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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 3 November 2004
The very fact that Brian De Palma directed this film is a signal that this film is of a very high standard. Before Carlito's way he'd already directed Scarface, Carrie, The Untouchables, Casualties of War, and many many more, but this film with the possible exception of Scarface is, in my opinion, his best work.
The film depicts the life of a former Puerto Rican drug lord Carlito Berganzi (Al Pacino) from the moment his appeal is succesful and he is released from a 30 year prison sentence after serving only 5 years. Carlito pledges to keep his hands clean of any criminal activities...but Carlito sitting at home watching Trisha and drinking tea simply didn't cut it with the filming commission so instead he gets dragged down into the underworld yet again, mostly by his cocaine-addicted lawyer David Kleinfeld (Sean Penn), whilst the opposing force in Carlito's life, Gail (Penelope Ann Miller) tries desperately to pull him back to a normal, crime-free life.
The film is beautifully shot and there is no moment in the film, ever, when you think "oo I'll just pause it so I can go and make myself a coffee"...I have the attention span of a goldfish, and can rarely watch a 2hr 24mins movie without having a break in the middle for coffee, but this movie was non-stop and kept me completly engaged, 100%, from start to finish.
I don't need to tell you that Al Pacino does an awesome already knew that, but Sean Penn and Penelope Ann Miller compliment Pacino's incredble acting skills perfectly.
If you are a fan of gangster/mob films (Scarface, Casino, Goodfella's, The Godfather Trilogy, etc) then you absoultely must see this film, NO gangster film collection can ever be complete without this momentous film.
This film is fully deserving of each and every one of the five stars I've given it!
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on 10 August 2002
One of my all-time favorite movies, Al Pacino stars as Carlito Brigande, a Puerto Rican ex drug-lord trying to go straight after his release from prison 5 years into a 30 year stint. Sean Penn plays Carlito's lawyer, Kleinfeld; A brash, naive un-streetwise councellor, he is excellent in this role. Good support from Pennelope Ann Miller, as always, here playing the love interest. Great supporting roles and cameos from Luis Guzman as Pachanga, John Leguizamo as Benny Blanco from da Bronx! and hilarious stuff from Jorge Porcel as Saso (or RON! hehe) and Viggo Mortensen as Lalin. A Compelling story, brilliantly played, criminally underatted. Al Pacino at his best, a must-own movie.
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on 21 March 2009
This film is what i consider to be a masterpiece at every level. Brian De Palma has never hit the mark so precisely. The characters are fully fleshed out, the score remarkable and the lead mesmerising. The story is a modern shakespearean tragedy, a tale of love, regret, betrayal and hope, where Carlito tries to leave his past behind and make a new life with a former lover. Of course things do not go smoothly and as Carlito remarks 'the street is watching'. This is my favourite film of all time and truely a classic in every sense of the word. Buy it now, you will not be disappointed.
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on 23 September 2007
Based on novels by Edwin Torres, this heartfelt gangster flick makes for a fine sequel to Scarface - or at the very least a very welcome revisiting for Al Pacino and director Brian de Palma.

David Koepp's script paints a picture of a mean New York, full of thuggish opportunists and snivelling cowards (Viggo Mortensen's slimy Lalin is a must-see for all Lord of the Rings fans wishing to see that actor's range). And at the centre of it all is Pacino's Puerto Rican Carlito: relocated, reinvigorated; reborn and going straight... or so he hopes.

There's something undeniably tragic about Carlito's plight. It provides a lovely narrative goal; while lawyer and best friend David Kleinfeld (Sean Penn) wilfully digs his way into a violent criminal world, Carlito wants out - and he wants to bring his stripper girlfriend Gail (a miscast Penelope Ann Miller) with him. Oliver Stone's wickedly cynical script for Scarface described a conceited monster; it's easier to warm to this redeemed version: still artful and egotistic, and yet blessed - or, as it happens, cursed - with a shrouded sense of morality.

The representation of the relationship between Carlito and Gail is mawkish, but it's worth remembering that this is a portrait of broad strokes. De Palma has never been a stranger to melodrama - in fact, he fairly relishes it. Here he draws a memorable performance from Sean Penn, while his framing and movement are as dynamic and assured as ever. The pace is pulsating; Pacino's anti-hero is effortlessly sharp and angry; Patrick Doyle's music is aptly melodramatic; and the final burst for freedom - an expertly-staged, fifteen minute foot chase sequence - is pure cinema.
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on 5 July 2006
al pacino (probably the best actor of my lifetime along with deniro),spills over with class in this hard hitting masterpiece,the film starts with carlito being released from prison(basically locked up for running any illegal thing going.however he wants to start a fresh,wash the slate clean.but things and people have changed on the steet,and anything he does gets him deeper in criminal activity than ever,with none of it his own doing.his friends and people he trust drag him back to big criminal way of life,he finds himself back at the top of the police s*$t amazing film that is compelling it today...lookout for sean penn as carlito`s solicitor...great stuff
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This film seems to be overshadowed by other Pacino gangster masterpieces, but rest assured it's on a par with the others.

Al is absolutely majestic as Carlito, the ex-con who tries to make a normal life for himself after being released early from a 30-stretch. Unfortunately for him, the lawyer friend who got him out is a gangster-wannabee who attracts trouble and Carlito just can't help getting involved.

Despite being a gangster film, and directed by De Palma at that, there's relatively little violence, although when it comes it tends to be bloody and brutal. The film is mostly about Carlito's struggle to stay straight whilst amassing enough cash to get to a normal job in the Bahamas, but he just can't escape the past and others' expectations of him.

It's only natural to root for the guy as he tries to reach his goal, even if there are a few bumps in the road, despite knowing from the start of the film that the odds are against him.

The ending in Grand Central Station was tense and exciting and had Hitchcock written all over it.

As for the bluray, the picture quality is a definite step up from the dvd, but there's not much happening with the sound, despite the shootings. Still well worth the upgrade, in my opinion.
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on 6 September 2005
You can count on Al Pacino on giving his all to every acting role, and playing Carlito in this film is one role he should never be forgotten in.
Ten years on from when Al teamed up with Brian De Palma for Scarface, came this - a sort of reversal of Scarface. Whereas in that film, Al's character was trying to get back into the criminal underworld, here he wants to escape it and stay straight.
It doesn't help that your best friend and lawyer is starting to make tracks in the criminal world that Carlito is trying to avoid. Sean Penn is fabulous as the lawyer, and barely unrecognisable. Having seen him hardly smile in his recent efforts like the Interpreter and Mystic River, it's nice to see him go absolutely do-lally here, playing a smirking, over the top, drug addict with mad curly hair. The perfect counterfoil to Al's cool, laid back Carlito.
Once again, Brian De Palma interweaves an epic-style story with stunning visuals and an intense climactic train station shootout that tops his other trains station shootout in The Untouchables. It's unbearably tense as Al tries hard not to be seen as he escapes mob thugs to run away with his sweetheart. It's all the more intense in the fact that we already know the outcome...
If you havn't seen this - it is a must. If you have, then why not watch it again - it's worth it!
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on 13 December 2004
Good thing this isn't a bad movie, then. Far from it. Not only does it contain one of the most exciting shootouts in cinema history at the climax, it features one of Al Pacino's most inspiring performances.
The story of a Puerto Rican druglord (Pacino) trying to stay on the straight and narrow whilst his friends and his lawyer (Sean Penn) try to drag him bag into the old life. Carlito's values are honourable, but lead to his downfall.
People have drawn similarities with Scarface, but that is not so. Carlito has charisma, he has redeeming features, he has character. Tony Montana was out for all he could get - not caring who got in his way. Carlito is, perhaps, a more mature Montana.
The film is well-shot and the set-pieces are excellent. The soundtrack is also perfect.
Gripping viewing from start to finish, this film was my first experience of Al Pacino's skills, and he has since become my favourite actor.
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on 5 August 2015
Good job all round, Al Pacino is in his element, Sean Penn, who I feel is usually underrated, also does a fantastic job, Brian De Palma also reliably reliable. A nice slant on the mob/gangster genre, better characters than Goodfellas or Casino, (not that those films weren't excellent too), but not quite as well executed as Donnie Brasco which was another triumphant display by Al Pacino, Johnny Depp was also brilliant in that.
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on 3 March 2015
Good movie.....once more pacino show how great actor he is. Scarface movie its better but this one its very good as well. Its Nice see old good cinema like this. 8/10 Carlito: I don't invite this sh*t it just comes to me. I run, it runs after me. Gotta be somewhere to hide.
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