CARLITO’S WAY
1993, Universal, 144 min, Dir: Brian De Palma

Puerto Rican gangster Carlito Brigante (Al Pacino) gets out of jail determined to go straight, but his old associates - and an unscrupulous attorney played by a devilishly hilarious Sean Penn - have other ideas. De Palma and Pacino’s reunion following SCARFACE is another American epic, but one more tragic than comic - unlike Tony Montana, Carlito Brigante truly does have a soul to lose - as well as a woman he loves (Penelope Ann Miller) and a disco that De Palma turns into the most visually evocative nightclub this side of GILDA.


THE THIN RED LINE
1998, 20th Century Fox, 170 min, Dir: Terrence Malick

Director Terrence Malick’s adaptation of James Jones’ novel is an intensely poetic story of paradise lost in the South Pacific during WWII, a cosmic vision of man at war with himself and nature. With a mind-boggling cast including Sean Penn, Adrien Brody, Jim Caviezel, George Clooney, Woody Harrelson, Elias Koteas, Nick Nolte and John C. Reilly.


MILK
2008, Focus Features, 128 min, USA, Dir: Gus Van Sant

Director Gus Van Sant’s acclaimed biopic of one of America’s first openly gay public officials, Harvey Milk, brings both the man and his 1970s San Francisco milieu back to life. Sean Penn is perfectly cast as Milk, whose fearlessness in the face of prejudice brought him from a Castro St. camera shop to City Hall - where he was assassinated in 1978, along with Mayor George Moscone, by former Supervisor Dan White (superbly played by Josh Brolin). MILK was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning two of them for Penn’s lead performance and Dustin Lance Black’s original screenplay. With James Franco and Emile Hirsch.


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