This movie is the perfect answer for you if you get tired from the repetitiveness and the over-simplified characters of mainstream Hollywood, as this movie take place in a different part of the world, far away from the glamorization and conventional bullshit that we're used to.
Based on a true story (entirely or to some degree), this movie slap you in the face with it violence, and it successfully manage to show you how violent people are created, from the discriminated people who just want to prove themselves, or the people who want to fill a gap in them by gaining control over territories and doing whatever possible to be known and feared.
Taking place in 'City of God' which is a housing project in Rio de Janeiro, formed by the government for the people who fled their areas from floods in 1960, this movie shows you how this small project area turned into the most dangerous place in Rio de Janeiro in the 80's, as young people there started forming small gangs to control the city taking advantage of the non-existence and/or the corruption of police. Narrated entirely by Buscapé whose a wanna-be photographer who lived in the city and watched the gangs being formed and taking over places, to start dealing with drugs and weapons and competing to gain control over the City of God.
The first thing that stuck me about this movie is the ability of those young people, in which most of them aren't actors at all, to deliver, fantastic performances, adding to that the incredible writing and screenplay and the very stylist directorial skills and you have one the best foreign films of all time. it's a masterful work from the start to finish as it keep you glued to the screen the entire time with it incredible story and acting, it's also highly disturbing as it get's very deep into criminals mindset in which most of them are just kids, something, you don't see everyday.
The director Fernando Meirelles have this amazing ability to repeat the same scene from a different angle each time, as the narrator Buscapé tell the story of each character independently and then combine all that together in one scene, and you don't get to see it the same way, to avoid the repetitiveness of repeating, the director give you the same scene in a different way, and it was so perfectly executed that you can swear it can't be the same scene.
What makes this movie very powerful is the ability to capture so much emotions from people, in which most of them aren't actors, even from kids, it gets so deep on characters and explain so much, without actually explaining, just by the look on the scattered emotions you can understand so much, a quality that even the most praised movies fail to show, like that last scene, when the kid start following his "gang" and shouting at them to wait for him, and loss his sandal while running and they start laughing at him, it just show so many things, and it perfectly combines child innocence with violent criminals, it's almost satirical approach to criminals but it also highly disturbing, as it show that those empty discriminated kids can be way more dangerous than adult criminals for lacking of morals, and i highly praise the director for showing that, it's a Masterpiece.