Sprung from prison on a legal technicality by his cocaine-addled attorney (Sean Penn), former drug kingpin Carlito Brigante (Al Pacino) stuns the local underworld when he vows to go straight. Taking a job managing a glitzy, low-life nightclub, he tracks down his onetime girlfriend (Penelope Ann Miller) and rekindles their romance, promising he's changed for good. But Carlito's dream of going legitimate is undermined at every turn by murderous former cronies and even deadlier young thugs out to make a name for themselves. Ultimately, however, his most dangerous enemy is himself. Despite good intentions, Carlito's misguided loyalties and an outmoded code of 'honour' will plunge him into a savage life-or-death battle against the relentless forces that refuse to let him go.
Superb. Good story, good acting, good sense of humour.
- Carlito's Way review by CP Customer
A great acheivement for everyone involved. So many memorable and enjoyable scenes. This is what Tarantino is forever aspiring to. Great music throughout, including good instrumental scores and good use of modern (well, not any more) popular music. Sean Penn a superb and very hatable anti-hero, and Pacino as good as ever. Towards the end gets a bit wacky, as can be expected from de Palma (not intended particularly as a criticism).
The plot/acting is frequently unbelievable in little ways. The relationship with a dancer which has inconsistent emotion and is hugely under acted. The murder of a powerful gangster while high on cocaine lacks drama and steam. Generally trips along and maintains interest but lacks any depth of acting.