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Carlito's Way

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Carlito's Way - 21/10/2005 11:35:46 AM   
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amazing - 4/1/2006 8:06:02 PM   

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Joined: 29/11/2005
From: Liverpool: Age 25
perhaps the most underrated film ever made, pacino and penn are simply astounding on screen and really do bring a wonderful real life rapport to the audience. Pacino wonderful narration certainly helps the film along not tom mention an extra dimention to pacinos character whilst penns unsavoury lawyer is simply genius. A Great performances from penn and pacino and overall a great fil which deserves the credit that it doesnt get.

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- 14/1/2006 9:19:49 AM   

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From: Somewhere between Life and Death
DePalma, Pacino...What more can I say!

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- 10/3/2006 6:39:41 PM   


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Joined: 9/12/2005
I think this film was brilliant, but the only downside to it was that i think was Al Pacino cos i think the characters he plays are to hard hitting

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- 11/3/2006 9:13:47 PM   

Posts: 1411
Joined: 7/1/2006
From: Birmingham
Sean Penn was amazing, Pacino was great as usual, and this was probaly one of Brian De Palma's best.
The Mature version of Scarface.

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pacino's way - 3/6/2007 12:00:59 PM   


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one of his best ever performances, just a simply fantastic intense actor, love him to bits. sean penn is excellent, such an enjoyable, tense film, didn't want it to end. simply sublime work.

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The Forgotten Masterpiece - 31/10/2007 5:02:58 PM   

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Pacino in top form. Stellar, yet purposeful direction by Brian DePalma. A stunning turn by Sean Penn. An ace script by David Koepp that is in fact a clichŽ, but never feels like it. So why oh why does the better part of the movie-watching public seem to have forgotten about what is arguably one of the finest films of the 80s, and without a question Brian DePalma's best work? Answers are hard to find when one is presented with such a compelling story, full of interesting characters (bar the generic love interest) and nail-biting suspense, as well as a great sense of atmosphere (Carlito's way features some of the best retro production design ever).
Pacino's Carlito Brigante, the honest man haunted by crime, the criminal who's too soft, should be in everybody's memory as the ultimate mŽlange of Michael Corleone's callm restraint and Vincent Hanna's 'hoo-ha' antics. It is a wonderfully nuanced performance, which reminds you on what top form Pacino was back in the early 90s. Similarly, Penn's Dave Kleinfeld prove that the actor is equally capable of portraying a spineless, ruthless tosser just as well as his current tortured persona.
But characters and acting are all but matched by Brian DePalma's breathtaking direction. Of course he cannot use the camer angles everybody else does, but in this case there is a purpose behind all the gimmickery; the technical brilliance enhances the story instead of distracting from it. Never before or again has DePalma put his visual talents to such effective use. It is a shame that he is still better known for his Eisenstein rip-off in The Untouchables than the incredible 15-minute-chase through a subway and Grand Central Station, which is among the longest and most suspenseful climaxes in film history.
There's even more to adore in Carlito's Way (eg Patrick Doyle's beautiful score), but the points made above should actually be sufficient to get anybody remotely interested in film to go and watch this gem.

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Sean penn is Brilliant - 2/11/2007 6:57:53 AM   


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Two brilliant performances in De Palma's best film.

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Sean penn is Brilliant - 2/11/2007 6:57:53 AM   


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Two brilliant performances in De Palma's best film.

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brilliant - 23/10/2008 3:38:59 PM   


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From: London
have seen this film over and over again and still it remains as fresh and as exhilerating as it was the first time around. gangster film perfection...

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Post #: 10
Carlito's Way is a powerhouse! - 5/4/2010 8:48:44 PM   

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Joined: 20/2/2008
Pacino is great, as usual. Sean Penn gave one of the best performances of his career, and De Palma did the job of a lifetime. This is, indeed, a Great Movie!

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Post #: 11
Carlito's Way - 4/11/2011 12:01:37 AM   

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Joined: 2/10/2005
From: Not Local
Something changed with Pulp Fiction. For the better in a lot of respects. Cliched genres were revitalised, bloated blockbusters were burst and stagnant film-maker were re-energised. An entire generation's backside was well and truly kicked. But at what cost? In short: 'The Good Old Fashioned Gangster Movie TM'.

Since the dawn of cinema, film-makers have seduced us with the perils and pitfalls of the wrong side of the tracks. Films such as Wellman's The Public Enemy (1931), Hawks' Scarface (1932), Coppola's The Godfather (1972), De Palma's Scarface (1983) and Scorsese's Goodfellas (1990) have seduced and, if executed correctly, repulsed movie-goers for decades into indulging their fantasies of power (the latter arguably the most effectively so). Yet since the emergence of Mr Tarantino's 1994 pop culture-laden masterpiece, despite the aforementioned plus points, sadly many film-makers who followed have twisted his efforts into a slew of trashy, misdirected bore-fests (mentioning no Smokin' Ac... er... sorry I mean names) which have largely populated the mainstream ever since with their self-referential tosh and epileptic editing.

Just one small year before this cultural shift occurred, 70s movie brat Brian De Palma decided to grace us with one final Good Old Fashioned Gangster Movie - Carlito's Way. Recruiting Al Pacino as the titular Puerto Rican desperate to go straight, Carlito's Way is the kind of thoughtful, romantic and absorbing crime flick that has sadly been absent from our cinema screens in recent years and harks back to a time when cinema-goers genuinely rooted for people you know should really get their comeuppance sooner rather than later.

The story of Carlito's Way is a simple one; Hispanic former dope-peddler Carlito Brigante, freshly released from prison after serving only 5 years of an expected 30 year sentence, attempts to go straight. The film itself plays out very much in the form of a tragedy with Brigante himself almost always dressed in black. All of his attempts at leading an honourable return to society are skewed at every turn, not only by the hoodlums of his previous life but also by his own, as his lawyer so astutely puts it, "self-righteous code of the god-damn street". He wants to pull away but he can't. He never will. Another central theme of the film is change. "What a man gotta come to when he loses 5 years". Each character from his past fills the story a sense of unease as they enter the frame. Be it shifts in name, personality or allegiance, everyone Brigante crosses is differerent from what he remembers. Some immediately apparent, some less so. The one exception being "the one face that didn't change. One face that still knows you... looks at the same way it always did", namely his former girlfriend Gail who is there as Carlito's beacon of hope, the one good thing in his life to guide him out of 'the street'.

In amongst this journey we have the revelatory turn from Sean Penn as Brigante's slimy, coke-addled lawyer Dave Kleinfeld, undoubtedly the performance which turned the Artist Formerly Known As Spicoli into the method-munching, Oscar-guzzler we know today. Kleinfeld is the perfect thorn in Carlito's well-meaning side, constantly pulling him in the direction we all hope he'll steer clear of.

On revisiting this film it really did strike me that it's the last of its kind. The tragic, romantic gangster movie which makes you root for its hero but never enough to be unsympathetic when circumstances go awry. The type of film that indulges your deepest desires but never lets you forget what a huge mistake you'd be making. A cinematic moral compass of a bygone era that meant you never actually needed to see the shrink. So to Carlito's Way and all who preceded it I will leave you with the words of the protagonist concerned:

"Adios counsellor, you were good..."

< Message edited by Biggus -- 4/11/2011 12:06:57 AM >


"They offered me a hundred grand. You wanna know something? When I found out I'd get my hands on you, I said I'd do it for nothing."

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RE: Carlito's Way - 4/11/2011 2:37:17 PM   

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one of the few DVDs I own. Not sure what that says about anything to be honest.


PS3 CyberRipper_X *** Xbox360 JBlackdog

"if you see something move, shoot it, If it screams in german, shoot it again!" Brothers in Arms

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Post #: 13
RE: Carlito's Way - 8/12/2011 4:28:33 AM   

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Joined: 16/1/2007
From: Brisbane Australia
This movie is in my top three of all time, closely behind Goodfellas and Snatch.

I saw this year in watching this movie in a beautiful cottage in the middle of nowhere in sunny Brisbane.

Grossly underated

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Post #: 14
A true masterpiece....but why so underated? - 5/1/2013 10:23:49 AM   

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Joined: 5/1/2013
This is for me one of the truly great gangster films of all time..and yet for some reason "Carlitos Way"is overlooked.I think this is a real shame because this shows both Brian De Palma and Al Pacino at the top of their game.It also has a simply fantastic from Sean Penn as Carlto`s sleaze ball lawyer David Kleinfeld....and as for the scene at Union station.....that is one of my all time favourite movie scenes.

In short "Carlitos Way" is a film that should have more praise and respect given to it.A film of such quality and brilliance it needs a scond chance.

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Post #: 15
Masterpiece - 16/2/2013 3:24:09 PM   
Mr Gittes


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One of De Palma's very best. A fantastic script, masterclass performances and, of course, beautiful direction make this an unmissable classic.

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- 3/2/2014 4:37:07 PM   
Lord Varys


Posts: 482
Joined: 21/6/2012
De Palma and Pacino greatest work!

Where is the original Empire review?

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De Palma, Pacino, Penn is Win, Win, Win! - 23/7/2014 9:46:21 PM   


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Joined: 21/4/2011
I love Scarface truly, it's flash, pizzazz as Manny would say and also Operatic as hell great performances, great script by Oliver Stone an awesome set pieces as you would expect from De Palma.

But I love Carlito's Way even more. It's my favourite Pacino-De Palma film, it's a more restrained and soulful performance from Pacino and it contains some of De Palma's greatest set pieces the HERE COMES THE PAIN sequence and the climatic train station sequence and that's not all of them. Sean Penn is also sublime as Shyster Kleinfeld, Penn conveys Kleinfeld's mounting paranoia brilliantly. Also Viggo Mortensen who briefly turns up for a fantastic scene with Pacino he's almost unrecognizable, he's a chameleon of an actor it took a couple of viewings for me to realize it was him. Also Luis Guzman, Leguizamo, and of course Penelope Ann Miller is memorable as the beautiful Gail, this film top to bottom has really good performances. Also awesome music by Patrick Doyle,

Along with Blow-out, Casualties of War an the criminally ignored Femme Fatale this is one of my absolute favourites from De Palma who is also one my favourite directors from the so called movie brat generation. If you haven't seen Carlito's Way yet go see it and ask yourself why don't more filmmakers make films as visually bold artful and entertaining as this.

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