Elite Squad (18)

Film

Action and adventure

677.x600.film.elite.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Aug 5 2008

Muscling in on the sun-bleached Brazilian favela antics popularised by Fernando Meirelles (‘City of God’) and Walter Salles (‘Central Station’), director José Padilha’s fictional follow-up to his 2002 doc ‘Bus 174’ looks at the dangers of life in the slums of Rio through the eyes of the city’s various law enforcement agencies. At the film’s core is the bullish Nascimento (Wagner Moura), commander of the BOPE tactical unit which is routinely dispatched to the ghetto to stamp out violent crime. Nascimento is on the lookout for recruits pending his coming retirement but is worried that BOPE’s aggressive (borderline sadistic, in fact) methods have corrupted his ability to sustain a loving marriage and raise a child.

And you can see why: civil liberties are suspended, trampled on and then buried as suspects are shot, stabbed and suffocated by members of the unit. In a recurring motif, see-through plastic bags are pulled over a suspect’s head and, to the sound of facial pummelling, seen to fill up with blood. It’s questionable whether Padilha is offering an objective ethical enquiry into the deployment of these ‘techniques’ or merely whooping up their violent ends from behind the camera.

Suffice to say, these scenes may leave more liberal-minded viewers feeling a little queasy. Viewed as a pumped-up action movie, ‘Elite Squad’, which won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlin, is also sold short by its awkward structure, first swooping into the favela to deal with sundry gunplay, drug crime and police corruption, then tailing off on a ‘Full Metal Jacket’ style training camp where prospective BOPE candidates are put through the gruelling wringer. It is impressively made, but leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.
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Release details

Rated:

18

UK release:

Fri Aug 8, 2008

Cast and crew

Director:

José Padilha

Screenwriter:

Braulio Mantovani

Cast:

Wagner Moura, Caio Junqueira

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:8
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  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|18
1 person listening
chris

Brutal and unpleasant, making its obvious political points with all the subtlety of a "bagging". Yup, there's a film to be made about the extent to which the middle classes in Brasil and elsewhere are willing to accept fascist policing of the underclass in return for a consumerist lifestyle. This ain't it. Billed in some quarters as Brasil's version of The Wire, which it is clearly not.

chris

Brutal and unpleasant, making its obvious political points with all the subtlety of a "bagging". Yup, there's a film to be made about the extent to which the middle classes in Brasil and elsewhere are willing to accept fascist policing of the underclass in return for a consumerist lifestyle. This ain't it. Billed in some quarters as Brasil's version of The Wire, which it is clearly not.

Yo!

Once again the critics from Time Out show they know nothing about movies. Elite Squad is the most precise portrait of what it feels like to be Brazilian - and this comes from a Brazilian who lives in NY - so, if you are american and has a little bit of curiosity about Brazil's social issues, go watch this movie. I understand that as a film it might not be the greatest but it sure is loyal to Brazilian reality and Brazilian Mid-Class behavior.

Yo!

Once again the critics from Time Out show they know nothing about movies. Elite Squad is the most precise portrait of what it feels like to be Brazilian - and this comes from a Brazilian who lives in NY - so, if you are american and has a little bit of curiosity about Brazil's social issues, go watch this movie. I understand that as a film it might not be the greatest but it sure is loyal to Brazilian reality and Brazilian Mid-Class behavior.

Lucas Abrahão

Elite Squad is an absolute masterpiece. Liberals tend to dislike the movie for its apparent support for violence, but the movie does not support violence at any point - it can't be forgotten that the narrator is a BOPE member. The movie just shows some gruesome reality, and proposes a wide debate about the use of violence by cops.

Lucas Abrahão

Elite Squad is an absolute masterpiece. Liberals tend to dislike the movie for its apparent support for violence, but the movie does not support violence at any point - it can't be forgotten that the narrator is a BOPE member. The movie just shows some gruesome reality, and proposes a wide debate about the use of violence by cops.

JimmyLee

The film makes no moral judgements on what the officers do, it simply tells the tale, and does so very well. Better than the Dark Knight surely

JimmyLee

The film makes no moral judgements on what the officers do, it simply tells the tale, and does so very well. Better than the Dark Knight surely

john

amazing, portrays a reality perhaps too brutal for a timeout film critic s understanding, and does not apologize for its contradictions.

john

amazing, portrays a reality perhaps too brutal for a timeout film critic s understanding, and does not apologize for its contradictions.

Priscila G.

Elite Squad is the most brilliant brazilian movies I have ever seen. For brazilians, who live sorrounded by that reality, it is easier to understand and support the Elite Squad's actions. Those who have lost dear family members to drugs and violent actions from trafficants know that it is not effective to treat them in any different way, unfortunatelly. Jose Padilha also showed all corruption and hypocrisy of Military Police in Brazil in this gripping, involvent movie that leads us to a great social reflection!

Priscila G.

Elite Squad is the most brilliant brazilian movies I have ever seen. For brazilians, who live sorrounded by that reality, it is easier to understand and support the Elite Squad's actions. Those who have lost dear family members to drugs and violent actions from trafficants know that it is not effective to treat them in any different way, unfortunatelly. Jose Padilha also showed all corruption and hypocrisy of Military Police in Brazil in this gripping, involvent movie that leads us to a great social reflection!