Box art for City of God

City of God


Celebrated with worldwide acclaim, this powerful true story of crime and redemption has won numerous prestigious awards around the globe!

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

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.

what families can talk about

  • 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?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 28
    see all City of God reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews


- Adam Fendelman,, Friday, April 4, 2008

Fresh: The living conditions it projects are as horrendous as I had feared, but the movie is surprisingly easy to take as a rollicking homicidal entertainment.

- Andrew Sarris, New York Observer, Thursday, March 11, 2004

Fresh: Traffic was brilliant fiction, but City of God proves that true stories often pack the most punch.

- Bill Muller, Arizona Republic, Friday, March 7, 2003

Audience Reviews

5 stars

One of the closest things to a perfect film I have ever seen. Brilliant doesn't quite describe how brilliant this film is. Excellent in every way! One of my favorites and one of the best. You absolutely must see this.

- jamers2011, Saturday, October 2, 2010

5 stars

I dont always watch foreign films but City of God is sooooo good! The story was beautiful, the editing was spot on, and the dialogue was intense. Showing the rough lifestyle of people in Rio de Janiero, Rocket attempts to become a photographer while exiting the city of god and its violence.

- paulkoh110, Saturday, January 15, 2011

5 stars

Magnificent, powerful and totally compelling. I felt transported into the City of God whilst watching this film, the director really makes you feel every inch of the film and care for and despise some of the characters. It's a solid yet exciting film with faultless performances. Leandro Firmino was especially excellent as Li'l Z, I don't think I've ever hated a character as much. This film is wonderfully crafted with beautiful cinematography that takes you on an exhilirating and brutal journey into the slums of Rio de Janeiro. Probably one of the best foreign films I have seen, it stays with you. See this movie.

- shauna1354, Sunday, January 30, 2011