What you lookin' at? You all a bunch of f**kin' assholes. You know why?
You don't have the guts to be what you wanna be? You need people like me.
You need people like me so you can point your f**kin' fingers and say,
"That's the bad guy." So... what that make you? Good? You're not good. You just
know how to hide, how to lie. Me, I don't have that problem.
In July 1980, Cuban Tony Montana claims asylum, in Florida in the United States, and is in search of the "American Dream" after departing Cuba in the Mariel boatlift in which Castro emptied his jails. When questioned by INS officials, Montana is detained on suspicion of apolitical criminal activities, in a camp called 'Freedomtown' with other Cubans, while the government evaluates their visa petitions. To be released after thirty days of governmental dithering and camp rumors, and be given green cards, Montana, with the help of his best friend Manny Ray), kills a former aide, Emilio Rebenga. The murder of Rebenga was requested by Frank López, a wealthy, politically astute man who deals cars and trades in cocaine, as Rebenga had tortured López's brother to death while still in Cuba. After getting their cards, Tony Montana and Manny Ray are working as dishwashers in a corner Cuban food stand when a López henchman, Omar Suárez, offers Tony and Manny a job unloading marijuana.
Tony insults Suárez by turning down the job, so Suárez sets him up to pick up a sample of coke from a Colobian dealer, Hector. Tony, Manny, and two other Marielitos in his crew, Angel Fernández and Chi Chi then set out to meet "Hector the Toad" in the Sun Ray Hotel. The meeting does not go smoothly, as Tony grows irritated with Hector, who is slow to give him the cocaine in exchange for money. Suddenly, Montana and Angel are double-crossed in a rip off move by the Colombian. To convince Tony to give over the cash, Angel is dismembered in a shower stall with a chainsaw by Hector. After Angel is dead, Tony Montana, about to suffer the same fate, is saved by Chi Chi and Manny who arrive in the nick of time to gun down Hector's henchmen in the hotel's room. Hector escapes but Tony vengefully confronts him in the street and shoots him dead, on the now famous Miami South Beach boulevard. Tony and his crew then get away with both the coke and the money before the police arrive. Montana then impresses the money's owner, López, with not only the return of his cash but with a gift of the coke, a prize from the botched rip off. Frank immediately hires Tony's crew into his criminal hierarchy, representative of a Cuban Mafia. But during this initial get together Tony also meets Lopez's mistress, Elvira Hancock, who will eventually become the source of tension between the two men. Thus, Montana begins his rise through the ranks of the Miami cocaine underworld.
While on business in Bolivia to help Omar set up a new distribution deal for Lopez, Montana, feeling that Frank is "soft", begins to show his defiance to López's authority when he negotiates a deal with Sosa, the ruthless and powerful Bolivian drug lord. Sosa finds out during the trip that Omar was an informant for the police and has him murdered to show Tony his intolerance for disloyalty. Upon his return to Florida Tony gets into trouble with Frank over the deal, who accuses him of "stealing" it. Montana then leaves López to strike out on his own. This allows him to seek out Elvira to whom he makes an unexpected marriage proposal. López is displeased and decides to take out Tony.
But his move to assassinate Tony fails as two hitmen, hired by López to kill Tony at the Babylon Club, fail to assassinate him. A vengeful Montana decides to take over Frank's business. That same night he and Manny kill both Frank and the detective on his payroll, Miami Chief of Narcotics Mel Bernstein, who had already shaken down Tony for a hefty monthly payment and airline tickets to London. His problems apparently solved, Tony begins a profitable relationship with Sosa, marries Elvira, buys a new mansion, and sets his sister Gina up in business with her own beauty salon.
But as Montana's business grows, so does his cocaine addiction and paranoia. It is the beginning of the end. His wife, who becomes further addicted to cocaine, becomes distant. His banker informs him that he will be charging higher fees for washing the increasing flow of drug money. After Manny convinces him that he has a way to save money on the laundering of the coke cash, Montana is arrested in a sting operation by Manny's contact, an undercover police officer. Montana's lawyer tells him that he will probably have to serve prison time for tax evasion.
Sosa, not wanting to lose his main distributor, steps in to intervene by offering Tony a way out of going to prison. He introduces Montana to his cocaine "board of directors" a group that includes Bolivia's military chief and a mysterious American referred to as Charles Goodson "from Washington." Sosa guarantees that the IRS will not be able to send Tony to jail. In exchange, Montana must assist in the car bombing assassination of a journalist attempting to expose Sosa, his partners, and the ongoing corruption in the Bolivian government. Montana agrees but later has second thoughts when the journalist, now in New York to expose the cartel at the UN, unexpectedly picks up his wife and children. Tony, saying that the team was only supposed to kill the journalist, instead then shoots the assassin to prevent the journalist's family from being killed.
Returning to Miami, Tony discovers that both his sister Gina and right-hand man Manny have disappeared. Tony has always been overly protective of his sister. After getting Gina's address from his mother, who doesn't know who lives with Gina, Tony goes to the house. Manny unexpectedly opens the door. Tony then sees Gina in a night gown at the top of the stairs. Ebraged that another man has obviously slept with his sister, Tony kills Manny. Hysterically, Gina reveals that they had just been married. Tony has Gina taken back to his mansion.
In revenge for the missed opportunity to kill the journalist, who has now exposed Sosa and his partners to the world as a drug lord, he sends an assassination team to Montana's mansion to kill him. Sitting at his desk taking large amounts of cocaine, Tony realizes and regrets what he has done to his best friend. Suddenly Gina enters his office armed with a pistol to confront him. She begins to shoot at him while demanding he take her. An assassin hiding on the balcony, thinking Gina is shooting at him, leaps in and shoots her several times, killing her. Tony, enraged, throws the man off the balcony and kills him.
As his men are being killed, Tony, still delirious from the cocaine, leans over Gina's body begging for forgiveness, at the same time the hitmen break into the mansion, Chi Chi opens fire as he backs up the staircase toward's Tony's office. He demands that Tony open the door but Tony ignores him. Chi Chi is shot in the back.
As the hitmen prepare to storm his office, Tony takes an M16 rifle with an undermounted M203 grenade launcher, yells the famous line "Say hello to my little friend!" and blows down the door. The blast kills around five of the hitmen, Tony comes out of his office and he is subsequently shot several times by other gunmen. Despite being riddled with bullets, a still-standing Tony curses and taunts his attackers, but finally killed when shot in the back by a hitman who is wielding a shotgun, then falls over the balcony into a fountain. The film ends as the hitmen examine his floating, lifeless body.
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