Carlito's Way reunites the Scarface team of Al Pacino and director Brian De Palma to much better effect than the first time around, proving there's a lot of life still to be found in the conventional urban-gangster movie. [12 Nov 1993, p.45]
I was thoroughly impressed with Carlito's Way. So far it is my favourite Brian De Palma film alongside Carrie and The Untouchables. De Palma's direction itself is terrific, while some of the set pieces such as the pool fight, the 15-minute subway chase and the shenanigans on the train-station escalator are among the best in any De Palma film.
The cinematography is excellent, the lighting is used in an interesting way and the scenery and locations are striking. In short, the film looks good. The soundtrack drives the film very well too, the script is smart and funny and the story is ceaselessly compelling. The pace is spot on, and the acting is very good. Al Pacino gives a suitably restrained performance which was a refreshing change from his excessive performance in Scarface, while the supporting cast have plenty of time to enjoy themselves.
In conclusion, a fine film. 10/10 Bethany Cox
Handsomely made, expertly directed and colorfully acted, it should satisfy action buffs and slightly more sophisticated audiences. That adds up to solid commercial prospects at home and abroad that are just shy of blockbuster returns.
Carlito's Way reminds you a little of De Palma's remake of Scarface -- it has that jazzy, coke-frazzled bang and crash to it, the feeling of too many people chasing too many highs. But it's nowhere near as successful. It's not as shocking. It even feels . . . dated. [12 Nov 1993, p.G5]
Ten years ago, Al Pacino worked on a collaboration with Brian De Palma on Scarface and now something I have heard about is the one got my attention now that Al Pacino and Brian De Palma reunited to do a movie about a decade later is Carlito's Way. Like most films by Brian De Palma, he's known for making his films look stylish making the shots long like some he did back in the day make the angles look unique. It'll let you know what was going on if something goes wrong. Al Pacino as Carlito Brigante, who used be a criminal after spending five years of a 30-year prison sentence vows to go straight and get into any illegal activities But that proves to be difficult when he ends up being dragged into the same activities that got him imprisoned in the first place. His lawyer, David Kleinfeld played by Sean Penn, keeps him out of trouble while he meets his girlfriend Gail played by Penelope Ann Miller. From what I am seeing so far I'm liking very much, granted the fact that it has pop songs that you heard about much like the ones I've heard of before. The chemistry between Al Pacino and Penelope Ann Miller is really good. You can see that they're really meant for each other. I really love the climax chase scene at the end, it is very thrilling and it left me on the edge of my seat. This is something that I should look up on very soon but what can I say, it is worth it. Carlito's Way may not be memorable to others like Scarface but it is an interesting crime thriller by Brian De Palma and stars Al Pacino.
Irrevocable privacy Watching a movie for 144 minutes and not feeling tired at the end and enjoying watching the movie is definitely a sign **** filmmaker. Brian De Palma is great as Carlito. The scenes are arranged with care and elegance. The mise-en-scène, filming and editing are excellent. The film editing model is an educational class for those interested in cinema. The sequence of the train station and escalators is reminiscent of the movie "untouchables". De Palma and Al Pacino working together again is spectacular. "Sean Penn" has a unique game and is a candidate for this role. Overall, watching the movie is admirable and enjoyable.
"Carlito's Way" finds "Scarface" collaborators Al Pacino and Brian De Palma reteaming within the realms of the crime epic. This time around, though, the wear and tear is evident, particularly in Pacino. From the misplaced accent, to the hammy voice-over work, his performance didn't really pass the smell test for me. Seemed like he was kind of phoning it in here. That being said, he's still watchable, with his innate charm and likability carrying you through the watch just so. A genuine shout-out has to go to Brian De Palma and his ability to film a frenetic set piece. The gunfights and chase scenes (particularly the one at the end of the film) are really terrific sights to see. I only wish there was as much attention put into the characters and drama. In longer movies like "The Godfather" or "Heat," even the tiniest of moments and characters feel significant. No time is wasted. Here, a lot of moments and characters either feel simply "there" or like a retread of something we've seen in a different film. I know it seems like I'm bagging on this movie a bit too much, but with names like Pacino and De Palma on a movie poster, you tend to expect more than this ended up being.
The film never takes flight. There's a lack of attention to detail. Carlito gets shot in the bar, then in the next shot he's fine. Penelope Ann Miler is pretty unbearable. Whining, ranting or blubbering throughout the entire run-length. Even her obnoxious dancing during the credits is annoying. Sean Penn is pretty good as the scumbag lawyer, and although Pacino does his best with a lightweight script and dull dialogue, but he's just phoning it in and ends up coming off as a parody of himself. The ending is quite strong and the tension is palpable, but yet another plot hole does away with it.