Paid in Full

Directed By: Charles Stone Starring: Mekhi Phifer Wood Harris

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Product Overview

Stuck in a nowhere job, Ace (Wood Harris) is a restless teenager who envies the expensive cars, flashy clothes, and high-rolling lifestyle of his drug-dealing friends. Then when he sees his chance, Ace makes the move that suddenly changes his life! Drawn by the seductive lure of easy money in the illicit Harlem underground, he uses his skills to quickly take control of the streets and seize all the power that comes with it!


Studio Buena Vista Home Entertainment
SKU 40217556
UPC 786936181067
UPC 14 00786936181067
Format DVD
Release Date 6/6/2006
Rating Rating
African American Culture
Drug Dealers
New York City
Theatrical Release
Urban Crime
Urban Violence
Editors Note
Note Set in the early 1980s, this entry in the African-American urban gangster genre puts character development in the front seat for a change as it rolls through the Harlem streets on its usual rise-and-fall route. Ace (Wood Harris) starts out a laundry delivery guy, but thanks to a chance encounter with a Latin coke dealer (Esai Morales), he quickly works his way to the top of a drug empire. Mitch (Mekhi Phifer) is his more extroverted, colorful pal, the "born hustler" whose bravado hides a tragic family life. For a while the money just keeps rolling in and everyone's happy, but then comes the inevitable turn to tragedy, heralded by the arrival of the brash, trigger-happy Rico (rapper Cam'ron in his screen debut). A sensitive script and moody direction by Charles Stone III allows PAID IN FULL to sidestep a lot of the cliched glamour of similar films. The violence is realistically depicted, and the ultimate emptiness and paranoia of the lifestyle is allowed to manifest slowly through a nice, low-key performance by Harris. Roc-a-Fella mogul Damon Dash produced, based on the true story of Harlem drug lords he remembers from his childhood, one of whom even served as a technical advisor.
Entertainment Weekly "...[Phifer] is electric and true..." 11/01/2002 p.51
Box Office "...Anchoring the film with quiet, awkward intensity is Wood Harris..." 12/01/2002 p.56
Charles Stone
Mekhi Phifer
Wood Harris
Cast & Crew
Cam'ron - Actor
Esai Morales - Actor
Kevin Carroll - Actor
Chi McBride - Actor
Mekhi Phifer - Actor
Remo Greene - Actor
Wood Harris - Actor
Paul Sarossy - Cinematographer
Charles Stone III - Director
Bill Pankow - Editor
Patricia Bowers - Editor
Damon Dash - Producer
Brett Rotholz - Producer
Shawn Carter - Producer
Maher Ahmad - Production Designer
Matthew Cirulnick - Screenplay
Thulani Davis - Screenplay
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2002
Catalog ID 26092
UPC 00786936181067
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 97 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
Independent Spirit (2003) Charles Stone III, Nominee, Independent Spirit Award
ReviewSource San Francisco Examiner
Review Paid In Full, which purports to be based on a true story, falters somewhat in the last act. The violent climax has an auspicious outcome that's hard to buy without more information and the ugliest side of street drugs--addiction--is barely broached. Finally, the film's voice-over epilogue is annoyingly vague... But the film does such a fine job of engulfing you in its world and allying you with its characters' choices, good and ill, that its shortcomings are remembered only as an afterthought.
Reviewer Rob Blackwelder
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review The movie is ambitious, has good energy and is well-acted, but tells a familiar story in a familiar way. The parallels to Brian De Palma's Scarface are underlined by scenes from that movie which are watched by the characters in this one. The trajectory is well-known: poverty, success, riches, and then death or jail. This plot describes countless lives, and is so common because the laws against drugs do such a good job of supporting the price and making the business so lucrative. The difference between drugs and corporate swindles, obviously, is that with drugs the profits are real.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 7
DVD, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Dolby Digital (5.1), No Longer Produced
Product Attributes
Actor Harris,Wood
Label Buena Vista Home Video
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Keith Cassidy, Miami Herald An intelligent crime drama...
Desson Howe, The Journal News The direction has a fluid, no-nonsense authority, and the performances by Harris, Phifer and Cam'ron seal the deal.
Megan Turner, New York Post Rings true, from the smooth dialogue to the unaffected performances of the central actors.
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