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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars City of God - A masterpiece
I had wanted to see this movie for long time, and had heard about how good it was, and when I got the chance to watch it, I was blown away.
Set in the brutal City of God in the slums of Brazil, this is the story of how residents fight for their lives in this violent ghetto. It starts with the story of the Tender Trio who become legends in this slum, because of their...
Published on 31 July 2005 by Jan

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A story of the human condition
City of God is a point-of-view movie about young criminals growing up in Brazil. When I say 'young criminals', I don't mean pickpockets or even housebreakers - instead, these guys are at the other end of the scale and engage in bloody armed robbery, shoot-outs, rape and general gun-fuelled mayhem.

Life is cheap in the city of god and the stark thing is that...
Published on 16 Sep 2009 by LXIX


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars City of God - A masterpiece, 31 July 2005
By 
Jan (Devon, England) - See all my reviews
I had wanted to see this movie for long time, and had heard about how good it was, and when I got the chance to watch it, I was blown away.
Set in the brutal City of God in the slums of Brazil, this is the story of how residents fight for their lives in this violent ghetto. It starts with the story of the Tender Trio who become legends in this slum, because of their stealing, but when "Lil Ze2 comes to town, people realize that they are just amateurs and brutal gang wars follow.
This is a very hard-hitting and violent film, and it contains a roller-coaster ride of emotions. You really care for some of the characters involved and truly hate others.
I strongly recommend this amazing film if you enjoy world cinema.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visually stunning, emotionally motivating and astoundingly perfect, 10 Nov 2010
This review is from: City Of God [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
Recently, my venture to learn more about film and the history of Cinema has lead to world cinema and various other films that have glistening reviews. I decided to buy this DVD for many different reasons, mainly for personal satisfaction and to discuss it with other avid fans. My word was I impressed, not only is this one of the best movies I've ever seen, but has set a terrifying new scale for other films to beat, the acting is emotional and stunningly real despite the only actor being Carrot. The cinematography is perfect, there is absolutely nothing better than this in terms of realism. To finalise, a stunning movie that can be watched again and again which sums up modern World Cinema.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars masterpiece of cinema, 20 April 2012
This review is from: City of God [DVD] (DVD)
the greatest film of all time ,brilliantly shot ,fantastic story ,action ,drama ,heart wrenching ,gut busting gangster flick set in the slums of rio ,the acting by the street kids was truly wonderful ,the fact that most of the actors really were street kids and residents of the favelas before being chosen for the film is incredible given how good the acting is ,cannot recommend it highly enough
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On "News From a Personal War", 12 Feb 2004
The film itself is a classic, obviously- but the DVD, empty of the usual extras like commentary, has a truly superb, hour long documentary on the brazillian favellas and their evolution into permanent war zones, using interviews from the perspectives of drug dealers, (the heavily armed and corrupt) police, and the residents. This makes it clear that the film does not exaggerate- in fact judging by some of the chilling interviews here it might have toned down some of the violence. The terrible conditions seem to produce psychopath after psychopath, and police and rival gangs are locked into continuous spirals of killing and revenge. This extra adds real moral weight to the film- the slums are maintained to keep the underclasses under control, and death is early and meaningless. It is a world which normal human emotions penetrate little if at all. Perhaps this is why the directors used a sensationalist style in the film. It seems to fit the excitement and pride the real gang members are taught to feel in killing; you are left with the feeling that the stories need to be told as they were/ are experienced.
Unexpected and revealing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hell on Earth, 14 July 2005
By 
Mr. Terence Jones "terencej72" (Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This is a very good film, in fact i would rate it 4 out of 5, It's about a slum in Rio de Janeiro called City of God.
It follows (primarily) the life of 2 boys Rocket and Li'l Dice (later to rename himself L'il Ze) from the late 60's to the early eighties (a period of about 14 years).
In the slums the only way to survive is to take menial low paid work, or become a hoodlum.
Both Rocket and Dice's older brothers are part of the terrible trio - notorious local hoodlums and robbers. Dice and Rocket are not friends though, merely acquainteneces in the same area
Rocket stays in school to study while L'il Dice joins his brother as a hood. We follow both as Rocket struggles
with relationships while Li'l Dice turns himself and his friend Bene (the coolest hood in the slums) into the most feared hoods.
L'il Ze (as he's now calling himself) decides to take over the local drug trade by killing off the dealers
and taking their territories. So he does and stops the robberies plaguing his area in the process, to further enhance his grip as "the boss"
Meanwhile Rocket dreams of being a photographer having the only camera amoung his group of friends. he starts work at a local
newspaper as an errand boy and works himself up. Chance brings them into contact later when Ze, desperate for
publicity to publicise his name in a war with another dealer gets Rocket to take his picture this catapults Ze to the limelight he desires and unwittingly gets Rocket his first real start as a photographer.
Naturally violence is never far away and the film is as much about how the very poor survive and the police corruption rife in Brazil and how this touches the lives of all good and bad.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visual Masterpiece, 1 April 2008
By 
J. Ure "JimBeam" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
After just watching this I can honestly say this is one of the greatest films i've ever seen. Beautifully shot, a wonderful script and stunning performances.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great but Disturbing, 29 Sep 2003
I must admit this was an enigma for me i dont usually go for movies with subtitles but i am glad i did City of God set in the favelas or shanty towns of Rio de Janiero is one of the best films of 2003.Spanning about 10-15 years it shows a group of children growing up in the violence that is every day life where being shot and killed or arrested by the police is an everday occurance and it really is survival of the fittest.Filmed in a documentary stle with a largely non professional cast (the current movie Raising Victor Vargas uses the same method in a different type of movie),the unknowns give great performances as they grow up into adulthood and get swept up in the cycle of violence and killing that makes on eof the kids Lil Z into a feared gang leader and the number 1 drug dealer in the favela.This is a stark raw movie which some may find hard to watch and is ultra violent if you like the Goodfellas,or Scarface type of movie you will love this if you can get back the subtitles u are in for a treat.
Highly recommended.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars potentially terrifying, 2 Sep 2003
By A Customer
City of God is kind of Boyz in the Hood moved from South Central LA to the favelas of Rio. The film was based on a Brasilian book of the same name (Cidade de Deus) which I believe was semi-autobiographical. What may potentially be an eyeopener to someone who doesn't know Rio de Janeiro is that the plot is entirely plausible and realistic. Good reason to buy the DVD rather than the video is the long documentary accompanying the film which interviews the major protagonists in the war the Brasilian police are fighting against the organised drug traffickers. That was obviously shot back in 95/96 - worth bearing in mind that violence has recently increased and got much worse in Rio (according to the cab drivers I speak to) and the power of the traffickers is such they can cause entire districts of the city to become ghost towns (Ipanema, 30/9/2002 - a very bizarre day).
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing, 28 Dec 2006
I was disappointed that this film is being labelled the new Goodfellas. This film is in a different league to Goodfellas or any other 'gangster' film. I understand that many of the Amercian or English mob movies usually end with the death of the gangsters but I have always regarded them as sensationalising organised crime and making the life of the gangster look fairly attractive to persons with certain dispositions.

City of God is I think more representative of real street crime between kids and men in the slums of Brazil, Nigeria, Somalia, or even some streets in the more developed world.

City of God explains that criminality and murder is not a choice, it is a way of life; the only means of survival. In films like Scarface or Goodfellas the life of a gangster provided the option for the greedy and evil.

City of God is far superior because it shows that for some war is life, and no matter how good a person may be circumstances make people bad. I was astonished by the direction in the film and the way the story developed. The scenes were extraordinary and frighetening. City of God is faultless and the ultimate cinema exposition of criminality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars City of God, 24 April 2010
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
At it's most basic `City of God' is a film about inter gang warfare in the Brazilian slums. Two drug gangs fight it out over territory and for respect and innocent lives get caught in the crossfire. But if you delve a little deeper, this is also about betrayal, the hard violent struggle to survive, about those trying to stay honest and pure whilst those around them descend into crime and filth and the simple fight of good over bad. This is gritty viewing from the word go and yet the direction is stylish and very effective. This is shot in a series of vignettes and yet an over-arcing story ties it all together. This is in Portuguese with subtitles throughout which adds to the authenticity and feel of the film. You will flinch at some of the violence and be shocked at how young the kids start on the slippery slope to anarchy and crime. You will be even more shocked when you realise that this is based on a true story and events like these actually happened. I started off not being too involved in the film or story, but after half an hour I was hooked and this became compelling viewing. This was highly lauded when it was released and it has been recommended to me numerous times. I can only say it deserved all the accolades it received and would suggest you don't wait as long as I did before viewing it. It is unrelenting and raw, but completely engaging and will leave an impact. You couldn't ask for more from a film.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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City of God [Blu-ray]
City of God [Blu-ray] by Alexandre Rodrigues (Blu-ray - 2011)
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