Paid in Full (2002)

Paid in Full



Critic Consensus: Though well-acted and non-exploitative, Paid in Full treads a very well-worn story.

Movie Info

Paid in Full marks the feature debut of director Charles Stone III, who rose to fame after creating Budweiser's "Wassup" commercials. The urban gangster drama is loosely based on the true story of 1980s Harlem drug kingpins AZ, Rich Porter, and Alpo. (This story was also the basis for a documentary, Game Over (Part 1).) Ace (Wood Harris) works at a laundromat, struggling to get by, while his friend Mitch (Mekhi Phifer) lives the high life selling heroin. His sister's boyfriend, Calvin (Kevin … More

Rating: R (for violence, pervasive language, some strong sexuality and drug content)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By: ,
Written By: Azie Faison Jr., Austin Phillips, Azie Faison, Matthew Cirulnick, Thulani Davis
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 8, 2003
Box Office: $3.0M
Dimension Films


as Calvin

as Rico

as Aunt June

as Girl in Car

as Columbian Man No. 1

as Columbian Man No. 2

as The World Famous Bru...

as Detective/Surgeon

as Mitch's Friend

as Street Runner

as Kid No. 1

as Customer

as D.C. No. 1

as D.C. No. 2

as Runner

as Columbian No. 3

as Rico's Buddy No. 1

as Rico's Buddy No. 2

as Himself

as Himself

as Homegirl on the Stre...

as Neutral Kid

as Taunting Guy

as Cruiser

as Girl in Car

as Accomplice

as Money Counter

as Dancer/Roller Choreo...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Paid in Full

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Paid in Full

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (22)

I'm going to give it a marginal thumbs up. I liked it just enough.

Full Review… | October 29, 2002
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

This familiar rise-and-fall tale is long on glamour and short on larger moralistic consequences, though it's told with sharp ears and eyes for the tenor of the times.

Full Review… | October 25, 2002
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Needed a little less bling-bling and a lot more romance.

Full Review… | October 25, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Rings true, from the smooth dialogue to the unaffected performances of the central actors.

October 25, 2002
New York Post
Top Critic

A fake street drama that keeps telling you things instead of showing them.

Full Review… | October 25, 2002
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

It does offer an uncommon thoughtfulness that makes it far less exploitative or sensationalistic than most examples of its genre.

October 25, 2002
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Paid in Full


Paid in Full has a gritty realistic quality that is excellent in its' world building. It's well acted by largely unknowns, and succeeds in painting a real picture of Harlem without making it glamorous. The pacing, however is uneven, with the film seemingly dragging at points. More time should also have been devoted to fleshing out some of the characters. Still, its realism reminded me of The Wire, the greatest crime show ever.

Jeffrey Meyers
Jeffrey Meyers

Super Reviewer

I thought this movie was fantastic. Wood Harris is a great actor and can be a fantastic one if he is supported with a good plot and good actors around him and thats what they did in this movie.

Brandon Sasserson

Paid in Full was very poorly executed. The movie takes the standard formula of a gangster drama, throws some rappers and bases it on a true story and packages it all together. At only 1 hour and 37 minutes the movie drags on quite slowly and Mekhi Phifer still manages to keep getting roles. See Clockers for a slightly better version of this film.

Paid in Full Quotes

– Submitted by Jason G (2 months ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Paid in Full on our Movie forum!