(Unrated, 2:45:32, Released 2010)
|Genres:||Drama, Television, Art House & International, Classics|
|Release Date:||Oct 15, 2010|
|Starring:||Edgar Ramirez, Alexander Scheer, Nora von Waldstatten, Ahmad Kaabour, Christoph Bach, Rodney El Haddad, Julia Hummer, Rami Farah, Zeid Hamdan, Talal El Jourdi|
|Directed by:||Olivier Assayas|
|Synopsis:||"Carlos" tells the story of Ilich Ramírez Sánchez who, for two decades, was one of the most wanted terrorists on the planet. Between 1974, in London, where he tried to assassinate a British businessman; and 1994, when he was arrested in Khartoum, he lived several lives under various pseudonyms, weaving his way through the complexities of international politics of the period. Who was Carlos? How did his various multi-layered identities fit together? Who was he before engaging body and soul in a never-ending struggle? The drama is built around these questions.|
|Full movie details|
|All of Flixster:||(1332)|
My Friends' Reviews
Other Top Reviews
February 28, 2013
If a story is worth telling it is worth telling properly, especially when said story is factual. Olivier Assayas's Carlos the Jackal epic is perfect to the slightest little detail. Edgar Ramirez is perfectly cast as Ilich Ramírez Sánchez and gives the role his all. Indeed, the passion to tell the story correctly seems to be a shared passion for everyone involved and the film and it's makers deserve the success and praise they received. At 5 and a half hours, Carlos the Jackal isn't the shortest of films but my eyes were firmly fixed to the screen for every second.
January 31, 2013
I'm rating the complete miniseries. After viewing it,I have no desire to watch the condensed version. At five and a half hours, Olivier Assayas' "Carlos" doesn't steal a minute of it's audience's time. It's a stunning (reportedly fictionalized) portrait of the infamous terrorist Carlos the Jackyl, a man who's revolutionary ambitions are only matched by his lust for women and ego.
Carlos is played by Edgar Ramirez (Domino, Zero Dark Thrity) who gives one of cinema's (and television's) finest recent performances. He deftly portrays a charming monster, a man who exploits the tribulations of others and foreign political strife to quench his own thirst for power. We never really like Carlos, but the film does a great job of making us understand him... rendering his journey through a world of violence, greed,and betrayal an utterly absorbing one.
Assayas makes a film far removed from the warmth and grace of his 2009 "Summer Hours," but his exquisite characterization remains. He masterfully handles forcefully scenes of gritty action and violence as well as the potentially overwhelming flow of historical fact and figures. The single greatest strength of Carlos is how accessible if feels. A lot of information assaults the audience yet it all feels manageable and fluid. The scope is daunting but Assayas keeps it grounded enough to grasp.
"Carlos" is a standout character study; a true modern epic that needs to be seen in any form. Undoubtedly though the miniseries is the way to go. Assayas' assured direction and the incendiary performance of Ramirez can't be ignored. It's brilliant.
September 26, 2012
Good heavens are my eyes exhausted. I have been working up the courage to face this behemoth six-hour movie for sometime and while I am thankful I actually took on the beast, my skull feels like it has just been squeezed in a vice.
At its best, it is a meticulous look at career terrorism. The highs and the lows, the bombs and the blows, and every blue print in between. It is a fascinating look at the life of an extreme ideologue as he ditches every tail and cleans up the messes made by his partners. Every new hurdle slowly eats away at his overall goal of a global revolution, draining his energy and the audience's as well. Yet, while his moxie may be gradually diminishing, he never once appears to want to call it a day.
Carlos is uncommonly obdurate and clings stubbornly to the belief that the world needs him. When in reality - in an observation made by a fellow Syrian terrorist - it is evident that Carlos needs these terrorist acts in order to give his life meaning. So even though many of his plans crumble, he quickly leap frogs to the next project. Knowing deep down that were he to stop, he would just be a senseless murderer. Not that he was without backing. In fact, he was courted by many regimes, but clearly his ego was writing checks that he could not feasibly cash.
In meticulous and often exhaustive detail, Carlos and his gang are shown planning an attack on an OPEC conference and executing, pardon the pun, an attempted assassination plot on Anwar Sadat. Although six hours of these scenes can be laborious to sit through, its extensive length actually works in the favor of the narrative. After watching Carlos' extensive exploits for many hours, it helps the audience better understand his future actions. Primarily, it helps illuminate why Carlos begins to grow restless. The OPEC conference aside, Carlos must deal with botched job after botched job. He becomes more desperate with every passing year and his inability to start a global revolution breeds discontentment. Subsequently, his actions becomes more brazen. His idealism begins to give way to egoism and becomes a hazy concoction of ideology driven hubris.
Edgar Ramirez is superb as the amoral man of conviction. There is a quiet intensity to him that makes it very difficult to take your eyes off of. It could have been so easy to play Carlos as an over the top megalomaniacal criminal mastermind, but he abstains from doing so. Thankfully Ramirez forgoes the headlines and gives us the fine print. I hope this role opens up more doors for this talented actor.
Carlos is quite a journey and not one that I will probably take again this decade. However, it is a unique and well-acted film about what it truly means to live and die for a cause. No matter how futile it can seem at times.
November 28, 2011
A "revolutionary" without a huge ego is not a real revolutionary.
September 2, 2011
First of all, this is very well done, and I did like it...but this is a VERY detailed biopic. The first 2 parts of this mini-series is first-rate, exciting material. Edgar Ramirez does an excellent, and fearless job, capturing the many contradictions of Carlos (aka The Jackal). But the final part of the series eventually gets bogged down in repetitive scenes of Carlos behaving like a pig towards women, living on the lam, and venting his frustration. I also found some of the assasinations, and double-crosses, in this section confusing - not 100% sure who was doing what to whom, or why. By the end, it's clear the toll that Carlos life has taken on him and the people around him, but I was definitely ready for them to wrap it up....
September 2, 2011
Carlos The Jackal was one of the most famed terrorists the world has ever known. Director Oliver Assayas film or mini series, depending on your opinion of it is is an electrifying portrait of of one of the worlds most dangerous and enigmatic terrorists. Illich Ramrez Sanchez aka Carlos The Jackal.Edgar Ramrez is phenomenal as Carlos and he delivers the performance of his career. Carlos is a well executed mini series that also plays out like a film. The cast aside Ramrez is terrific as well. For thoise interested in the exploits of this elusive terrorist, Carlos is a must see film. The film or mini series is a near flawless portrait of this intriguing figure. The defining moment in the film that stands out was the 1975 OPEC hostage crisis in Vienna which gained Carlos The Jackal the notoriety he is known for. The film is a mix of drama and thriller. Director Assayas has crafted an excellent film that examines this elusive terrorist and the story is engaging and keeps the viewer involved. There are two versions of this flm, one is the 3 hour film, and the other is the 5 and a half hour mini series. I preferred the 5 hour version because it had a lot more detail to the story of Carlos The Jackal. Like I said Edgar Ramrez is excellent here and he really brings something special to the screen. It's hard to picture someone else in the role of Calos The Jackal. This is a must see film, and depending on the version you choose, you'll get a much broader portrait if you watch the 5+ version. Either way, both versions are good. A memorable and worthy addition to the lists of films dealing with terrorism.
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