User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 251 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 251

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  1. Jul 5, 2011
    0
    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.
  2. Aug 1, 2012
    10
    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.
  3. Aug 26, 2010
    10
    quite simply the best film you will ever see
  4. Jan 8, 2012
    9
    I have been wanting to watch this film for several years now and now that I have, I realise why everyone has been recommending it. It is well crafted, small character stories of the favelas (slums) of Rio where violence is out of control and kids grow up thinking it is a natural way of life. A story told passionately, by the director that also brought us the brilliant Constant Gardener, using mostly first time actors who grew up in these "hoods" and only have to be themselves, thus augmenting the reality feel factor of the film. Expand
  5. Jan 29, 2014
    10
    Brazilian Goodfellas from a low-rent perspective. Unique characters drift in and out of gang life, trying to survive in their own ways. Touches us with elements of familiarity and shows how if the environment were a bit different, these horrible options could become a reality anywhere. Great movie. Well done.
  6. Dec 31, 2010
    10
    Cidade de Deus, or, City of God is a Brazilian film, directed by Fernando Meirelles, released in the year 2002, tells the story of life in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, in an area known as the Cidade De Deus, the City of God. Fortunately or unfortunately, you are left in a world you donâ
  7. Jan 13, 2011
    10
    Rough, raw, brutal, intense, beautiful, powerful. These words are only a few that can be used to describe this movie. May be too rough and brutal in it's depiction for some, but you won't forget the experience
  8. Sep 6, 2011
    10
    One of the best Films i ever watched,of course brazilian people will like it more because of the excessive bad language (who makes the film very funny) and the slangs,but everyone must see this film,an epic real story of two drug factions in a war who envolves the entire community of city of god.
  9. May 2, 2012
    9
    City of God tells its story through multiple small stories and numerous characters yet the tale it tells and the world it shows is remarkably cohesive. A bleak picture is painted of 1960's Rio, one where goodness is easily corrupted and the corrupted hold the power.
  10. j30
    Jan 26, 2012
    10
    City of God is a great movie. There's no doubt in my mind that it'll go down as one of the greatest of all-time. Beautiful cinematography, great direction, fantastic acting, this is one of the more artistic movies you'll see ever. This movie is up there with The Godfather, Goodfellas, and Pulp Fiction.
  11. Feb 6, 2012
    10
    Based on real events this Masterpiece is out of range. No drug / slum or something else movie can compare with this. It's so intimidating and disturbing, you cant believe this is true. Heavily underrated in many ways and absolutely worth the time!
  12. Mar 4, 2013
    9
    City of God follows the fortunes of a group of children growing up in a poor, crime infested part of Rio de Janeiro. The story centers mainly around two characters. Each with very similar lives, but who take vastly different paths. This juxtaposition is what drives the narrative in City Of God, and what makes it so compelling.

    Rocket feels out of place in the world he lives. he wants to
    be a photographer. We know from the moment we meet him that he longs to rise above the horrendous poverty and crime that envelopes him. He stands out in this world, others are naturally drawn to his soft temperament and demeanor even if they don't realize the reason. Rocket does not readily have the means to rise above this world so consequently he comes across many stumbling blocks in his life. One of the more interesting sequences in the film is when Rocket concludes that he has no other options than to resort to the life most of his peers have. How this decision plays out results in some of the more lighthearted moments in City Of God. While Rocket's path may not be more interesting than others in the story, it is the most sympathetic.

    Li'l Ze is the polar opposite of Rocket. He doesn't long to rise above this world, he longs to rule over it. The perverse crime and violence he sees all around him doesn't hinder him, it compels him. Li'l Ze earns the kind of respect that comes from brute force, and he learns these tactics at a frighteningly young age. If Li'l Ze is going to be a criminal he is determined to the most powerful criminal in the City of God. This is his only motivation, and what he allows to define his existence.

    There are many other characters in City Of God. This film has lots of moving parts. However most of the other players move within the framework of the two main characters. Rocket and Li'l Ze are the black and white of the movie, while the other characters represent the shades of gray. It is an interesting way to tell a story, and works exceptionally well here.

    If I have an issue with City of God it is with the way the movie was shot. We get very few static shots in this film. Everything is quick cuts and shaky camera. While this style never completely keeps me from enjoying a film, it can detract from my enjoyment some. It is very hard to get a sense of time and place when this style is employed, City if God was no exception to this. It also make it difficult to differentiate between the good and bad acting within this style. I suppose this can work positively for the director, but I still consider it a detriment.

    Overall I would consider City of God a great crime drama. The story is extremely well told, with many interesting memorable characters. This is the kind of movie that is still with you weeks or months after you see it. I am looking forward to revisiting it in the future.
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  13. Feb 28, 2013
    10
    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.
  14. Nov 8, 2012
    10
    When the credits begin to roll, your eyes will be wide, thoughts racing, your mind still trying to comprehend the impeccable City of God.
  15. Jan 3, 2014
    9
    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.
  16. Apr 2, 2013
    10
    Amazing movie, director Fernado teach us that the good cinema is everywhere, the performance are incredible, and all the history of this picture have sense with the real life now, is amazing and maybe one of the best movies foreign language.
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. It takes a strong stomach to sit through its two-plus hours of non-stop brutality (much of it involving very small children).
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    100
    The film is seductive, disturbing, enthralling -- a trip to hell that gives the passengers a great ride.
  3. 50
    Full of action, but no soul.