(2002)

Critic Reviews

49

Metascore

Based on 16 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
It's good, hard-edged stuff, violent and a bit exploitative but also nicely done, morally alert and street-smart.
75
Miami Herald
An intelligent crime drama, not because of the criminal activity it dramatizes but because of its powerful examination of the forces that drive criminals.
70
An unpretentious, sociologically pointed slice of life.
63
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.
63
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.
63
Baltimore Sun
Paid In Full's performances - especially by the always-engaging Phifer -- are strong, its message worthwhile and its sincerity doubtless.
60
A vivid telling of a familiar story -- the rise and fall of a street criminal -- bolstered by exceptional performances and a clear-eyed take on the economics of dealing and the pathology of ghetto fabulousness.
58
Entertainment Weekly
A fake street drama that keeps telling you things instead of showing them, though Mekhi Phifer, playing a hustler who loves the life, is electric and true.
50
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.
50
Dreary.

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