085 - Carlito's Way (1993)

Carlito's Way tells of a gangster's struggle to go good after his release from prison.

Carlito Brigante (Al Pacino) has had a lot of thinking time in prison and after being released on a technicality found by his drug-ridden lawyer (Sean Penn) he dreams of a better life away from New York.

He decides he must save up $75,000 in order to buy into a car rental firm in the Bahamas where he plans to retire to with his ex-girlfriend Gail (Penelope Ann Miller).

One thing leads to another and Carlito finds himself defending his honour from a worse position than before his time inside.

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
Carlito's Way is a different theme on a genre that isn't usually badly done. Carlito is desperate to go good, but everything seems to conspire against him - nothing more so that his desperation to keep his own honour even when the odds are against him.

Al Pacino is well reknowed for his crime films and with films such as The Godfather, Heat and Scarface under his belt already, it is easy to understand why Carlito's Way is often overlooked as one of his greatest accomplishments.

Without a doubt Pacino is the star of the show demonstrating why he is so well-established as the anti-hero of crime, but his success is aided superbly by Sean Penn as his sleazy lawyer and Penelope Ann Miller as the put-upon ex-girlfriend.

One can take away many moral thoughts from the film but none more so than Gail's double entendre that she uses to entice Carlito through her locked door -"once you're in, you're in" - also referencing his inability to escape his gangster past.

Outspoken film in a well established genre - but one you should see.