User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 3 out of 22

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  1. Oct 26, 2014
    Score 7/10 Sandro is the name of our protagonist in Bus 174. The film is the latest in a long line of documentaries dealing with the street children of Brazil. This documentary is simply the cream of the crop. Using actual footage of a hostage crisis where Sandro takes a municipal bus hostage the film creates great tension for the viewer. (Especially American viewers like myself who have no idea how this turns out.) Interspersed between scenes of the hostage crisis are talking head interviews (a mixed bag from fascinating like Sandro's Aunt to annoying such as Sandro's social worker). Most fascinating is the sheer volume of footage from Sandro's street life before the crisis. The Documentary filmmakers really went out of their way to dig up these treasures.

    The documentary is not without flaws however. The sheer volume of people who helped Sandro out in his young life undercuts the whole street kid premise of the film. The middle third does drag as many have noted and there is a horribly misjudged scene in a jail where prisoners shout out their grievances. (Shot in the negative like the monster vision from a mid-nineties creature feature it is a clear fabrication as the filmmakers were denied access to the actual jail in question. It is unnecessary and kills the mood like that Trey Parker style cartoon in Bowling for Columbine).

    Those overall minor flaws aside this is one fascinating documentary that truly takes you into another world. Despite cursing and brief male nudity I would recommend this to every high school history class to see how the third world really lives.
  2. Jan 4, 2014
    2000 olhava atentos a tv o desespero d0 174, eu na época devia ter uns 4 anos mais ao ver esse documentário fiquei chocado com as cenas. Simplesmente um filme super tenso.
  3. Jun 18, 2012
    It's a brave documentary in which portrays the real situation that had happened in the big city of Brazil. The truth is not for the baby to be blamed but the society.

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Patrick McGavin
    Padilha allows neither easy answers nor ironic commentary, producing on both sides of the conflict a world of inconsolable grief.
  2. 70
    An amazingly powerful piece of cinema. Actually, it's more an amazingly powerful piece of news journalism; the kind of in-depth stories told in all their complexity that such fluff American network "news" magazines as "Dateline" could only dream about telling.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard James Havis
    This gripping Brazilian documentary shows a bus hijacking that spirals out of control because of police incompetence.