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Purchase City of God (2002) Movie Online and Download - Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund 🎥
Brazil, France
Crime, Drama
IMDB rating:
Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund
Alexandre Rodrigues as Buscapé Criança - Young Rocket
Leandro Firmino as Dadinho - Li'l Dice
Phellipe Haagensen as Bené Criança - Young Benny
Douglas Silva as Dadinho - Li'l Dice
Jonathan Haagensen as Cabeleira - Shaggy
Matheus Nachtergaele as Sandro Cenoura - Carrot
Seu Jorge as Mané Galinha - Knockout Ned
Jefechander Suplino as Alicate - Clipper
Alice Braga as Angélica
Emerson Gomes as Barbantinho - Stringy
Edson Oliveira as Barbantinho Adulto - Older Stringy
Michel de Souza as Bené Criança - Young Benny
Roberta Rodrigues as Berenice - Bernice
Luis Otávio as Buscapé Criança - Young Rocket
Storyline: Brazil, 1960's, City of God. The Tender Trio robs motels and gas trucks. Younger kids watch and learn well...too well. 1970's: Li'l Zé has prospered very well and owns the city. He causes violence and fear as he wipes out rival gangs without mercy. His best friend Bené is the only one to keep him on the good side of sanity. Rocket has watched these two gain power for years, and he wants no part of it. Yet he keeps getting swept up in the madness. All he wants to do is take pictures. 1980's: Things are out of control between the last two remaining gangs...will it ever end? Welcome to the City of God.
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Good Story; Good Acting; Good Backdrop
This movie is a story about some people living in a Rio de Janeiro favela called A Cidade de Deus. It's an actual place built about 50 years ago that's one of the most well known favelas in Brasil.

It's more than a story about gangsters. It explores the feelings and motivations behind the characters from the guy who seemed to be born to kill to a guy who worked hard at a job, had a girlfriend and nice family but joined a gang for revenge after becoming a victim of crime. It explores the different people living in the neighborhood from the kids to the gang members to the parents working hard at menial jobs trying to make ends meet. It's an interesting introduction to the culture.

The movie is in Brazilian Portuguese but is available with English subtitles which is why I wanted to see it as I am trying to learn the language.

An interesting fact is that a resident of this favela just won the world judo championship in her weight class. A decade ago while living in a Cidade de Deus, Rafaela Silva and her sister Raquel were discovered by some guys interested in developing the sport in Brasil. Over ten years later she becomes the first Brazilian woman world judo champion.
The Best Film Ever Made
Before anyone says anything, hear me out. According to the IMDb Top 250 list, "The Godfather" reigns supreme as number one, while "City of God," or more appropriately, "Cidade de Deus," is at the number 17 slot. But to compare the two is like comparing an Arnold Schwartzenegger movie to "Crash." They are just too different. But for me, while Francis Ford Coppolla's 1972 film is rightly considered a masterpiece, "City of God" is more memorable and packs a bigger punch. That, and "The Godfather" has had 30 more years under its belt to gather its legendary status. And it's in English (which, sadly, makes a lot of difference).

Now, "City of God." What a rush! Fernando Meirelles's masterpiece is a film to behold. Many critics have described films as "explosive" for the punch they pack, and/or the unflinching reality of the subject matter. But there has been no film I have ever seen that can match "City of God" for energy. It has so much energy that instead of unfolding, it throws itself at you all at once, leaving everything else to be done afterwards. The actors don't act; they don't have time. They just...are. Everything is done to such an extreme, it's surprising that Meirelles manages to make none of it sensationalistic or exploitative.

Some people will tell you that this film is the chronicle of two drug lords. While there is some truth in that, the plot, if one could call it that, is better described as the chronicle of the "City of God" itself. Characters float in and out, with the "out" part frequently involving a bang (or more likely, a series of them). The characters are given background only if and when they are needed.

Like I said, there's really no time to develop subtly-nuanced performances. The film moves with such breakneck energy that to do so would only slow it down. There are only a few characters that really matter. Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues) is our window into the hellish slums. The result isn't voyeuristic, instead Rocket is more like a guide (albeit with only the narration addressing the audience). He's a normal teen, with interests in girls (particularly Angelica (Alice Braga)), sex, and aspirations to be a photographer. But his main goal is simply to survive each day. Also of note is Li' Ze, who we see growing up with a taste for violence as a kid (kids shoot and kill people just as frequently, if not more so, than adults). His increasingly drug-addled brain and his ambition makes him more frightening by the minute. The only one who keeps him grounded and (relatively) under control is Benny (Phellipe Haagensen), the "coolest hood in the City of God." There's some truth in that statement, as spoken by Rocket. He's the shed of brightness in this hellish city (though he's no goody-two-shoes). Finally, there is Lil Ze's rival, Knockout Ned (Seu Jorge), who has the film's most notable character changes.

But this is Fernando Meirelles movie. He throws in everything he can think of, and then some. References to Tarantino are abound, and there are probably more, but Meirelles takes the energy level up so high that there's no room for even a "please" or "thank you." Desaturated colors. A constantly moving camera. Loud noises. An upbeat soundtrack (which is the film's saving grace from becoming too grim). It's all here.

People may not agree with me that this is the best film ever made, and that's okay. I respect that. But make no mistake, it's an unforgettable 130 minutes.
The best Brazilian movie ever made !
A film that portrays the life of the poor Brazilian class, mainly from Rio de Janeiro, portrayed by locals themselves, amateur actors and did a great job, many revealed to the great Brazilian entertainment industry. The film has excellent direction, fantastic subjective elements, and time does not continue in a single line, the director approaches different moments in different times of the film. Amazing. This film was a great revolution in Brazilian cinema, it was nominated for international awards, which for the Brazilian film industry was new.A great film to know the reality of the poor class, and the history of the city of God, favela of the rio.
Slick and Annoying MTV Favela movie
This movie proves that foreign directors are perfectly capable of putting out soulless Hollywood crap too. This movie has nothing to say about Brazil, nothing to say about the rise of crime in Rio's shantytowns, and ultimately nothing to say about any of its characters. And to make things even worse, it ruins almost every dramatic scene by applying utterly pointless fastmo/stop sequences, the should-be-banned-forever shakycam, and the super-annoying fastcut MTV style edits that not only suck, but are hopelessly dated. The only people this movie will impress are film-critics and Tarantino-wannabes.

I won't waste your time with the story since you've seen it in about 100 movies before this one. Nothing intrinsically wrong with telling a boys from the hood gangster story, but its just not in and of itself strong enough to carry the movie. Lil'Dice grows up to be a big boss then gets killed. Yawn. Rocket escapes poverty (I guess) by becoming a reporter. Snore. A bunch of other guys get killed before we have any chance to figure out who they are. Zzzzzz.

The music is buried in the background for the most part, and when it takes center stage, it's often stuff like "Kung Fu Fighting" which sounds more like Hollywood shorthand for "the 70s" than any real attempt to capture what favela kids were listening to back then. I swear it feels like this movie was scored by an American right down to the rustic types playing their little guitars on the street.

The acting is fine but can't escape the one-dimensional writing. The Tender Trio are amiable thugs whose roles in this movie are completely superfluous. Lil Dice is 100% bad, Rocket is 100% good, and Benny is so underwritten that we don't really care what, if anything, motivates him. The one character who might have acquired some depth (and around whom the entire movie should have been built) is Knockout Ned, a bus driver who turns into a murderous gangster. He, more than anyone else in this movie, embodies everything that went wrong in the favelas in the 80s--a deadly combination of ex-military and drug gangsters, with the military guys supplying the connections for heavy firearms, the organization to mold the drug warlords armies, and the training to shoot to kill rather than simply spray bullets around. Knockout Ned is portrayed as a "hero" of course, even though so many of his kind were anything but heros, taking advantage (and often creating) the total anarchy of the favelas in order to grow rich and powerful.

The cinematography often makes this film all but unwatchable. Fast cuts, speedups, filter shots, the abysmal strobe-light sequence on the dancefloor. All of this is crap and totally kills every scene where its employed. The one great scene in this movie (where Lil Dice shoots one of the "runts" in the foot, then forces another young kid to decide which of the two "runts" to kill) is devastatingly effective because it doesn't use any crap film tricks at all. It's a tense, realistically portrayed scene shot at medium distance which manages in a few minutes to show just how the mindlessly violent generation of the 90s came into being. If the whole movie had been like this, it would have earned all the critical praise heaped on it.

But of course, the whole movie isn't like this because the director is too busy showing off his technique to worry much about how the scenes connect. Copying Tarantino's style of putting little titles up for each segment, he seems to utterly forget what story he's telling, jumping around from character to character, and even short flashback loops like the whole "apartment" sequence that he seems to think build dramatic tension whereas all they really do is shout "hey, look at how cool this narrative technique is!" It might be cooler if we hadn't seen the same "Lil Dice takes over another dealer's turf" sequences so many other places. And all the praise about how "realistic" this is must be coming from critics who think Quentin's films are realistic because almost all the violence is as perfunctory and fake as any movie coming out of Hollywood these days. In the end, this feels as plastic and stylized as any gangster rock video, and carries the same emotional weight.

In short, a real disappointment. Essentially a tired American gangsters from the hood movie shot with a Brazilian setting.
Just really an average gang movie
I cannot say it is a bad movie. Actually it is one of the best i have seen lately... I went to the movies when the movie first came to my country, I didn't like it very much. Yesterday I wanted to see it again, because may be i couldn't understand it when i was 16 or 17 when i first saw it. I played the DVD tonight, and yes, i really hadn't catch quite the movie 5 years ago. Now I did, but that doesn't made me love it. Yes, the story was quite original and the director did a good job, but in my opinion this isn't enough for a movie to qualify in the top 20 of the greatest movies here... Leandro Firmino(Li'l Ze) performs great and deserves a high praise, but can it really compare to the performance of, for example, Al Pacino in Heat (160 positions under City of God in Top250). This is ridiculous. It is quite unfair that foreign language movies are rated so high, just because they are not American. I really don't mean to offend anyone. I still think the movie is good, but still cannot compare to much more valuable movies which even didn't make it to the top250. As I already said it is just an average gangster movie. And please don't judge my opinion, cause everyone has the right to like or not like a movie, no matter if it is in the top20...
Explores a world or violence and moral ambiguity rarely depicted on film
The most moving moment in a trip I made to Brasil occurred when I visited a community school in the slums (favelas). These children were desperately trying to better themselves – the school (paid for from community and rotararian funds with no government help) was their *only* chance to get out of the cycle of hopelessness and crime. The awful dilemma was that the community and its inhabitants were protected and supported (with no strings attached) by the local drugs and gun running infrastructure. I was safer there than on the streets of Copacabana – no-one would harm a tourist as that might attract police attention (bad for business). One infraction to law and order would mean a warning – the second, death.

City of God looks at the slum area (a slightly less criminalised one than the one I visited) some years not to long ago as it evolved towards this position. The honest struggles of a teenager to break the mould, and the enormous pressures on his less intelligent peers to enter the short lived occupation of gangster. There are many moral challenges the audience is forced to confront, including the many shades of villains that accept a certain degree of criminality in order, at least in part, to do some good in an environment where the worst are very bad indeed and even the police are generally known to be more corrupt than some of the drug-runners.

This is a monumental film ,bravely told and skilfully put together. It opens a world that is largely unseen by the developed West, telling a nail-biting story that accurately reflects generations of children and adults lost to a world we wouldn't wish on anyone. Queasiness at an opening scene where live chickens are beheaded for the cooking pot is soon put into insignificance as we realise the horrific cheapness of human life. This rollercoaster ride of a movie leaves you with very uncomfortable questions about the nature of goodness. Even thinking back to it now brings tears to the corners of my eyes.
Not my taste.
The film is a marvel at depicting criminal behavior in youth microcosms, but it's also one of the ugliest films I've seen. It's very dark and dreary set in the dismal and bleak streets of Rio. I was nauseated after a while by watching the jerky often disjointed plot. The editing was effective, but it looked like they made things difficult for themselves to cram so much info and footage with the various subplots. Pseudo-documentary is alright. But I agree that I also didn't care for any of the characters except for Rocket. None of them inspire any sympathy. But then again who would want to depict these people as anything better than the dregs of the earth.
Almost Too Much to Watch
One must step back from an absolute sense of repugnance at the violence and look at what the filmmaker has done in this movie. Once you tune yourself into the lives of this cast of characters and their ongoing effort to stay alive and maintain dominance, you can reflect on the amazing cinematography and overall effect of the film. There is an ebb and floe that we watch, almost a dance in the slums of Rio. There is so much poverty that factions have grown up and the people are continually victimized by them as are there individual members. The police are perpetually on the take, so a military state is eventually set up. The main character is a participant early on and then an observer. His photographic skills are his ticket out and his ticket in. There is death and destruction, drugs and murder around every corner. Perhaps the scariest thing are a group of young boys called the Runts who are making a seamless transition into the horrors of the place, keeping things going for yet another generation. I think the most dominant theme of the whole thing has to do with the indifference toward death. Even those who are friends early on will kill their friends because a drug lord says so. It's an unforgettable film.
A Must See Film
I knew nothing about this film before I actually saw it. Considering it was one of the first foreign films I had ever seen I was shocked that I enjoyed it that much. The acting is brilliant, the story is delightful and very understandable. Everything has been put together and made a compelling finish. The camera work helps the film to be so gratifying especially for someone who does not understand the language the film is made in. Every angle tells a different story so you never draw your eyes away for a split second as the film captivates you that much you do not want to a miss a single shot. The director has admirably captured the idea of the poverty, crime, drugs and violence and throughout that you follow Rocket (the one ounce of hope of escapism from the favelas). Considering I had never really enjoyed a foreign film before I would say this was a great one to see and I found it very satisfying and would definitely watch it again.
The Best Movie of the New Millennium
City of God is one of the most fascinating movies of the new millennium, a masterpiece in all aspects of film-making: cinematography, editing, writing and directing, assisted by solid performances by amateur child actors from Rio de Janeiro's slums.

This movie, based on a novel by Paulo Lins, is about the history of the Brazilian slum City of God, where people born there have little alternative to crime and violence. Through inventive storytelling, the director Fernando Meirelles and screenwriter Bráulio Mantovani show the slum from its earliest days when it was just a suburb distant from the tourist attractions to the present days, when it's no longer invisible and has become an embarrassment for authorities.

To show the development of the slum, the filmmakers follow the lives of two distinct young men: Rocket, a nice kid who wants out and dreams of becoming a photographer; and the ruthless crime lord, Li'l Zé, who takes over the slums and engages in open warfare in the streets with other gangs. Rocket and Zé's history is intimately connected from their early days as kids, when Zé, eager for killing, kills Rocket's brother, a member of a famous gang. The new takes over the old, that's the law of City of God.

This movie is cruel and uncompromising. Armed children kill themselves in street wars, police corruption is everywhere, and, as Rocket discovers, being honest may not pay off. Zé's rise to power is meteoric as he uses the only language understandable: violence. He's one of the most charismatic villains of recent years; mean as snakes, without a single redeeming feature, enjoying evil for its sake, either you'll love him or hate him.

The movie also benefits from other great characters: there's Benny, Zé's only friend, who behaves a bit like what remains of his consciousness and possibly the only person who can calm down Zé. Benny is the cool criminal, he doesn't want to get rich for its sake, he doesn't want to kill people. He just wants money to have fun and party with other people.

Then there's the street vigilant Knockout Ned, a good man who just becomes fed up with the crime and decides to make matters into his rifle-holding hands. A trained soldier, he organizes an army against Zé in a war without truces to get control of the streets. It's amazing how a movie shot in the streets of Rio de Janeiro can acquire an epic feel that many epics lack nowadays.

In the middle is Rocket, trying to live a normal life, doing what teenagers do: falling in love, trying to get a job, hanging out with friends. For a grim movie, it's amazing how the filmmakers also capture the finer aspects of adolescence, with a maturity that American movies sadly lack.

All in all, City of God is one of the best movies of recent years that can't be ignored. I also admire it for having introduced me to a lot of fine Brazilian cinema being made nowadays. City of God is just the beginning, really. Movies like Tropa de Elite and The Man Who Copied await those who give it a try.
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