Paid in Full
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Paid in Full marks the feature debut of director Charles Stone III, who rose to fame after creating Budweiser's "Wassup" commercials. The urban gangster drama is loosely based on the true story of 1980s Harlem drug kingpins AZ, Rich Porter, and Alpo. (This story was also the basis for a documentary, Game Over (Part 1).) Ace (Wood Harris) works at a laundromat, struggling to get by, while his friend Mitch (Mekhi Phifer) lives the high life selling heroin. His sister's boyfriend, Calvin (Kevin Carroll) also sells drugs, and looks down on Ace for struggling to earn a living. Out… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 51%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"I'm going to give it a marginal thumbs up. I liked it just enough."
‑ Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
"Rings true, from the smooth dialogue to the unaffected performances of the central actors."
‑ Megan Turner, New York Post
""Paid In Full" is not the kind of movie that George W. Bush will ever see."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Very familiar, yes, but a stylish and above all well-acted tale of friendships gone sour and the inevitable steep price of crime -- a much better movie than it's ever going to get credit for."
‑ Brent Simon, Entertainment Today
"If you saw it on TV, you'd probably turn it off, convinced that you had already seen that movie."
‑ Steve Rhodes, Internet Reviews
"This familiar rise-and-fall tale is long on glamour and short on larger moralistic consequences, though it's told with sharp ears and eyes for the tenor of the times."
‑ Ted Fry, Seattle Times
"A fake street drama that keeps telling you things instead of showing them."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"Stone seems to have a knack for wrapping the theater in a cold blanket of urban desperation."
‑ Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
"The story is familiar from its many predecessors; like them, it eventually culminates in the not-exactly -stunning insight that crime doesn't pay."
‑ Jim Lane, Sacramento News & Review
"If there's a way to effectively teach kids about the dangers of drugs, I think it's in projects like the (unfortunately R-rated) Paid."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Needed a little less bling-bling and a lot more romance."
‑ Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle
"Harris and Phifer's chemistry lends the inevitable tragedies some genuine punch."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"For a rapsploitation film to target and frown upon the darker forces of its nature is certainly a good sign for the maturation of the genre."
‑ Mark Keizer, Boxoffice Magazine
"This is a heartfelt mea culpa -- which gives Paid in Full much of its unexpected emotional power."
‑ Shirley Sealy, Film Journal International
"Harris is supposed to be the star of the story, but comes across as pretty dull and wooden."
‑ Jerry McCormick, San Diego Union-Tribune
More reviews for Paid in Full on Rotten Tomatoes