HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
Heaven and Earth
Flatliners
Us
mid90s
Holiday
Lovin' Molly
Manhunt in the City
Click: The Calendar Girl Killer
Teen Witch
Devil's Brigade, The
Luck & Logic
Duel of the Masters
   
 
Newest Articles
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
   
 
  Carlito's Way Things Ain't What They Used To BeBuy this film here.
Year: 1993
Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller, Luis Guzmán, John Leguizamo, Ingrid Rogers, James Rebhorn, Joseph Siravo, Viggo Mortensen, Adrian Pasdar, Paul Mazursky
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 5 votes)
Review: Carlito Brigante (Al Pacino) is released from a thirty-year prison sentence after five years when his lawyer David Kleinfeld (Sean Penn) takes advantage of a legal loophole. Carlito is glad to be out and is set up by his connections as the owner of a nightclub; but life has changed since he's been inside, and although he reunites with Gail (Penelope Ann Miller), an old flame, things start to go badly wrong...

This conventional, occasionally inspired, gangster movie was scripted by David Koepp from two novels by real-life judge Edwin Torres. We see Carlito getting shot while boarding a train at the beginning of the story, so the rest of the action is devoted to detailing his downfall in flashback. Since we know how he ends up, Carlito's Way is more about the journey than the destination.

The trouble is, it is made clear early on that Carlito is a man whose code of honour is out of step with the times, in this case the mid-seventies. He apparently comes from an era where gangsters had nothing but respect for each other and the young punks rising up to take his place are nothing but thugs, living by a code of violence and arrogance, fueled by drugs and alcohol. Pacino supplies us with an introspective voiceover in case we haven't picked up on this theme, which is pretty much reiterated throughout the film, making for a one-note experience.

While Brian De Palma has been accused of misogyny in the past, here he goes too far the other way with the character of Gail. She represents all that Carlito wants to aspire to: settling down with a good, honest woman, having a family and giving up on the criminal life. This means that Gail is put up on a pedestal from which she never descends; although the romance is sweet and shows us an admirable side of Carlito, it's too saccharine for a thriller like this.

Pacino stylishly imbues his hero with a mixture of grace and steel, but it's Sean Penn who impresses the most. Kleinfeld is a crooked lawyer, sick of being pushed around by the crooks who are his bread and butter, but growing too coke-addled to make sensible decisions. So he becomes foolhardy, which leads to an act of spectacular stupidity during a jailbreak he has reluctantly taken part in. Penn's slimy perfomance manages to paper over the cracks of his role's less believable excesses.

As the whole thing is fairly predictable, you can just sit back and enjoy De Palma's talent with the camera and his way with a setpiece. The climactic chase is superbly handled, with Carlito pursued by hoodlums through the subway as he tries to reach the station. Incidentally, this film must hold the record for the frequency that people say the main character's name - even though Gail calls him "Charlie" for a variation, "Carlito" must be spoken over fifty times. Music by Patrick Doyle.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 12194 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Brian De Palma  (1940 - )

Controversial American director and Alfred Hitchcock fan, strong on style, but weak on emotion. His early, political films like Greetings and Hi, Mom! gained some acclaim, but it was with Sisters that he emerged as a major talent of the 1970s and settled into his cycle of thrillers and horrors: The Phantom of the Paradise, Carrie, Obsession, The Fury, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Body Double, Carlito's Way, Raising Cain, Snake Eyes and Femme Fatale being good examples.

He's not aversed to directing blockbusters such as Scarface, The Untouchables and Mission Impossible, but Bonfire of the Vanities was a famous flop and The Black Dahlia fared little better as his profile dipped in its later years, with Passion barely seeing the inside of cinemas. Even in his poorest films, his way with the camera is undeniably impressive. Was once married to Nancy Allen.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: