User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 47 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 47
  2. Negative: 3 out of 47

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  1. Dec 30, 2012
    I'm shocked by the high ratings. I saw the short version, so maybe that has something to do with it, but this movie was ALL TALK.

    You have no idea who Carlos is, other than a glory seeker with an un-articulated affinity to a cause. There are lots of scenes with talking but there is nothing behind them. Carlos is as ineffable at the end as the beginning. The OPEC scene and the scene with
    the Venezuelan student's apartment are decent, but made even more stark by the nothingness that happens for the rest of the film. And you get the feeling things are going on off camera, but you get no feeling for why anyone would treat this guy with ANY respect much less risk providing him sanctuary.

    Maybe the 5 hour thing is better, but I could never bring myself to sit through it. A waste of three hours.
  2. Jan 11, 2011
    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 not political, they don't like it. Can't we get an honest review??
  3. Oct 23, 2010
    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!

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
    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
    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
    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.