The 50 Best Brazilian Movies

by sanfortes | created - 31 May 2011 | updated - 30 Mar 2014 | Public

These are the best brazilian movies i ever see...

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1. Lavoura Arcaica (2001)

Not Rated | 163 min | Drama

Brazilian baroque. The young son that ran from his dominant family, descends into decadence and then returns to the nest. With melodramatic themes of tyrannical fathers, incest, fierce ... See full summary »

Director: Luiz Fernando Carvalho | Stars: Selton Mello, Raul Cortez, Juliana Carneiro da Cunha, Simone Spoladore

Votes: 1,399

2. Black God, White Devil (1964)

120 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

Fictionalized account of the adventures of hired gunman Antonio das Mortes, set against the real life last days of rural banditism. The movie follows Antonio as he witnesses the descent of ... See full summary »

Director: Glauber Rocha | Stars: Geraldo Del Rey, Yoná Magalhães, Othon Bastos, Maurício do Valle

Votes: 3,196

3. O Bandido da Luz Vermelha (1968)

92 min | Crime, Thriller

The story of a famous Brazilian criminal, called The Red Light Bandit because he always used a red flashlight to break in the houses during the night. Working alone, he also used to rape his female victims.

Director: Rogério Sganzerla | Stars: Helena Ignez, Paulo Villaça, Pagano Sobrinho, Luiz Linhares

Votes: 871

4. Pixote (1981)

R | 128 min | Crime, Drama

The life of a boy in the streets of Sao Paulo, involved with crimes, prostitution and drugs.

Director: Hector Babenco | Stars: Fernando Ramos da Silva, Jorge Julião, Gilberto Moura, Edilson Lino

Votes: 5,388

5. Eles Não Usam Black-Tie (1981)

120 min | Drama

Union leader's son doesn't want to engage in a strike, because his wife is pregnant, thus disregarding his father's tradition of political activism.

Director: Leon Hirszman | Stars: Gianfrancesco Guarnieri, Fernanda Montenegro, Carlos Alberto Riccelli, Bete Mendes

Votes: 769

6. Barren Lives (1963)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama

A poor family in the Northeast of Brazil (Fabiano, the father; Sinhá Vitória, the mother; their 2 children and a dog called Baleia) wander about the barren land searching for a better place... See full summary »

Director: Nelson Pereira dos Santos | Stars: Átila Iório, Maria Ribeiro, Orlando Macedo, Joffre Soares

Votes: 1,745

7. Assault on the Pay Train (1962)

102 min | Crime, Drama

Film about the true events in Rio de Janeiro, in 1960, when a gang having the infamous outlaw Tião Medonho as a leader performed a sensational railroad hold-up on a train carrying a small fortune.

Director: Roberto Farias | Stars: Eliezer Gomes, Reginaldo Faria, Jorge Dória, Átila Iório

Votes: 491

8. The Given Word (1962)

98 min | Drama

A simple yet devout Christian makes a vow to Saint Barbara after she saves his donkey, but everyone he meets seems determined to misunderstand his intentions. Will he be able to keep his promise in the end?

Director: Anselmo Duarte | Stars: Leonardo Villar, Glória Menezes, Dionísio Azevedo, Geraldo Del Rey

Votes: 2,058

9. At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991)

R | 189 min | Drama, Romance

Martin and Hazel Quarrier are small-town fundamentalist missionaries sent to the jungles of South America to convert the Indians. Their remote mission was previously run by the Catholics, ... See full summary »

Director: Hector Babenco | Stars: Tom Berenger, John Lithgow, Daryl Hannah, Aidan Quinn

Votes: 2,810 | Gross: $1.34M

10. São Bernardo (1972)

113 min | Drama

The story of Paulo Honório, a poor kid who becomes a rich farmer. Obsessed by his desire to get even richer, he doesn't pay much attention to his wife, Madalena, a teacher who reacts against his tyrannical ways.

Director: Leon Hirszman | Stars: Othon Bastos, Isabel Ribeiro, Nildo Parente, Vanda Lacerda

Votes: 255

11. Lúcio Flávio, o Passageiro da Agonia (1977)

118 min | Crime, Drama

History of a famous Brazilian bandit of the early seventies.

Director: Hector Babenco | Stars: Reginaldo Faria, Ana Maria Magalhães, Milton Gonçalves, Paulo César Peréio

Votes: 354

12. Bye Bye Brasil (1980)

R | 110 min | Drama

The Caravana Rolidei rolls into town with the Gypsy Lord at the mike: he does magic tricks, the erotic Salomé dances, and the mute Swallow performs feats of strength. A young accordion ... See full summary »

Director: Carlos Diegues | Stars: José Wilker, Betty Faria, Fábio Jr., Zaira Zambelli

Votes: 1,249

13. O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias (2006)

PG | 110 min | Drama

67 Metascore

A boy is left alone in a Jewish neighborhood in the year of 1970, where both world cup and dictatorship happen in Brazil.

Director: Cao Hamburger | Stars: Michel Joelsas, Germano Haiut, Daniela Piepszyk, Paulo Autran

Votes: 5,400 | Gross: $0.76M

14. A Causa Secreta (1994)

93 min | Drama

Theater director asks his actors for a research on human cruelty and misery in Brazil, while trying to raise funds for his next production, a play based on a story by Machado de Assis, "A ... See full summary »

Director: Sergio Bianchi | Stars: Renato Borghi, Rosi Campos, José Rubens Chachá, Lígia Cortez

Votes: 49

15. Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)

R | 120 min | Drama

80 Metascore

A gay man and a political prisoner are together in a prison. The gay man narrates the stories of two fake movies and his own life.

Director: Hector Babenco | Stars: William Hurt, Raul Julia, Sônia Braga, José Lewgoy

Votes: 12,211 | Gross: $17.04M

16. Terra Estrangeira (1995)

110 min | Action, Crime, Drama

After the death of his mother, a young Brazilian decides to leave his country and travel to his mother's native land. In a foreign land, he finds love and danger.

Directors: Walter Salles, Daniela Thomas | Stars: Fernanda Torres, Fernando Alves Pinto, Alexandre Borges, Luís Melo

Votes: 1,397

17. Case of the Naves Brothers (1967)

92 min | Drama

The innocent brothers are wrongly accused of a crime by a corrupt and violent police officers and are forced to face the injustices of the brazilian penal system.

Director: Luiz Sérgio Person | Stars: Anselmo Duarte, Raul Cortez, Juca de Oliveira, Sérgio Hingst

Votes: 217

18. Happier Than Ever (1984)

91 min | Drama

Terrorist takes his son out from the boarding school, and puts him temporarily in a friend's luxury and empty apartment in Copacabana beach. The son knows very little about his father, and ... See full summary »

Director: Murilo Salles | Stars: Claudio Marzo, Roberto Bataglin, Susana Vieira, Meiry Vieira

Votes: 74

19. The Murdered House (1971)

103 min | Drama

Newly wed arrives at her husband's family house, in the country. The heavy atmosphere of the house frightens her, and she takes refuge in her homosexual son-in-law's room, who is kept ... See full summary »

Director: Paulo César Saraceni | Stars: Rubens Araújo, Norma Bengell, Nelson Dantas, Joseph Guerreiro

Votes: 69

20. Corazón iluminado (1998)

130 min | Drama

Juán returns to his native Buenos Aires after 20 years to visit his dying father. He tries to find Ana, his old flame of the past.

Director: Hector Babenco | Stars: Miguel Ángel Solá, Maria Luísa Mendonça, Walter Quiroz, Xuxa Lopes

Votes: 229

21. Matou a Família e Foi ao Cinema (1969)

78 min | Drama

There are many concurrent plots in this film. The main one being the one in which a desperate guy kills his parents with an open razor and then goes to the movies. At the same time, other ... See full summary »

Director: Júlio Bressane | Stars: Márcia Rodrigues, Renata Sorrah, Antero de Oliveira, Vanda Lacerda

Votes: 303

22. Barravento (1962)

78 min | Drama

In the State of Bahia, Brazil, an educated black man returns to his home fishing village to try and free people from mysticism, in particular the Candomblé religion, which he considers a ... See full summary »

Director: Glauber Rocha | Stars: Antonio Pitanga, Luiza Maranhão, Lucy de Carvalho, Aldo Teixeira

Votes: 441

23. Tudo Bem (1978)

111 min | Comedy

Middle-class family reform their apartment, and the noise, the contact with the workers and strange occurrences turn what was supposed to be a trivial matter into a trip to hell.

Director: Arnaldo Jabor | Stars: Fernanda Montenegro, Paulo Gracindo, Maria Sílvia, Zezé Motta

Votes: 139

24. Midnight (1998)

75 min | Drama

On December 31st of 1999, the destiny brings a fugitive prisoner and a depressed middle class teacher together, as the new millennium approaches bringing hope to everyone.

Directors: Walter Salles, Daniela Thomas | Stars: Fernanda Torres, Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos, Matheus Nachtergaele, Nelson Sargento

Votes: 616

25. Limite (1931)

Not Rated | 114 min | Drama, Romance

Three people sail aimlessly while remembering their past.

Director: Mario Peixoto | Stars: Olga Breno, Tatiana Rey, Raul Schnoor, Brutus Pedreira

Votes: 1,332

26. Ganga Bruta (1933)

82 min | Drama

A man kills his wife on their wedding night, after discovering she had been unfaithful. After being acquitted, he moves to the country, where he falls in love with an innocent girl.

Director: Humberto Mauro | Stars: Durval Bellini, Dea Selva, Lu Marival, Décio Murilo

Votes: 256

27. 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: 1,969

28. Isle of Flowers (1989)

13 min | Documentary, Short

The ironic, heartbreaking and acid "saga" of a spoiled tomato: from the plantation of a "Nisei" (Brazilian with Japanese origins); to a supermarket; to a consumer's kitchen to become sauce ... See full summary »

Director: Jorge Furtado | Stars: Paulo José, Ciça Reckziegel, Douglas Trainini, Júlia Barth

Votes: 4,700

29. 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: 8,005 | Gross: $0.02M

30. Amarelo Manga (2002)

TV-MA | 103 min | Drama

40 Metascore

Short stories revolving around a bar and a hotel in Recife, unveil a mosaic of exotic characters living in the Brazilian underground: a butcher married with an evangelical woman, a ... See full summary »

Director: Cláudio Assis | Stars: Matheus Nachtergaele, Jonas Bloch, Leona Cavalli, Dira Paes

Votes: 1,651

31. Abril Despedaçado (2001)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama

73 Metascore

When ordered by his father to avenge the death of his older brother, a young man questions the tradition of violence between two rival families.

Director: Walter Salles | Stars: José Dumont, Rodrigo Santoro, Rita Assemany, Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos

Votes: 6,160 | Gross: $0.06M

32. Hour of the Star (1985)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama

Macabea has just moved to the big city after her aunt, who raised her, died. She gets a job as a typist and moves into a boarding house with three other women. In her spare time she listens... See full summary »

Director: Suzana Amaral | Stars: Marcelia Cartaxo, José Dumont, Tamara Taxman, Fernanda Montenegro

Votes: 828

34. Como Nascem os Anjos (1996)

100 min | Drama

Two children flee together with a grown up from a slum in Rio because this older person has had problems with the local drug lord. They end up in the house where a rich American lives with ... See full summary »

Director: Murilo Salles | Stars: Priscila Assum, Silvio Guindane, Larry Pine, Ryan Massey

Votes: 285

35. Pra Frente, Brasil (1982)

105 min | Drama

This movie is about one of the worst periods for the Brazilian people. Shows the days of military dictatorship when the Brazilian people against the government were put in jails, tortured, ... See full summary »

Director: Roberto Farias | Stars: Reginaldo Faria, Carlos Zara, Antônio Fagundes, Natália do Vale

Votes: 307

36. Rio 40 Graus (1955)

100 min | Drama

A semi-documentary on the people of Rio de Janeiro. The camera follows boys from a hillside shanty town who sell peanuts at Copacabana, Sugar Loaf Mountain, and a soccer game. Various ... See full summary »

Director: Nelson Pereira dos Santos | Stars: Modesto De Souza, Roberto Bataglin, Jece Valadão, Ana Beatriz

Votes: 385

37. Macunaima (1969)

Not Rated | 95 min | Fantasy, Comedy

Our story begins with Macunaima's miraculous birth to an old woman in a tiny jungle settlement. Born full grown, he discovers his life's purpose which leads him and his family/followers on ... See full summary »

Director: Joaquim Pedro de Andrade | Stars: Grande Otelo, Paulo José, Jardel Filho, Dina Sfat

Votes: 1,233

38. O Padre e a Moça (1966)

90 min | Drama

In a small town in Minas Gerais, the arrival of a young priest causes a commotion in the conservative atmosphere of the place, aggravated by the sudden attraction this priest feels for a ... See full summary »

Director: Joaquim Pedro de Andrade | Stars: Helena Ignez, Paulo José, Mário Lago, Fauzi Arap

Votes: 204

39. O Menino e o Vento (1967)

104 min | Drama

Young engineer on holiday gets involved with a boy having a strange relationship with the wind. Their close friendship arouses suspicion in the small town. When the boy disappears, the ... See full summary »

Director: Carlos Hugo Christensen | Stars: Ênio Gonçalves, Luiz Fernando Ianelli, Wilma Henriques, Odilon Azevedo

Votes: 94

40. A Intrusa (1979)

100 min | Drama

The film follows the parallel lives of two brothers of Danish ancestry in the "Pampas" of the Brazilian-Argentine-Uruguayan rural area. The rough life these "gauchos" (South American ... See full summary »

Director: Carlos Hugo Christensen | Stars: José de Abreu, Arlindo Barreto, Maria Zilda Bethlem, Palmira Barbosa

Votes: 109

41. Men and Women (1964)

93 min | Drama

Two friends take two prostitutes for a night of pleasure. But the night turns out to be frustrating for all involved, as much bitterness is revealed in their conversation and attitudes, ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Hugo Khouri | Stars: Norma Bengell, Odete Lara, Mário Benvenutti, Gabriele Tinti

Votes: 360

42. Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (1976)

R | 110 min | Comedy

52 Metascore

In a small city of Brazil, a woman named Flor marries a man named Vadinho, but once married she finds that he is a good-for-nothing. She works teaching cooking and he takes all of her money... See full summary »

Director: Bruno Barreto | Stars: Sônia Braga, José Wilker, Mauro Mendonça, Dinorah Brillanti

Votes: 1,933

43. Entranced Earth (1967)

111 min | Drama

Eldorado, a fictitious country in Latin America, is sparkling with the internal struggle for political power. In the eye of this social convulsion, the jaded journalist Paulo Martins ... See full summary »

Director: Glauber Rocha | Stars: Jardel Filho, Paulo Autran, José Lewgoy, Glauce Rocha

Votes: 2,002

44. O Monge e a Filha do Carrasco (1996)

90 min | Drama

In the 18th century in a forgotten town in the 18th century, young Benedicta is scrawny on the spot because she is the executioner's daughter. Monk Ambrosius, newly arrived at the village, ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Lima Jr. | Stars: Patricia Pillar, Murilo Benício, Karina Barum, Paul Dillon

Votes: 88

45. Os Cafajestes (1962)

100 min | Crime, Drama

This film captures the criminal behavior of two young Copacabana thugs (the "cafajestes"). The two plan a blackmail coup against a rich old man, using nude pictures of a lady on a deserted ... See full summary »

Director: Ruy Guerra | Stars: Per Aabel, Norma Bengell, Hugo Carvana, Lucy de Carvalho

Votes: 352

46. 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: 3,794

47. Memórias do Cárcere (1984)

185 min | Drama

Graciliano Ramos' period he spent in prison after being considered a subversive element by the government.

Director: Nelson Pereira dos Santos | Stars: Carlos Vereza, Glória Pires, Nildo Parente, José Dumont

Votes: 304

48. A Marvada Carne (1985)

77 min | Comedy

Hillbilly has one single dream in life: eat beef. He finds a little maid who's anxious to marry, and promises him: in their wedding party, his father would kill an ox.

Director: André Klotzel | Stars: Dionísio Azevedo, Adilson Barros, Chiquinho Brandão, Regina Casé

Votes: 355

49. Viajo Porque Preciso, Volto Porque te Amo (2009)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama

87 Metascore

A geologist is sent to an isolated region in the Northeast of Brazil to survey water sources, but begins to feel a a sense of abandonment and loneliness.

Directors: Karim Aïnouz, Marcelo Gomes | Star: Irandhir Santos

Votes: 559

50. Neighboring Sounds (2012)

Unrated | 131 min | Drama, Thriller

77 Metascore

The lives of the residents of a Brazilian apartment building and the security guards who get the job guarding the surrounding streets.

Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho | Stars: Ana Rita Gurgel, Caio Almeida, Maeve Jinkings, Dida Maia

Votes: 5,203 | Gross: $0.03M