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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Brian De Palma masterpiece...
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...
Published on 3 Nov 2004 by baz1980

versus
2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but likeable, like Carlito
This film is in many ways a standard gangster melodrama. It is worth watching for the way it explores Carlito's attempts to come to terms with his past and take responsibility for his actions. There is also one very well-shot fight scene early in the movie that establishes Carlito's status as a tough guy.

Otherwise the film is forgettable. Negatives that should...
Published on 17 Jun 2009 by E. Weech


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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Brian De Palma masterpiece..., 3 Nov 2004
This review is from: Carlito's Way [DVD] [1994] (DVD)
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 job...you 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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pacino's greatest film and my favourite of all time., 21 Mar 2009
By 
G. Willoughby (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Carlito's Way [DVD] [1994] (DVD)
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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You ready?!! Here come da pain!!!"..., 10 Aug 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Carlito's Way [DVD] [1994] (DVD)
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars De Palma's best work, 23 Sep 2007
This review is from: Carlito's Way [DVD] [1994] (DVD)
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 stars, 5 July 2006
By 
F.Dawson (huddersfield,england) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Carlito's Way [DVD] [1994] (DVD)
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 list.an amazing film that is compelling viewing....watch it today...lookout for sean penn as carlito`s solicitor...great stuff
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bad Movie Will Kill Your Career Faster Than A Bullet., 13 Dec 2004
This review is from: Carlito's Way [DVD] [1994] (DVD)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Pacino Gangster Classic, 17 Sep 2011
By 
E. Smith (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic., 25 Jan 2009
This review is from: Carlito's Way [DVD] [1994] (DVD)
My favourite film ever,just in front of The Godfather's and The Shawshank Redemption.It has everything as far as i am concerned:The former bad guy trying to be good,a great cast,just enough romantic involvement,a great soundtrack,great direction by De Palma;a good beginning,middle and most importantly,a great ending.If you like Pacino you should love this movie.If you don't like him,you may not rate it as highly as i do.I have watched this many times and i will continue to do so.One of the coolest movies i have ever seen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Favor gonna kill you faster than a bullet., 6 Jan 2008
By 
Matt Skidmore (Kinver, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Carlito's Way [DVD] [1994] (DVD)
Director Brian DePalma returns with this 1993 adaptation of the novel 'After Hours' by judge and author Edwin Torres. Here DePalma alternates his filmic style more to the side of 'Mission Impossible' and 'The Untouchables' rather than his usual Hitchcock homages ala 'Body Double' and 'Blow Out' to deliver (for me anyway) his finest film.

The story has Al Pacino (never better) playing Puerto Rican ex-con Carlito Brigante trying desperately to go straight and make a new life for himself and his dancer girlfriend (played by the excellent Penelope Ann Miller). Obviously, it all takes a turn for the worse when Carlito's attorney friend (played by an unrecognisable Sean Penn) is destined to take not only himself, but Carlito down with him.

The film itself is beautifully acted, exceptionally well written (each character is well developed and fully rounded) and the direction by DePalma is his sharpest yet. His roaming camera and stylish lighting give the city scenes life and the bars and club that glitzy and low life appeal in equal measure. Al Pacino is perfect in the role and gives the film an exceptional emotional core - so to does Sean Penn, who is the epitome of sleaze and his look for the character is spot on. The romance between Pacino and Miller is well handled, not too slushy or slowing the story down - and like each plot point in the film, it is expertly handled and played out well.

All in all, one of DePalma's finest films and (for me) more satisfying than their previous collaboration 'Scarface' - although, that is excellent as well. Universals' disc has a sharp transfer and a short making of documentary, but the film itself is well worth the price of the disc alone. Recemmended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hey remember me, Benny Blanco from the Bronx?, 5 Jan 2008
By 
R. Mullaney (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Carlito's Way [DVD] [1994] (DVD)
Al Pacino plays Puerto Rican drug dealer and killer, Carlito Brigante, who is released on a technicality 5 years into a 30 year prison sentence. Recognising his opportunity to be a better person Carlito decides to go straight but his gratitude to corrupt lawyer Kleinfeld (Sean Penn) for getting him out of prison means he will eventually step back over the line to repay the favour.

Carlito's Way is a magnificent, well written crime drama and the performances of Pacino and Penn are wonderful. Brian De Palma's direction is spot on but as hard as it tries, Carlito's Way doesn't quite match up to his previous collaboration with Pacino, the classic Scarface. Pacino plays both roles differently, Tony Montana was a ruthless killer who murdered his best friend in a heartbeat but Carlito cares much more about his loved ones, so much so that he helps Kleinfeld on a job that will potentially send him back to prison for the rest of his life. Carlito is genuinely grateful for another shot at life and his weary narration as he is dragged back into his old ways give the film a heart that Scarface didn't have. When watching Carlito's Way you just know theres not gonna be a happy ending but the third act is so well done it's impossible not to watch it out despite the feeling of impending tragedy.

Like this? Try: Scarface
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Carlito's Way [DVD] [1994]
Carlito's Way [DVD] [1994] by Brian De Palma (DVD - 2004)
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