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  • The Elite Squad (Tropa De Elite) [DVD]
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The Elite Squad (Tropa De Elite) [DVD]

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Product details

  • Actors: Wagner Moura, Caio Junqueira, André Ramiro, Maria Ribeiro, Fernanda Machado
  • Directors: José Padilha
  • Producers: José Padilha, Marcos Prado
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Jan. 2009
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001KWHO92
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,337 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Elite Squad presents an astonishing and intimate look at Rio de Janeiro’s vast and intricate web of police corruption. It is 1997 and hundreds of thousands live in Rio’s notorious favelas – the volatile slums on the edge of the city. Drug trafficking militias have complete control within the slums while the police run their criminal enterprises outside. Being an honest cop in this environment makes you a target for both. The elite BOPE force (State Police Special Operations Battalion) fights to combat drug trafficking, but keeping order has its price and their actions blur the line between right and wrong, justice and revenge. Two of the force’s newest recruits, Neto (Caio Junqueira) and Matias (Andre Ramiro), are childhood friends: one is quick on the trigger to maintain order and the other forced to compromise his ideals. Together they are the perfect replacement for outgoing BOPE Captain Nascimento, but alone they may not have what it takes to survive.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Arch Stanton on 1 Mar. 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
A couple of rookies join Brazil's thin blue (well, green) line and get more than they bargained for when they are forced into extremely dangerous 'slum' situations night after night. Which isn't helped by the fact that they are surrounded by unsympathetic civilians and corrupt colleagues at every turn, who're happy to feed them to the streets in order to line their own dirty pockets..
Thoroughly enjoyed this cop thriller with its constant displays of violence and brutality. The themes are quite heavy, probably justifiably so, albeit I have no idea how realistic, or close to the bone this is, having never been to Brazil ~ I have however, on occasion, wandered the mean streets of the Scilly Isles if that counts?!
The story is engaging and the music and action is lively and chaotic enough for me to not really care about its social commentary or impact though, so I just sat back and enjoyed the ride. In fact if you like tough crime flicks with a very grey moral compass you could do much worse than neck a few cold Brahma's and check this out.
The bluray print is crisp and colourful but there's little in the way of extras, with only a trailer and a director interview.
Obviously people will see immediate similarities to this and City of God but I would also recommend the lesser seen film Pixote as another foray into the world of very good Brazilian ghetto movies.
4.25/5. Add an extra half a star if you like world crime cinema.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By godzilla78 VINE VOICE on 31 Aug. 2008
Format: DVD
Fans of city of god/city of men should check this out however the feel good factor is something that is missing. Set in the Brazilian shanty towns, the story focuses upon 3 individuals within the police force and BOPE (elite police force) who use as much force and ruthlessness as the drug dealers and criminals. Two of the main characters aspire to become soldiers of BOPE although both men have different characteristics and methods but slowly realize what they must do to succeed. The third character wants to leave BOPE to start a family but must first groom a replacement in order to do so. This is where the new recruits come in. As the film proceeds the viewer is increasingly shown the ruthless methods the police rely upon to get results. Of the two recruits, one is more engaging and academic whilst the other dreams of joining the elite. However things aren't quite that simple as more and more people are sucked into the cycle of violence ala city of god etc. The film's release in Brazil courted controvesy as many believed the film showed the authority for what they really are...corrupt, brutal and unforgiving. Definetly one for the dvd collection upon release but just don't think all will be rosy by the end.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Gisli Jokull Gislason VINE VOICE on 23 Nov. 2008
Format: DVD
Look at our unit symbol, it is a skull with two handguns and a dagger, what do you think we do.

In my opinion this was the best movie in 2008. It is a roller coster ride of raw brutality and general badness. There are over 70 Favelas (ghetto districts) in Rio de Janeiro and there is another good film "City of God" that tells the story of the Favelas through a boy who grew up in one but the focus on this movie is far more brutal. Here it is BOPE (Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais - Elite Squad) that is the central focus, and they can be called with justification a "Death Squad".

But the movie isn't as simple as that. We get to see the Favelas for what they are, the drug dealers and crime lords are the law and the regluar police is corrupt, walking a fine line between intervention and bribes. The crime gangs are armed to the teeth and with weapons of war rather than criminal weapons. Enter BOPE - sent in to fight the gangs and clean up the police if need be. And their policy is too shoot first or put the problem in the bag.

If you can handle the sheer brutallity then this movie has a lot to offer. If you wish to take the stand of condemning BOPE there is plenty of supporting evidence (but the real problem is the hell of the Favelas). But if there is a bias in the movie then it leans more to support BOPE - to battle a terrible situation maybe BOPE is the only way left deal with it. It is up to you to decide if they are the last remaining option or the worst of the worst.

City of God is probably a better movie in the strictest sense of movie making but I found Elite Squad to be more effective, probably because it is a much harder film and its focus is on the bad, very bad. It is based on a best selling book of the same name written by two former BOPE officers and draws more or less from real life. Of all the movies I saw in 2008 this was the one that affected me the most. It comes with my best recommendations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Terence Tan Co on 3 Nov. 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Well this is probably the best Brazilian movie that I have ever seen.

Great stuff. The Blu Ray video and audio is quite good.

However...the Blu Ray is preety barebones, no commentary etc. and there is no english audio.

However don't let this detract from a truely great movie.
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Format: DVD
This deservedly famous Brazilian 2007 film shocked me deeply but I am nevertheless very glad that I watched it, as this is in the same time a masterpiece and en eye-opener - a little bit like "The Wire" was, not so long time ago.

This film basically tells the story of three police officers: Captain Roberto Nascimento, who belongs to the BOPA, an elite unit of Rio de Janeiro police and two recent graduates from police academy, Aspirantes (Second Lieutenants) Matias and Neto, who just began their career, but who also will want to join BOPA (which is NOT an easy thing). BOPA is not only the toughest outfit in the whole police force - it is also the one which is absolutely free of corruption, otherwise rampant amongst the officers and rank... I will not say anything else about the story to avoid spoilers, as you really deserve to discover everything by yourself.

This film is incredibly violent, but also very, very frank about the corruption in Brazilian police and also the horrible misery prevalent in favelas. It also criticizes heavily the wealthier sectors of Brazilian society, especially for the tolerance of the drug use - which generates drug trafficking, which in turn fuels most of the criminality and violence in the country. Possibly the most infuriating scenes are those in which some students from wealthy families, themselves involved in drug trafficking, criticize the police for "creating violence"...

I must say that I liked both the film (the ending is particularly powerful) and its three following messages:

1) The cleaning of corruption must start somewhere, with at least one area in which there is NO TOLERANCE FOR IT AND NO COMPROMISE OF ANY KIND at all. Once an inspiring example is set, actually "clean areas" can expand...
Read more ›
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