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This controversial Al Pacino movie is now streaming on Netflix. Here’s why you should watch it

Netflix has gotten off to a strong start in October thanks to new additions to the film library. That includes Scarface, one of the seminal films of the 1980s. Scarface initially joined the list of the 10 most popular movies on Netflix, and it remains one of the most-watched films of the month.

Scarface is technically a remake of the 1932 film with the same name, but it largely goes in its own direction. Al Pacino stars as Tony Montana, a Cuban refugee who wills himself to the top of the drug trade in Miami while leaving countless bodies in his wake. He’s a quintessential antihero and one of the most memorable characters that Pacino has ever played.

Now that the film is on the world’s most popular streaming platform, we’re sharing the three reasons why you should watch Scarface on Netflix in October. But for most people, they may only need one.

It has one of Al Pacino’s wildest performances

Al Pacino in Scarface.
Universal Pictures

Pacino was one of the driving forces behind getting this remake into theaters, and he threw everything he had into his absolutely unhinged and over-the-top performance as Tony Montana. Of course, Pacino isn’t actually Cuban like his character, but he maintains his version of a Cuban accent throughout. That’s one of the reasons why some of his lines, like “say hello to my little friend!” have become so iconic and memeworthy.

Scarface is about the rise and fall of Montana’s drug empire, and some of the scenes of Montana’s drug binges are even darkly funny. That doesn’t take away from the absolutely bleak ending where Montana fights to his last breath. And Pacino was mesmerizing to watch every step along the way.

Michelle Pfeiffer had her breakthrough role in the film

Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface.
Universal Pictures

Director Brian De Palma and Pacino were reportedly against casting Michelle Pfeiffer as Elvira, the wife of Montana’s mentor, Frank Lopez (Robert Loggia), who goes on to marry Montana. In retrospect, De Palma and Pacino’s initial instincts were wrong, and Pfeiffer has gone on to have a very long career in Hollywood. She had previously starred in Grease 2, but this was her breakout role.

Compared to some of the other characters in the film, Elvira doesn’t get as much screen time, yet Pfeiffer makes the most of every scene that she’s in. That’s what a star is supposed to do, and along with her portrayal of Catwoman, it’s one of her most memorable performances.

Scarface exemplifies the excess of the ’80s

Al Pacino in Scarface.
Universal Pictures

Scarface is the kind of film that doesn’t know the meaning of the word restraint. It’s incredibly violent, it glorifies a life of crime and drug abuse, and it’s unapologetic about a lead character who has absolutely no redeeming qualities. And yet it’s impossible to look away from Tony Montana as he self-destructs, especially during the film’s climatic sequence.

Although Scarface wasn’t beloved by critics at the time, it proved to be highly influential on the rest of the crime epics in the ’80s. The soundtrack from the film also remains popular four decades after its release. Ecen today, it’s not uncommon to see Scarface T-shirts and posters still on sale in retail stores. Few movies ever make that kind of impact.

Watch Scarface on Netflix.

Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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