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Cidade de Deus
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Reviews & Ratings for
City of God More at IMDbPro »Cidade de Deus (original title)

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:


Author: oarch from e.g. London, England
6 September 2003

Misery, poverty, crime, murder, rape, laziness, drugs, robbery, stupidity.. you name it, it's in this movie. Every single possible form of vice and depravity was there. The very rock bottom of human race is presented with painful accuracy.

I personally quickly got tired of looking at such misery. Especially since I knew very well it actually does exist.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Modern Hollywood movies cannot compare to 'City of God'

Author: Matrix99 (
31 July 2003

There are the golden period in the West (Hollywood) where

great movies are made

1) Gone with the Wind (1939) 2) the Grape of Wrath (1941) 3) The Godfather Part 1 & Part 2 (1970's) 4) Amadeus

However, since the advancements in CG (Computer Graphics) and Special Effects, the narration, creativity and storytelling epics are not so important to the Hollywood producer any longer.

I could easily compare to the recently films that I have watched

1) T3 - Terminator 3 2) Tome Raider Part 2 3) City of God

The first 2 "Hollywood" movies are the usual 'Play safe' movies produced such that it will give a good return in Investment. How, by making sure that the movies are loaded with many special effects and CG to woo the film watchers. However, Story and Screenplay that are recycled stuff such as from T2 , Raiders of Lost Ark and Jame Bond Movies.

'City of God' has all the elements that most modern day Hollywood movies do not have 1) Creativity in cinematography/ film editing 2) Kinetic movie making that surprise audience with no usual re-cycled staff 3) Strong in Story Telling department. 4) Surprise and Unusual Screenplay

Infact, 'City of God' is the best movie that I have watched this year and I bet that future 'Hollywood style' movies for this coming year will not able to compare to this foreign Brazilian movie.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Extraordinarily Tragic

Author: Popsicle_A
17 June 2003

The film City of God depicts a world where many children do not live to reach adulthood. In a city run by drugs, gangs and of lost innocence we see a variety of characters and their stories narrated by a young boy who wants to be a photographer.

The direction is excellent and the creative hand-held camera angles are not only perfect for creating the effect of actually being in the scene, but display the directors fabulous artistic eye. Each chapter has a title and the stories are expertly intertwined, to reveal a incredibly powerful ending.

I recommend this film to everyone, BE AWARE that it is brutally realistic(Scenes of gun violence involving children). It is by far the best film I have seen all year. 10 out of 10.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Me so not worthy...

Author: Sinnerman from Singapore
6 May 2003

I'll be damned!

Last week, in the Singapore International Film Festival, I had a revelation.

I experienced a movie like nothing I've seen before.

This movie was ambitiously inventive and viscerally beautiful. This movie packed so much kinetic energy; it literally rocked me from my seat. On top of that, it completely incapacitated my senses with its explosively awe-inspiring sights and sounds.

Most surprising of all, amidst its kaleidoscopic brilliance, this unbelievable film was still able to firmly hold on to an unexpected avalanche of universal truths & sincere, profound honesty. Such an amalgam of integrity and virtuosity is beyond priceless. Which was why I was beyond speechless.

Most importantly, said film incited in me, a normally staid personality, a never before seen passion and a deliriously unknown height of adulation. Thus, imagine my feeling of impurity and unworthiness in its revered presence.

To encapsulate all that's been said prior to this, based on that night alone, I am very much prepared to herald this movie as one of the very best film unleashed upon us film lovers, in this young new millennium of ours.

And ladies and germs, with enough(or too much) suspense, that film which I will henceforth so revere, is City of God aka "Cidade de Deus"

On a rational front, my beliefs in the greatness of this film stems not from mere prepubescent infatuation (though in jest, I may sound like it). It resides in the most basic of below decision criterias -

-I have seen CITY OF GOD with my very own eyes.

-I have decided on its greatness with my very own mind, and

-I know what I am championing for, and why I doing so.

Truth be told, exhilarating discoveries for something so kick-ass spectacular, comes only that many times in one's life. It's thus understandable how I can hardly contain my excitement from sharing with the world this serendipitiously rejuvenating find of mine.

Which is all the more important that I chose the hard, hard decision to hold for one whole week, before I write this piece. I do think I need to cool down enough in order not to regretfully launch into an uncontrollable torrent of incoherent (unbleeped) expletives, albeit swear words of sheer joys and jubilation in my unwavering praise for this magnificent, superlative film.(phew...)

But one week has since passed, and that moment of high is still as sustained as ever, I am infact now suffering from withdrawal syndrome for not being able to immediately see "CITY OF GOD" again (and again and again).....

It is thus with the highest regard I have for IMDB, that I shall stop right here and now and hopefully revisit this thread with some other of my fawning posts on this fantastic movie, in future. Well, it'll have to be at least long enough for me to sufficiently composed myself (again) and touch on the other positive goodness of City of God.

For if I am to continued unchecked right now, afraid I'm gonna turn into a stark raving canine crusading against detractors big and small of this great, great film.(I am so not worthy as I bow before you.)

Anyhoo, while Poor Ole Sinny wonders off to one corner to ingest some prescription elephant tranquilizers, my kind fellow posters, watch this space.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Good, but underwhelming

Author: jared-andrews2357 from United States
1 August 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The opening scene set the tone for what was to come in the next two hours. What should have been a jolting and gripping experience, ended up underwhelming. The events should have made for a dramatic and even suspenseful sequence, but the ancillary movie elements added little to the scene.

A chicken is tied to a post. We can sense its fear. It knows it has no chance of survival in this environment so it flees from this world of death and destruction. The tormentors give chase and we see the chicken desperately seeking salvation through escape. The metaphor is not lost. This is a corrupt and loathsome place, and escape to the safety of an outside world is the only way to live. Beautiful. I want to love this opening, but something just isn't quite there. I can see and comprehend the message, but I just don't feel it.

Then a young man emerges and stalks the chicken from behind as a group of gangsters armed with machine guns watches him approach their target. More armed gangsters appear, and soon the young man and the chicken are surrounded. The young man surveys the area and hesitates. My heart should be pounding, but I remain perfectly tranquil. The ideas and events are in place. This quality of this premise is off the charts. We can already imagine that this film will be about choices that lead people down different paths in life. We envision the different themes emerging, such as the unjust suffering of innocents, like the chicken. This movie should have me on the edge of my seat and on the brink of emotional eruption, but it doesn't.

Not much changes during the remainder of the film. The storytelling is phenomenal, aside from a few over explanations via flashbacks. The acting is hit and miss. The characters entice, but fail to completely generate the attachment to them that I wanted to feel. In the word, the film was underwhelming.

So much potential, not completely wasted, but not completely utilized either. A good movie that should have been great.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Great film that deserved to be recognized

Author: Agent10 from Tucson, AZ
14 August 2006

One thing is for certain, City of God didn't back down on the shock value. From the random killing of children to the more organized gang violence, City of God is more of a testament to the failures of capitalism rather than a failure of law and order. Either way, the film was a stunning depiction of a world no one really gets to see. This is a world you don't see in the tourist guides or in the movies.

What was especially incredible about this film was the dirtiness and authenticity. Instead of making this film on some back lot or recreated set, this film was actually made in the slums of Rio. In fact, the slums themselves become a major character in the film, illustrating how disgusting this world truly was. Adding even more authenticity was the use of non-professional actors. While many critics have panned films that have used this paradigm for acting, the lack of false reality made for a rather well acted film.

Years from now, this will be considered one of he best foreign films to hail from anywhere, and it is time to take some notice.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Pulp'ish Goodfellas

Author: phreakv6-1 from India
18 May 2005

I thought Godfather,Goodfellas were the best gangster movies ever made.This movie was comparable and at places even better than Goodfellas.But considering Goodfellas was released 13 years before Cidade de deus puts Goodfellas in a different league altogether.Cidade de deus has awesome cinematography ( Cesar Charlone - Oscar nominated ),totally offbeat editing ( Daniel Rezende - Oscar nominated ),scintillating screenplay (Braulio Montavani - Oscar nominated ) and some good direction.The audio was in Portuguese but the subtitles were pretty good to follow the movie.The movie is styled similar to pulp fiction since the answers are given first and questions asked later in almost all the anachronous sub-plots ( like chapters in pulp).The movie is narrated by Rocket,a journalist who takes just a minor role in the movie ( btw. this is a true story).The story is set in 60's Rio de Janiero and revolves around a ghetto.Its very powerful and disturbing with kids carrying guns and robbing motels, shooting to kill,sniffing n selling drugs.Its somewhat reminded me of Black Hawk Down but this is a war amidst drug lords unlike the war in BHD. "I sniff,I steam,I kill.I'm man" uttered by a 12 year old speaks of the way the kids of the ghetto use their pistols as toys. Overall, a beautiful masterpiece that will take you on a time travel to the 60's Rio.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Amazing, Take-Your-Breath-Away Work of Art!

Author: WaltDinLV from Las Vegas, NV
5 May 2005

Just finished watching this great film - 5/4/05. Wow! This was so amazingly great.

You can believe all of the 10-star reviews - and look, there are a lot.. Can a movie BE this good?! Yes. THIS is the reason why I watch movies. Think Pulp Fiction meets Amores Perros meets Snatch meets New Jack City - WOW! What a great film! Also note: The only thing mentioned in the bad reviews seems to be the violence, and granted, violence is not for everyone, and the subtitles. Well, the Godfather I and II, widely held as some of the greatest movies of all time, are subtitled throughout quite a bit of the movie. So is Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and so is Seven Samurai. But you know what? This movie is better than all of them. I'm not saying the best of all time, but I am saying this movie took my breath away. I was on the edge of my seat, never wanting it to end. Yes, this movie deserved all of its award nominations and wins. Bravo! Walt D in LV

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

One of the most realistic & powerful movies ever!

Author: Dimi1822 from New York, NY
23 April 2005

Coming from being a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings series because of its epic and powerful impact, I watched City of God that was set in a closer to modern time and a poverty-stricken location. Even knowing that, the realism and powerful impact that City of God had upon me was at the same epic level as Lord of the Rings. The acting was not the best I have ever seen, although it still was excellent and didn't hurt the movie at all. The emotions that it brought out and the realism that I felt while watching every moment of it was incomparable to any other movie I have watched. It really brought me fully into the action and to the story, and I felt like I was truly experiencing it. It drew me in fully through the end with its Tarantino style story-telling and captivating recollections through the eyes of Rocket the photographer. In all honesty, I almost can't believe it was a movie. It was so realistic and so well done, that it felt like a documentary capturing the true occurrences of every scary and powerful moment of this story. It was that realistic and that powerful, that I couldn't believe behind each scene there was a director coordinating every moment; as it all just flowed so smoothly together from start to finish. Every scene was perfectly detailed and constructed and the director's brilliance emanated from the screen during every minute that passed by. All in all a brilliant creation worthy of the recognition and appreciation it has received from those who have been privileged enough to see and enjoy what is City of God.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A modern classic

Author: agnesoshinyemi ( from Lagos, Nigeria
8 April 2005

At first,I was forced to watch this movie and now,I don't regret it.This movie is something else entirely, but in a good way,a very good way.The movie was made in such a realistic way that for sure,you'll know it's a true story.It's one of those movies that contains all the elements,from comedy(the ending with The Runts) to romance to tragedy,in fact,it's a *must watch* movie.The actors,even with little experience,did their jobs incredibly well.I think this movie deserved the nominations it got but I think it would have deserved the Oscar for best original score.It's a movie that words can't even describe how good it is.I do hope that the actors will get wider recognition and job opportunities in the future and I also hope the same for the crew and everybody who was associated with the making of this movie.In other words it's a true modern classic.

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