Scarface ****

Al Pacino is Tony Montana in "Scarface"

Al Pacino is Tony Montana in “Scarface”

“Scarface” is one of the great gangster movies of all time.  Al Pacino gives a standard setting performance as Tony Montana, a Cuban refugee, who has dreams of rising to the top of the cocaine business.  He wants the money, the clothes, the big house, and the gorgeous women.  But he finds out that all of this comes with a price.

Brian De Palma directs from a script penned by Oliver Stone.  Without the strong dialogue and well written characters this movie could have been simply a dim witted mob movie where all the characters are defined by stereotypes.  Instead every character gets weight and depth, and is brought to stunning life by the talented cast.

There are also a hand full of scenes which portray shocking violence that add to the overall effect of the film.  Especially the ending sequence when Tony defends his home against a platoon of gunmen trying to kill him. 

If the “Godfather” series was about how to stay ahead through respect and loyalty, then “Scarface” is about how to blow it all by showboating and portraying extreme arrogance.  Tony Montana Is a pretty scary guy.  When he says he will do something, he does it.  When he gets mad, people end up dying.  But his ego and fearlessness end up doing him in.  He thinks he has the American dream, but what he really has is expensive accessories that eventually get paid for in blood.

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