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Based on 17 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 75
    Edward Guthmann San Francisco Chronicle

    In his thrilling feature debut, Madame Sata, Brazilian filmmaker Karim Ainouz doesn't glorify dos Santos but examines the hot, reckless fever of his life in all its thorny complexity. show more

  • 75
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    Whether or not Ainouz's stylish directorial debut gets to the "real" Madame Satã is beside the point, but as a celebration of a figure who fashioned his own identity from pieces of pop culture and street poetry, from song and fashion and fury, it's memorable. show more

  • 50
    Jami Bernard New York Daily News

    The movie covers only the early years of his (Joao Francisco dos Santos) rise to fame and apparently enduring legend, but the camera never pulls back to provide a social or historical context. show more

  • 70
    Sheri Linden The Hollywood Reporter

    An intensely realized, beautifully shot drama. show more

  • 63
    Peter Debruge Premiere

    In this vibrant character study, newcomer Lázaro Ramos plays Francisco with an almost animal intensity. show more

  • 63
    Liam Lacey The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    Truly strange, and often captivating. show more

  • 50
    David Sterritt Christian Science Monitor

    No-nonsense critiques of Brazil's endemic poverty and deeply flawed criminal-justice system lend substance to what otherwise might have seemed a flimsy and sensationalistic tale. show more

  • 50
    Rene Rodriguez Miami Herald

    The result leaves the movie feeling like a one-note take on a complex subject. show more

  • 50
    Jonathan Foreman New York Post

    One of those films that takes up a potentially fascinating subject only to fumble it. show more

  • 70
    Ken Fox TV Guide

    However intriguing from a theoretical perspective, this gorgeously shot film is first and foremost and purely sensual experience. Filled with the sights and sounds of Rio of a bygone era, the whole thing virtually pulses with excitement. show more

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