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2,634 Ratings

Carlito's Way

Directed by Brian De Palma
United States, 1993
Crime, Drama


After narrowly escaping a three decade prison sentence, former drug dealer Carlito Brigante, renounces his former life of misconduct. When implicated in the murder of a Mafia don, the race is on to see if he can escape the New York City underworld he is so desperate to leave behind.

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Carlito's Way Directed by Brian De Palma
Though ranking films is rarely edifying, the film’s placement at the top [of a Cahiers du cinéma poll on the ‘90s] might be in recognition of its ability to both capture and comment on the prevailing temperament of the 1990s. After years of material excess and rampant capitalism brought little more than an exacerbation of societal problems, the film’s optimism that life is worth living despite such hardships… is a message of hope, however thin and however problematic.
February 28, 2014
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Carlito’s Way is one of De Palma’s most dramatically engaging films, a character-driven period epic where the final half-hour is a non-stop chase through offices, a hospital, a night club, the subway, and Grand Central Station, concluding at this incendiary Ground Zero destination of death, affirming how great suspense moviemaking pulls the audience in with sympathy and fear in spite of the ineluctable outcome of which we’re already certain.
November 13, 2013
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Carlito’s Way is complex, resilient, and uncannily moving. Its power originates not just in director De Palma’s command of technique—a given, even in his films that don’t work—but in his determination to take his hero at his word and demand that audiences do the same. It treats cliches not as storytelling shortcuts, but as metaphors for personal struggle.
November 21, 2006
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