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5 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
Brazil (1985)

Fortunately the story of an alternative future is realised with such visual imagination and sparky humour that it's only half way through that the plot's weaknesses become apparent. Like 1984, it looks forward from the '40s to a vast urban society ruled by an oppressive bureaucracy that has developed primitive valve computers. Pryce plays a worker in the all-powerful Ministry of Information, and the best moments arise when his flat's central heating system becomes a kind of spiritual battleground between guerrilla engineer De Niro and his state opposite number Hoskins. Here Gilliam fuses terror and comedy with real brilliance; elsewhere the plot's gaping holes reduce the film to a glittering novelty.

Release details

Release date:
Wednesday December 18 1985
132 mins

Cast and crew

Terry Gilliam
Charles McKeown, Tom Stoppard, Terry Gilliam
Katherine Helmond
Michael Palin
Jonathan Pryce
Ian Richardson
Robert De Niro
Ian Holm
Bob Hoskins

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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A master of the surreal and off-kilter, director Terry Gilliam has made a career out of films that distort reality in the name of exposing themes that are applicable to modern life. None has more fully-realized world than the chaotic futuristic setting of Brazil, which acknowledges the downfalls of bureaucracy, the dangers of consumerism and the very tenuous nature of reality. Like any great satire, there's plenty to laugh at, but the eerily prophetic quality of Gilliam's dystopian world that makes this movie somewhat frightening.