Carlito's Way
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -3 1/2

Carlito Brigante (Al Pacino) returns to the streets of New York in 1975 after five years behind bars. Once a legend in the deadly game of organized crime, Carlito is expected to reclaim his territory. Yet he has changed, and all he wants is to escape his past and start over again with the woman he loves, Gail (Penelope Ann Miller), a dancer. Needing money to buy into a car rental business in Bermuda, Carlito accepts a job running a nightclub owned by his lawyer David Kleinfeld (Sean Penn) ever haunted by the memory of old crimes and the treachery of young rivals. Suddenly his shady lawyer Kleinfeld comes forward needing a favor, a favor that could get them both killed. Repaying earlier favors by his lawyer, Carlito gets caught in a bloody standoff with the underworld. While there is good acting by Pacino, Miller, and Penn, this nearly 2 1/2-hour long movie falls short in plot and interest by seeming to thrive on violence and foul language.

The criminal underworld setting of CARLITO'S WAY subjects viewers to gruesome violence and an appalling amount of filthy language. It spares us no mercy as we watch eleven bloody murders and much other violence, including gunshots, slit throats and beatings. To make sure we know these bad guys are into everything illegal, several drug scenes include cocaine incidents and one party scene with a roomful of drug users. Even the leading lady contributes to the film's offensiveness as a dancer in a topless bar who talks openly about abortion as an acceptable option. Two extremely offensive intercourse scenes take place in public places. A cast of characters acting like uncivilized animals with a total lack of morals obscures whatever positive message might be intended. It is a shame to exploit the public's appreciation for Al Pacino's talent by starring him in this atrocious movie.

Preview Reviewer: Alice Anderson
Distributor: Universal Pictures, 100 Universal Blvd., Universal City, CA 91608

Crude Language: Many (22) times; Mild 3; Moderate 19
Obscene Language: Many (181) times (f-word 137, s-word 31, other 13)
Profanity: Many (11) times - Regular 7; Exclamatory 4
Violence: Many times - Moderate and severe (fighting, pushing, beating, shoving; 11 murders; gory closeups of bullet wounds, slit throats, blood spurting)
Sexual Intercourse: Once implied (couple in bed, no nudity); twice graphic (no nudity), in public places
Nudity: Many (topless bar, full frontal nudity); near nudity, many revealing dresses
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Many references to genitals and intercourse
Drug Abuse: Drinking at clubs and drunkenness; cocaine and other drug abuse
Other: Racial slurs; discussion of abortion (portrayed neutrally); talk about killing people in order to survive
Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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