Al Pacino and Brian De Palma reunite for the first time since the epic crime drama Scarface. Al Pacino plays Carlito Birgante, a notorious drug dealer who has just been released from prison on a technicality, thanks to his lawyer David Kleinfeld (Sean Penn).
All Carlito wants to do is lay low, make enough money to start his dream job in the Bahamas and rekindle the romance he once had with his old flame Gail (Penelope Ann Miller). But this isn't easy for Carlito as many old faces start to appear and Carlito soon realises that 'A favour gonna kill you faster than a bullet'.
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Once again, one of the greatest actors of our time teams up with one of the greatest directors. Ther combination must surely be as good as, if not better than, Scorsese and De Niro. First the excellent Scarface, and then Carlito's Way, a film that blew me away when I first saw it. Pacino's portrayal of ex-gangland boss and drug dealer Carlito Brigante is powerful, moving and at times very funny. Combined with great performances from Sean Penn and Penelope Ann Miller, this film is a roller-coaster ride of "will he, won't he" tension and heavy , though not gratuitous, violence. So swept away do we get in Carlito's struggle that we actually forget that he's dying at the beginning of the film, and are praying that he'll make it by the end. This is a masterstroke from De Palma and a salute to the powerful and mesmeric acting of one Alfredo Pacino. A modern classic - this film has everything you could want. Love, loyalty, betrayal, sadness, comedy, and most importantly of all - balls
It never ceases to amaze me, the number of people who show no interest in this film or have never even heard of it. I'm not a big gangster movie fan, but I love this film so much it's one of the few I've watched several times. Al Pacino and Sean Penn both give outstanding performances in this tale of greed, revenge, love and tragedy. The 'crook gone straight, pulled back for one last job' angle may seem overfamiliar, but Carlito's Way is a masterclass in breathing fresh life into an overused concept. It refuses to stick to Hollywood storytelling cliches, which makes it even better. No 'Movies To See Before You Die' list is complete without this.