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City of God (2002)

Rocket sees what he has gotten himself into in "City of God".

Rocket sees what he has gotten himself into in “City of God”.

Crime has always been a great topic and setting in films.

Going back as far as the 1930s with James Cagney to The Godfather to Goodfellas, cinema crime flicks have been some of the best around. One that has been overlooked is City of God.

Set in Rio, it is based on a true story of how, growing up in the suburbs, kids can get into crime so easy it is beyond horrifying. It centers on Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues), a photographer who gives the background of characters he has had contract with in his life. One of them is Lil Ze (Leandro Firmino), a crime lord of epic preportions. To say he likes killing people is a gross understatement. He has a best freidn, Benny (Phellipe Haagensen), one of the most likable “hoods” in cinema.

What happens to them is up to you to find out. What makes this film so brilliant is the filmmaking. Directed by Fernando Meirelles, it was his first film he made, ranking it with rookie outings like Citizen Kane. It is that good.

Parents, this is not for kids at all. It has violence, some sexuality, and swearing. High School and above, for sure. Still, for those who can handle it, I highly recommend it. It is one of the best foreign films of the new century.

Overall: Five Stars

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