De Palma has consistently used Steadicam to dazzling effect, and this 1993 crime classic is no exception. Named the best film of the 1990s by Cahiers du cinéma, Carlito’s Way is a kind of companion to his previous, more infamous Al Pacino vehicle, 1983’s Scarface, albeit chronicling not a rise to power but rather a failed attempt to go straight. Pacino is Carlito Brigante, a big-time crook freed by his slimeball lawyer (Sean Penn, captivatingly grotesque) after serving a mere five years on a thirty year bid. Carlito asserts that his days beyond the law are numbered, opening a nightclub and reigniting a romance with his stripper ex (Penelope Ann Miller)—but it’s only a matter of time before the world of vice and violence sucks him right back in….
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