Scarface ★★★★★

Brian De Palma's Scarface is unquestionably one of the great gangster epics, mainly because of its incredible vibrancy and hyper realism in regards to both the style and the main character tapestry. The feeling of the film is simply suffocating, clashing sound and image in a concussive fashion that bears a shocking resemblance to a train-wreck. In a good way of course. Yet, under all the neon and the constant blaring of a wonderful Giorgio Moroder soundtrack is a character study loaded with depth and crystal-clear focus.

De Palma's direction in particular is amazingly concise. In the infamous "hotel-room sequence", the tension is slowly cranked up to 11, and it works as a result of De Palma's tightly wound timing. The camera watches, observes, follows, and even goes through walls and crosses streets; all in service for a very important moment. The film, like Tony Montana, seems to become an increasingly paranoid cocaine addict throughout the almost three-hour run time. The music, the editing, the timing of moments; It's all composed to go along with the main individual of the story and where he's going.


Scarface is one of the finest films ever made in terms of telling a descent. In the film's pulsating climax, every color in Montana's massive mansion is either red or shiny black; only providing more evidence that Montana has crafted a secure abode for his carnivorous and lonely attitude. The film builds and builds, adding more and more layers of operatic and lavish overtones, until the film is the equivalent of a grand symphony of blood and emotion. It's rousing stuff, and while the film as a whole isn't perfect, it's consistently entertaining and layered. Al Pacino gives one of the finest performances of his career, and while it isn't as dense as his portrayal in The Godfather Part II, It's just as fascinating and fully-formed.

Also, for all the wannabe rappers out there, stop it. You're missing the point. Big time.

Ah fuck it. I was going to give this 4.5/5, but by the end of the film, I'm in such a state of cinematic nirvana that I have to give this full-marks. And that restaurant monologue = chills.

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