Never has a five-and-a-half-hour TV miniseries been so ripe for the big screen as Carlos, the adrenaline-drenched epic on the despicable life of Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the Venezuelan revolutionary terrorist known as the Jackal. The film never loosens its throat-tightening grip as it races through his deadly career with an edge-of-seat excitement and blood-curdling intensity. A French/German co-production, sensationally directed by Frenchman Olivier Assayas (Demonlover), the film is rich and complex, as hothead Sanchez rises to '70s celebrity fame with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine with action-packed raids on the French embassy in the Hague, failed attacks on El Al jets and the abduction of OPEC ministers in Vienna. Aided by Syria, Carlos goes freelance until the end of the Cold War, which thankfully limits his effectiveness. His ultimate fall occurs with an arrest in Khartoum, forgotten by the world he had so terrorized. In a stunning performance worthy of a young Brando or De Niro, Edgar Ramrez, as this repellent antihero, burns through the screen with the incandescence and shock of an IED. 4 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday, 6 p.m. Sunday. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org/films. $6 to $8.
Nov. 4-6, 2010