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City of God (2002)
"Cidade de Deus" (original title)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  30 August 2002 (Brazil)
8.7
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 406,243 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 690 user | 204 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

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

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: City of God (2002)

City of God (2002) on IMDb 8.7/10

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Top 250 #21 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 60 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Leandro Firmino ...
Zé Pequeno - Li'l Zé (as Leandro Firmino da Hora)
Phellipe Haagensen ...
Douglas Silva ...
Jonathan 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
Edit

Storyline

Brazil, 1960's, City of God. The Tender Trio robs motels and gas trucks. Younger kids watch and learn well...too well. 1970's: 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. 1980's: 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:

Based on a true story. 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:

30 August 2002 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

City of God  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$21,728 (South Africa) (5 September 2003)

Gross:

$7,563,397 (USA) (18 June 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where the gang prays before the war was not scripted. During the shooting a young boy, who used to be on a real gang, asked director Fernando Meirelles if the group was not going to pray like they always did before any important confrontation with the enemies. Meirelles told him to lead the prayer as they shot the scene. 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 The Cameraman (1928) See more »

Soundtracks

Hold Back the Water
Written by Randy Bachman / Robin Bachman / Charles Tuner
Performed by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Sony Music Edições Musicais Ltda
Used by permission from Universal Music Ltda
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of the best unseen foreign films
30 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have seen this movie only recently (2005) and it's easily one of the better foreign films I have seen. Actually, it's probably just about one of the best films I had ever seen.

The characters really make this movie come alive with each of their compelling personalities shining though in the backdrop of oppressive conditions and constant violence. One thing which clearly comes to mind is "Lil' Dice's" ear to ear smile - so vivid and yet so ironic since he personifies pure evil.

The City of God is a world you don't want to visit, it won't be featured on a post card, and it's said to be the city ignored by god himself. This movie makes you feel uncomfortable, puts you on the edge of your seat -- you are right into the middle of the City and you too are caught up in it's violent temptation. More importantly, it's about the triumph of the human spirit against all odds.

This movie in effect is fast paced and hard to follow (with the added stress of subtitles over Portuguese), but it's worth it; and in fact really adds to the impetuous and impulsive undertones of the movie. In addition, the quintessential Brazilian music blending into the film like a well made Caprahina makes it feel authentic like the Italian music in the God Father.

You see the flaws of these men played out in an almost fatalistic nature -- hated, greed, futility; and in it all we see ourselves, our own flaws, and our own condition.


232 of 286 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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