I’ve known a few lower-level drug dealers in my time, and apart from the idiots who got high on their own supply, my general impression was that most of them just wanted to do business with a minimum of drama. They were careful and at times a bit paranoid, but only because they feared dealing with immature fools who might rat them out to narcs.

I’m no expert on the drug-dealing world, but I’ve never once heard of anyone on the verge of a big buy trying to rip off the buyer, like this pool-room scene in Carlito’s Way or the famous chainsaw motel scene in Scarface.

The bottom line (and we all know this) is that director Brian DePalma always cared more about delivering his big, carefully choreographed set pieces with knockout camera moves than he did about capturing realistic situations and characters that you can recognize and believe in. But that’s the DePalma tradeoff. You’ll never buy a lot of the stuff that happens in his films, partly because they all seem to happen inside some kind of odd, unreal membrane, but when the big set pieces happen you’ll be wowed.