It depends which angle you're coming from as to whether this film is seen as a success or failure as per other comments. An enjoyable drama in the favelas with it's vivid sound and colour. Corruption is rife and the impoverished always have the hardest fight for justice.
Here's the thing about Brazil and the US. In the former, bribes are illegal. In the latter, they are protected as "freedom of speech". Really: Americans call them "donations". Consider this: 158 families have provided nearly half of the early money for efforts to buy the next president. So, both countries are corrupted plutocracies, but here a "gringo" plays the role of the good hearted missionary. Trash indeed.
Based from Andy Mulligan's novel of the same title. "Trash" was exciting from start to finish. Nothing to criticize here, just standout story-telling, interesting characters, great entertainment. The main characters here are the boys. Rooney Mara and Martin Sheen takes the backseat, and are really just supporting actors for these kids. They're an impressive bunch. I genuinely enjoyed every bit of it.