Carlito's Way (1993) - Ultimate Edition

Genre(s): Crime / Drama / Thriller
Universal || R - 145 minutes - $19.98 || September 13, 2005
Reviewer: Elyusha Vafaeisefat || Posted On: 2005-09-25

Buy this DVD from!
.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: Brian De Palma
Writer(s): Edwin Torres (novels), David Koepp (screenplay)
Cast: Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller, John Leguizamo, Ingrid Rogers, Luis Guzman, James Rebhorn, Viggo Mortensen

Theatrical Release Date: November 10, 1993

Supplemental Material:
  • Brian De Palma on Carlito's Way
  • Deleted/Extended Scenes
  • The Making of Carlito's Way
  • Photo and Poster Gallery
  • Promotional Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Comment on this and other movies on the message board!

.::THE FILM::.

Carlito’s Way marked the second time director Brian De Palma and actor Al Pacino teamed up to make a film together. The first time resulting in the cult classic Scarface back in 1983. Though not as memorable as Scarface, I still consider Carlito’s Way to be a much better a more mature film from De Palma and Pacino. I still prefer Scarface slightly to Carlito’s Way, but both films are great in my opinion.

Carlito’s Way tells the story of Carlito Brigante, who has just been released out of prison with the help of his corrupt lawyer pal Kleinfeld, played by Sean Penn (who seems to disappear into the role completely). After a life spent selling drugs on the streets, Carlito decides to go a different route and make his money elsewhere. Carlito decides to buy a night club and begins to save money so he can eventually move to Puerto Rico and pursue his desire to open a car dealership, but his past comes back to haunt him as his old friends and new enemies emerge. He also attempts to rekindle his romance with his ex-girlfriend Gail (Penelope Anne Miller). The film begins with Carlito having been shot by a gangster that he happened to cross the line with at his nightclub. From there on, the film is Carlito’s recollection of what led him to be in the place he ends up being, which in the end is his downfall.

Al Pacino is great as usual. His performance is much more reserved than what he did in Scarface, but equally as powerful to me. Sean Penn also turns in a great performance as the sleazy lawyer Kleinfeld. Also turning in good performances are Penelope Anne Miller, Luis Guzman, John Leguizamo and Viggo Mortensen (who you may miss if you don’t look carefully for him).

The film is made in a great stylistic way that very few directors are able to do. I consider De Palma, along with Michael Mann and Martin Scorsese, as the three best directors at creating the stylistic crime dramas. The opening of the film is operatic thanks to De Palms fluid camera movements as well as Patrick Doyle’s great and much underrated score for the film. The few action sequences in the film are composed masterfully and are full of suspense. For instance, the final 15-20 minutes of this film is edge of your seat suspense and just great directing from De Palma. While the film does run a little long, it’s still a great film to watch thanks to Pacino’s powerful performance, the great supporting cast as well as the great stylized directing from Brian De Palma.


Unfortunately, the DVD fails to live up to the “Ultimate Edition” label it gives itself. The extras are solid, but not enough to warrant a second purchase if you already own the “Collector’s Edition.”

The best extra is a 34 minute behind the scenes look at the film. I found it to be a great look at the film. Unfortunately, it was already included in the first DVD release of the film; however the extra is worth watching if you haven’t seen it before. The making discusses De Palma’s difficulties in shooting the final train station sequence, casting for the part of Gail, the background of the story, interviews with Edwin Torres, the author of the two novels from which the film was based, as well as screenwriter David Koepp.

The next extra is Brian De Palma on Carlito’s Way, which runs about 5 minutes. De Palma discusses how he thinks he is different from other directors working today and how he is far from the average “Hollywood” director. De Palma also discusses his disdain for today’s film critics. It’s a solid extra, but one could only wish it was longer than just 5 minutes.

The DVD also includes a promotional behind the scenes look at the film which also runs about 5 minutes, 8 minutes of deleted/extended scenes as well as a trailer and a photo/poster gallery.


The sound and picture on this DVD are both very good. I watched the “Collector’s Edition” of the film and tried to compare it to the “Ultimate Edition” in terms of the video quality. Both versions looked identical, but still very good nonetheless. The audio on the film is just as good. The film is presented here in both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 which brings out the beauty of the Patrick Doyle’s score as well as the bass in the few action sequences in the film.


Overall the DVD is a disappointment. Since I already owned the “Collector’s Edition,” I found it disappointing that the “Ultimate Edition” of Carlito’s Way would be so underwhelming. The best extra feature is already included in the original release and the other special features... well... aren’t very special. I would have liked to see a commentary from De Palma, David Koepp or even author Edwin Torres. It’s clear that Universal just wanted to release this edition as a tie in to the straight to video prequel Carlito’s Way: Rise to Power that was released recently. This is similar to what Universal did for the “Collector’s Edition” release of this film a few years before, which they wanted to tie in to the release of Scarface on DVD. In the end I would definitely recommend this DVD if don’t already own the Collector’s Edition. However, you may want to wait on purchasing it just in case they release Carlito’s Way: The Super Duper Deluxe Edition, which will probably just include an extra theatrical trailer.