16 Oct

Brazil is maybe known worldwide for its samba, football and beautiful cities, but cinema it’s definitely not on this list. Even thought the Brazilian film industry is not so big, as the years go by, the country is producing more and more quality content. A few Brazilian movies are even well known in other countries – movies like Central do Brasil and Cidade de Deus are highly acclaimed by the critics.

In the list below we recommend you some of the greatest Brazilian movies you should watch.

Have in mind that one of Caminhos’ free activities is Cine Brazil – every Tuesday we show different Brazilian movies with Portuguese subtitles. That way you can practice your listening skills while getting to know a little more about the Brazilian culture.

1. Central do Brasil (Central Station)

central do brasil brazilian moviesDora (Fernanda Montenegro) works at Central do Brasil in Rio de Janeiro helping illiterates write letters for their relatives.  At one point, she witnesses the death of one of her client, who has a child. She’s unwilling to help the boy at first, but start to develop a friendship with him, helping him to find his real father in the Northeast of Brazil. Central do Brasil was nominated for the 1999 Academy Awards for Best Actress and Best Foreign Language Film.

2. Cidade de Deus (City of God)

city of god brazilian movieBuscapé (Alexandre Rodrigues) is a poor kid growing up in a violent environment. He lives in a favela in Rio de Janeiro known for being one of the most violent places in the city. Buscapé doesn’t want to be an outlaw in his adulthood, but he needs to deal with this possibility every day of his life. The movie also introduces us to Zé Pequeno – a sociopathic drug dealer who love killing people ever since he is a kid.

3. Ônibus 174

onibus 174 brazilian moviesThis is a documentary film that shows us the true story of one of the most tragic hijackings in Brazil. Sandro do Nascimento was a poor homeless guy with a difficult and sad background. On October 2002, while trying to rob a bus, he ends up taking 10 hostages. The whole situation was broadcasted live and went very bad. This documentary also shows what life is like in the slums of Brazil and how the criminal justice works in the country, especially when dealing with the lower classes.

4. O Homem Que Copiava (The Man Who Copied)

the man who copied brazilian moviesThe story of André (Lázaro Ramos), a guy who lives an ordinary life with his mom until he falls in love with the girl next door. Having no money, but wanting to impress the girl at all cost, he start to print fake money at his work.


5. Tropa de Elite (Elite Squad)

tropa de elite brazilian moviesTropa de Elite introduces us to the daily life of BOPE’s (Special Police Operations Battalion of the Rio de Janeiro Military Police) group of police officers and their captain (Wagner Moura).  We’re also shown the stories of two childhood friends becoming policemen and fighting corruption in the precinct they work. There’s also a sequel, called Elite Squad: The Enemy Within. 

6. Meu Nome Não é Jhonny (My Name Ain’t Johnny)

johnny brazilian moviesJoão Guilherme Estrella (Selton Mello) is an upper-middle-class man that would become the head of the drug traffic in Rio de Janeiro during the ‘80s and ‘90s. This is a true story that shows us João’s glamorous lifestyle, cocaine addiction and arrest.


Learn Portuguese in Brazil at Caminhos Language Centre. Portuguese lessons for foreigners with good price and fun environment. Learn Portuguese while helping a great cause. Caminhos can also help you with homestay in Rio de Janeiro.

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