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(Review originally written at 14 September 2005)

This movie is yet another fine gangster movie with Al Pacino as the main lead. You might think that this movie adds little to the genre, also because it stars yet again Pacino in the main role as gangster. Well, this movie is surprising good and original enough which is also thanks to the always wonderful to look at style of directing by Brian De Palma, who before this with Pacino already made the much acclaimed gangster movie "Scarface".

The movie its story is original and is about an ex-criminal who just got out of jail and is determined to stay on the good path and escapes his old life. But due to unforeseen circumstances and some old 'friends' he soon is, against his own will, pulled back again in the dark gangster underworld and activities of New York City. The movie features more than enough good and original moments and has plenty of memorable scene's.

Of course once more the acting is top-class in this movie. Having Al Pacino playing the lead in a gangster movie is always jackpot and he once more succeeds in portraying a good and realistic character. Also truly excellent is Sean Penn in a role that you normally would never expect him in. John Leguizamo is also really good in a typical gangster role. The movie also features the now very well known Viggo Mortensen in one of his very first big movie roles.

The movie has some good looking and professionally made shootouts and moments of violence. The whole ending at the train station really is the best part of the movie. Director Brian De Palma surely knows how to create some tense sequences and the end chase of this movie is once more proof of that.

The movie has a fine musical score composed by Patrick Doyle. It's not always fitting for the movie but that doesn't take away that it's a good score.

When you're a fan of gangster/crime movies this is an absolutely must see for you. Also for De Palma fans there is plenty to enjoy here. There are some typical De Palma moments and camera movements and the end sequences on the train station alone should be reason enough for De Palma fans to go and watch this movie.

In my opinion this movie is even better than "Scarface".

9/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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