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Carlos (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (2010)

Edgar Ramirez , Alexander Scheer , Olivier Assayas  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Edgar Ramirez, Alexander Scheer, Alejandro Arroyo, Fadi Abi Samra, Ahmad Kaabour
  • Directors: Olivier Assayas
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Arabic, English, French, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: September 27, 2011
  • Run Time: 339 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0056ANHP4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,419 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Carlos (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

Carlos, directed by Olivier Assayas (Summer Hours), is an epic, intensely detailed account of the life of the infamous international terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sanchez—also known as Carlos the Jackal. One of the twentieth century’s most-wanted fugitives, Carlos was committed to violent left-wing activism throughout the seventies and eighties, orchestrating bombings, kidnappings, and hijackings in Europe and the Middle East. Assayas portrays him not as a criminal mastermind but as a symbol of seismic political shifts around the world, and the magnetic Édgar Ramírez (The Bourne Ultimatum) brilliantly embodies him as a swaggering global gangster. Criterion presents the complete, uncut, director-approved, five-and-a-half-hour version of Carlos.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Fascinating 5 hour plus, 3 part film about Carlos the Jackal (although
he never actually called himself that) the headline grabbing terrorist
of the 70s and 80s.

With little exposition, we're dropped into a whirlwind of violence,
self-aggrandizement, sexual seduction, and power games, moving at an
almost dizzying speed. The film allows us to slowly figure out Carlos,
instead of explain him in a simple facile way.

While never sympathetic, somehow the amazing Edgar Rameriez allows us
to feel for this id and ego driven creature, powered far more by the
need for attention and adulation (whether from women or the press) than
by true belief. Indeed, one of the most interesting things about the
film is how (intentionally) shallow and hollow Carlos's political
monologues ring.

The last 1/3 is the slowest and hardest to sit through. Carlos's slow
decline into ineffectiveness and unimportance is sometimes patience
trying. But Rob Nelson, in his excellent Village Voice review makes a
strong argument that this is 1) unavoidable after the high paced rush
of the first two parts and 2) part of the point of the film; without
his fixes of women and power there wasn't much to Carlos, and without
them both he and we want it to be over.

This is a film I'd like to see again. While I don't quite agree (yet)
with the many critics who have hailed this as of the best films of last
10 years, I do think it's a challenging, brilliantly acted, wonderfully
made film, that gives context both to modern terrorism and recent world
history. Add to that, an exploration of the blurring fine line between
power and uncontrolled narcissism that seems to dog leaders (especially
male) of all political stripes from Hitler to Bill Clinton to George
Bush to Carlos.

That's a lot to successfully cover, even in 5 hours.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
More than any other film in 2010, Olivier Assayas "Carlos" has made the rounds. This comprehensive biopic about renowned Venezuelan terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez (also known as Carlos) has swept the globe in various editions at various lengths. Shown on the film festival circuit (Cannes, Telluride, New York) largely intact and running over 5 hours, there is also an international film version (or more than one) clocking in at about 3 hours, a U.S. film presentation in two parts, and there is the U.S. television mini-series presentation (by Sundance Channel) that came with three distinct parts and ran about 5 and a half hours. For the purposes of this discussion, I will be referencing the U.S. mini-series presentation because, at least in length, it seems to be the definitive and comprehensive version and the edition Criterion is covering in the Director's Approved release. However, we in the U.S. still seem to be confused about whether we call this a film or a TV event with Golden Globe and Screen Actor Guild nominations in the TV categories but the Los Angeles and New York film critics distinguishing "Carlos" in the film classification. In the end, however, it's all really semantics--I just wanted to make a big deal as there are many different versions of the film floating on the international DVD market. Criterion is bringing forth the full length film that Assayas envisioned.

Telling the story of Carlos, better known as "The Jackal" (even though the screenplay never acknowledges this nickname), the film has much to say about the rise of terrorism and its evolution into the modern political structure. I really do think "Carlos" is well served by the separation in the three part presentation.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Cubist
Carlos is a towering achievement, a fascinating study of a man who was a reflection of the times in which he lived in and is embodied by Edgar Ramirez's powerful performance spanning several decades.

The first disc includes a theatrical trailer.

The second disc starts off with "Shooting the OPEC Sequence," a 22-minute featurette examining how Olivier Assayas shot Carlos and his team's raid on the OPEC headquarters on December 21, 1975. The director offers his thoughts on what he hoped to achieve with the film over the footage of the cast and crew working on location. This extra provides some insight into his working methods.

There is an interview with Denis Lenoir, one of the film's two cinematographers. He shot the second half of Carlos and talks about his approach towards the job. He didn't prepare much for the film because he came in halfway through and goes into some of the technical aspects (i.e. film stock, lighting, etc.). Lenoir also talks about how Assayas works.

Lenoir also provides a selected-scene commentary, going into detail about the technical aspects of six scenes from the film. For example, he mentions the kinds of lenses he used, the lighting scheme and whether he used hand-held cameras or not.

The third disc features a 43-minute interview with director Olivier Assayas. He gives his take on Carlos and the times that shaped the man. The filmmaker talks about his intentions for the film. He admits that it did not originate with him because he would've considered to complicated a task to undertake and was actually approached to direct. Assayas talks about growing up during Carlos' heyday and also about making the film itself.

There is also a 20-minute interview with actor Edgar Ramirez.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Epic 3 part mini series of Cold War terrorist
"Carlos" is a 2010 biopic about Illich Sanchez Ramirez, also known as Carlos. He was given the moniker "the Jackal" due to his role as the "Godfather of... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Luke Killion
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
good movie
Published 6 days ago by LMD
3.0 out of 5 stars not subtitles in English
Not subtitles in English, they speak so low and with such accent you could not understnad half of what they are saying
Published 8 months ago by Roberto Victoria
5.0 out of 5 stars jahreview
One of the best movies/ series we've ever seen. The acting is spectacular, the story is mesmerizing, it is filmed without an agenda and it keeps you interested for the entire time.
Published 10 months ago by Jane Henoch
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Kept waking up early to continue viewing this film. Hypnotizing, to the point and had me waiting for every next moment of this documentary type film.
Published 11 months ago by Jocelyne Lachance
5.0 out of 5 stars This was awesome!
I loved this three part series! Slow moving at times, but every bit was worth it. It's a top notch depiction of what may have been his life!
Published 14 months ago by Adam Teut
2.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately pointless and dissatisfying
I wanted to like this movie better than I was able. Perhaps the cipher who was the man is too far beyond knowing to construct a plausible motivation for him that could satisfy,... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Craig H
2.0 out of 5 stars I Thought This Film Would Never End
I have seen two films directed by Olivier Assayas and enjoyed both of them (Summer Hours and Late August, Early September). Read more
Published 17 months ago by Zarathustra
5.0 out of 5 stars A challenging cinematic masterpiece
First shown on French television, Carlos, the full version presented by Criterion, was ineligible for Oscar nomination, though I thought it had the best leading actor performance... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Vincent
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Copy
All CDs in this series Criterion Collection arrived in excellent condition. I am a huge fan of Edgar Ramirez and thouroughly enjoyed this mini series.
Published 21 months ago by Edward Sullivan
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Topic From this Discussion
english subtitles in the whole feature or only when english is not spoken?
No, there is only subtitles during the non-English portions of the film.
Jan 27, 2013 by A. Holly |  See all 3 posts
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