Cidade de Deus 2002

Critics score:
90 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Glenn Lovell, San Jose Mercury News: A grim, outrageous, blisteringly effective underworld thriller destined to become a classic of its kind. Read more

Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune: The violence never feels exploitative; the only thrill you feel is that of being in the hands of a masterful storyteller opening your eyes to a world that you feel truly exists. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: As the movie's frenetic visual rhythms and mood swings synchronize with the zany, adrenaline-fueled impulsiveness of its lost youth on the rampage, you may find yourself getting lost in this teeming netherworld. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: A shocking, deeply disturbing film made with great passion. Read more

Bob Longino, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Simply put, it cuts like a butcher knife -- the sharpest one. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: There's something distasteful in the rote way this film introduces us to two dozen hapless, heartless kids and doesn't care enough to make us feel for them. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: A potent and unexpected mixture of authenticity and flash. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: I came away from this film impressed by its narrative control but unmoved by anything it had to say. Read more

Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle: An incredibly assured, compelling and often sardonically funny piece of filmmaking. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Pulses with atmosphere and vibrates with authenticity. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: Meirelles opens with a stark image -- close-up of a knife sharpened on a whetting stone -- and, for the rest of the film, pretty much keeps us on that knife's edge. Read more

Jane Sumner, Dallas Morning News: A dazzling film. Read more

John Powers, L.A. Weekly: From beginning to end, City of God doesn't just hold you; it clutches your lapels with its lurid exuberance. Read more

Jan Stuart, Newsday: Finally more numbing than emotionally shattering. Read more

Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture: The distinction between the depiction of violence and its exploitation is paper-thin. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Simply and truly put, it is devastating. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: The living conditions it projects are as horrendous as I had feared, but the movie is surprisingly easy to take as a rollicking homicidal entertainment. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Meirelles has crafted a distinctive motion picture -- one takes us into the streets with an unsurpassed intensity and immediacy. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Breathtaking and terrifying, urgently involved with its characters, it announces a new director of great gifts and passions: Fernando Meirelles. Read more

Octavio Roca, San Francisco Chronicle: Long and difficult to watch, but it is never dull. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: The film is far from a work of art, but it marks the emergence of a great new action superchef. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Difficult to watch but hard to look away from. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: It should be considered required viewing, I think, by anyone who seeks to understand how violence begets violence. Read more

Geoff Andrew, Time Out: The performances, many from non-pros, are terrific. Read more

Mike Clark, USA Today: This is one movie in which you don't feel the long-ish running time, in part because there always seems to be a surprise (as well as a new street guerrilla) around every corner. Read more

David Rooney, Variety: City of God delivers a bruising, visceral experience of the vicious spiral of violence that draws kids into a life of crime, brutality and murder as the only avenue open to them. Read more

Michael Atkinson, Village Voice: Spews like a magma jet. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: If one of the moral responsibilities of the movies is to put you in places where you'd never go and live lives you'd never live, then City of God is great moviemaking. Read more