Elite Squad ★★★★½

Directed by José Padilha and set in Rio de Janeiro in 1997, "Elite Squad" is an intense, gripping, brutal, very violent, disturbing, and viscerally powerful film that gets under the viewer’s skin and lingers in the mind long after the end credits have rolled. All the performances in this grittily realistic, documentary-like movie are completely convincing because the actors are their characters more than they play them; Wagner Moura gives a forceful performance as Captain Nascimento, a member of BOPE (Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais/Special Police Operations Battalion); Caio Junqueira and André Ramiro are excellent in supporting roles. The vibrant musical score gives the film an additional dimension.