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->''"Favor gonna kill you faster than a bullet."''
-->-- '''Carlito Brigante'''

''Carlito's Way'' is a Creator/BrianDePalma film in which AlPacino plays a Puerto Rican gangster hoping to reconcile and start a new life after his five year stint in jail. It's a far cry from being another ''Film/{{Scarface 1983}}'', though Carlito's Way may be seen as its [[SpiritualSuccessor spiritual successor.]] The two films are nearly inversions of each other; where Tony Montana rises from [[FromNobodyToNightmare a nobody to a prominent drug lord]], Carlito Brigante [[IJustWantToBeNormal attempts to reform]] after a life of notoriety. Both films however, go their way to show that gangster life is not all it's cracked up to be.

In [[TheSeventies 1975]], Carlito Brigante is [[JustGotOutOfJail released from prison]] with help from his lawyer and friend David Kleinfeld (Creator/SeanPenn), after discovering that the prosecutor's evidence has been gathered through questionable means. From this second chance at life, Carlito [[ReformedCriminal decides to reform himself for good]], vowing to stay legitimate and out of crime's way. He manages to buy a nightclub and rekindle his relationship with [[LoveInterest Gail]] (PenelopeAnnMiller), a beautiful dancer.

Unfortunately, Carlito's criminal past catches up with him - his former associates, along with an up and coming gangster [[IJustWantToBeBadass Benny Blanco from the Bronx]], attempt to cajole him back into the gangster life. Further complicating things, the FBI wishes to see Carlito Brigante put back in jail. But the biggest obstacle is David Kleinfeld's dilemma with a mafioso boss 'Tony T.' who is locked up inside [[TheAlcatraz Rikers Island]]; Tony T. wants Kleinfield to spring him out, and Kleinfeld isn't sure of [[DisposingOfABody what other plans]] Tony T. has in mind for him afterwards..

The film was an adaptation of two novels by Edwin Torres: ''Carlito's Way'' (1975) and its sequel ''After Hours'' (1979). It left out several events of the first novel. Said events were eventually filmed for a prequel. ''Carlito's Way: Rise To Power'' was released straight to video in 2005. It covers the criminal activities of Carlito in the 1960s. The prequel was directed by Michael Bregman. The titular character was played by Jay Hernandez. The film remains relatively obscure, failing to gain much attention.

!!This film has examples of:

* ActionPrologue: The delivery that Carlito accompanies his cousin on is this, given that it takes place a month before the main action of the film. It isn't specifically framed as a prologue, however, only being subtly disconnected from the main body of the film.
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal:
** Benny Blanco from the Bronx.
** And Tony T.
* AssholeVictim: [[spoiler:Carlito decides to let his lawyer, Kleinfeld, get killed by Vinnie T. for killing his father. Then there's also Pachanga, who was killed after betraying Carlito at the end.]]
%%* BadassBeard
%%* BadassLongcoat: Carlito's black leather coat.
%%* BigApplesauce
* BigBadFriend: [[spoiler: Kleinfeld has already sold out Carlito to the FBI with trying to frame him of cocaine dealing, even having offered to testify against him. Though interestingly, the FBI believe Carlito's attempt to go straight is genuine, and try to use him to instead bust Kleinfeld.]]
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Though Carlito dies in the end, Gail makes it out to the Bahamas with their unborn child.]]
* BottomlessMagazines: Averted. After firing a Colt .45 seven times, Carlito runs out of ammo and has to pretend to reload to scare some thugs.
%%* ChekhovsGun: Kleinfeld's .38 Snub nose
* ChekhovsGunman: [[spoiler:Literally.]]
--> [[spoiler:"Remember me? Benny Blanco from the Bronx?" * ''BLAM BLAM BLAM''* ]]
* ChronicVillainy: Subverted. Carlito is unwittingly involved in several crimes, but he never directly perpetrates any himself. Unfortunately, the FBI and others suspect him of this.
%%* ClusterFBomb
%%* DamnItFeelsGoodToBeAGangster: [[{{Deconstruction}} Deconstructed]]
%%* DiabolusExMachina: See HopeSpot and FaceHeelTurn.
* {{Determinator}}: [[spoiler: Vinnie T]] takes at least two or three to the chest, drags himself covered in his own blood across Grand Central Station, and still keeps shooting.
%%* TheDon: Tony T. wants Kleinfeld to help him out.
* DutchAngle: Used pragmatically - whenever the camera tilts, it's leveling two or three faces which are at different heights. As it happens, [[MoodMotif this positioning occurs in especially tense moments]].
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler:Carlito's best buddy Pachanga sells him out to a rival gangster, in the very end.]]
* FatalFlaw:
** Either Carlito's past, his code of loyalty even to those who put him back InHarmsWay, or his determination to stay straight.
** Kleinfeld's stemming inferiority complex, which [[spoiler:leads to putting Carlito into deep trouble after he botches the Rikers Island breakout.]]
* {{Foil}}: Contrast Carlito's determination to stay straight with Kleinfeld's efforts to dig himself into a hole of his own corruption and stupidity.
%%* ForegoneConclusion: See HowWeGotHere.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: [[spoiler:Pachanga is mentioned early on to be interested in selling Carlito out.]]
%%* GangBangers: Pachanga, Guajiro, and others
* TheHeroDies: [[spoiler:Carlito was killed before he could escape on the train with Gail.]]
* HiddenWire: Lalín, one of Carlito's past friends comes by for a visit, to have Carlito find Lalín hooked up to a listening bug courtesy of Norwalk. Lalín claims he turned it off beforehand.
%%* HonorBeforeReason: Carlito in several instances, but it leads him into trouble. See TragicMistake.
* HopeSpot: [[spoiler:Carlito gets away from the Italian mobsters chasing him and it looks like he's going to make it to the train, but then Benny Blanco from the Bronx does Carlito in from petty revenge...]]
* HowWeGotHere: The movie starts with Carlito on the gurney.
* IJustWantToBeBadass: Gaujiro, Carlito's wannabe {{Gang Banger|s}} cousin, looks up to him but [[spoiler:gets killed for his efforts during a drug deal.]]
-->You said they were your friends, but there ain't no friends in this shit business''.
%%* ItsAllAboutMe: David Kleinfeld.
* JerkassHasAPoint: Tony Taglialucci is quite rude and aggresive towards Dave Kleinfeld because he's convinced the lawyer kept some bribery money (one million dollars) for himself. [[spoiler: And as we find out later, he was right]].
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler:Benny Blanco from the Bronx]] not only escapes his karma, but [[spoiler:defies Carlito's as well]].
%%* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler:Kleinfeld and Pachanga at the end.]]
* KickTheDog: After all the trouble Carlito went through to help him, [[spoiler: Kleinfeld has already betrayed him to the FBI anyway.]]
%%* TheMafia: Tony T. and his family.
* TheMillstone: Kleinfeld gets Carlito out of jail. After that, he only gets in the way of Carlito's goal to clean up his act.
* TheMole: Carlito's friend Lalín is wearing a wire as part of the FBI's attempt to bust Carlito, but he's found out quickly. [[spoiler: Also Kleinfeld and Pachanga.]]
* {{Narrator}}: Carlito narrates throughout the movie, stream-of-consciousness.
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished: [[spoiler:Carlito chooses to spare Benny Blanco's life. Benny kills him in return.]]
* NoodleIncident: Characters would often talk about incidents and people from the past that aren't in the movie. Example:
-->Oh, Carlito! I heard of you, man. You used to run smack with Rolando.
%%* NotSoHarmlessVillain: [[spoiler:Benny Blanco at the end.]]
* OffOnATechnicality: Carlito got out of jail because of a prosecutor's mistake.
* PayEvilUntoEvil: [[spoiler:Kleinfeld]] uses Carlito to murder a prominent criminal because of his own egotism and gets Carlito a mark on his back from [[spoiler:the Maffia]]. Carlito lets him have what is coming to him by arranging his death.
* PillowPistol: [[spoiler:Kleinfeld]] keeps one while he is recovering in the hospital. Carlito tells him to keep it in plain sight [[spoiler:and unloads it]]. Cue OhCrap from [[spoiler:Kleinfeld]] before he is shot by [[spoiler:Vinnie T.]].
* PretenderDiss: Carlito does not like gangster wannabes. At all. The problem is the guy he directed the comment to, [[spoiler: Benny Blanco]], wasn't a gangster wannabe. He was a young modern version of Carlito himself. It's even pointed out in the film.
-->''"Maybe I don't give a shit! Maybe I don't remember the last time I blew my nose either.. Who the fuck are you? I should remember you? What, you think you like me? You ain't like me motherfucker, you a punk. I've been with made people, connected people. Who've you been with? Chain snatching, jive-ass, maricón motherfuckers. Why don't you get out of here and go snatch a purse."''
* POVCam: Carlito on the gurney.
%%* ReallyGetsAround: Steph.
%%* ReformedCriminal: Carlito Brigante, or so it seems.
%%* {{Retirony}}
* RewardedAsATraitorDeserves: [[spoiler:Benny Blanco]] is smart enough to dispose of [[spoiler:Pachanga]] after the latter betrays his former boss [[spoiler:Carlito]].
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Vinnie T., after [[spoiler:his father Tony T. is killed in the botched Rikers Island breakout. Unfortunately, Carlito gets mixed up in it.]]
* ShadowArchetype:
** Benny Blanco is an unpleasant reminder of how nasty Carlito used to be.
** In a meta-example, Carlito is this to Tony Montana from ''Film/{{Scarface 1983}}''.
* SomeoneToRememberHimBy: [[spoiler:Carlito himself finds out that Gail had an unborn child before dying.]]
* TimeSkip: Lampshaded. After the murder of Carlito's cousin, Pachanga offers his condolences. Carlito is annoyed that he's only saying this now, when a month has passed. Other than Carlito having made a bit of money in the club, there are no obvious signs that any real time has passed besides this line.
* TooDumbToLive: Kleinfeld makes many mistakes in his constant paranoia and feelings of inferiority, leading to [[spoiler:the majority of the trouble for Carlito after the breakout and his own KarmicDeath in the end.]]
* {{Tragedy}}: ''Carlito's Way'' is a tragedy of character in the backdrop of high-risk, stark gangster life.
* ATragedyOfImpulsiveness: Carlito Brigate himself is pretty level-headed, but his lawyer friend David Kleinfeld dooms the entire cast by [[spoiler:impulsively killing his mob boss client during a jailbreak. This might be a subversion, though, as Carlito suspects that Kleinfeld planned to kill the mob boss all along and played Carlito himself for a fool.]]
* TragicMistake:
** Carlito probably would have avoided all his troubles [[spoiler: with Tony T. had he'd told his friend Kleinfeld to take a hike.]]
** [[spoiler: Carlito's death at the hands of Benny Blanco from the Bronx would have been all avoided had he left Benny Blanco from the Bronx alone in the nightclub, killed him like Pachanga wanted to, or just gotten rid of Pachanga who everyone knows can't be trusted.]]
** Simply tipping his hand about leaving town, especially to [[spoiler: Pachanga]], would have made for a happy ending.
* WhatAnIdiot: In-universe example. Carlito is ''pissed'' that Kleinfeld would be so stupid as to kill a mafia boss and his son. And this is the same boss who Kleinfeld had already ripped a million bucks off from, too!
* WhiteCollarCrime: Kleinfeld is implied to participate in some of these.
* YouHaveOutLivedYourUsefulness: [[spoiler:Pachanga to Benny Blanco from the Bronx.]]
--> [[spoiler:"Naw, you stay here!" ''* BLAM* '']]