New York Times - 11/10/1993
"...Pacino brings vast entertainment value to [the film]....[Penn gives a] strange, jarringly intense performance..."
Sight and Sound - 02/01/1994
"...A fierce Pacino performance...and a trio of big action sequences as exciting as anything seen on screen..."
Variety - 11/15/1993
"...Rich with irony and keen in its attention to detail. Handsomely made, expertly directed and colorfully acted....Brian De Palma is in top form with CARLITO'S WAY..."
Entertainment Weekly - 11/12/1993
"...A smoother piece of filmmaking than SCARFACE....It's fun to see Sean Penn ham it up again....His energetic performance keeps you watching..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 11/12/1993
"...Brian De Palma in his best films is a muscular director who relishes over-the-top behavior, and here he paints a gallery of colorful gangsters and lowlifes..."
Total Film - 10/01/2000
"...Pacino is the sexiest he's ever been as the Puerto Rican crook, but it's Penn who really steals the show..."
USA Today - 03/16/2004
"Penn's spectacularly flashy supporting role marked his best work in a decade."
Premiere - 05/18/2010 3 stars out of 4 -- "An exciting and wildly entertaining romp through a seedy 1970s NYC....This movie has lots of heart and style..."
Notorious Puerto Rican heroin dealer Carlito Brigante (Al Pacino) is released from jail on a technicality thanks to the manipulations of his sleazy lawyer buddy (Sean Penn). All he wants is to keep his nose clean and earn enough money to start a business in the Bahamas--and maybe rekindle romance with his old flame, played by Penelope Ann Miller. Instead he finds himself back in trouble as a result of old-world codes of honor and misguided loyalties. It all takes place in 1975 Manhattan, in and around a nightclub Carlito manages, so there's plenty of classic disco music pulsing on the soundtrack. John Leguizamo plays one of the younger generation of hoodlums out to prove something. Viggo Mortensen and Luis Guzmán star as a couple of Carlito's buddies from the old days. Brian De Palma, who directed Pacino a decade earlier in SCARFACE, makes this seem almost like that film's sequel. As expected, there's plenty of elaborate tracking shots and suspenseful set pieces, most memorably a pulse-pounding chase through Grand Central Station. It's adapted from two novels by New York Supreme Court Judge Edwin Torres based on his childhood in East Harlem.
Drug kingpin Carlito Brigante vows to go straight when he is released from prison. As a host of vengeful former cronies and young thugs out to prove themselves come after him, somehow he must find a way to hold on to his newfound integrity.
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