Carlito’s Way (1993) 4.79/5 (2)


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Rating: The Good – 74.8
Genre: Gangster
Duration: 144 mins
Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Anne Miller

One of Brian De Palma’s most stylistic films, Carlito’s Way tells the story of Puerto Rican hood Carlito Brigante as he attempts to escape a life of crime only for his friend Davy Kleinfeld to land him back in the middle of some nasty business. Al Pacino is excellent as the charismatic Carlito and it’s to Pacino’s credit that he chose yet another ethnic minority gangster to play rather than playing a series of Italian-American mafiosos. On the other hand, Sean Penn not only holds his own against the Titan that is Pacino but in many ways steals the show. That said, Carlito and the film in general would’ve been far more compelling if Penelope Anne Miller’s annoying character and love-story side line were dispensed with outright. De Palma gives his usual master class in the art of capturing great production design on screen and his action choreography particularly in that Grand Central chase sequence is as full of grace and electric energy as any before it or since. The characters are a little (OK, a lot) stereotyped and the side story is nonsense but for the most part Carlito’s Way is very good gangster film.

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