Critic Reviews



Based on 16 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Chicago Tribune
It's good, hard-edged stuff, violent and a bit exploitative but also nicely done, morally alert and street-smart.
Chicago Sun-Times
The movie is ambitious, has good energy and is well-acted, but tells a familiar story in a familiar way. The parallels to Brian De Palma's "Scarface" are underlined by scenes from that movie which are watched by the characters in this one.
New York Post
Apart from the slightly sanitized look of Reagan-era Harlem, this raw ghetto drama rings true, from the smooth dialogue to the unaffected performances of the central actors.
Baltimore Sun
Paid In Full's performances - especially by the always-engaging Phifer -- are strong, its message worthwhile and its sincerity doubtless.
Washington Post
The direction has a fluid, no-nonsense authority, and the performances by Harris, Phifer and Cam'ron seal the deal.
Chicago Reader
Paid in Full isn't a complete success; still, it moves beyond many cliches to create an honest portrait of several Harlem drug kingpins on their way up and inevitably down.
Boston Globe
The only victims in Paid in Full are the dealers and their families -- and the only word for that is one this paper can't print.
Begins as a serious, straightforward account of the origins of the cocaine trade and "gangsta" culture in 1980s Harlem, but then downward spirals due to a weak plot and gratuitous violence.
Los Angeles Times
a freefall into urban hell that doesn't give us The impetus to jump or the awful gratification of the ride.
Village Voice
As superficial as his 1999 short film "True," the inspiration for Budweiser's "Whassup?" commercials, Charles Stone III's feature debut is set in a 1986 Harlem that doesn't look much like anywhere in New York.

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