If it casts a slightly too favourable eye over the subject and his social impact, you can't begrudge the director his understanding of and affection for the period and its people.
Like much of the story of Harlem in the '70s, the truth is the least important part.
| Original Score: 3/5
The principle at issue may not be plain to everyone, but "to those people inside the system of values, that's totally acceptable."
Does the movie glorify Barnes and his nefarious profession? Probably, but show me a movie about the drug trade that doesn't hook us first with guts and glamour before the moralizing fall.
| Original Score: 3/4
One seriously confused documentary.
A lackluster documentary that lionizes this creep while ignoring the damage that his distribution of drugs did to society and the many brutal murders he ordered.
| Original Score: 5/10
What emerges is a portrait of a complex man.
Sometimes persuasive and sometimes sadly comical, but always fascinating.
Levin was clearly captivated by the sheer spectacle of Barnes' career.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
It's not a pretty picture, but it sure is a compelling one.
Mr. Untouchable is never dull.
Less a dispassionate examination than a celebratory infomercial on its central character.
[Director] Levin skillfully mixes the Barnes interviews with news clippings, 1970s street scenes and the recollections of Mr. Untouchable's former associates.
On its own, Mr. Untouchable is a solid education on a specific period of time reigned over by a demon who willingly spread sickness to line his pockets.
| Original Score: B
What is most intriguing in the film are the words, indeed the presence, of Barnes himself.
Legendary '70s heroin kingpin Leroy "Nicky" Barnes is filmed like a deposed king in exile in Mr. Untouchable, Marc Levin's slick look at one of New York's most notorious criminal masterminds.
It's fast and furious, and it proves that crime doesn't pay, unless you know how to do it right.
Nonjudgmental without being morally dense, the film makes human sense out of an inhuman example of addiction capitalism, '70s style.
Marc Levin, whose last documentary, Protocols of Zion, was a gutsy examination of post-9/11 anti-Semitism, has an even tougher job on his hands with Leroy 'Nicky' Barnes: making the man interesting.
| Original Score: 2/4
Isn't an inside look at the men who ruled a city but just an excuse to collect 'Superfly,' 'Sexual Healing' and 'Let's Stay Together' on a soundtrack.
| Original Score: 2.5/5