HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
   
 
Newest Articles
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
   
 
  Carlito's Way Things Ain't What They Used To Be
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, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
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 14028 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: