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Paid in Full

2006-03-30 12:26

In the 1980s crack cocaine hit Harlem and brought with it a second cultural renaissance and a new kind of outlaw - fast-moving, high-living criminal celebrities who turned the drug trade into their own version of the American Dream. At the centre of it all were three legendary neighbourhood kingpins who built the business around their inimitable trend-setting style, combining entrepreneurial flash, violent fury and a driving hunger to win love and respect from the community.

Loosely based on their true stories, the same stories that have inspired two decades of rap and hip-hop songs, Paid In Full recounts both the meteoric rise and brutal fall of one of Harlems most famous drug empires. It reveals how the game was set up, how it was played and how one man who tried to get out paid the price.

What the critics are saying:

"Instead of a hyperbolic beat-charged urban western, it's an unpretentious, sociologically pointed slice of life."
- Stephen Holden, New York Times

"The movie is ambitious, has good energy and is well-acted, but tells a familiar story in a familiar way."
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"An intelligent crime drama, not because of the criminal activity it dramatizes but because of its powerful examination of the forces that drive criminals."
- Keith Cassidy, Miami Herald

A well acted historical drama that avoids the easy cliches of a typical Harlem "gangsta" movie, but still ends up treading the same ground as Goodfellas.

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