Later this week, the Rio Olympics kick off in beautiful Brazil. To get everyone ready and fully-versed on the diverse and fascinating culture, traditions and cinema of Brazil, DMG Entertainment has put together a list of must-watch Brazilian films. Featuring a mix of Hollywood and Brazilian movies, the list has something for every taste and interest.

So queue up at Netflix and check out these hot films.


CITY OF GOD (2002) – Directed by Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund   Starring Stars: Alexandre Rodrigues, Matheus Nachtergaele, Leandro Firmino


CIDADE DE DEUS, in Portuguese, is a Brazilian crime film released in its home country in 2002 and worldwide in 2003. It was adapted by Bráulio Mantovani from the 1997 novel of the same name written by Paulo Lins. It depicts the growth of organized crime in the Cidade de Deus suburb of Rio de Janeiro, between the end of the ’60s and the beginning of the ’80s, with the closure of the film depicting the war between the drug dealer Li’l Zé and criminal Knockout Ned. The tagline was “Fight and you’ll never survive… Run and you’ll never escape.”


BLACK ORPHEUS (1959) – Directed by Marcel Camus   Starring Breno Mello, Marpessa Dawn, Lourdes de Oliveira


A retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, set during the time of the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro.


RIO (2011) – Directed by Carlos Saldanha Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, George Lopez


Blu (Eisenberg) the last male Spix’s macaw has to return to Rio after living for 15 years in relative captivity. For a bird who has never flown before, you can imagine the difficulties that ensue, especially his failed attempts to impress the female macaw, Jewel (Hathaway).


FAST FIVE (2011) – Directed by Justin Lin   Starring Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Joaquim de Almeida


The fifth instalment of THE FAST AND FURIOUS was mainly based in Rio. It was also the most well received by critics, and its $626.1 million gross highlights just how popular it was with the public. The plot focuses on Dom Toretto (Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (Walker) who escape imprisonment in America and flee to Brazil, as there is no extradition treaty between the two countries. The pair and their assembled team proceed to try and take on local favela warlord, Hernan Reyes (de Almeida), whilst also trying to evade capture from Agent Hobbs (The Rock).


KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (1985) – Directed by Hector Babenco  Starring William Hurt, Raul Julia, Sonia Braga


Luis Molina and Valentin Arregui are cell mates in a South American prison. Luis, a trans individual, is found guilty of immoral behavior and Valentin is a political prisoner. To escape reality Luis invents romantic movies, while Valentin tries to keep his mind on the situation he’s in. During the time they spend together, the two men come to understand and respect one another.


BUS 174 (2002) – Directed by José Padilha and Felipe Lacerda Starring Sandro do Nascimento, Rodrigo Pimentel, Luiz Eduardo Soares


Documentary depicts what happened in Rio de Janeiro on June 12th 2000, when bus 174 was taken by an armed young man, threatening to shoot all the passengers. Transmitted live on all Brazilian TV networks, this shocking and tragic-ending event became one of violence’s most shocking portraits, and one of the scariest examples of police incompetence and abuse in recent years.


BOSSA NOVA (2000) – Directed by Bruno Barreto Starring Amy Irving, Antônio Fagundes, Alexandre Borges


Rio lawyer Pedro Paulo is recently separated from his travel agent wife Tania. His office has taken on an energetic new intern, Sharon. Pedro Paulo is working on a divorce case – his own father’s… Mary Ann is an English language teacher living in Rio. Her friend Nadine has been having an Internet romance with Gary, a SoHo artist. Nadine decides to visit Gary in New York; she books her flight through Tania… Soccer star Acacio is going to play for a team in England. He has been taking private lessons with Mary Ann. Is he reading too much into the word “private”? Pedro Paulo catches a glimpse of Mary Ann and decides he should study English again… Acacio needs some legal help with his new contract. He goes to Pedro Paulo’s office, but the only one in is Sharon…


WOMAN ON TOP (2000) – Directed by Fina Torres Starring Penélope Cruz, Murilo Benício, Harold Perrineau


Brazilian chef Isabella Oliveira moves to San Francisco when her husband, frustrated by her motion sickness, cheats on her.


CENTRAL STATION (1998) – Directed by Walter Salles  Starring Fernanda Montenegro, Vinícius de Oliveira, Marília Pêra


An emotive journey of a former school teacher, who writes letters for illiterate people, and a young boy, whose mother has just died, as they search for the father he never knew.


BLAME IT ON RIO (1984) – Directed by Stanley Donen Starring Michael Caine, Michelle Johnson, Demi Moore


Typical madcap sex comedy of the 80s. Caine plays a man on holiday in Rio with his best friend. Both men have teenage daughters with them. When Caine falls for the amorous daughter (Johnson) of his best friend, they embark on a secret, if slightly one-sided relationship. Johnson’s father is furious when he finds out about the ‘older man’ in his daughter’s life, and sets out unknowingly to hunt him down with the aid of that same best friend.


Stay tuned to DMG Entertainment for the latest updates on our upcoming feature films