Carlos

Carlos Image
Metascore
94

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 54 Ratings

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  • Summary: Carlos tells the story of Ilich Ramirez Sanchez who, for two decades, was one of the most wanted terrorists, on the planet. Between 1974 and 1994, he lived several lives under various pseudonyms, weaving his way through the complexities of international politics of the period. [IFC Films]

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Dec 30, 2010
    100
    Part of the accomplishment of Carlos is the sheer accumulation of detail the movie amasses, and the longer running time gives you a deeper sense of the terrorist lifestyle, and when and why Ilich gradually succumbed to ego and self-glorification without realizing it.
  2. 100
    Hypnotic and sprawling five-hour-plus piece of cinematic genius.
  3. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Oct 21, 2010
    100
    A preening terrorist for the Me generation, his primary drive was vanity and his main professional asset an absence of empathy.
  4. Like the convictions of some born into religious families, his (Carlos) Marxism seems more a matter of habit than faith. What seems to turn him on is power, which, the movie suggests, he nurtured alongside his luxe tastes.
  5. Shot by shot, scene by scene, it's a fluid and enthralling piece of work. I wasn't bored for a millisecond.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Oct 28, 2010
    88
    Carlos moves like a greyhound out of the gate, fleet and assured and focused on the business at hand. It's a subtle, ultimately staggering portrayal of a bloody-minded ideologue who convinced only himself.
  7. 75
    Carlos is exciting entertainment, even if its subject's two-decade reign of terror is reprehensible.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 3 out of 15
  1. Nov 14, 2012
    10
    Excellent. Be sure to watch it in it's full 336 minute glory. I went in thinking this would be a propaganda piece one way or the other, butExcellent. Be sure to watch it in it's full 336 minute glory. I went in thinking this would be a propaganda piece one way or the other, but left feeling the creators did a reasonable job avoiding that. There is a bit of it, but it's slight. Well acted, well casted, well written. It makes Homeland look like the crappy show it is. Expand
  2. Jan 17, 2011
    10
    Amazing miniseries! Personally I am venezuelan and the acting was outstanding. I am overwhelmed by the fact that it won a golden globe (beingAmazing miniseries! Personally I am venezuelan and the acting was outstanding. I am overwhelmed by the fact that it won a golden globe (being a french miniseries). 3 parts that are totally worth watching Expand
  3. Oct 18, 2010
    10
    Carlos is as good as a movie gets. It is 5 1/2 hours of riveting pulse. Carlos sparks the internal fear of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  4. Jan 11, 2011
    8
    I watched the shorter version and felt the need for more. Its such an epic story both in scale and ambition that I would watch the longI watched the shorter version and felt the need for more. Its such an epic story both in scale and ambition that I would watch the long version if I could find it. Its hard to explain that such an un-likeable charactor as Carlos is so not to find him and his story interesting. Politics and terrorism are not what Carlos is about but rather the need for power and respect. An interesting movie that doesn't glamorize or judge its content which is something alot of Hollywood movies could learn from. Expand
  5. Nov 18, 2015
    7
    A strongly directed leftest biographical that doesn't rip the viewer out of it's content with a sort-of-like history and brief running time,A strongly directed leftest biographical that doesn't rip the viewer out of it's content with a sort-of-like history and brief running time, and instead places the facts right in front of you for a grueling (and yet powerful) five and a half hour running time. Expand
  6. Sep 21, 2015
    7
    Adapted from the award-winning TV mini-series and based on a real but disputed story, ‘Carlos The Jackal’ is the extraordinary tale of how aAdapted from the award-winning TV mini-series and based on a real but disputed story, ‘Carlos The Jackal’ is the extraordinary tale of how a Venezuelan Marxist-Leninist aligned himself with global revolutionary anti-capitalist organizations and made alliances with several Islamic nations, on the way to becoming one of the world’s most wanted men and perhaps the most infamous terrorist of the 20th century.

    Édgar Ramírez delivers a tour-de-force performance as an almost mythical figure of the 20th century who’s actions and motivations helped to shape the world we now live in for better or worse, mostly worse.

    “The Jackal” has always been an enigmatic figure in popular culture, after all this is a Venezuelan revolutionary who managed to become a driving force for middle-eastern centered global terrorism while being a major figure in an “anti-capitalist” movement that made him a cult hero figure for some.
    But in ‘Carlos The Jackal’ we are presented with a fascinating portrayal of the man behind the enigma that so gravely impacted the late 20th century, he’s presented as much as a self-aggrandizing narcissist as he is a brutal and motivated revolutionary.

    As an adaptation of a much longer TV miniseries we are deprived here of some of the character and story elements that frankly make the TV version more engrossing, plus the movie looks like a TV film… and if you’re expecting your typical action/thriller you’ll probably be disappointed, but with a lack of budget ‘Carlos The Jackal’ is forced to strip away stylistic elements which results rather refreshingly in a purer focus on an extraordinary story and the man behind it.

    Aside from a genuine attempt at humanizing a myth, the greatest triumph of ‘Carlos The Jackal’ is to remind us all that modern so-called global “Islamic Terrorism” has far reaching roots and has been an issue for many decades, albeit at a smaller scale with less of the religious fanaticism of today and of a more political/revolutionary angle.

    The Bottom Line…
    An effective adaptation of the award-winning TV mini-series which makes up for what it lacks in spectacle with a fascinating character study of the man behind the notorious enigma, a fascinating little lesson in recent Geo-political history with wide reaching implications for the troubled world we live in today.
    Expand
  7. Jan 11, 2011
    0
    Long, predictable,and has been done again, and again. If the critics like it I'll see the lowest rated films they list first. If it's notLong, predictable,and has been done again, and again. If the critics like it I'll see the lowest rated films they list first. If it's not political, they don't like it. Can't we get an honest review?? Expand

See all 15 User Reviews

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