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Download City of God 2002 Movie Legally
Year:
2002
Country:
Brazil, France
Genre:
Crime, Drama
IMDB rating:
8.7
Director:
Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund

 

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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
City of God 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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Reviews
Excellent, but overrated by the IMDb-users
"Cidade de Deus" is the breakthrough of Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles ("The Constant Gardener"). It tells the unbelievable but true story of the gang life in a poor neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro. The neighbourhood is mostly ruled by kids and young adults, who doesn't play cowboy and Indian like most kids of their age do. No, most of the time they are busy dealing drugs, robbing local stores or killing other young adults in order to extend their territory.

The story is told by Rocket, a young guy who tries to live an honest life and not to be involved in the gang life. Fernando Meirelles made an amazing movie of an exceptional story. The story is disturbing and chocking. If it wasn't based on true events, this movie wouldn't have been such a big hit either. It's the combination of an objective style, fast filming, a great soundtrack and the chocking story that made "Cidade de Deus" a revolutionary movie.

Although the events are tragic, don't expect a melodramatic story. I don't think the purpose of the director was to move us. I think he wants as to be chocked after seeing this movie. Although we are confronted with violence on TV every day when we watch the news, the fact that kids are involved in this kind of gang life is really chocking.

Although I really liked this movie, I think it's highly overrated. Personnaly, I don't think it deserves such a high ranking in the Top 250. Nevertheless an excellent movie. 8/10
2005-10-30
Magnificent, gut-wrenching and utterly compelling
Do not be fooled by the coy charm of the promotional poster. The image of the girl shyly leaning over to kiss the cheek of a bare-backed boy on golden sands drenched in sunlight represents an ideal that many residents of the City of God strive for, but few achieve.

The rewards are all too tangible: The football, the music, the heady culture of samba and carnival joie de vivre is never far away, but escaping from the slums of Rio is a little more complicated than sloping off to the beach for the afternoon. The City of God is a raging maelstrom of violence, drugs and gang warfare, and its inhabitants are indoctrinated in the way of the gun from an early age.

Fernando Meirelles' film (based on a true story) is a breathtakingly convincing interpretation of life in the notorious Rio favela. Using hundreds of real-life slum children to supplement a superb central cast and shooting entirely around the dusty streets and abject poverty of the neighbourhood, Meirelles charts the history of the area through the narration of Rocket, a peaceable soul with journalistic aspirations who is entirely at odds with the mayhem around him.

Rocket explains how the slum was used as a dumping ground for all Rio's undesirables in the 1960s. Despite a population of criminals and ne'er-do-wells, the early part of the film is an homage to plucky underdog cheeriness and community spirit. Rocket's brother is a member of the 'Tender Trio', a dashing group of bandits who go about brandishing pistols and holding up gas trucks like latter day highwaymen.

Despite an elegant notoriety, the Trio's crimes tend to yield less than impressive fiscal reward, so they plan a heist on a motel-cum-knocking shop in an attempt to up the ante. It goes badly wrong. The gang's lily-livered tendencies mean they make a sharp exit at the first sniff of trouble but, unbeknownst to them, their lookout, unhappy with his passive role in proceedings (as bored nine-year-old little brothers are wont to be), strolls into the motel and fires at will, chortling psychotically as each hooker and john crumples to the floor.

The kid in question is L'il Dice, a chubby Arnold-out-of-Diff'rent-Strokes lookalike with an insatiable lust for mayhem. The motel incident marks a shift in emphasis for the City of God and the following years see the slum descend into chaos as L'il Dice (later renamed L'il Ze) builds a narcotics empire by ruthlessly eliminating the competition.

The streets become a recruiting ground for drug dealers and gang lieutenants. Small children (or 'runts' as they are affectionately known) come to see guns and criminal activity as the only viable rungs up the status ladder. 'I smoke, I snort, I've killed and robbed - I'm a man,' one prepubescent boy states defiantly.

The film culminates in all-out war between L'il Ze's bunch of hoodlums and an idealistic group of insubordinates who throng behind the handsome Knockout Ned after he stands up to Ze's cruel regime. Meirelles is careful not to lionise Ned. Turning him into a hero figure would, I suppose, have romanticised a bitter and essentially futile conflict. Rocket, caught in the middle of the hostility highlights the ultimate irony: 'By the end, after years of fighting, nobody could remember how it all started,' he says. The war becomes the way of life in the favela. Being affiliated to one of the gangs gives the street kids credibility and, more importantly, access to weapons. Before long, guns are being handed out like lollipops, and the runts are running about excitedly firing their new 'toys' indiscriminately. It is the ultimate in power without responsibility.

In their breathless exaltations, many reviewers have dubbed City of God 'Brazil's answer to Goodfellas'. It is a comparison that may be sound in terms of structure – Meirelles has certainly mastered Scorsese's canny editing and daring method of chronicling events over long periods of time – but overall this is a different beast. It is more of a Lord of the Flies with AK-47s. The most alarming aspect of all is the shocking lack of parental presence.

This is essential in conveying the choices these street children have (or rather don't have). L'il Ze and his barbaric ilk become all these poor, impressionable little tykes have to aspire to. In short: they don't stand a chance – a fact sharply illustrated in one particularly distressing and almost unwatchable initiation scene where a young gang recruit is required to murder a cornered infant in order to appease his older colleagues.

But Meireilles does not let this base, visceral tone swamp his movie. In Rocket he has an inspirational protagonist – the perfect foil to the madness and despair. His coming of age scenes where he bashfully attempts to flirt with girls and lose his virginity; and the sequence where he and his mate resort to petty crime only to bottle out when their intended victims turn out to be 'way too cool' to rob are the glue that holds the drama together. Without the light relief this would be intense and depressing fare.

As it is, City of God is a triumph of story-telling: Magnificent, gut-wrenching and utterly compelling, it is cinema of the very highest order.

Do not miss it.

10/10
2004-10-26
A Study in Brutality
City of God was a study in brutality. Offending all of the senses, the movie proceded in using a multisensory approach to capture the very essence of violence, in every sense of the word. Human beings of every age were tortured and murdered. A main character was depicted inflicting multiple injuries and deaths while laughing hysterically. I had to wonder what the point of the movie was. Any claim to artistic expression evaded me, entirely.
2003-03-30
Gangs of Rio
If you're unlucky to be born into a socially, economically and racially isolated community that has poverty, crime, drugs and violence as its everyday realities, the odds are stacked incredibly high against you. It literally takes so much effort, strength, struggle and plain ol' good fortune to simply avoid becoming a gangster, let alone do anything more with life. Most who find themselves in the situation described above never even enter this fight and out of those that do - only the rare ones succeed.

"City of God" depicts this conundrum masterfully.

In a Rio slum called Cidade de Deus we meet character after character that has the right idea, knowledge and courage to get out but somehow always ends up being pulled right back into this vicious circle. Becoming a hoodlum in Cidade de Deus isn't just a fringe career option for disenchanted rebels and social outcasts - it's the main industry.

The images of gun toting pre-teen killers are very disturbing and Meirelles uses them relentlessly to underscore just how hopeless and frighteningly predetermined life is for these kids. Many of them can't read or write but already know how to use a gun and kill without remorse. In a particularly harrowing scene, local drug lord Ze Pequeno or Lil' Ze (Leandro Firmino da Hora) exacts revenge on a disobedient gang of 9 and 10 year olds by incapacitating two of them and forcing one of his own kid soldiers, as initiation of sorts, to choose which one of the two he wants to kill. Faced with death, one of the kids starts crying crocodile tears; suddenly all the bravado is gone and he is shown for what he truly is - a desperately misdirected infant.

'If only these people had more options....' is the sentiment reinforced with every gruesome event.

Of course, this lifestyle comes a little more naturally to some than to others. Ze Pequeno, for example, from an early age when he was known as Dadinho / Lil' Dice shows a considerable lack of aversion to blood and death. In another aptly choreographed scene so that we don't know what exactly happened until much later, he more than 'holds his own' alongside much older gangsters during a motel stickup.

Also on hand is a colourful palette of characters. From our narrator Buscape / Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues) whose ticket out of the slum is his love of photography over to people like laidback Bene / Benny (Philippe Haagensen), followed by Ze's fierce rival Cenoura / Carrot (Matheus Nachtergaele) or good guy turned bad (although it's not so simple) Mane Galinha / Knockout Ned (Seu Jorge) we see a multidimensional, pulsating, alive community that seems in need of a strong, sustained outside push to finally stop chasing its own tail and get out of this destructive cycle.
2003-05-17
Genius work!
Probably the best movie that the Portuguese language has ever seen. The way that Fernando Meirelles used to capture and describe the harsh reality of Brazilian slums and, via a special embodiment , was able to transpire the difficulty that young people have to disconnect from the criminal environment surrounding them and all the corruption and urban warfare that exists in Brazil today .

Fantastic cast, could not have been better chosen .Maybe if this movie was spoken in English language, it might have been further recognized.

Congratulations to all involved and keep up the good work to producers and director.
2015-08-13
The Three-Body Problem
Spoilers herein.

The first choice a modern filmmaker has to make is deciding who is the camera. Everything flows from that decision, inheriting already maturing visual vocabularies for each path chosen. It's very hard to be novel today: most interesting projects come from careful integration of a novel eye with a novel narrative stance - parallels, time reversals, untrusted narrators, etc. But here is something new, thanks to the creative incubator of Brazilian TeeVee commercials, one of the more vital pockets of popular art around.

In this case, we have three characters: a narrator/photographer, a dancer, and a `pusher' who literally pushes the linear logic each step at a time. Each of these is represented by a camera philosophy (and accompanying editing style) which are mixed up helter-skelter. The most obvious is the notion of the `running camera' which sometimes looks at the road or away as it moves in frenzy.

This is interspersed with a rhythmic camera. This camera (Benny's eye) is the one that permeated most: it is reasonable yet hedonistic. In the first few seconds, we are introduced to these two in masterful composition: the observing, recording chicken who subsequently runs with a following POV. This is mixed with the aggressive logic of rhythm. If opening shots are promises, this is a strong promise. Over time, the third eye is folded in, literally a folding of linear stories. Each is tightly linear until it hits a node, then goes off on a tangent or a new direction usually paralleling something already seen. Garrison Keiller is the master practitioner of this sort of storytelling; not chopped Clancey-style; not shuffled Tarantino-like; but direct until hitting a capricious nexus, then direct again.

All three are shooters. The story is irrelevant: kids killing kids, albeit sometimes viscerally. The characters are literally disposable. The experience is nominally about the place, but it is really about how we are shown the place. I do not think this will reinvent film like a few projects have (from Welles, Tarkovsky, Greenaway, Kurosawa, even recently Luhrmann) but it is a visual adventure worth taking and a fresh experience.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 4: Worth watching.
2003-03-09
Shocking, Stylish & Brutal Story
Wow, this is one of those different movies - meaning not run-of-mill by any means - and one of those which isn't pleasant to watch but one you might find yourself mesmerized by it.

This also is one of those "based on a true story" films which makes it even more shocking, if its mostly true. The story is of the many young (pre and early-teen) criminals inhabiting an area just outside the big city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. It has the feel of a documentary with real-life street kids but is upgraded considerably by fantastic camera-work, some very innovative cinematography. In other words: stylish.

Make no mistake: without that stylish look, the film might be too much of a downer. The street kids are interesting but really brutal, so be prepared. I mean, how often do you see 12-year-old killers portrayed on film? The violence, language and drug use are rough in here and what a sad comment on this social problem in Brazil, a country with a huge problem with these street gangs. Overall, a very tough but fascinating film.
2006-03-06
This is the best movie that i have see..
I love this movie. I have seen it 10 times and it's so Amazing.. This is the best movie that i have see.. it is a realistic drama woh i think that's real.. it is old but its really good. i give 9 stars ... That is my first time that i write a review but for this movie is that OK. I hope my English its good to reading .
2017-07-27
Just... fantastic.
City of God is set in poverty-stricken and corrupt Rio de Janeiro and bravely zooms in on its young citizens in their extremely violent day-to-day circumstances. Some of them are really only just kids. I don't mean kids like "rowdy teens", but actual little children with guns and blood on their hands. It is quite heartbreaking to watch, but very compelling at the same time.

As it follows the life of two childhood friends who take very different paths in life, it is an excellent portrayal of eras—the 60s, 70s and 80s—capturing the style, music and way of life of each. Between the two story lines, the director introduces a multitude of violent characters and their lives in Rio through titled segments. Unlike Tarantino's violent segments, they are cohesive.

It is also stunning to see how well the actors performed in their individual parts, especially when I come back here on IMDb and read that they were not even professional actors, but locals recruited specifically for the film. Wow! More praise: I think City of God possibly has the best cinematography I have ever seen in a movie. It had such a unique mix of shots—sometimes choppy editing (but not Tony Scott seizure-inducing), 70s TV style images, quick camera movements and other times more drawn out and more "epic" shots. All the while it truly felt as though you were there, but desperately wanted to get away from the madness.

However, it may feel, at times, somewhat like an orgy of drugs and guns or mindless glorification of street violence to appeal to teen audiences.

But then I realised the violence is not gratuitous because City of God is about violence (duh, I know) and it condemns it in many ways, such as making out the protagonist non-violent and aspiring to a better life, and getting us to sympathise with him more than anyone else.
2006-06-22
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