City of God Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 275 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Welcome to the world's most notorious slum: Rio de Janeiro's 'City of God.' A place where combat photographers fear to tread, where Police rarely go, and residents are lucky if they live to the age of 20. This is the true story of a young man who grew up on these streets and whose ambition as a photographer is our window in and ultimately may be him only way out. (Miramax) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    The film is seductive, disturbing, enthralling -- a trip to hell that gives the passengers a great ride.
  2. 100
    Meticulous in its descriptions of well-intended individuals caught up in these ferocious waves of street crime.
  3. 100
    Breathtaking and terrifying, urgently involved with its characters, it announces a new director of great gifts and passions: Fernando Meirelles.
  4. Undeniably powerful, the work also comes with its own built-in shield against feeling any one character's difficulties too deeply, or for too long.
  5. In God's ghetto, as in so many of the world's forsaken places, warring armies of infants brandish their weapons of self-destruction, while politicians bluster and inspectors sleep.
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (not credited)
    Predictably, the violence is overwhelming. But the massacres are glamorized, and the characters look like they're posing for tourism posters.
  7. Undeniably powerful, but also rather numbing.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 83 out of 91
  2. Negative: 4 out of 91
  1. CiaronD.
    Jan 4, 2006
    Utter class! the city of god is a classic film set in the ghetto of brazil, showing real life events and on-goings, amazing story, has to be a all time favourite of mine, 1st discovered it in film studies at college and thought it was class from the first viewing! hope to see it again soon! Expand
  2. Aug 1, 2012
    Filmogaphy on this move is an evolution of anything hollywood ever acomplished. A real lesson on how to film a story that screams reality. One of the most violent movies ever made is also one of the most beautifully filmed. Expand
  3. ApocalypseBrown
    Jun 12, 2007
    Nothing is perfect in film making, but this is as close as you get.Gripping, intelligent, subtle, violent, tragic, it has it all. After this film you really to reflect and sympathise with the poor of Brazil. In my top ten films of all time. And Metacritic, sack your advance scout, Chad S. His review flat out sucked! Expand
  4. Feb 28, 2013
    This movie was amazing, the level of realism was great, the acting was great, despite there being no stars in the film. It really had meaning, when some of the characters died, I even felt that I cared. Expand
  5. Oct 2, 2014
    An emotionally visceral, graphically violent piece of cinema, City of God (Cidade de Deus) might be one of the most brutally honest films I've ever seen. Noting is taboo as the movie shows children being shot, countless dead bodies, and ruthless behavior; all the more shocking because it's real. The movie takes place in the City of God, an area in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, far from the places shown on the touristy postcards. It's a slum, and it seems like you'd be lucky to make it into your 20's living there. The story follows a young man named Rocket as he aspires to be a photographer, while showing bleak backdrop of the drug trade and constant gang warfare in the area. The director purposefully uses little-known actors to make the feel of the movie more authentic, and the way he presents the material through the stunning cinematography and a superb script is amazing. I'm shocked it didn't succeed in getting nominated for best Foreign Language film at the Oscars, but nonetheless it is a powerful and important film that earns its critical praise. Some viewers will be unable to watch parts of this movie; it really is that shocking. Expand
  6. Jan 3, 2014
    Com certeza de longe o melhor filme brasileiro de todos os tempos, graças um trabalho primoroso de alto nível fizeram essa película fortemente apreciada em todo o mundo. Expand
  7. Jul 5, 2011
    The documentary featured on the DVD was far more rewarding than the actual movie. I'm in total agreement with BillR's near perfect review of this so-called film. This emperor really has no clothes. Expand

See all 91 User Reviews