Metascore
94

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics

Critic 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. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Dec 7, 2010
    100
    I haven't seen the shorter version, but I would hate to lose one moment of the gripping 66-minute sequence-really the heart of the movie-in which Carlos plots and executes his spectacular 1975 raid on the meeting of OPEC ministers in Vienna.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. It is a tremendous achievement that shines a light on the way many countries use criminals to further their domestic and international goals. Politically informative, it also offers great drama with excitement and suspense, and no little tragedy.
  6. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    85
    Most of the dialogue is invented, but the sweep of events is genuine.
  7. 90
    It's a tricky feat, channeling the glamour of a famous international terrorist without glamorizing him. But damned if French filmmaker Olivier Assayas doesn't pull it off with Carlos.
  8. 88
    The movie crawls hypnotically into the skin of this global assassin and astonishes you with its brazenly violent and sexual audacity.
  9. Though it runs an epic five-and-a-half hours (it was made for French TV), Carlos books like no film since "Goodfellas." You will not be bored, ever.
  10. A rivetingly journalistic account of a scoundrel's rise and fall.
  11. 100
    It's a tremendously absorbing blend of history, journalism and drama. As soon as it was over, I wanted to watch it again.
  12. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    100
    Carlos is nevertheless a movie that one can somehow remember vividly for months. Much of this power is due to the whiplash widescreen cinematography (oft-mistaken for DV), the hopped-up editing, and, not least, Ramirez's aptly arrogant, fully transfixing, Method-style turn.
  13. 100
    Hypnotic and sprawling five-hour-plus piece of cinematic genius.
  14. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    100
    Bravura narrative filmmaking on a hugely ambitious scale, Carlos is a spectacular achievement.
  15. One of the high points of last month's Telluride Film Festival was, as I wrote at the time, spending 5½ hours in a darkened theater-with one short break around the four-hour mark-to watch Olivier Assayas's shocking and edifying epic.
  16. Shot by shot, scene by scene, it's a fluid and enthralling piece of work. I wasn't bored for a millisecond.
  17. 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.
  18. 91
    Carlos is mostly tense and thrilling, revealing the poisonous side of global citizenship.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 47 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
  1. 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.
  2. Oct 23, 2010
    1
    Okay, it had some good points: the scenery was pretty, the acting was competent, the photography was in focus.
    But, so unoriginal! Couldn't
    they come up with something fresh and new, instead of this predictable rehash of The Assignment? They even stole the main character's name from The Day of the Jackal? Get real! Full Review »
  3. 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 (being a french miniseries). 3 parts that are totally worth watching Full Review »