Up 114 this week

Brazil (1985)

R  |   |  Sci-Fi  |  18 December 1985 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 144,940 users   Metascore: 88/100
Reviews: 508 user | 228 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

A bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire
Eraserhead (1977)
Fantasy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An account of Baron Munchausen's supposed travels and fantastical experiences with his band of misfits.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: John Neville, Eric Idle, Sarah Polley
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A former radio DJ, suicidally despondent because of a terrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was an unwitting victim of that mistake.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Adam Bryant
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of the movie star, John Malkovich.

Director: Spike Jonze
Stars: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener
Blue Velvet (1986)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A Watchmaker finds out one day that his son has become a murderer. He tries to understand for whom and why.

Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Jean Rochefort, Jacques Denis
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

France, 1719. Louis 14th died four years ago, Philippe d'Orleans is the regent. He is a liberal and a libertine. His right-hand man, Dubois, an atheistic and cupid priest, as libertine as ... See full summary »

Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Jean Rochefort, Jean-Pierre Marielle
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An unstable former French Sergeant commits many atrocities. A judge considers how this case could benefit or damage his career.

Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Michel Galabru, Isabelle Huppert
Time Bandits (1981)
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young boy accidentally joins a band of dwarves as they jump from era to era looking for treasure to steal.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, John Cleese
Viva Maria! (1965)
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Somewhere in Middle America, 1907: Maria II, daughter of an Irish terrorist. After her father's death, she meets Maria I, the singer in a circus. She decides to stay with the circus, and on... See full summary »

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Jeanne Moreau, George Hamilton
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Beauvoir, lonely, aging private detective, is put on the bloody track of beautiful Catherine Leiris who kills and robs her rich husband(s) on their wedding night. Although he never ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Miller
Stars: Michel Serrault, Isabelle Adjani, Guy Marchand


Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Hicks ...
Charles McKeown ...
Kathryn Pogson ...
Bryan Pringle ...


Sam Lowry is a harried technocrat in a futuristic society that is needlessly convoluted and inefficient. He dreams of a life where he can fly away from technology and overpowering bureaucracy, and spend eternity with the woman of his dreams. While trying to rectify the wrongful arrest of one Harry Buttle, Lowry meets the woman he is always chasing in his dreams, Jill Layton. Meanwhile, the bureaucracy has fingered him responsible for a rash of terrorist bombings, and both Sam and Jill's lives are put in danger. Written by Philip Brubaker <coda@nando.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Have a laugh at the horror of things to come. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 December 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Бразилия  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)


$9,929,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (edited) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Almost all of the soundtrack music is a variation on the main melody in the song "Brazil". See more »


When Sam enters the small room behind Mr. Helpmann's office, a moving shadow on his coat sleeve reveals either a crew member or equipment moving off-screen. See more »


[first lines]
Singers: [TV commercial jingle] Central Services: We do the work, you do the pleasure.
TV commercial pitchman: Hi, there. I want to talk to you about ducts.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing shot of Lowry incarcerated humming to himself provides the backdrop for the end credits. See more »


Referenced in Jersey Girl (2004) See more »


As Time Goes By
by Herman Hupfeld
(C) 1931 Warner Bros Inc., All Rights Reserved
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Perhaps the greatest of all films
18 October 2002 | by (Seattle WA, USA) – See all my reviews

I have read a lot of understandably negative reviews of the movie 'Brazil.' Brazil(in its proper form) is a long film at well over two hours, it has many cutaways to dream sequences that are only loosely related to the rest of the film, and the narrative story is not always the driving force of the film which many people find confusing. With all these things going against it, Brazil is clearly not a film for everyone.

All that being said, Brazil is my very favorite movie. Those things previously described as reasons that some people will dislike the movie are the very reasons I love it. The story is both simple and complex depending on how you look at it, and this kind of paradox is what makes for great art. There, I did it! I used the 'A' word, and not lightly. Brazil is an art film, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Sam Lowry(Jonathan Pryce) is our hero, an unambitious bureaucrat within the ranks of the Ministry of Information. The only place he is willing to be more than a drone is in his dreams where he is some sort of angelic knight fighting to save his dream girl. While running an errand for work, Sam comes face to face with a woman who is the very image of the dream girl, and his life is forever changed when he surrenders his tranquil unambitious life in the attempt to pursue the woman.

This movie is less about the story than it is about the atmosphere in my opinion. Terry Gilliam is a visual genius, and this movie marks his peak(so far) in producing a visually stunning film, with due apologies to Adventures of Baron Munchausen and 12 Monkeys which are beautiful in their own rights. The oppression of the bureaucratic life is felt by anyone who watches this film, and the freedom experienced in the dreams is a fantastic counterpoint. This film does a wonderful job of evoking emotional responses for me, and I suspect for most of the fans of the film as well.

The film can be viewed at many different levels of complexity, from fairly simple to fully allegorical. The simple view would be that the movie is about the dreams we create to escape our dull lives, and the potentially disastrous results of pursuing them in waking life. Symbolically the film can be interpreted as a vicious attack on the status quo as an impersonal, consumer/beauty oriented beast that is upheld by a draconian adherence to regulations and invasive public policy. There are many other ways to see it, most of which are probably unintended, but certainly completely valid.

The best part about Brazil is that it is absolutely hilarious. Jonathan Pryce shows remarkable aptitude for physical comedy. The dialogue is as funny as any movie you'll ever see, though the humor is very dry, and often so subtle that you might not get a joke until a minute after it has passed. There are the occasional tidbits of out loud guffaws one would expect from a script that was partly written by Tom Stoppard, but there is not a constant barrage of this material.

Brazil is a very cerebral film, so if you are thinking, "What does cerebral mean?" you can probably skip it. Anyone who expects to have a story clearly spelled out for them, and done so in a concise manner with little background interference will hate Brazil. Brazil is a film for those who want texture, emotional involvement and some sort of deeper meaning.

Brazil is my favorite movie, but it is clearly not for everyone!

588 of 687 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
am i the only one? aron-stoner
The (most) hilarious thing in Brazil's retro-future world... Ramuna
The Director's Cut ending is more optimistic than the 'LCA' ending. kruegerfan97
Why make a movie like this? troxx
Brilliant in EVERY way... house_of_usher99
WHY ALL THE HATERS!!!??!!... philly69
Discuss Brazil (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page