User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 175 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 175

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  1. Oct 29, 2010
    10
    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 grim...in 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
  2. Aug 13, 2014
    9
    It's hard to explain for some, why they love this movie. For me, it's hard to capture the movie in few sentences, it's almost impossible. In my opinion the best movie ever made, Lawrence of Arabia has a scale no movie has, Brazil however, comes right behind Lawrence. It's not the longest movie and it doesn't have the most complicated story, but it's great storytelling makes this movie multilayered. The more you think of it, the better it gets and not to mention it's catchy theme song, that you whistle weeks after you have seen it. I will not even try to explain the story as it has so many interpretations including my own, so the best you can do is to go see it. Expand
  3. Feb 1, 2011
    10
    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. Jul 4, 2011
    10
    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.
  5. Sep 26, 2011
    5
    "Brazil" is such a bizarre and frantic movie that nobody can follow its pace. The story basically revolves on the same idea as well as focusing on unnecessary parts. Ultimately, despite the powerful ending, its a ideological mess.
  6. Feb 1, 2012
    8
    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.
  7. Nov 11, 2012
    9
    One of the best movies I've seen.
    Brazil is very complicated and 'hard' movie to understand. It's highly detailed and every scene has something that symbolizes something.
    The bureaucracy has taken control of everything and everyone works all day long and don't know for what.
    Capitalism is everywhere and the people have been divided into castes.
    Then there comes the protagonist and
    decides to go outside the 'box' and be free. Or at least try to.
    A brilliant story. But not for everyone. You should still watch it and see if you like it!
    Expand
  8. May 21, 2013
    8
    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
  9. Aug 30, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What I really love about this film is the dark atmosphere and comedy. It works so well and the dream scenes are so imaginative. It's also directed by a former member of Monty Python, Terry Gilliam, and you can even sense the feel of them at moments. Another thing is that the world he lives in is so surreal to us that when he dreams we can seem to have a whole different level of the surreal we are witnessing. It may be one of those movies you'll hate but if it's for you, you really got to love it. Every time I watch it, it gets better and better. More and more recently I've noticed how much Zach Snyder's Suckerpunch takes from this movie, is that good or bad, I can't tell but it sure has also had a big influence on me and my view of films. One of my personal favourites. Expand
  10. Sep 22, 2013
    10
    One of the best movies I have ever seen. It is astounding, every aspect of this film is brilliant.
    A lot lot people say it is boring, stupid and hard to follow, don't believe them, watch it yourself. Maybe you will see the masterpiece.
  11. Jul 30, 2014
    7
    "Brazil" is one of the most thought-provoking films I have ever watched. Set in a "Nineteen Eighty-Four"-like dystopia, it makes some strong points on political issues, such as totalitarianism, authoritarianism, capitalism, freedom and propaganda. With a satirical tone and a dose of insanity, it features an intricate plot that through its thrills and nonsensical twists, helps exposing and discussing the film's thematics better. There are many notable performances, including Pryce's and De Niro's. An allegory at its core, "Brazil" is quite enjoyable if you don't stick to following its illogical story line rather than trying to look for the misty meaning behind it. Expand
  12. Jul 7, 2014
    9
    Terri Gilliam has a unique vision that he brings to all his films. Having seen Brazil after 12 monkeys and Fear and Loathing this was not unexpected. However both those films are relatively simple and straightforward compared to this one. Everything about this film adds up eventually. But along the way a lot of things seem strange and out of place. This helps add to the atmosphere of a capitalist bureaucracy run amok. Indeed some of the simplest things make for the most disturbing of scenes. Whether its a truck driving between two walls of advertisements, unable to see beyond. Or the occasional double take scene where the main protagonists nightmares are gradually stepping into reality. Or the simple yes/no decision maker present people give each other everything about this film it some way relates to a different concept or theme than the one that is being shown at the time. It is a terrifying vision to be sure. Masterfully executed. Expand
  13. Sep 30, 2013
    8
    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.
  14. Nov 8, 2013
    7
    Too bizarre and creepy at times for its own good, Brazil is nevertheless worth seeing for its undeniable originality and incredible set pieces. First things first. This is one strange movie. It's completely out of its mind. This is at once its cardinal flaw and the reason why it's so vividly memorable. Disturbing tones and strange characters abound. It's extremely successful at freaking you out but it does this way too often for my taste. The world in Brazil is incredibly unique, with out of this world art direction and one of the cruelest dystopian societies ever displayed in cinema history. No one could ever possibly feel safe or comfortable residing in this over-controlling and paranoid dictatorship. The film is filled with impressive visuals, tense scenes, and expert direction, but it's also pretty funny at times. This however doesn't deny it of emotional resonance. I liked Brazil a lot more after seeing it as a whole rather than in separate pieces. Even if it isn't completely logical and isn't really a pleasant vision of the future it's still worth a look if you don't mind a movie with some screws loose in its head. Expand
  15. Mar 19, 2013
    4
    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
  16. Jan 29, 2014
    4
    I remembered this film from when I was a kid long ago as kind of cool in a strange way. Saw it today some 25 years later, and it was still strange. Cool only in certain parts. Annoyingly bad in many places. Though I think I enjoyed the fine acting more this time, not only by Pryce, but also de Niro (his best performance ever, in my humble opinion. He himself I suspect see this film as a goddamn mess), Hoskins, Palin, Broadbent, Vaughan and especially the always enjoyable Holm. Damn fine actors.
    The sets are bad. Sorry folks, but they are just horrible. Like a cheap 80s rock video. The editing is below par. The writing is goofy, sometimes very funny, more often just incoherent and confusing. The thing that annoys me the most is the center piece: the love story, which is as believable as an American president would get the Noble Peace Prize . First, she (Greist) hates him (Pryce) and tries to kill him in numerous ways. Then, suddenly, for absolutely no apparent reason, she falls for him and wants to hump him immediately, which he declines and goes of to save her in some way (no real guy would ever do this...first you hump, it'll only take a few minutes, THEN you go and save the girl). The ending was frankly the best part of the film, for there I saw, for a very, very brief moment, the true meaning of existence...
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  17. Jun 8, 2014
    10
    Another favorite, Brazil is well written, well acted, well made, and very funny. If you were a fan of Time Bandits you should enjoy this. Funny when it needs to be, but smart when it must be. This is a re-watchable film with a great comedian, Terry Gilliam, behind it.
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. 100
    Brazil may not be the best film of the year, but it's a remarkable accomplishment for Mr. Gilliam, whose satirical and cautionary impulses work beautifully together. His film's ambitious visual style bears this out, combining grim, overpowering architecture with clever throwaway touches.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.