7.9/10
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341 user 106 critic

Carlito's Way (1993)

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2:41 | Trailer
A Puerto Rican former convict, just released from prison, pledges to stay away from drugs and violence despite the pressure around him and lead on to a better life outside of N.Y.C.

Director:

Brian De Palma

Writers:

Edwin Torres (novels), David Koepp (screenplay)
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Popularity
1,399 ( 631)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Carlito
Sean Penn ... Kleinfeld
Penelope Ann Miller ... Gail
John Leguizamo ... Benny Blanco
Ingrid Rogers ... Steffie
Luis Guzmán ... Pachanga (as Luis Guzman)
James Rebhorn ... Norwalk
Joseph Siravo ... Vinnie Taglialucci
Viggo Mortensen ... Lalin
Richard Foronjy ... Pete Amadesso
Jorge Porcel ... Saso (Ron)
Frank Minucci Frank Minucci ... Tony Taglialucci
Adrian Pasdar ... Frankie
John Ortiz ... Guajiro (as John Augstin Ortiz)
Ángel Salazar ... Walberto
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Storyline

A Puerto Rican ex-con pledges to stay away from his former drug dealing ways but finds himself being dragged back by his past connections and the naive machinations of his lawyer and best friend. Hoping to raise enough money to get away from New York, Carlito Brigante takes on the job of running a nightclub, renews an affair with a dancer but old associates and old instincts suck him back into a world of violence and mistrust. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He wanted out. There was only one way to get there. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, drug content, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Brian De Palma was once dubbed "Brian De Plasma" by author Martin Amis, as De Palma is a specialist in bloody thrillers such as Scarface (1983). See more »

Goofs

Set in 1975, the movie soundtrack contains songs that weren't released at that time such as: "Disco Inferno" (1976) and "Got to be Real" (1978). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Carlito: Somebody's pulling me close to the ground... I can sense, but I can't see. I ain't panicked. I've been here before. Same as I got popped on 104th street. Don't take me to no hospital, please. Fuckin' emergency rooms don't save nobody. Sons of bitches pop you at midnight, when all they got is a Chinese intern, with a dull spoon. Oh look at these suckers. Scrambling around... What for? My Puerto Rican ass ain't supposed to have made it this far. Most of my crew got washed a long time...
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Connections

References Scarface (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

You Are So Beautiful
Written by Dennis Wilson, Bruce Fisher (as Bobby Fisher) and Billy Preston
Performed by Joe Cocker
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

User Reviews

 
Acting, direction and writing all spot on for a top gangster film
16 November 2005 | by Lt_Coffey_182See all my reviews

Inevitably, Carlito's Way will always be compared to Scarface. Same director, same star, same genre; it is difficult to watch this film without thinking of Scarface. This is very unfortunate for Carlito's Way as it is second rate compared to Scarface but it is a very good film and many people have failed to see this.

Where Scarface was about a South American battling his way to the top of the crime world, Carlito's Way is about a South American gangster trying to leave his past behind him. The story is very good and believable, the problems for Carlito (Al Pacino) are very typical for someone in his position and the relationships are all very convincing. The fact that Edwin Torres based his characters on real people and that events in the film are inspired by real life, really help Carlito's Way to be a credible film. The fact that it is Carlito's lawyer, Kleinfeld (Sean Penn), who got him out of prison and then becomes a loose cannon who provides Carlito with too many problems is a great illustration of respect and excess going to someone's head.

The performances in this film are extremely strong. Al Pacino is one of the best actors ever to be witnessed and is on outstanding form here. The beard, shades and long coat are a very good look for him and definitely provide him with one of his most fashionable roles to date. What is most convincing in this performance is his charm towards Gail (Penelope Ann Miller) as the audience, along with Gail, fall for him instantly, despite knowing his past. His scenes with Sean Penn are also amongst the films strong points because it always good to see Pacino act angry. The dialogue between these two is exceptional and really highlights how strongly Carlito's Way is written. Sean Penn does not let Pacino outclass him and gives one of his strongest performances. As an arrogant coke head, Penn portrays a character who is really repulsive and dislikeable and incites a great sense of hatred from the audience. Penelope Ann Miller does well to give the film feeling and bring it down to earth. It is pleasurable to watch her inner conflicts regarding Carlito as she pulls off the emotional scenes very professionally and is very effective at drawing out an emotional response from the audience. Luis Guzman and John Leguizamo are the two most memorable characters from the supporting cast, they both fit specific niches very well and both give great performances. It was nice to see Adrian Pasdar in the film, shame he wasn't in it for longer as the writers could have made something more out of his character.

My only negative criticism of the film is that it could have done with a touch more action. Gangster films are at their most exciting when there is a high drama shootout but Carlio's Way only has two major action scenes. Luckily, the content is good enough to make up for this. The two shootouts are very good scenes, especially the last one as the tension build up is so intense.

Stylish, realistic and stimulating, Carlito's Way would be a classic gangster film, had it not been overshadowed and over compared to Scarface. All the ingredients are right to serve up a fantastic film.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

12 November 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Carlito's Way See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,116,675, 14 November 1993

Gross USA:

$36,948,322

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$63,851,527
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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