Loaft King’s review published on Letterboxd:
A quiet observer caught in the middle.
City of God doesn't choose a side or glamorize crime, instead it captures a very dark, violent and gritty picture of what it's like to grow up as a kid in a Brazilian slum.
It's based upon a true story, and yet the overall narrative is the strongest aspect of the film. Even though we know it can't end well, every story and moment is significant and builds onto the overall narrative. The narrative keeps getting bigger and bigger, but it's never to its detriment, because of how every story is told and how realized each character is.
And when the inevitable end does come, it isn't a big moment or reveal for the purpose of shock, in fact it's even explicitly foreshadowed. The ending simply stays true to the message and tone of the film; the system is broken and the cycle continues.