Critic Reviews



Based on 13 critic reviews provided by
Chicago Tribune
As interesting, certainly, as “American Gangster,” and operating with a truer street sense of the characters involved.
The A.V. Club
If Barnes ultimately emerges as a heartless, duplicitous villain, he's nevertheless got the devil's slippery, seductive charm.
What emerges is a portrait of a complex man - one who had no qualms about murder and drugs but who won a national poetry contest and read "Moby-Dick" while in jail. Go figure.
It's not a pretty picture, but it sure is a compelling one.
Village Voice
A fascinating first-person account of drug kingpin and ruthless gangster Nicky Barnes, whose outrageous story of rise, rule, rage, and revenge requires no such stylistic filler.
It's fast and furious, and it proves that crime doesn't pay, unless you know how to do it right.
Barnes, now in his seventies and relocated by the Witness Protection Program, is shot only in silhouette, but there's plenty of footage of him in his heyday, dressed to the pimpalicious nines and playing to the cameras like a movie star.
There is some acknowledgment of the terrible effects of the drug trade on residents of Harlem and other poor New York neighborhoods, but for the most part Mr. Untouchable clings to the standard hip-hop mythology of the pusher as entrepreneur, rebel, celebrity and folk hero.
Alternately seduced and repelled by its subject, the garish and power-hungry Harlem gangster and '70s cocaine kingpin Nicky Barnes, Mr. Untouchable is one seriously confused documentary.
Chicago Reader
Machiavelli epigrams and 70s soul classics embellish this slice of thug life, which succumbs to the usual hypocrisy of condemning Barnes while grooving on his cars, clothes, and jewels.

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