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Carlito's Way (1993)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  12 November 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 155,587 users  
Reviews: 283 user | 96 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 <loh@sfu.ca>

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?


Sean Penn took the role of David Kleinfeld just for the money so he could use it to fund his second film The Crossing Guard (1995). See more »


The Beretta 92F Carlito carries and uses during the Grand Central shootout is anachronistic due to the fact the 92F wasn't released until 1983, and the Beretta 92 had only just begun production in 1975. 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 »


Featured in Carlito's Way: Brian De Palma on 'Carlito's Way' (2005) See more »


Oye Como Va
Written by Tito Puente
Performed by Santana
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Wonderful Movie
4 October 2000 | by (Tucson, Arizona) – See all my reviews

Pacino and DePalma team up once again and the result is once again triumphant. "Carlito's Way" is an emotional and captivating story, depicting the life of former trug kingpin Carlito Brigante (Pacino). Brigante's intention is to go straight, clean up his act, and make money managing a sleazy nightclub. David Koepp's screenplay has the depth it needs in examining the intense struggle an ex-druglord must endure when trying to escape his violent past. Stephen Burum's nearly flawless camerawork and DePalma's flamboyant and operatic direction are a visual splendor that complements the emotional story. This film is a highly underrated work of art that needs to be appreciated. Great supporting performances from Sean Penn and Penelope Ann Miller should not go unmentioned.

138 of 162 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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