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City of God Review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    79

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Breathtaking and terrifying, urgently involved with its characters, it announces a new director of great gifts and passions: Fernando Meirelles.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Mark Caro

    A visual and aural feast that combines elements of classic gangster melodramas, crime epics such as "The Godfather" and playful non-linear narratives such as "Amores Perros," City of God explores a deadly culture while feeling more alive than anything that's hit the big screen in years.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Undeniably powerful, the work also comes with its own built-in shield against feeling any one character's difficulties too deeply, or for too long.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    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.

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  • See all City of God reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Powerful, but only for 17 and up.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie contains nonstop violence and frequent deaths, including the murders of main characters. In this 130-minute long film, there are only a handful of scenes where the characters are safe from peril and the audience can relax with them. There are explicit references to sexual intercourse and a non-explicit but deeply disturbing rape scene that should not be viewed by children.

  • Families can talk about the evolution of the characters from children into adults. When the boy nicknamed "Steak & Fries" argues to a crowd of drug dealers that because he has smoked, snorted, killed and robbed, he is a man, the crowd bawls with laughter. It does not matter that the boy, perhaps 10 years old, is only slightly younger than these teenagers. What, besides chronology, does make someone an adult? What choices does Knockout Ned make that turn him from a local hero to just another gangster? The rise of a younger generation of hoods in the form of the gun-toting pre-teens known as "the Runts" presents us with the specter of never-ending violence. What is the future of the favela at the end of the movie? What could stop the vicious circle? What decision does Rocket make about his photographs at the end? Is this what you would have done?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Beyond family and close friends, there is little tolerance and most arguments are settled with shootings.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Two strong female characters.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Brutal violence, casual beatings, spousal abuse, frequent peril, and uncountable deaths.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Explicit sexual references, sexual situations including rape and adultery, scenes of couple in bed together.

  • language false5

    Language: Strong language, homophobic slurs.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false5

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Frequent explicit scenes of drug use, drug dealing, and addiction.

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