Paid in Full

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Paid in Full ★★½ 2002 (R)

Based on the true story of the rise and fall of three Harlem drug dealers in the mid ‘80s during the height of the crack cocaine trade and the beginnings of “Gangsta” culture. The trio rises to the top of their dubious profession dealing with the issues of staying friends while also becoming rivals and making obscene amounts of money. Story hinges on Ace (Harris, who also narrates), a good kid who quickly goes bad after seeing the money to be made on the streets. Phifer is excellent as his best friend whose business he takes over after he's been busted. Cam'ron is the third friend, who may end up as Ace's replacement. Highlights the unsavory side of a business that makes Ace a fortune, but steals his soul. Acting all around is admirable and story is well told but revisits too-familiar territory about the price of greed and the politics of poverty. 93m/C VHS, DVD . Wood Harris, Mekhi Phifer, Kevin Carroll, Esai Morales, Chi McBride, Cynthia Martells, Elise Neal, Cam'ron, Regina Hall, Remo Greene, Anthony Clark; D: Charles Stone III; W: Azie Faison Jr., Austin Phillips, Matthew Cirulnick, Thulani Davis; C: Paul Sarossy; M: Vernon Reid, Frank Fitzpatrick.