongering society, along with his materialistic and superficially-obsessed mother who has never heard of the word nepotism. His life is crushingly without options, and so he does what many do, fantasizes about another life, another world. This of course leads him to trouble and as the story progresses, things become a darkly funny way. The movie is essentially a comedy, although of the darker kind. Not so much in a gross or unbelievable kind of way, but more in a frighteningly plausible form that does not poke but stab at the fabric of our current society. The movie is not for everyone, especially if you can't take a good jab from something that may not sit well with your established view of the world. In order to help enjoy this movie, being open to many possibilities is important, as this movie likes to shake up the established order. The cast is excellent, with strong performances from pretty much everyone, but then seeing the caliber of actors in the movie, its no wonder. Michael Palin is frighteningly nonchalant/creepy in his "business as usual" demeanor, and you can't help but pity poor Sam Lowry as a doomed dreamer whom you have the sneaking suspicion that his life won't end well. Brazil is a movie that very few people would have the guts to make. Gilliam to me isn't a director as much as an artist, and depending on how you view the purpose of movies and the role of directors, this can be a good or a bad thing. To me a director tries to make a movie that the public might want to see, while an artist makes a movie that he wants to see. Self indulgent or not, whenever Gilliam makes a movie, I sit back and let him tell me his tale. Whether I like it or not is not that important, as I would rather watch an unfiltered story from the source, as opposed to something that has been through the "demographic machine". Watch this movie, a person like Terry Gilliam comes around very rarely. Expand
  3. Feb 1, 2011
    This is one of those movies that I (stubbornly) try to show people, and get upset when they think it's stupid, even though I know better. It's not for everyone. I can watch Brazil over and over and over again. It's funny as hell but also frankly depresses me at the same time because it strikes so close to home. It comes across as over the top but it's really not as silly as it seems. Some would say that it gets lost in itself, doesn't make sense, or something like that, not saying that i "get it" but I admit that I do get that guilty feeling of self-assurant cynicism that I do indeed see the message that the movie is trying to send to its audience. It's a bit of "preaching to the choir" but I think that it is still funny/pretty/interesting enough for the masses, at least for the time... Held up to today's standards, it doesn't stand a chance, unfortunately.. But I still recommend this movie to punk rockers, fans of dystopian/orwellian fiction, Monty Python fans, drunks, sci-fi weirdos, people with a real sense of humor, or anybody with an open mind, hell, anyone with a mind at all... Watch Brazil! Expand
  4. Sep 30, 2013
    A clever and satyric dystopia exposing the troubles of bureaucracy and other ills of modern society. Sometimes it looks like a grotesque comedy and sometimes it is really scary in it's totalitarian terror with a surrealistic touch of Terry Gilliam. So I believe the movie was actual back in 1985 and still it is actual nowadays. Expand
  5. May 21, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is one of those movies, you know, the ones that are claimed to be very good but yet you cannot understand why. Besides some of the obvious things of course, like fighting amongst yourself, how people try to improve the self through products, and government control. That stuff I think a lot of people can understand, but I don't know why it deserves as much credit as some may say. It does have only two people that I know in it; Robert De Niro and that guy from who framed Roger rabbit, but I don't think there're any bad performances, if anything there all good or okay. The story is what makes this story interesting and the execution is what makes it unique. The effects of course are somewhat dated, but like Akira, it seems to fit the setting and mood perfectly. There isn't much else to say. Oh wait, the action in this is not that great, and it is a a bit sad because the most visually intereresting sections are based off action, and when they don't look as well it can take away from the scene. In the end, this is a very interesting social commentary, and is one of the best dystopian movies out there. Expand
  6. Feb 1, 2012
    The conflict and contrast between humanity and efficiency is at the film's core. Set in a dark dystopia where the only escape is through the protagonists own twisted fantasies. Expand
  7. Mar 19, 2013
    A surprisingly and, it has to be said, disappointingly confusing film. Despite the fact that, in its attempt to convey the nightmare of a dystopian world, this film was wildly exciting for its time, a modern audience perhaps less obsessed and, indeed, excited by negativity would find it difficult to follow. It targets a very niche audience, for whom I'm sure it interesting in its 'ostensible' ambivalence; however, as a universal film that is, one which is available and accessible to the masses it fails on a fundamental level: the plot line is insecure; it seems rushed and hurried, the proper planning of a film simply cast into the dystopian nightmare itself. No doubt, the integral themes and comments are there, but, ultimately, the watcher is so frustrated by the nonsensical plot line that any attempts to appreciate it are simply not worth the effort. Expand

See all 47 User Reviews


Related Articles

  1. All Films Considered: Terry Gilliam

    All Films Considered: Terry Gilliam Image
    Published: January 7, 2010
    The Monthy Python alum and director of the new Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is responsible for some all-time great movies -- and some absolute box office disasters. We examine his 35-year film career.