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Elite Squad
Elite Squad
Actors: Wagner Moura, André Ramiro, Caio Junqueira, Milhem Cortaz, Fernanda Machado
Director: José Padilha
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2008     1hr 55min

An action-packed thriller that follows an elite police battalion (BOPE) tasked with cleaning up a drug-ridden Rio de Janeiro slum in advance of the pope's 1997 visit. A team of trained killers, they struggle to do what's r...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Wagner Moura, André Ramiro, Caio Junqueira, Milhem Cortaz, Fernanda Machado
Director: José Padilha
Creators: José Padilha, Bia Castro, André Batista, Bráulio Mantovani, John Kaylin, Luiz Eduardo Soares, Rodrigo Pimentel
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Weinstein Company
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 10/28/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 55min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: Portuguese, English
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Riveting Movie, I Highly Recommend It
Colin P. Lindsey | Manchester, NH | 10/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Wow, what a great movie! Let me first say that I am extremely picky about movies and have found myself watching fewer and fewer as time goes by, mostly because most movies now seem to be boring and pointless. So when I do, on a rare occassion, enjoy a movie, for me it is unusual. I didn't just enjoy this movie though, I loved it. In fact, I did that rarest of things I watched it twice!

This movie focuses on the efforts of an elite Brazilian police unit in Rio and their efforts to reduce drug-related crimes. It is violent, compelling, entertaining and a first-class movie experience. Why? Because this movie avoids all the stereotypes of other cops versus drug-dealer movies, especially the simplified good guys vs. bad guys Hollywood take. It is also surprising and rewarding to see the drug war through the eyes of Brazilian culture as opposed to an American view.

The movie focuses on two young policemen, their experiences in the corrupt local police force, and their progression into joining the ranks of BOPE, the "Elite Squad" of the movie title. It is narrated by Captain Nascimento, the leader of a BOPE squad who is desperately trying to find a replacement for himself because after ten years in BOPE the stress and tension is causing him severe physical reactions, and he longs to spend time with his wife and newly born son.

This movie is AWESOME for two reasons I believe. One is that the voice of Nascimento is compelling and beautifully haunting; just listening to him speak in Portuguese as the movie plays will send shivers and chills through your body. Do not ever, ever, get a dubbed version of this movie, it would destroy the magic here. The second reason is that the movie is so highly realistic. All the characters are complex, three-dimensional, believable human beings, and their actions, reactions, and motivations are all perfectly in sync with their characters. There are no wrong, silly, or false notes played in this movie, it all rings true. The drug-dealers (trafficants) and believable, the corrupt police force is ultra-believable because the movie shows why they are corrupt, and the BOPE officers, shown through Nascimento, are completely believable as they struggle against both their corrupt peers and the desperate trafficants. This is no silly, Hollywood shoot 'em up, this is the real deal and it is my favorite movie this year. It's going into my top ten movies ever list."
The movie is about social issues and not just violence.
I. Wan | Los Angeles, CA | 10/31/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The movie is quite violent, so it will appeal to action movie fans, but more than that, it is a social movie.

I was born and raised in Rio, close to one of the many favelas in that city.

Years ago, I attended the same university one of the characters in the movie did. The students there are accurately depicted. They are upper middle class students that preach peace and social services, but while doing that, they also smoke pot. When I didn't see any problems at the time, but now, I can see the hypocrisy of preaching peace, but also financing the violence by smoking pot.

I also have a really good high school friend that's a Capitain now in the PM (Military Policy). He's not part of that Elite Squad, but he's an honest cop. So while severly underpaid, there ARE honest cops out there.

Not really a movie review, but a rant, but this movie was quite realistic and nostalgic for me."
Panned by critics, loved by those who understand the situati
Don Federico | Orange County, CA | 11/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I loved this movie. It was largely panned by American critics, never even making it to American theaters, except for maybe one or two in NYC (none in LA).

The film provided a valid, complex viewpoint of some of the problems that modern-day Brazil faces. If you look at comments of reviews of this film on major publications' web sites (like NYTimes, LA Times, etc), you will see that the overwhelming majority of comments are from Brazilians who: 1) loved the movie, and 2) stated that the movie got the situation right.

The film shows the point of view of patriotic police officers that want to do right by their country, although they are confounded by their fellow police officers, the well-armed drug dealers, the bought-off constituents of the slums (favelas), as well as the leftist middle class that excoriates the police on the one hand for its heavy handed tactics as well as its corruption while at the same time sustaining the local drug lords by buying their product.

It is the film's viewpoint towards the leftist middle class that I think doomed the film to never get a proper showing in the US. That, and the fact that this "honest" police force feels obligated (and in the eyes of some in the viewing public, justified) to use extra-judicial, heavy handed tactics to get results in fighting crime.

Best action police movie I have ssen
R. Rego | East Lansing, Mi, USA | 09/15/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This movie makes any Samuel L. Jackson movie seem like a chick flick. Awesome gun fights and a great plot full of surprises. Really depicts the everyday life o the members of the elite squad. Lots of strong content, you might wanna consider watching this without any kids around."