• PG, 1 hr. 34 min.
  • Drama, Classics
  • Directed By:
    Howard Hawks
    In Theaters:
    Apr 9, 1932 Wide
    On DVD:
    May 22, 2007
  • Universal Pictures


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Scarface Reviews

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Mark Chalon Smith
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Scarface is one of best of the early gangster movies; its wit and building velocity speeds it past Little Caesar and keeps pace with Public Enemy.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times

July 30, 2014
Richard Brody
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By far the most visually inventive and tonally anarchic movie that Hawks made.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

July 30, 2014
Adrian Turner
Radio Times

The greatest gangster movie of the 1930s -- and that means the greatest ever.

Full Review Source: Radio Times | Original Score: 5/5

July 30, 2014
Matthew Sorrento

[The police chief] endorses the myth of the west while conceiving the urban gangster as a rat-like menace.

Full Review Source: IdentityTheory | Original Score: 10/10

February 3, 2012
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Completely relevant: Citizens complain that access to technologically more efficient guns is partly to blame for the crime wave; they fret over illegal immigrants; they worry that the 'new breed' of criminal is more uncivilized than its predecessor...

Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) | Original Score: 4/4

February 18, 2011
Michael E. Grost
Classic Film and Television

Vivid gangster thriller with lurid characters and visual style.

Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television

July 7, 2010

TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A grisly, exciting gangster picture.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

March 2, 2010
Kim Newman
Empire Magazine

Atmospheric, mesmerising and darkly humourous with a sizzling script and cast. This is a true classic of its genre.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 5/5

March 2, 2010
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
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Howard Hawks's 1932 masterpiece is a dark, brutal, exhilaratingly violent film, blending comedy and horror in a manner that suggests Chico Marx let loose with a live machine gun.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

March 2, 2010
Variety Staff
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Scarface contains more cruelty than any of its gangster picture predecessors, but there's a squarer for every killing. The blows are always softened by judicial preachments and sad endings for the sinners.

Full Review Source: Variety

October 18, 2008
Sean Axmaker

The original Scarface, loosely but boldly based on the notorious life and legend of Al Capone, didn't invent the modern American gangster film. It blew it up.

Full Review Source:

July 21, 2008
Emanuel Levy

Despite censorship problems and interference from producer Howard Hughes, Howard Hawks' early crime-gangster is a masterpiece and a seminal work in the genre's evolution, with a truly scary performanec from Paul Muni.

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: A

June 22, 2007
Brian Webster
Apollo Guide

Paul Muni goes way over the top as Tony Camonte, painting a picture of a gangster who knows nothing but excess, and who will stop at nothing to get his way.

Full Review Source: Apollo Guide | Original Score: 85/100

May 17, 2007
Paul Taylor
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Its seminal importance in the early gangster movie cycle outweighed only by its still exhilarating brilliance, this Howard Hughes production was the one unflawed classic the tycoon was involved with.

Full Review Source: Time Out

June 24, 2006
Mordaunt Hall
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The slaughter in Scarface, the Shame of a Nation, the Howard Hughes gangster production... is like that of a Shakespearean tragedy

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 5/5

January 28, 2006
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A brilliantly wild narrative that had a lot of Capone and the Borgias in it.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: B+

March 4, 2005
Gabe Leibowitz
Film and Felt

Hawks displays balls of steel, using the filmic medium to challenge the free reign of mobsters in the 1930's.

Full Review Source: Film and Felt | Original Score: 82/100

November 17, 2004
Jonathan R. Perry
Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)

The quintessential crime thriller. One of the few perfect films.

| Original Score: 5/5

October 18, 2004


Hawks' masterful gangster picture is as startling now as when originally released.

Full Review Source: Film4

May 24, 2003
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The quintessential classic gangster picture.

Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) | Original Score: 5/5

July 30, 2002
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