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Arthouse favorite Olivier Assayas followed up his critical darling L'Heure d'Été (2008) with this wildly different chronicle -- a biopic of the ultra-left-wing Venezuelan terrorist-cum-mercenary Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, popularly known as "Carlos the Jackal." As co-written by Assayas and scenarist Dan Franck, the account spans the years 1973-1994 -- or the period that witnessed Sanchez at his most violent and relentless. Narrative touchstones include the 1974 bomb attack at the Publicis Drugstore on Paris' Left Bank and the 1975 abduction of 11 OPEC officials from Vienna,… More
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© IFC Films

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Carlos deserves mention alongside the greatest suspense thrillers ever made."
‑ Christopher Kelly, Dallas Morning News
"A terrifying portrait of an egomaniac who demands absolute obedience, and craves it even more when his power and relevance are drained away."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Carlos is a smart piece of filmmaking that delivers thrilling sequences and doesn't pander -- grounding its idealistic character in a sea of contradictions."
‑ Eric Melin,
"It's obviously not meant to be funny, but in a way it is."
‑ Jeffrey Chen, Window to the Movies
"Mesmerizing 5-hour-30-minute biopic."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The term "epic" often gets bandied around to describe movies that don't really fit the description. But Olivier Assayas' Carlos is the real deal..."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
"It is one of the best pictures of the year."
‑ David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle
"Carlos is relentlessly tense and exciting."
‑ Thomas Caldwell, Cinema Autopsy
"it's this downtime that finally, finally begins to show some cracks in Carlos' armor. It slowly becomes clear that Carlos is nothing but surface."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Carlos was like a terrorist version of James Bond, a high-living, jet-setting playboy terrorist for hire."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"It manages to deliver a steady stream of action thrills even as it reconsiders the international terrorism of the 1960s and '70s for lessons important today."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"It's a subtle, ultimately staggering portrayal of a bloody-minded ideologue who convinced only himself."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"Una película narrada con mucho rigor y nervio, que logra reconstruir a la perfección la atmósfera y las tensiones geo-políticas de la época en la que está ambientada. Gran trabajo del venezolano Edgar Ramírez en el rol titular."
‑ Enrique Buchichio, Uruguay Total
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Like "The Baader-Meinhof Complex", this is a largely pointless exercise meant to deliver the same kind of cheap thrills as "Bonnie and Clyde" or the Mesrine flicks. At least with straight-ahead gangster movies, you don't get the liberal moralizing."
‑ Louis Proyect,
More reviews for Carlos on Rotten Tomatoes