Scarface (1983) - Rotten Tomatoes

Scarface (1983)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Director Brian De Palma and star Al Pacino take it to the limit in this stylized, ultra-violent and eminently quotable gangster epic that walks a thin white line between moral drama and celebratory excess.

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Movie Info

Al Pacino stars as Tony Montana, an exiled Cuban criminal who goes to work for Miami drug lord Robert Loggia. Montana rises to the top of Florida's crime chain, appropriating Loggia's cokehead mistress (Michelle Pfeiffer) in the process. Howard Hawks' "X Marks the Spot" motif in depicting the story line's many murders is dispensed with in the 1983 Scarface; instead, we are inundated with blood by the bucketful, especially in the now-infamous buzz saw scene. One carry-over from the original Scarface is Tony Montana's incestuous yearnings for his sister Gina (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio). The screenplay for the 1983 Scarface was written by Oliver Stone. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Al Pacino
as Tony Montana
Steven Bauer
as Manny Ribera
Michelle Pfeiffer
as Elvira Hancock
Robert Loggia
as Frank Lopez
Miriam Colon
as Mama Montana
Paul Shenar
as Alejandro Sosa
Harris Yulin
as Bernstein
Michael P. Moran
as Nick The Pig
Al Israel
as Hector The Toad
Ted Beniades
as Seidelbaum
Richard Belzer
as M.C. at Babylon Club
John Brandon
as Immigration Officer
Tony Perez
as Immigration Officer
Garnett Smith
as Immigration Officer
Loren Almaguer
as Dr. Munoz
Gil Barreto
as Cuban Refugee
Heather Benna
as Gutierrez Child
Victor Campos
as Ronnie Echevierra
Gregory Cruz
as Shooter
Albert Carrier
as Pedro Quinn
John Carter
as Vic Phillips
John Contardo
as Miguel Echevierra
Dante D'Andre
as Gen. Strasser
Wayne Doba
as Octavio the Clown
Ben Frommer
as Male Patron
Edward R. Frommer
as Taco Stand Customer
Angela Aames
as Woman at Babylon Club
John Gamble
as Helicopter Pilot
Cynthia Burr
as Woman at Babylon Club
Troy Isaacs
as Cuban Refugee
Ronald G. Joseph
as Car Salesman
Lana Clarkson
as Woman at Babylon Club
Ava Lazar
as Woman at Babylon Club
Mario Machado
as Interviewer
Emilia Crow
as Woman at Babylon Club
Joe Marmo
as Nacho `El Gordo'
Ray Martel
as Nacho's Bodyguard
Marii Mak
as Woman at Babylon Club
Shelley Taylor Morgan
as Woman at Babylon Club
John McCann
as Bank Spokesman
Pat Simmons
as Woman at Babylon Club
Richard Mendez
as Gina's Killer
Victor Millan
as Ariel Bleyer
Terri Taylor
as Woman at Babylon Club
Katt Shea Ruben
as Woman at Babylon Club
Gil Baretto
as Cuban Refugee
Mike Moroff
as Gaspar's Bodyguard
Angela Nisi
as Gutierrez Child
Tony Pann
as Driver
Ilka Payan
as Mrs. Gutierrez
Michael Rougas
as Monsignor
Anthony Saenz
as Cuban Refugee
Jim Towers
as Cuban Refugee
Geno Silva
as The Skull
Charles Tamburro
as Helicopter Pilot
Robert Van Den Berg
as Gaspar Gomez
Bob Yanez
as Cuban Man
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News & Interviews for Scarface

Critic Reviews for Scarface

All Critics (67) | Top Critics (9)

Stone sticks all too closely to the dated plot structure of the original movie, and such melodramatic flourishes as Montana's incestuous attraction for his sister now seem completely ludicrous.

Full Review… | December 9, 2015
New York Daily News
Top Critic

It is a serious, often hilarious peek under the rock where nightmares strut in $800 suits and Armageddon lies around the next twist of treason.

Full Review… | July 30, 2014
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Performances are all extremely effective, with Pacino leading the way.

Full Review… | February 23, 2012
Variety
Top Critic

Viewed today, while Scarface seems less shocking than it did during its initial theatrical run, it's no more substantive or interesting.

Full Review… | April 30, 2009
ReelViews
Top Critic

As stylized social realism gives way to wigged-out Faustian fantasy, the would-be devastating effects have an oddly slapstick effect.

Full Review… | February 21, 2007
Washington Post
Top Critic

An unashamed study of selfish, sadistic criminality, and all the better for it.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Scarface

½

 

   
   

Super Reviewer

"Scarface" is one of those must see films that everyone who loves crime thrillers needs to see, if only for the intense character portrait of crime. This three hour gore fest tells the tale of Cuban refugee Tony Montagna, who rises through the ranks of a crime syndicate until he is the reigning king of the drug scene in eighties' Miami. What fascinates viewers is the fragility of the organization, and how fraught with violence the film is, initially putting a lot of people off. Tony only gets as far as he does because he trusts no one, is only out for himself, and revels in the blood and cocaine madness of his empire. While he comes to the United States bedraggled and full of vinegar, he slowly morphs into an opportunistic henchman, happy to be seen as the working man, oblivious to the death and destruction of his actions, and jealous of everyone and everything that stands in his way. He is our protagonist but he is also our villain, so bloodthirsty and autonomous that it's pretty frightening to think he holds most of the power. Though Tony breaks down doors in order to become the king, he also steps on a lot of people to get there, so it's obvious that his world will crumble around him quickly. The casting is perfect for this film. Pacino portrays an embittered, hate-filled Montagna, which makes for a volatile performance. Michelle Pfeiffer stars as the prize that he longs to grasp within his claws, while being both frigidly cold and hopelessly angry, making for a great dynamic between the two characters. Besides this film being great in its realistic depiction of a drug enterprise, it's also a great crime film. The seventies and eighties were rife with stories of kingpins and gangsters, but this is the first that shows the arrogance and self-indulgence of cocaine, and its place in real life 1980s Miami. This film both demonizes the exploits of its lead while also showing the extravagance that crime comes with, and that's an intense balance to find. De Palma masters this balance by showing the motivations of the character, and the lengths he is willing to go to find success in his adopted country. That's why this film stands the test of time, and illustrates the grandiosity of the drug trade in full.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

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