8.7/10
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781 user 214 critic

City of God (2002)

Cidade de Deus (original title)
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Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Popularity
486 ( 93)
Top Rated Movies #21 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 65 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Zé Pequeno - Li'l Zé (as Leandro Firmino da Hora)
Phellipe Haagensen ...
...
...
Matheus Nachtergaele ...
...
Mané Galinha - Knockout Ned
Jefechander Suplino ...
Alicate - Clipper
...
Emerson Gomes ...
Edson Oliveira ...
Michel de Souza ...
Bené Criança - Young Benny (as Michel De Souza Gomes)
Roberta Rodrigues ...
Luis Otávio ...
Maurício Marques ...
Cabeção - Melonhead
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Storyline

Brazil, 1960s, City of God. The Tender Trio robs motels and gas trucks. Younger kids watch and learn well...too well. 1970s: Li'l Zé has prospered very well and owns the city. He causes violence and fear as he wipes out rival gangs without mercy. His best friend Bené is the only one to keep him on the good side of sanity. Rocket has watched these two gain power for years, and he wants no part of it. Yet he keeps getting swept up in the madness. All he wants to do is take pictures. 1980s: Things are out of control between the last two remaining gangs...will it ever end? Welcome to the City of God. Written by Jeff Mellinger <jeffmellinger@astound.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you run, the beast will get you. If you stay, the beast will eat you See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal violence, sexuality, drug content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

13 February 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

City of God  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$541,996 (Brazil) (30 August 2002)

Gross:

$7,563,397 (USA) (18 June 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the DVD commentary track, director Fernando Meirelles reveals that the shot in which we see Alicate, Cabeleira and Marreco through the bumper of the gas truck is a homage/spoof of the TV series Charlie's Angels (1976) (the three boys are seen holding their guns pointing to different ways). See more »

Goofs

When Li'l Zé makes Knockout Ned undress, Knockout Ned's shirt is already unbuttoned. But in the next shot we see him unbuttoning it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Zé Pequeno: Whoa, the chicken ran away. Get that chicken, dude!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits shows pictures of the main actors, their name, their character's name and pictures of the real life characters (for the ones based on existing people). See more »

Connections

References Rio Zona Norte (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Magrelinha
Written by Luiz Melodia
Performed by Luiz Melodia
Warner Chappell Edições Musicais Ltda
Used by permission from Universal Music Ltda
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Shocking, Stylish & Brutal Story
6 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wow, this is one of those different movies - meaning not run-of-mill by any means - and one of those which isn't pleasant to watch but one you might find yourself mesmerized by it.

This also is one of those "based on a true story" films which makes it even more shocking, if its mostly true. The story is of the many young (pre and early-teen) criminals inhabiting an area just outside the big city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. It has the feel of a documentary with real-life street kids but is upgraded considerably by fantastic camera-work, some very innovative cinematography. In other words: stylish.

Make no mistake: without that stylish look, the film might be too much of a downer. The street kids are interesting but really brutal, so be prepared. I mean, how often do you see 12-year-old killers portrayed on film? The violence, language and drug use are rough in here and what a sad comment on this social problem in Brazil, a country with a huge problem with these street gangs. Overall, a very tough but fascinating film.


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