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Say hello to my little friend — Scarface hits Netflix this week

tony montana in scarface firing assault rifle
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

This week marks the start of September, and with every new month comes changes to what's new on Netflix. We’ve already heard about some content, like Gotham vanishing from the service, but what about everything coming to Netflix?

It turns out one of the best gangster movies of the ‘80s is on its way. And this is easily one of the best Netflix movies you'll be able to watch. 

Scarface first hit our screens back in 1983, as a soft remake of the original 1932 classic. But instead of focussing on an Italian gangster in New York, this version was all about Tony Montana — a Cuban refugee who became a hardened drug lord in ‘80s Miami. 

As many people will already know, Montana is played by seasoned gangster-movie veteran Al Pacino. But Tony Montana is no Michael Corleone, and far from the calculated and almost-reluctant mob boss Pacino played in the first two Godfather movies. 

Montana is a materialistic time bomb, paranoid, unhinged and fueled (sometimes literally) by his cocaine empire. Needless to say, Tony makes himself a lot of enemies throughout the movie. But we won’t spoil anything, if you want to know what happens you’ll just have to log into Netflix.

Just make sure you know what you’re getting in for. The original cut of Scarface was rated X by the MPAA (opens in new tab), which would have pretty-much killed its chances of being shown in theaters. While the version we got is R-rated, it is a very hard R. Expect lots of bloody violence, drug use and copious amounts of swearing. 

The F-word is spoken 207 times throughout Scarface, which is an average of 1.22 times every minute. That doesn’t even account for some of the colorful terms and phrases characters come up with throughout the film. 

As much as Scarface is considered a classic in modern times, many critics were not too fond of the movie back in 1983. Some critics were especially critical of the excess violence and language, which is probably what the movie is best known for nowadays. 

Leonard Maltin (opens in new tab) gave the movie 1 and a half stars out of five stating that the film “wallows in excess and unpleasantness for nearly three hours, and offers no new insights except that crime doesn't pay.” Maltin later expressed surprise at Scarface's eventual status as a cult classic.

That’s not to say it didn’t have fans. Legendary critic Roger Ebert (opens in new tab) gave the film four out of four stars, and added it to his great movies list. It also proved to be a hit at the box office, earning $44.6 million (opens in new tab) based on an estimated budget of $25 million.

While the mood eventually shifted in Scarface’s favor over the decades, it has been criticized for its depiction of cubans. Not only are the Cuban characters primarily played by non-Cuban actors, Cubans have objected to being depicted as criminals in the movie — and the exaggerated number of criminals in the Mariel boatlift.

Despite this, Scarface currently holds a score of 81% on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab) based on 69 reviews, and an audience score of 93%. So if you can handle the subject matter, Scarface is definitely one to add to your Netflix watch list. 

Tom Pritchard
Automotive Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.