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Reviews & Ratings for
Paid in Full More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I Smell A Rat(ner)

Author: robtadrian from New York
9 November 2002

I was looking forward to this film..the debut of one of the 3 geniuses of music video who released films this year...Michel Gondry (Human Nature), Kevin Bray (All About the Benjamins) and Charles Stone (Paid In Full). Stone's videos for Public Enemy (911 Is A Joke), The Roots (The Next Movement, You Got Me) and Living Colour (Elvis Is Dead, Funny Vibe) are some of the most vibrant, clever, adventurous and colorful promos to ever be seen, as well as his commercial work and other videos. The answer to why I was so disappointed in Paid In Full's averageness came when I realized that one of the producers was NYU hack Brett Ratner; famous for his generic hits such as Rush Hour as well as his proclamation that "I know what black people want" (in reference to filmmaking and attracting a black audience). Therefore Ratner probably used his clout to smother Stone's genius. The performances and story are fine but it could have been a TV movie. So I'll look for Stone's true genius when Drumline is released later this year.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Movie was great. Watch it

Author: bradtheman18 from USA. Delaware
6 April 2012

Once again, Wood Harris kills it in another great movie that doesn't get recognized. Such a good actor. This is one of the best Gangster movies ever made. I'd rate this over goodfellas and godfather. The story is very well done. Acting was great. It starts slow and just picks up speed and doesn't stop. This is one of my favorite movies. It's a shame that it wasn't promoted well and got no recognition. From beginning to end, their is nothing bad to say about this movie. Cam'Ron (from the hip hop group Dipset/Diplomats) really impressed me on this one. Each character is cool in his own way and like most hip hop movies, this one has an explosive ending. Unlike most of Wood Harris' movies, they actually put a lot of money into this movie and gave it an actual budget. I was surprised about how good this movie was. Only reason I watched it was because Netflix recommended it to me. It's upsetting that not enough people have even heard of this movie. I can't imagine anyone not liking this

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Surprising Treat!

Author: imdb-2305 from ohio
26 June 2003

If I had realized that this was a gangster/hip-hop generation flick before I purchased it on pay-per-view, I would have never watched it. But I gave it a chance in an attempt to not waste my money. It was really well done. The acting was believable and in depth and the movie was superbly casted. It kept my attention, kept me involved and was narrated by a character that was likeable and credible. Well-done.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Solid portrayal of 80's Harlem and the American Dream

Author: zac414 from Hollywood
10 April 2004

I wrote a review on this film years ago and had to edit it... Still one of my favorite "hood" flicks 10 years later... Based on the true story of the childhood friends: AZ, Alpo and Rich Porter... The fictional names used in the movie Ace Boogie (Wood Harris), Alpo (CamRon) and Mitch (Mekhi Phifer)... I suggest seeing the documentary Game Over or read up on the real life characters to get an idea of what this film really is about. What impressed me so much about this movie is its authenticity with regards to imagery - you look at these infamous photos of the three back in the day and they're accurately replicated in live action in the film, creating a special vivid realism. That coupled with RocAFella production, superb acting, and DJ Brucie B on the score with classics - this movie never gets old. Not to mention the soundtrack bangs... 2 discs - one dedicated to 80s hip hop heard mostly throughout the film, and the other featuring the 2002 RocaFella lineup - that includes what was my first time hearing Kanye rap on the track "Champions" - with Dame Dash boasting... classic hood sh#t.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A drug dealer progression in the game

Author: markkmorrison from United Kingdom
23 January 2006

Very good film underrated no hype surrounding it but tight in the script realism and action. Before viewing the film I had never heard of Wood Harris I was surprised at how good he was in the role. Ably supported by Mekhi Phiffer who has gone on to bigger and better things his name alone was the draw for me watching the film. I was also curious to see how Cam'ron would be plenty of rappers have tried the hand and at acting only a few have been successful. I thought that he did a performed well in the role of an out of control street soldier. The plot ran smoothly all the way through the film and what made a nice change with this film the lead character always understood his limitation which gave the ending a realistic feel. If you have not seen it I suggest you do..

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A nice update to NEW JACK CITY (1991)

Author: TimeForLime from Texas
4 August 2003

This is the story of a soft-hearted drug dealer, as far UP the chain as you can go before you leave the Harlem neighborhood. The NEXT level is the guys, not part of the story, who deliver it in multiples of kilograms, and sell it the Afro-Americans, one community at a time, for breakdown and distribution.

There is one exception to this structure. Early in the film, we meet one super-dealer, played by NYPD-Blue station chief Lt. Tony Rodriguez (2001-2003), Esai Morales. (Morales seems to have gained so much "gravitas" between this film and the TV series you wonder if this film has been in the can for awhile.)

The name you know in the cast is Mikhi Phifer (he plays DR. GREGG PRATT on TV's "ER") but the name you will come away with is Wood Harris. You might have seen him playing third fiddle in REMEMBER THE TITANS (2002), the Denzel Washington feel-good film. Like TITANS, this is another true story, by the way.

The film tries to link itself to SCARFACE (1983) and even goes so far as to have the characters view that film on the big screen when it first came out. Trust me: this is not scarface. It is not Florida, not Cubano. AND ...... The scale of their operation, their life-style, ambitions, family orientation, neighborhood emphasis, and sheer abilities puts them much more on a par with Wesley Snipes NEW JACK CITY (1991).

Realizing that JACK CITY was supposed to portray a dealer who went a little power crazy, I found Snipes' performance over-heated, and didn't enjoy THAT film even the second time around. Wood Harris has a more moderate part to begin with, and he gives a credible performance as an underwhelming street kid who keeps on growing sufficiently to meet the demands of the job. Even though he is ultimately selling death in little glass bottles, you want to like him, want him to prevail over his more hot-headed, flash- and violence-oriented competitors.

"Maintain and stay low", he says. That might have been good advice even for corporate giants like Drexel Burnam and Enron.

But, like all bio-corporate organisms, the rule is, "Grow or Die." Wood's character makes the mistake of reacting the way you or I might in similar circumstances. Harlem is my beat. Harlem is enough. Why do I have to aggrandize, to bloat, to grow ever bigger? Can't I just be top dog on my own turf, he asks.

Rent the film. Find out the answer.

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

The Rise and Fall of a Powerful Drug Dealer

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
8 January 2006

In the 80's, in Harlem, the simple Afro-American worker of a laundry, Ace (Wood Harris), is seduced by the easy money of his friend Mitch (Mekhi Phifer) and when Mitch is arrested, he becomes a drug lord. Later, her joins Mitch and his new-friend Rico (Cam'ron) as his right arms, ruling the neighborhood. His kingdom is destroyed one year later, after successive betrayals.

Based on a true story, I found the first part of "Paid in Full", showing the powerful and wealthy drug dealers' lifestyle, an apology to crime. However, the strong plot point really destroys this image, and shows how short are the empire and power of these nasty criminals. Most of their friends and women are bought by their money, and in the end they are only a part in the wheels of crime. Here in Brazil, we have the same situation in the slums: one day, a drug lord dies, on the next day there is another one in his spot. The cast has great performances and the direction of Charles Stone III is amazingly real. "Paid in Full" is highly recommended for fans of films of gangs. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Ouro Branco" ("White Gold")

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:


Author: roddick-1 from New Zealand
28 May 2005

I thought this movie was fabulous!

The acting was good all round especially Wood Harris, Mekhi Phifer, Cam'ron and the little boy Remo Greene was pretty good for a kid as well.

The story was fabulous. I loved all the twists it had.

Great directing Charles Stone III!

It was really cool how it cut back and forth from scene to scene.

Interesting to see it was based on a true story.

It's odd I have never heared of this film before. I should definitely be put down in the history books as one of the classic 'hood' movies.

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Don't Be Fooled - Not Just Another Gangster Movie

Author: Fair Reviews from United States
13 January 2015

This is not just another gangster movie. It is a gangster movie, but it's definitely not in the spirit of the slew of gangster movies that started getting produced with various rappers and by-the-numbers scripts.

There are at least two versions. I think the version to watch is the "Uncut" version if you can find it. Whichever one it was, there is a difference. One is definitely better than the other.

This is a REAL movie that is very, very good irrespective of the genre. There aren't really any bad performances. Esai Morales gives a great if not perfect supporting performance. But it's Cam'ron who steals the show. This is his movie. He delivers the equivalent of a Hannibal Lecter performance in a gangster role. He should have been nominated for an Oscar and probably should have also won. Again though, everyone else puts in an amazingly good performance.

This movie surprised me. I was not expecting it to be nearly this good in terms of quality or entertainment. I don't think you'll ever see a movie quite like this again.

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"Money is the root to all evil" (Based on a True story)

Author: JTheproducer23 . from Millersville University
28 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Based on a true store of Azie "AZ" Fasion, Alpo and Rich Porter are urban legends in New York. These teenagers ran the most sophisticated drug ring on the East Coast in the 1980's. They were major players in the New York drug trade. 2002 film "Paid in Full" Azie Fasion wrote a story based on the lives of his crew and "Roc-A-Fella Films licensed the story and brought it to the big screens where notable actors Mekhi Phifer and Wood Harris would portray the lifestyle theses teenagers were lavishly living until tables turned and one is betrayed by his own and would lead to the fall of the Harlem kingpins. "Paid in Full" released in October of 2002, a drama action film directed Charles Stone III. An R rated Film for its content of violence, pervasive language, some strong sexuality and drug content. Some of the production Companies that contributed to this film was Dimension Films, Loud Films, and Rat Entertainment. On Opening Weekend This film was shown on 268 screens across the USA and generated over a Million dollars. Filming was shot in Harlem. Main character Wood Harris acts as narrator in this film. The Directors uses various techniques of Flash- forwards and flashbacks in this film so the viewer can make a connection between the characters in the story and how they transform. Director incorporating some great cinematography in this film which lead to impact scenes and the success of actors. The Movie Shows how two characters and transform due to the success of the drug trade and lead to a major shift of street creditability and eventually table turn. As Ace the Main character played by Wood Harris the Protagonist character in this film character traits of the quiet one who quits his job at the dry cleaners to make some fast money. It seems like Ace has to take the role of which his friend played and supply the street with the latest and best product that customers can't resist buying because they were getting better quality product for a lower price. He has watched his close friend get rich quick and have the latest car, clothes, jewelry, and the power in the streets. Ace's humbleness saves him from the dangers of the street in the long, but other suppliers cross his path to try to take what he has and threaten his family and friends. One of the key moments I noticed in this film and where the film kind of made a turning point is when Ace's moment of surrender comes when he returns a rock of cocaine he finds in a trouser pocket of another neighborhood drug kingpin and the dealer slyly suggests that he peddle it. Ace becomes his street connection and later his replacement (after he's found dead). When Mitch is released from prison, the best friends join forces with Rico (Cam'ron), a paranoid, hot-headed pal of Mitch's from prison whose idea of fun is to show home videos of himself having sex in a local dance club I think this movie is good for young kids growing up in the city to see. I think its a good representation that selling drugs and having all material things can lead to the quickest fall and then your life is gone because you vale the streets more than getting a career or job and going about life making the right choices. I think if majority of the audience can relate to the experiences that they see theses characters have to go through they will understand and appreciate the film for what it is. I think this deserves a 4 out of 5 rating I think overall it was well composed, the music related to the era, and the director did a fine job of representing the characters.

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