Tsotsi (2005)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  31 March 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 24,348 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 173 user | 152 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

Six days in the violent life of a young Johannesburg gang leader.



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Presley Chweneyagae ...
Terry Pheto ...
Kenneth Nkosi ...
Mothusi Magano ...
Zenzo Ngqobe ...
Zola ...
Rapulana Seiphemo ...
John Dube
Nambitha Mpumlwana ...
Pumla Dube
Nonthuthu Sibisi ...
The Baby
Ntuthuko Sibisi ...
The Baby
Jerry Mofokeng ...
Ian Roberts ...
Captain Smit
Percy Matsemela ...
Sergeant Zuma
Thembi Nyandeni ...
Owen Sejake ...
Gumboot Dlamini


In Johannesburg, a small time criminal, Tsotsi, is a teenager without feelings, hardened by his tough life. After a series of violent gang hits, Tsotsi hijacks a car. However, whilst driving, Tsotsi finds that there is a baby on the back seat. He brings the baby to his house in the slum. The next six days bring about a change in him that couldn't be foreseen. Written by based on the review by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Hope Set Him Free See more »


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some strong violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

31 March 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Infância Roubada  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$140,510 (South Africa) (3 February 2006)


$2,912,363 (USA) (7 July 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In urban slang of Johannesburg "tsotsi" loosely translated means "thug". See more »


When Tsotsi enters the room of the kidnapped child, you can see (on the right hand side) that the wall paper is false. See more »


Morris: [after hearing a defining moment in Tsotsi/David's childhood] What kind of bastard would break a dog's back?
See more »


Zingu 7
Written by Kabelo 'Kaybee' Ikaneng
Performed by Zola
See more »

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User Reviews

Powerful Cinema
16 November 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

There is a tendency for South African cinema (such as it is) to want to see itself through the eyes of the world. Hence the many comments such as "this film could be set in LA" (ie: it's almost as good as an American movie) As a result, most cinema from South Africa is often very limited in its artistic ambitions and storytelling usually takes second place to making sure South Africa "looks good" on the screen so that "people overseas" will see "our beautiful country" The Australians used to call this the cultural cringe and it also took them some time to find their voice.

Tstosti is a wonderfully told piece of cinema set in the distinctive word of black Johannesburg criminals (I say black, because there is a very different world for white criminals)It works because underneath all the bells and whistles of great camera angles, phenomenal acting and- yes- its unique setting lies something much, much more important: A strong, strong story. A story about things that every human on earth can identify with (love and death). This is not a film for "people overseas"- it's a film in which South Africans to see and hear themselves as real people and not as feeble caricatures gleaned from countless Hollywood movies.

It might well be the start of a something great.

125 of 143 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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