Tropa de Elite (The Elite Squad)
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Tropa de Elite (The Elite Squad)
For decades, the South American metropolis of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has clocked in as staggeringly lethal. Its violence-scarred and blood-strewn ghettos (or "favelas") are regularly patrolled by crazed drug gangs whose open-fire battles with police often spread out onto the main thoroughfares and turn ordinary civilians into casualties. In response, the Brazilian government formed a crack paramilitary force known as the BOPE (Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais, or Special Police Operations Battalion) to take matters into its own hands. Now, director José Padilha's… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 53%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"For nearly two hours, Padilha bombards viewers with senseless, sickening violence for its own sake."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"[José Padilha] recariously pitches the squad's brute force as less a necessary evil than the outgrowth of an existing evil -- a no-win situation that mocks liberal ideals and warps conservative pragmatism into domestic terrorism."
‑ Jim Ridley, Village Voice
"A satisfactory enough cop movie, but not one that people will still be name checking years hence"
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"With no star names and a tough subject, it will be hard sell despite being a runaway hit on its home turf."
‑ Richard Mowe, Boxoffice Magazine
"Elite Squad succeeds at putting the worst of the violent spectacles on screen, primarily through a series of nicely staged shootouts and torture sequences."
‑ Eric Kohn, New York Press
"Elite Squad is a relentlessly ugly, unpleasant, often incoherent assault on the senses from Brazil."
‑ Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"It bears a resemblance to viscerally exciting seventies urban thrillers like The French Connection, in which only the fascists could do what needed to be done."
‑ David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture
"Given that Brazil, as a Latin American moviemaking powerhouse, steadily produces vibrant, vital films of real impact and humanity, it's a crime itself that Elite Squad may be the only Brazilian film that American audiences see this year."
‑ Robert Koehler, Christian Science Monitor
"A poor man's City of God that suggests the only answer to the problems of Brazil's slums are blazing guns wielded by a neo-fascist police force."
‑ Chris Barsanti, Film Journal International
"The film's message is that all of society is corrupt, so it doesn't matter who gets killed. It's a propaganda movie that shows no empathy for its characters or for its audience."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Elite Squad can't decide whether it wants to pull the lid back on what urban decay has wrought or simply open up a can of whup ass."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"It is impressively made, but leaves a nasty taste in the mouth."
‑ David Jenkins, Time Out
"A depressing film that celebrates brute strength as the only means to stem the tide of violence and crime in Rio de Janeiro."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"Trying to address important and serious social issues in this violent world rather than just creating something sensationalistic or exploitative gives Elite Squad an edge over normal police thrillers."
‑ Edward Douglas,
"Padilha succumbs to monotonous, hollow flamboyance with his City of God clone."
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
More reviews for Tropa de Elite (The Elite Squad) on Rotten Tomatoes

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