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Carlito's Way (1993)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  12 November 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 153,970 users  
Reviews: 279 user | 95 critic

A Puerto Rican former convict, just released from prison, pledges to stay away from drugs and violence despite the pressure around him and lead on to a better life outside of N.Y.C.



(novels), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pachanga (as Luis Guzman)
Richard Foronjy ...
Jorge Porcel ...
Saso (Ron)
Frank Minucci ...
Guajiro (as John Augstin Ortiz)
Ángel Salazar ...


A Puerto Rican ex-con pledges to stay away from his former drug dealing ways but finds himself being dragged back by his past connections and the naive machinations of his lawyer and best friend. Hoping to raise enough money to get away from New York, Carlito Brigante takes on the job of running a nightclub, renews an affair with a dancer but old associates and old instincts suck him back into a world of violence and mistrust. Written by Keith Loh <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, drug content, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

12 November 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carlito's Way  »

Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,112,190 (UK) (14 January 1994)


£2,122,432 (UK) (4 February 1994)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A teaser trailer was shown in theaters which began with audio clips of memorable dialogue previous Al Pacino performances (in order Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Serpico (1973), The Godfather (1972), Scarface (1983), Sea of Love (1989), and Scent of a Woman (1992)) before launching into clips from the actual film. Due to copyright reasons, this trailer hasn't been included on any home video release of the film. See more »


Quisqueya (Rick Aviles) is clearly seen arguing with the bouncer in the establishing shot of the El Paraiso, even after his death in the film. See more »


[first lines]
Carlito: Somebody's pulling me close to the ground... I can sense, but I can't see. I ain't panicked. I've been here before. Same as I got popped on 104th street. Don't take me to no hospital, please. Fuckin' emergency rooms don't save nobody. Sons of bitches pop you at midnight, when all they got is a Chinese intern, with a dull spoon. Oh look at these suckers. Scrambling around... What for? My Puerto Rican ass ain't supposed to have made it this far. Most of my crew got washed a long time...
See more »


Referenced in Wasabi Tuna (2003) See more »


You Are So Beautiful
Written by Dennis Wilson, Bruce Fisher (as Bobby Fisher) and Billy Preston
Performed by Joe Cocker
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Great movie..vastly underrated!
2 December 2005 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Great movie..and I can see why it is underrated...possibly due to obvious comparisons to Scarface (Brian De Palma, Martin Bregman, Al Pacino team), which was much more brutal in its approach.

Al Pacino as Carlito, awesome as he is, is still much softer compared to the sledgehammer Tony Montana. And then there is some romance mixed in with the story of a gangster trying to reform himself.

I didn't like the romantic scenes myself...thought they interrupted the flow of the story...hence I gave it a 9 instead of a 10! There is also some clichéd dialogue. I happen to be a big Pacino fan and so I am being a little bit (though not entirely) biased and am sidelining all these things. If you excuse these small potatoes, this one is a great flick from start to finish, very entertaining, with some fantastic performances from the supporting cast, e.g. Sean Penn. Special mention, also, of Viggo Mortensen who comes in for a short role, but plays the part wonderfully.

As for Al Pacino in lead role, he makes sure he steals the show, as usual. Brilliant!

63 of 72 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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