USA Today - 03/01/2008
"[A] disturbing exploration of violent drug culture in Rio's shantytowns....CITY OF MEN demonstrates the power of human resilience."
Los Angeles Times - 02/29/2008
"There is plenty of violence and death, but the pace is slowed considerably to explore the human connections and relationships that are also at stake."
Entertainment Weekly - 03/07/2008
"Douglas Silva and Darlan Cunha make their torn camaraderie touching..."
Empire - 08/01/2008 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he likable performances, hot, sweaty atmosphere and decently mounted action scenes make this entertaining..."
Director Fernando Meirelles scored an unexpected hit with his disquieting 2003 feature CITY OF GOD. Subsequent years saw plenty of similar fare emerging from Brazil, and Meirelles even lent a hand by contributing to the hit TV show CITY OF MEN. This big-screen adaptation of the show follows its two central characters, best friends Ace (Douglas Silva) and Wallace (Darlan Cunha), as they are unwittingly caught up in a vicious gang war in their dilapidated favela. Ace struggles with his newfound responsibilities as a young father while Wallace searches for his errant father. Meanwhile, a brutal turf war breaks out around them, and Ace is reluctantly swept up into one of the gangs after threats on his life leave him with little choice but to join in the mayhem.
Paulo Morelli's film is a pacy, bloody thriller that pays warm tribute to a diverse cross-section of American directors including Quentin Tarantino and Michael Bay. Bullets zing across the screen, heavy artillery is deployed at all times, and Morelli makes great use of the twisty favela streets during some frantic chase sequence. Silva and Cunha, who both had roles in CITY OF GOD, carry the picture with impressive ease, and while CITY OF MEN isn't an official sequel to Meirelles's lauded picture, it does serve as a neat continuation of that film's unshakable portrayal of the violence that has beset so many young lives in the slums of Rio de Janeiro.
Description by Buena Vista Home Entertainment:
In this long-awaited follow-up to his Academy Award(R)-nominated film CITY OF GOD (2003, Best Director, Fernando Meirelles), producer Fernando Meirelles returns to the Brazilian favelas to tell an inspiring tale of friendship and family on the gritty streets of Rio de Janiero. Growing up in a culture dictated by violence and run by street gangs, teenagers Acerola (Douglas Silva) and Laranjinha (Darlan Cunha) have become close as brothers. With their eighteenth birthdays fast approaching, Laranjinha sets out to find the father he never met, while Acerola struggles to raise his own young son. But when they suddenly find themselves on opposite sides of a gang war, the lifelong friends are forced to confront a shocking secret from their shard past. Featuring stunning cinematography and a fascinating behind-the-scenes bonus feature, CITY OF MEN is an even greater experience on DVD.