Al Pacino had played a gangster before for director Brian De Palma in the cult classic Scarface but here in Carlito’s Way he plays a more rounded character trying to escape from his past but circumstances just will not let him.
Carlito Brigante (Pacino), is a Puerto Rican crook who has just been released from a long sentence in Riker’s Island Penitentiary on a technicality. Upon his release, Carlito swears that he won’t return to his old ways and that he’ll go completely legit. He soon finds out, however, that leaving his past behind isn’t going to be easy at all. Those whom he once considered friends are not easy to trust and try to push him back into his old ways.
Soon, however, Carlito gets reacquainted with Gail (Penelope Ann Miller), his ex-girlfriend and the one person in his life he regrets letting down. She shows him that he can change his ways and settle down but at the same time his best friend and lawyer, David Kleinfeld (Sean Penn), is running into difficulties of his own when he double-crosses a mob boss and asks Carlito to help him out one more time.
A fantastic cast and solid direction make this one of Brian De Palma’s best latter-day films, Pacino is in peak form and Sean Penn is amazing and almost unrecognisable as his cocaine-fueled friend Kleinfield.
There are many trademark De Palma set pieces the best being the shootout at Grand Central Station in New York. The excellent soundtrack also takes you back to the mid 70’s and the twist at the end will not surprise but may shock some viewers.
This new 4K remaster is superb with great colour grading and a lot of texture, especially in the close-ups. Deep black levels add up to a very pleasing viewing experience. Audio has a well-mixed DTS 5.1 mix and sounds terrific as well as the original stereo track.
Extras on this 4K UHD and Blu-Ray set are below –
- Brand new audio commentary by Matt Zoller Seitz
- Brand new audio commentary by Dr Douglas Keesey
- Carlito and the Judge, a brand new interview with Judge Edwin Torres, author of the novels Carlito’s Way and After Hours on which the screenplay for Carlito’s Way is based
- Cutting Carlito’s Way, a brand new interview with editors Bill Pankow and Kristina Boden
- De Palma’s Way, a brand new appreciation by film critic David Edelstein
- All the Stitches in the World: The Locations of Carlito’s Way, a brand new look at the New York locations of Carlito’s Way and how they look today
- De Palma on Carlito’s Way, an archival interview with director Brian De Palma
- The Making of Carlito’s Way, an archival documentary on the making of the film, produced for the original DVD release
- Deleted Scenes
- Original promotional featurette
- Theatrical teaser and trailer
- Image gallery
A superb gangster thriller from a director at the top of his game.
FILM – 9 PICTURE – 9 AUDIO – 8 EXTRAS – 8