STUDIO: Universal Studios
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Al Pacino cuts a noble figure in this very enjoyable drama by director Brian De Palma (Scarface), based on a pair of books by Edwin Torres. Pacino plays a Puerto Rican ex-con trying hard to go straight, but his loyalty to his lowlife attorney (a virtually unrecognizable Sean Penn) and enemies on the street make that choice difficult. Penelope Ann Miller plays, somewhat unlikely, a stripper who has a romance with Pacino's character. The film finds De Palma tempering his more outlandish moves (think of Body Double or Snake Eyes) just as he did with the popular Untouchables and Mission: Impossible. But while Carlito's Way was not commercially successful and never rises to the level of greatness, it is a genuinely compelling movie graced with a fine performance by Pacino and a surprising one from Penn.