Director: José Padilha
Stars: Wagner Moura, Irandhir Santos, Andre Ramiro, Maria Ribeiro, Sandro Rocha
Don’t be dismayed by the fact that director/co-writer José Padilha’s Elite Squad: The Enemy Within is, technically, a sequel—it’s not all that important, frankly, if you’ve seen 2007’s Elite Squad, though Padilha’s first movie is also a knockout action thriller.
The Enemy Within, an uncompromisingly dark and violent look at Brazil’s criminal underworld and corruption, works like gangbusters all on its own. With intelligent characters, Padilha’s roaring film remains grounded in credibility, which makes it all the more satisfying whenever his shoot-’em-up action set-pieces begin and promptly pistol-whip the viewer into submission. Which happens at a breakneck frequency.