Top Brazilian movies of the last 20 years

by ChavalBR | created - 18 Oct 2010 | updated - 10 Feb 2015 | Public

The last 20 years were great for brazilian cinema... years before, movies had poor scripts and production on the "porn-chanchada" times.

2003 had theaters full of public watching national movies, motivated by the late 2002 success of "Cidade de Deus", the highest IMDB ranked brazilian movie.

Now in 2010 once again we have lots of public at brazilian movies, with "Tropa de Elite 2" and "Nosso Lar".

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1. Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (2010)

Not Rated | 115 min | Action, Crime, Drama

71 Metascore

After a prison riot, former-Captain Nascimento, now a high ranking security officer in Rio de Janeiro, is swept into a bloody political dispute that involves government officials and paramilitary groups.

Director: José Padilha | Stars: Wagner Moura, Irandhir Santos, André Ramiro, Milhem Cortaz

Votes: 74,270 | Gross: $0.10M

Not as violent as the first one, but very tense! Captain Nascimento narration this time makes you question our world. Also great production and direction.

2. City of God (2002)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama

79 Metascore

In the slums of Rio, two kids' paths diverge as one struggles to become a photographer and the other a kingpin.

Directors: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund | Stars: Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Matheus Nachtergaele, Phellipe Haagensen

Votes: 632,858 | Gross: $7.56M

Four Oscar indications, brilliant direction of Fernando Meirelles.

3. Elite Squad (2007)

R | 115 min | Action, Crime, Drama

33 Metascore

1997, Captain Nascimento has to find a substitute for his occupation while trying to take down drug dealers and criminals before the Pope comes to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Director: José Padilha | Stars: Wagner Moura, André Ramiro, Caio Junqueira, Milhem Cortaz

Votes: 91,406 | Gross: $0.01M

Fun? Real. Violent!

4. Meu Nome Não é Johnny (2008)

124 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

The true story of João Guilherme Estrella ("Johnny"), a young middle-class bon vivant who became a big-time cocaine dealer in Rio de Janeiro in the early 1990s.

Director: Mauro Lima | Stars: Selton Mello, Giulio Lopes, Júlia Lemmertz, Felipe Severo

Votes: 5,660

E real story of a brazilian drug dealer told in a funny way with great acting by Selton Mello.

5. O Auto da Compadecida (2000)

104 min | Adventure, Comedy

The lively João Grilo and the sly Chicó are poor guys living in the hinterland who cheat a bunch of people in a small Northeast Brazil town. But when they die, they have to be judged by ... See full summary »

Director: Guel Arraes | Stars: Matheus Nachtergaele, Selton Mello, Rogério Cardoso, Denise Fraga

Votes: 8,597

6. Bicho de Sete Cabeças (2000)

74 min | Drama

A trip to the mental institution hell. This odyssey is lived by Neto, a middle class teenager, who lives a normal life until his father sends him to a mental institution after finding drugs... See full summary »

Director: Laís Bodanzky | Stars: Rodrigo Santoro, Othon Bastos, Cássia Kis, Dani Nefussi

Votes: 4,070

A regular adolescent? Concerned parents? Bad pshycho threatment? All in conflict, the story is awesome.

7. Central Station (1998)

R | 113 min | Drama

80 Metascore

An emotive journey of a former school teacher, who writes letters for illiterate people, and a young boy, whose mother has just died, as they search for the father he never knew.

Director: Walter Salles | Stars: Fernanda Montenegro, Vinícius de Oliveira, Marília Pêra, Soia Lira

Votes: 32,094 | Gross: $5.60M

Two Oscar indications, best foreign movie and best actress for Fernanda Montenegro

8. Carandiru (2003)

R | 145 min | Drama, Crime

71 Metascore

Brazilian MD Drauzio Varella starts AIDS prevention in Brazil's largest prison, Carandiru, in São Paulo, where the population is nearly double its 4,000 maximum. Doc learns from experience ... See full summary »

Director: Hector Babenco | Stars: Enrique Diaz, Wagner Moura, Caio Blat, Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos

Votes: 16,157 | Gross: $0.21M

Prison in Brazil

9. Nosso Lar (2010)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama

The life of the doctor André Luiz in the spiritual city of Nosso Lar.

Director: Wagner de Assis | Stars: Renato Prieto, Fernando Alves Pinto, Rosanne Mulholland, Inez Viana

Votes: 2,335

Special effects anyone?

10. Romance (2008)

105 min | Romance

During a remake of the play Tristan and Isolde, actors Peter and Ana fall in love. While the characters live an idealized love, the interpreters are living a true story, which they try to spice it up with the intensity of the fiction.

Director: Guel Arraes | Stars: Andrea Beltrão, José Wilker, Marco Nanini, Bruno Garcia

Votes: 544

11. The Assailant (2009)

R | 94 min | Action, Biography, Drama

Based on the life of a legendary capoeira fighter from Bahia, "Besouro" spins a fantastic tale of a young Brazilian man of African descent in search of his mission.

Director: João Daniel Tikhomiroff | Stars: Aílton Carmo, Jéssica Barbosa, Flávio Rocha, Irandhir Santos

Votes: 1,446

Capoeira is a fight, a dance, a culture, a religion?

12. O Cheiro do Ralo (2006)

Not Rated | 112 min | Comedy, Drama

A pawn shop proprietor buys used goods from desperate locals--as much to play perverse power games as for his own livelihood, but when the perfect rump and a backed-up toilet enter his life, he loses all control.

Director: Heitor Dhalia | Stars: Selton Mello, Paula Braun, Paulo Alves, Susana Alves

Votes: 4,198

In love with a butt

13. Chico Xavier (2010)

124 min | Biography, Drama

A biography of spiritual medium and author Francisco Candido Xavier.

Director: Daniel Filho | Stars: Natalia Soutto, Nelson Xavier, Ângelo Antônio, Matheus Costa

Votes: 1,470

14. Four Days in September (1997)

R | 110 min | Action, Drama, History

Fernando, a journalist, and his friend César join terrorist group MR8 in order to fight Brazilian dictatorial regime during the late sixties. Cesare, however, is wounded and captured during... See full summary »

Director: Bruno Barreto | Stars: Alan Arkin, Pedro Cardoso, Fernanda Torres, Luiz Fernando Guimarães

Votes: 4,126 | Gross: $0.31M

Oscar indication, best foreign movie

15. O Quatrilho (1995)

92 min | Romance, Drama

Two couples of Italian immigrants are part of a game that leads to treason and brings serious consequences to those who lose.

Director: Fábio Barreto | Stars: Glória Pires, Patricia Pillar, Alexandre Paternost, Bruno Campos

Votes: 1,186

Oscar indication, best foreign movie

16. Lisbela e o Prisioneiro (2003)

106 min | Comedy, Romance

Lisbela is a young woman who loves going to the movies. Leléu is a con man, going from town to town selling all sort of things and performing as master of ceremonies for some cheesy numbers... See full summary »

Director: Guel Arraes | Stars: André Mattos, Aramis Trindade, Bruno Garcia, Carlos Casagrande

Votes: 4,751

17. The Man Who Copied (2003)

R | 124 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

49 Metascore

André, relatively poor, falls in love with Silvia, a neighbor whom he spies with a telescope. Falling more and more in love with her, he begins to follow her around the city and realizes ... See full summary »

Director: Jorge Furtado | Stars: Lázaro Ramos, Renata de Lélis, Sérgio Lulkin, Heitor Schmidt

Votes: 8,384 | Gross: $0.02M

18. Se Eu Fosse Você (2006)

108 min | Comedy

The publicist Claudio and the housewife and choral teacher Helena have been married for many years, but they do not understand and respect the feelings and view point of the partner. ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Filho | Stars: Tony Ramos, Glória Pires, Thiago Lacerda, Glória Menezes

Votes: 4,073

Great acting, wife and husband switch bodies

19. Se Eu Fosse Você 2 (2009)

96 min | Comedy

Claudio and Helena are on the verge of breaking up, until the couple experiences another strange phenomenon that looks to help them understand one another more.

Director: Daniel Filho | Stars: Glória Pires, Tony Ramos, Isabelle Drummond, Cássio Gabus Mendes

Votes: 2,471

20. Caramuru: A Invenção do Brasil (2001)

85 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Diogo Álvares, a Portuguese map illustrator, reaches the Brazilian coast, after his caravel sinks. He is saved by the Indian chief Itaparica and his two daughters, Paraguaçu and Moema. They... See full summary »

Director: Guel Arraes | Stars: Selton Mello, Camila Pitanga, Deborah Secco, Tonico Pereira

Votes: 1,239

21. O Coronel e o Lobisomem (2005)

106 min | Comedy

In the beginning of the Twentieth Century, Coronel Ponciano de Azeredo Furtado inherits the farm Sobradinho in the country, many possessions and the title of "colonel" of his grandfather. ... See full summary »

Director: Maurício Farias | Stars: Diogo Vilela, Selton Mello, Ana Paula Arósio, Tonico Pereira

Votes: 638

22. Cafundó (2005)

102 min | Biography, Drama, History

Cafundó is a 35 mm color film which blends fact with fiction in the life of João de Camargo, a former black slave (1858-1942, Sorocaba, Brazil) who, in his old age, works miracles and ... See full summary »

Directors: Paulo Betti, Clovis Bueno | Stars: Lázaro Ramos, Leona Cavalli, Leandro Firmino, Alexandre Rodrigues

Votes: 232

23. Meu Tio Matou um Cara (2004)

87 min | Adventure, Comedy

Boy tries to help his uncle, guilty of a murder case, to prove his innocence. He thinks the uncle has confessed the crime as a cover-up for his girlfriend, who was the wife of the dead man.... See full summary »

Director: Jorge Furtado | Stars: Darlan Cunha, Sophia Reis, Lázaro Ramos, Deborah Secco

Votes: 2,218

24. Lula, o Filho do Brasil (2009)

Not Rated | 130 min | Biography, Drama, History

44 Metascore

The true story of a working class boy who moves to the nation's financial capital at a young age and becomes one the most influential politician in Brazil's history.

Directors: Fábio Barreto, Marcelo Santiago | Stars: Rui Ricardo Diaz, Glória Pires, Juliana Baroni, Cleo

Votes: 1,209

Our president from the mass

25. Seja o Que Deus Quiser! (2002)

90 min | Comedy, Thriller

Cacá, a VJ who works for São Paulo MTV, comes to Rio de Janeiro to make a report about a new band, whose members are poor and live in a slum called Morro do Alemão. She spends the night ... See full summary »

Director: Murilo Salles | Stars: Marília Pêra, Rocco Pitanga, Ludmila Rosa, Caio Junqueira

Votes: 182

Under rated

26. Olga (2004)

141 min | Biography, Drama, History

Based upon the true story of Olga Benário, the German-born wife of Brazilian communist leader Luís Carlos Prestes. During the dictatorship of Getúlio Vargas (1930-1945) she was arrested and... See full summary »

Director: Jayme Monjardim | Stars: Camila Morgado, Caco Ciocler, Luís Melo, Eliane Giardini

Votes: 2,820

Thanks for suggesting this in comments :)

27. Casa de Areia (2005)

R | 115 min | Drama

70 Metascore

A woman is taken along with her mother in 1910 to a far-away desert by her husband, and after his passing, is forced to spend the next 59 years of her life hopelessly trying to escape it.

Director: Andrucha Waddington | Stars: Fernanda Montenegro, Fernanda Torres, Ruy Guerra, Seu Jorge

Votes: 2,892 | Gross: $0.53M

Thanks for suggesting this in comments :)

28. Era Uma Vez... (2008)

117 min | Drama, Romance

A poor young man has to deal with his feelings for a rich girl and the difficulties of this relationship.

Director: Breno Silveira | Stars: Thiago Martins, Vitória Frate, Rocco Pitanga, Paulo César Grande

Votes: 1,098

Thanks for suggesting this in comments :)

29. Assalto ao Banco Central (2011)

101 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

In 2005, high-ranked criminal Barão is planning the heist that inspired the film. He needs to dig a tunnel linking a house to the Banco Central's vault in Fortaleza, where he'll steal millions of (R$) reais.

Director: Marcos Paulo | Stars: Milhem Cortaz, Eriberto Leão, Hermila Guedes, Lima Duarte

Votes: 1,920

Thanks for suggesting this in comments :)

30. Blindness (2008)

R | 121 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

45 Metascore

A city is ravaged by an epidemic of instant white blindness.

Director: Fernando Meirelles | Stars: Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Gael García Bernal, Yûsuke Iseya

Votes: 65,460 | Gross: $3.07M

This is not a brazilian movie, but the it's directed by Fernando Meirelles, so I wanted to mention this

31. The Constant Gardener (2005)

R | 129 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

82 Metascore

A widower is determined to get to the bottom of a potentially explosive secret involving his wife's murder, big business, and corporate corruption.

Director: Fernando Meirelles | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston, Hubert Koundé

Votes: 124,125 | Gross: $33.58M

This is not a brazilian movie, but the it's directed by Fernando Meirelles, so I wanted to mention this

32. Paraísos Artificiais (2012)

96 min | Drama

Two girlfriends visit a big Brazilian beach festival and decide to just let go. They enjoy the music, booze, drugs and on one steamy afternoon even each other. They also meet a young man and things can't be better. Can this paradise last?

Director: Marcos Prado | Stars: Nathalia Dill, Luca Bianchi, Lívia de Bueno, Bernardo Barreto

Votes: 2,963

Thanks for suggesting this in comments :)

33. Estômago (2007)

113 min | Drama

In the great restaurant of life, there are those who eat and those who get eaten. Raimundo Nonato finds an alternative way, a life of his own: he cooks in order to survive and find a place ... See full summary »

Director: Marcos Jorge | Stars: João Miguel, Fabiula Nascimento, Babu Santana, Carlo Briani

Votes: 4,525

Thanks for suggesting this in comments :)

34. Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures (2005)

99 min | Adventure, Drama

A road movie about a German man who went to the North East of Brazil in the 1942 to sell Aspirin.

Director: Marcelo Gomes | Stars: João Miguel, Peter Ketnath, Madalena Accioly, Jeane Alves

Votes: 2,044

Thanks for suggesting this in comments :)

35. O Homem do Futuro (2011)

106 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Zero is a brilliant scientist. However, 20 years ago, he was publicly humiliated when he lost Helena, the love of his life. One day, an accidental experience with one of his inventions ... See full summary »

Director: Cláudio Torres | Stars: Wagner Moura, Alinne Moraes, Maria Luísa Mendonça, Fernando Ceylão

Votes: 4,922

Thanks for suggesting this in comments :)

36. Capitães da Areia (2011)

96 min | Adventure

About the life and adventures of a gang of abandoned street kids known as Capitães da Areia (Captains of the Sands), in Salvador, Bahia, during the 1950s.

Directors: Cecília Amado, Guy Gonçalves | Stars: Jean Amorim, Ana Graciela, Roberio Lima, Israel Gouvea

Votes: 758

Thanks for suggesting this in comments :)

37. 2 Coelhos (2012)

TV-MA | 101 min | Action, Thriller

In São Paulo, the scheme of the corrupt DA Júlia and her mate, the lawyer Henrique with the gangster Maicom is discovered and sent to the Internal Affairs. Maicom is responsible for ... See full summary »

Director: Afonso Poyart | Stars: Fernando Alves Pinto, Alessandra Negrini, Caco Ciocler, Marat Descartes

Votes: 4,664

Thanks for suggesting this in comments :)



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