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"CITY OF GOD"
(2002) (Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino Da Hora) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Extreme Extreme Extreme Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy None Minor Minor Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Mild Moderate Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A young man watches over several decades as various hoodlums control a slum city outside Rio.
PLOT:
It's the 1960s and Rocket (LUIS OTÁVIO) is an 11-year-old kid growing up in the slums of Cidade de Deus outside Rio. He and other kids such as Benny (MICHEL DE SOUZA GOMES) and Li'l Dice (DOUGLAS SILVA) watch as an older trio of hoods - consisting of Rocket's brother Goose (RENATO DE SOUZA) and his friends Shaggy (JONATHAN HAAGENSEN) and Clipper (JEFECHANDER SUPLINO) - routinely hold up gas trucks and get into various other forms of trouble. When the trio gives Li'l Dice the opportunity to participate in a crime, the voracious thug-in-training does so with glee and never looks back.

In the 1970s, Rocket (ALEXANDRE RODRIGUES) is now a young man trying to figure out what to do with his life while hanging out with a group of friends including Thiago (DANIEL ZETTEL) and Angelica (ALICE BRAGA), with both of the guys being smitten with her. Li'l Dice, on the other hand, has gotten exactly what he wants. Renamed Li'l Zé (LEANDRO FIRMINO DA HORA), he now controls the city after taking over the lucrative drug business with Benny (PHELLIPE HAAGENSEN) and their army of young kids, including Steak & Fries (DARLAN CUNHA), who look up to them just as they did to the earlier trio of thugs.

Over the following years, however, his rule is challenged by various people, such as Carrot (MATHEUS NACHTERGAELE), a rival dealer. Then there's Knockout Ned (SEU JORGE), a bus driver so enraged by Li'l Zé and his gang raping his girlfriend that he sets out to kill the feared and ruthless leader. As his actions set off a massive gang war in the city, Rocket, now an aspiring photographer, sets out to capture the events on film and thus possibly give him a way out of the city and its years of poverty and strife.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Some older teens might be, but it's highly unlikely that will apply to most other kids.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong brutal violence, sexuality, drug content and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
Considering all that occurs in the film (language, drugs, violence, etc.) it's doubtful many parents would find any of the major characters as good role models, although Rocket finally starts to get his life in order near the end of the film.
CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


(Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
The following is a brief look at the content found in this R-rated and subtitled drama. Profanity consists of at least 70 subtitled "f" words, while many other expletives and colorful phrases are also seen/heard. Sexually explicit dialogue is seen/heard, as are various sexual encounters (intercourse and oral) that include movement, sounds and nudity. Nonsexual nudity is also present.

Violence includes many instances of people shooting and killing others, often with very bloody results, via executions and various massive gun battles. Some of those scenes and others may be suspenseful and/or disturbing, particularly in light of many of the actions being perpetrated by or against young kids. Accordingly, all sorts of bad attitudes (many of them criminal in nature) are present. For those sensitive to rape issues, a woman is raped off-camera.

Many characters are drug dealers or users and a great deal of drug use (pot and cocaine, etc.) occurs. Other characters smoke and/or drink, while various forms of imitative behavior are present. If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

For those concerned about bright flashes of light on the screen, some full strobe effects occur during a large party.


ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see what looks like alcohol being poured.
  • The Tender Trio and Li'l Dice all smoke joints.
  • A person carries bottles of beer into a hotel.
  • Shaggy smokes a joint.
  • A person in Rocket's group states that he needs a joint and another, Thiago, talks about snorting coke and that it's the way to go. Angelica says that she likes pot. We later see that Rocket has gone to a drug dealer, Blacky, to buy pot for her.
  • We see and hear a brief story about an apartment that's served as a drug-dealing base for years and for different people. During this, a person smokes a joint while we see a lot of pot on a table as it's being rolled.
  • Benny smokes a joint.
  • A person comments that the gang should be selling coke and we then see it and pot being prepared for sale. We also see a progression of how kids go from being deliverymen of the drugs up through selling them, etc. We also see footage of people buying drugs and hear that the city was teaming with addicts.
  • Rocket buys some pot and we then see him and Angelica, smoking pot at the beach. A bunch of young kids then come by and want some and he gives it to them (and some of them smoke it).
  • We see Thiago trade his watch for some coke (as he's an addict).
  • Benny and Thiago snort coke.
  • We see more coke being prepared for sale.
  • A guy states that he wouldn't have lost so many chances to lose his virginity if he was as good with the girls as he was rolling a joint. We then see some pot in the car in which he's riding.
  • Benny snorts coke.
  • Benny shares a joint in bed with Angelica.
  • People drink at a party.
  • Thiago wants and needs more drugs.
  • A kid states that he's drank and snorted drugs just like the older hoods.
  • Li'l Zé snorts a great deal of coke.
  • A newspaper woman shares a joint with Rocket at her place.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see some blood on a plate (presumably from a dead chicken).
  • We see several dead and bloody murder victims.
  • A man has some blood on him after being shot.
  • Several more people are shot dead with some bloody results.
  • A young hood's foot is bloody after being shot there.
  • We see a dead and bloody person.
  • A person has some blood down their face.
  • A man's shirt is bloody after he's been shot.
  • We see various dead people, some of whom are bloody.
  • We see a dead and bloody kid on the ground.
  • Some people who are shot in a big gun battle are bloody (with some pools of blood around them).
  • We see a dead and very bloody person with many bullet holes in them.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • All of the various criminals, hoods and dealers have bad attitudes for robbing and killing others, dealing drugs and more (some of which is listed under "Violence").
  • A cop uses the term "niggers" while someone later uses the term "fag" (and "faggot is also later used).
  • Cops chase after and shoot at the wrong kid (we then see that they shot him dead) and then plant a gun on him.
  • We see that Goose started messing around with a man's wife. The husband then beats the wife to death (just off camera) and then buries her inside the house.
  • We see a flashback to Li'l Dice shooting various people in the hotel robbery (from above) and obviously enjoying doing that (we only see him shooting and don't see the impact).
  • There are some comments about the cops being bribed not to crack down on the hoods.
  • A group of young kids, the "Runts," rob a place and throw stuff at the owner/worker.
  • Some kids shoplift from a store.
  • Believing that honesty and regular work don't pay, Rocket tries to resort to a life of crime (and prepares to rob people and places, but can't pull it off).
  • Older thugs make a younger one choose which of his young accomplices to shoot and kill (and he eventually does just that and the older guys congratulate him).
  • We see that more police are corrupt and not only work with the drug dealers, but also murder some people. Some also take a bribe from one so that he's released from custody.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" might also be disturbing or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • For those who don't like seeing animals being cleaned for food, etc., there's some brief footage of a dead chicken being cleaned (feathers removed, some blood on a plate, etc.). One live chicken then escapes and various people chase after it through the city streets (and shoot at it). In addition, a truck nearly hits the chicken.
  • Viewers may also not like seeing young kids involved in the drug business as well as killing people (often with glee).
  • Li'l Dice plays with a gun and then points it a hood's head.
  • Two hoods hide in a tree at night as armed police officers look for them.
  • An older hood hits a younger kid (who's also a hood) on the back of the head and additional older ones grab several younger ones. They aim guns at them and tell them that they can choose to be shot in the hand or foot. The once tough kids are now crying and acting scared, and one of the older hoods shoots one in the foot (and laughs about that). They then tell one of the kids, "Steak 'n Fries," to kill one of the other kids. Again, the other two act scared and this kid does finally shoot and kill one of the other kids (and is congratulated by the older hoods for doing so and now being one of them).
  • For those sensitive to rape issues, it's implied that Li'l Zé and/or his men raped a woman.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Machine guns/Knife/Molotov Cocktails: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases (in English subtitles): "F*ck off," "F*ck you," "F*cked up," "You're a f*cking *sshole," "F*cker," "F*ck them," "For f*ck's sake," "We're f*cked," "I'm f*cked," "What the f*ck are you doing?" "Don't f*ck up again," "F*cking fag," "They can f*ck themselves," "Bullsh*t," "I don't give a sh*t," "Chicken sh*t," "Scared sh*tless," "I'm in deep sh*t," "Sucks," "Hell no," "Lil fart," "Dork," "Bitch" (said various time for women), "Pain in the ass," "Slut," "Niggers," "Shut up," "Loser," "Bastard," "Sit your ass down," "Cut the crap," "Stick it up your ass," "Up yours, *sshole," "Fag(got)," "Chicks" (women), "My ass," "Sucker," "Screw up," "Nuts" (crazy), "Freak" and "Balls" (testicles).
  • Shaggy kicks a soccer ball into the air and then pulls out a gun and shoots it.
  • A kid gives "the finger."
  • Wearing bandanas as masks, the Tender Trio rob a gas truck at gunpoint (and let the locals take the gas canisters). Later, they rob a hotel at gunpoint and Shaggy tries to steal a car at gunpoint.
  • A group of young kids, the "Runts," rob a place and throw stuff at the owner/worker.
  • Some kids shoplift from a store.
  • Older hoods get younger kids involved in their business of dealing drugs, killing people and arming them for their street war.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A minor amount of such music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • The old James Brown song has the lyrics, "Like a sex machine."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 70 "f" words (15 used with "mother"), 19 "s" words, 4 slang terms for sex (variations of "lay" and "screw"), 1 slang term using male genitals ("pr*ck"), 26 asses (9 used with "hole"), 4 damns, 4 hells, 2 S.O.B.s, 1 crap and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "Good God" and "Jesus" as exclamations (in English subtitles).
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see one of the boys in just his underwear as another swims.
  • As the Tender Trio robs a hotel, we see various patrons in various stages of undress and/or sexual activity with others. That includes the sight of a man's bare butt as he's on top of a woman with movement; bare breasts; a woman in her bra; what looks like a small orgy (intertwined bodies that one of the robbers stares at); and more nudity.
  • A woman with Shaggy shows cleavage. They then passionately kiss.
  • Months later, we see Shaggy lying on top of that young woman, kissing her (she's in something like a slip). The straps of that are down and we see part of the side of her bare breast (along with more cleavage).
  • Two women talk about their husbands and sex (and of one having an affair). One asks the other, "Does your husband go down on you?" One comments on a man using his tongue for half an hour. A question is asked if one lets the husband do it from behind. The other says no and then asks if it hurts. The other says the first few times it does, but that one needs a banana, saying it's fantastic and that it's one of the good things in life. The one says that you take the banana and put it up your "thing" while you let him take you from behind (and says that it's a real rush).
  • A man walks in on Goose having sex with his wife (only briefly and partially seen, as is a banana that's there). Goose races out only holding something small over his crotch (he's otherwise nude and we see the side of his butt as well as brief full frontal).
  • We see various shots of women in bikinis at the beach. There, Rocket's friend asks if he's had any luck "getting laid" yet. Rocket replies that he hasn't. There are then comments about one girl in their group who was the only who "screwed." A comment is made about losing one's virginity.
  • From a distance, we see a woman performing oral sex on a young man.
  • Rocket and Angelica briefly make out at the beach before being interrupted.
  • A guy tells Rocket that maybe Rocket can loose his virginity tonight to Angelica.
  • A comment is made about Rocket still being a virgin.
  • A guy states that he wouldn't have lost so many chances to lose his virginity if he was as good with the girls as he was rolling a joint.
  • We see Benny and Angelica in bed (implied sex) and they're nude, but the shot doesn't show any explicit nudity.
  • We see a guy in his underwear as he's forced to strip at a party. We then see that he's nude with his hands covering his crotch (we see the side of his bare butt).
  • Rocket ends up going home with an older newspaper woman who says he has to sleep with her since there's only one bed. Rocket then comments (in narration) that he won't get into details of his first sexual experience.
  • We briefly see a man having sex with a woman (a little bit of movement) and hear related sexual sounds.
  • A person comments on having sex with a nurse and that it was good.
  • A kid asks if some girl was a "good lay," another responds "more or less" and a comment is made about knowing "how to screw."
  • SMOKING
  • Carrot smokes several times, Li'l Zé smokes a cigar and various other characters also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Ned's brother (and possibly another relative) is/are killed (other family members react to that) and he sets out to get revenge.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The true life story on which this film is based.
  • The life of drug dealers (which has its literal and figurative highs and lows) and how it usually ends up badly for those involved in it.
  • The involvement of young kids in the drug business and being involved in killing people (often with glee).
  • Rocket saying he realized that honesty does not pay (as he works in a grocery store for next to nothing while his drug dealer friends live the high life).
  • For those sensitive to rape issues, it's implied that Li'l Zé and/or his men raped a woman.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Some people push others out of their way and then shoot at a chicken that's on the loose.
  • Shaggy kicks a soccer ball into the air and then pulls out a gun and shoots it.
  • Wearing bandanas as masks, the Tender Trio rob a gas truck at gunpoint. One hits the driver with his gun and a kid then kicks him on the ground.
  • Later, they rob a hotel at gunpoint and bind and gag various patrons. They also hit some of them (and we see the action of one kicking someone) and we later see that various people were murdered.
  • A guy accidentally crashes his car into and through a roadside restaurant (property damage but no apparent injuries).
  • Cops chase after and shoot at the wrong kid (we then see that they shot him dead).
  • Goose's father smacks him for being in trouble.
  • We see a cop kicking at a young kid.
  • A husband beats his cheating wife to death (just off camera - we don't see the impact).
  • Shaggy and a woman steal a car at gunpoint.
  • The police chase after and shoot at a man, eventually hitting him several times (we later see him dead).
  • We briefly see a man struggling with a woman.
  • A person shoots another person.
  • We see a flashback to Li'l Dice shooting various people in the hotel robbery (from above) and obviously enjoying doing that (we only see him shooting and don't see the impact).
  • We see a kid hit a guy on the back of the head.
  • A guy slaps Li'l Dice.
  • Li'l Dice and others shoot various people during a montage of that (often seen from the point of view of the victim).
  • Several more people are shot dead with some bloody results.
  • A guy is shot in the leg.
  • Benny fires some gunshots into the ceiling to make people leave a room.
  • An older hood hits a younger kid (who's also a hood) on the back of the head and additional older ones grab several younger ones. They aim guns at them and tell them that they can choose to be shot in the hand or foot. The once tough kids are now crying and acting scared, and one of the older hoods shoots one in the foot (and laughs about that). They then tell one of the kids, "Steak 'n Fries," to kill one of the other kids. Again, the other two act scared and this kid does finally shoot and kill one of the other kids (and is congratulated by the older hoods for doing so and now being one of them).
  • Li'l Zé strikes and then holds a gun on a person.
  • Li'l Zé pushes Rocket to the floor and he and Benny then struggle. During this, another person rushes up and shoots a person, mortally wounding them.
  • A man shoots and kills another man (we don't see the impact).
  • It's implied that Li'l Zé and/or his men raped a woman, while Li'l Zé fires a shot into the ground next to Ned's head.
  • Li'l Zé and his gang arrive at Ned's place to finish their business with him. Ned's brother tries to calm things down and intervene. The brother, however, suddenly stabs and wounds Li'l Zé. In response, his men open fire on him and his house with handguns and machine guns, riddling both with bullets (and killing another man inside the house).
  • Ned opens fire on some of Li'l Zé's men, hitting some of them.
  • Li'l Zé shoots and kills one of his own men for talking too much.
  • Carrot hits a kid (associated with Li'l Zé) on the head.
  • We see Ned and others holding up a gun store and breaking the display cases holding the guns. They then hold up various people at gunpoint. During a bank robbery, one of them shoots and kills a security guard.
  • We see a montage of gun battles between the opposing forces in the city.
  • We see various dead people, some of whom are bloody.
  • Molotov Cocktails are thrown and catch things on fire.
  • We see a dead and bloody kid on the ground.
  • A young man wounds Knockout Ned.
  • A cop shoots a drug dealer dead.
  • A big gun battle breaks out and many people are shot and wounded or killed (including various major characters).
  • Various gang kids riddle an older hood with gunfire, killing him.



  • Reviewed January 9, 2002 / Posted January 24, 2003

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