Set in Rio de Janeiro between the 1960’s and 1980’s, City of God follows the life of Rocket (Alejandre Rodrigues), a boy living in the titular favela (low-income Brazilian housing project) who navigates a world ruled by drug wars, the film jumping back and forth between points in his life and the lives of people around him. His older brother, Goose (Renato de Souza), along with Goose's friends Shaggy (Jonathan Haagensen) and Clipper (Jefechander Suplino), run a gang known as the Tender Trio, committing petty crimes and distributing the wealth to the favela's inhabitants. A young kid named Li'l Dice (Douglas Silva) convinces the trio to hold up a hotel and, unsatisfied by the lack of bloodshed, takes it upon himself to gleefully murder everyone inside. The trio disbands, Li'l Dice renames himself Li'l Zé (played as an adult by Leandro Firmina de Hora), and using a gang of children known as "The Runts" eliminates all of the competition save for one dealer named Carrot (Matheus Nachtergaele). Li'l Zé, drunk with power, attacks a peaceful man named Knockout Ned (Seu Jorge) and murders several members of his family; Ned partners with Carrot, and the two sides are enveloped in all-out war. Ned is killed by a boy seeking vengeance, and the police capture Carrot and Zé, keeping Carrot for failing to pay off the police and letting Zé go, who is subsequently killed by Runts looking to take over the business for themselves. Rocket photographs the scene, and has a choice: expose the police's corruption, or use the photo of Zé's body to get an internship with the paper. He chooses the latter.
Key things to mention: One of the reasons City of God is so powerful is that, other than the actor who plays Carrot, no-one in the film has any professional acting experience. Many of the actors were from favelas in Brazil, several of them from the actual city portrayed in the film. Also, Li'l Zé is horrid; one scene shows him harassing a bunch of Runts, asking them whether they want him to shoot their hands or feet. They hold their hands out, and he shoots their toes, then calls a young boy over named Steak-and-Fries and asks him to kill one of them to see if he has the guts.
Memorable quote: "Where do you want to take the shot? In the hand or in the foot?" (GamesRadar)