Film, Thrillers
3 out of 5 stars
Scarface, 100 best action movies
Photograph: Universal Pictures Scarface

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

The recent, unironic adoption of Brian De Palma’s furious, ludicrous crime epic by gangstas, playas and hippety-hoppety bling merchants of all stripes is perhaps testament to the film’s outrageous cojones, rather than any piercing insight into the criminal psyche. 

But there’s no denying that ‘Scarface’ is also a lot of fun, tracking homicidal Cuban homunculus Tony Montana (Al Pacino) from his first footsteps on US soil to his operatic demise in a cloud of AK-47 bullets and coke. In fact, cocaine-fuelled excess seems to power the whole movie, from Oliver Stone’s overloaded, trashily self-aware script to Al Pacino’s wildly unpredictable consonant-mangling mumble (‘Manolo, choot dis piece a chit’), from De Palma’s magnificently indulgent Wellesian long shots to the retina-scorching, high-kitsch set and costume design. 

What’s most impressive is Stone and De Palma’s unwillingness to cloak Tony’s grotesque, voracious machine-gun capitalism with any sort of ‘Godfather’-style guff about honour and family: ‘Scarface’ is an unashamed study of selfish, sadistic criminality, and all the better for it.

By: Tom Huddleston



Release details

170 mins

Cast and crew

Brian De Palma
Oliver Stone
Al Pacino
Steven Bauer
Michelle Pfeiffer
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Robert Loggia
Miriam Colon
F Murray Abraham
Paul Shenar
Harris Yulin
Angel Salazar
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