Donnie Brasco (1997) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: This true story follows FBI agent Joe Pistone as he infiltrates the mafia of New York. Befriending Lefty Ruggiero, Pistone (under the name Donnie Brasco) is able to embed himself in a mafia faction lead by Sonny Black. Ruggiero and Pistone become tight as the group goes about collecting money for 'the bosses'. Eventually, the group become big time when Black himself becomes a boss, all the while Pistone collects evidence. However, the trials and tribulations of the undercover work become more than Pistone can bear. His marriage falls apart and to top it off, the mafia suspect a mole in the organization. The real dilemma is afforded to Pistone, who knows if he walks away from the mafia, Ruggiero will be the one punished. Runtime: 127 mins Release Date: 27 Feb 1997
I read movie magazines regulary and I came across a review for "Donnie Brasco". I read it and thought "I would like to see that". It isn't really a well known film and I didn't remember it coming out in the cinema. So there I saw it, in my local video rental store, near the bottom shelf and just one copy. I rented it and I watched it. And I have to say it is one of the finest movies I had ever seen. It has drama, comedy, sadness and violence and continues to entertain the viewer until the opening of the end credits.The beauty of the film is that although Pacino <more>
plays a member of the mob you end up with sympathy with him due to his loyalty to Donnie Depp . Pacino plays Lefty well. The movie is very funny in parts and sad in others. Lefty is a very funny character and is hard not to like. Michael Madsen is my favourite actor and although you don't see enough of Sonny Black in contrast to his importance in the book, what you do see of him is enjoyable. Although the film ends differently to that in the book it shows the workings of the mafia well. A splendid over-looked movie with a great cast and an atmosphere that drags you in. Yet you have to read the brilliant book to get the full story.
The story about friendship and betrayal (by kurciasbezdalas)
I disagree with those who say that this movie is good only because of Al Pacino and Johnny Depp. Of course they made this film better, but what I liked the most about this film was the story and direction. Al Pacino get less of the show in this movie, though every time he was on screen, he was brilliant. Johnny Depp did a great job, as always, but like I said this movie isn't good only because Al Pacino and Johnny Depp was in it. Carlito's Way had Al Pacino and Sean Penn, both of them did well but the movie still wasn't that good because of the weak plot. This movie had some <more>
touching dramatic moments and also some intense moments since it's a story about undercover cop . Michael Madsen is also worth mentioning, though his character was a very unlikable person, I still think that he did a great job and that this is his second best performance after Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs.
another classic gangster film that was a little over looked...... (by Jamie_Seaton)
I'm a big gangster film fan, always have and always will. this particular gangster film is not my best but still gets ten stars due to its flawless scenes and the effort made by Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen and Anne Heche. i do consider this movie to be a mini masterpiece, its stuns me that the film didn't bring much hype behind it. this is a true story in which a cop Johnny Depp goes undercover as alias "Donnie Brasco" so he can become friends with the mob boss's and infiltrate there schemes and arrest them.this really is a fantastic movie that i'll <more>
remember for a long time. its not as good as other gangster masterpieces such as casino, god father, departed, good fellas and so forth. but this film will leave you wanting more gangster action. i haven't seen the directors cut version of this yet unfortunately but hoping to do so soon......... 10/10........j.d Seaton
In a world filled with overheated, and frequently overpraised, gangster movies, it seems to me that Mike Newell's 'Donnie Brasco', the story of a cop who goes undercover to infiltrate the mob, is arguably overlooked. Based on real life events, it contains great performances from Johnny Depp and Al Pacino, a complex but coherent plot, addresses universal themes divided loyalties, the evolution of human relationships and behaviour and the ending is genuinely moving. Perhaps it's not fast-paced enough for devotees of the genre; more likely it "fails" this audience for <more>
its very success in portraying the mafia as fundamentally pathetic, whereas most gangster pictures at least partly buy into the glamorous myth. But for me, this a superior film to Scorcese's 'Goodfellas', with a faint note of very black comedy that sounds behind the slaughter. Recommended.
This film was critically well-received when first released, and almost developed a cult following. But it had two historical problems going for it - it reminded too many people of "The Goodfellas" and "Reservoir Dogs". In the DVD add-on featurette, they admit that production on the film was held up out of fear of comparisons with "Goodfellas". As to comparisons with "Goodfellas": I think Donnie Brasco works well as a complimentary film to Scorcese's undeniable powerhouse mob film. Since both are true stories, I have a suspicion that many of the <more>
characters in the two films are based on the same real people, so we get to see them from two different perspectives.As to comparisons with "Reservoir Dogs": It is well to remember that Tarantino's film is itself derivative of Ringo Lam's "City on Fire". In fact, the 'undercover cop in the mob" film has become almost a separate genre in Hong Kong, the most recent hit in the tradition being "Infernal Affairs", remade by Scorcese as "The Departed"; the point being that Hong Kong pretty much set the bench-mark for this type of film, and so American films working the same material can't help but use elements originally developed by the Chinese.As to the film itself: It relies very heavily on the performances of Depp and Pacino, and fortunately, they are brilliant. The final conversation between their characters is tense because Pacino plays it so straight, and his character talks in such clipped, abbreviated sentences, we can no longer read him any better than Depp's character can. A lot of the film's tension derives from the announced fact that when the mob decides to give you a bullet-ridden retirement, it always sends your best friend to do it. There are weaknesses in the film, principally in the script. the narrative threads leading to certain events are left unclear and unresolved; and certain connections screaming to be made are left unnoticed.But Depp and Pacino are a winning team, largely because they operate with the same idea of what it means to develop character as an actor. We know they're them, so to speak, Depp and Pacino; but they're also equally Donnie and Lefty.A tense, occasionally amusing, and ultimately very sad elegy for an over-the-hill hit-man with no cards left to play.
I can't believe that I have never heard of Donnie Brasco. This is a great mafia film that I didn't expect much out of. I thought this would be a ripoff of the Godfather but it's not. I think it may be better than the Godfather.This is about an undercover FBI agent who goes by the name Donnie Brasco. He joins the mafia thanks to a father like figure, Lefty. Now with all his work, Donnie's life is about to go in turmoil.The acting here is great. This has to be one of Al Pacino's better movies. This ranks up there with the Godfather series and Scarface. Johnny Depp also has a <more>
knack of making great films.Overall, I was pleased at this film. If I never heard of a movie before, I generally don't see it. But since the plot looked appealing, I did. I'm glad I did because it's a great film. I rate this film 9/10.
For a movie that's only three years old Donnie Brasco isn't something people talk about all that much. Not exactly setting the box office alight, it's further proof that great pictures don't always translate into great financial concerns. Maybe it's the nondescript title - "Donnie Brasco" is hardly awe-inspiring and gives little indication of what the film is about. It turns out Donnie is the undercover name for Joe Pistone Depp , a FBI agent investigating the Mafia. He makes a connection with "Lefty" Pacino , which, while his initial integration into <more>
the group seems to lack conviction, soon builds up a watchable father-son relationship. Criticisms of the film - such as the forced nature of Pistone's behaviour becoming absorbed into the Mafia mindset - are largely irrelevant as this is a "based on a true story" outing.Engrossing and eminently watchable, with first-rate lead performances and able back-up from Michael Madsen, this is an overlooked and extremely worthwhile film. The only complaint? Depp's first scenes, wearing the most fake-looking moustache in the history of the movies. But it detracts little from what is a highly skilled picture. So Fergeddaboudid!
For some reason a Johnny Depp movie is always interesting. Whether it is a biopic about Ed Wood, a dark fairy tale about a man with scissors instead of hands, a movie about the greatest lover the world has ever known or a adventurous story about pirates, Depp's performance alone makes it worth seeing. Here he plays FBI-agent Joe Pistone who goes undercover using the name Donnie Brasco. He becomes a wiseguy with the help of Lefty Al Pacino , who is sort of a loser wiseguy who desperately needs to be a mentor because most of his mafia family members look down on him. Donnie comes as a gift <more>
from heaven and it does not take long before Lefty trusts Donnie completely. The problem for FBI-agent Donnie is that he's starting to like Lefty as well.The movie is a gangster movie but has its focus on the relationship between Lefty and Donnie and sometimes on other relationships. Donnie, or Joe, is married to Maggie Anne Heche who he hardly sees. He can not exactly tell her what he is doing and sometimes stays away for a couple of weeks. She pretends she is a widow to deal with it. We also learn about the relationships in the mafia family, including new boss Sonny Michael Madsen .The fact that this movie is more about the people and their relationships than about the events is a good thing. Sure movies like 'Goodfellas' are terrific but to see something a little different from time to time is nice as well. If you make a movie about people and their emotions you need to have some good performers to make the scenes believable. I already mentioned Depp but of course we have Pacino here as well. His Lefty is a memorable character and it is Pacino who makes sure that happens, but the fact that Depp is as good and especially believable as heavyweight Pacino says something. Of course we have Madsen who was probably the only right actor for the macho mobster Sonny.Director Mike Newell seems to be a strange choice for this sometimes very violent and bloody story since he directed the terrific but sweet 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'. Fortunately it turns out he is the right man for this material, probably because its real subject is not gangsters but, like I said before, the relationships between the characters. 'Donnie Brasco' has enough to offer for people who like the gangster-genre, but even if you are normally not a big fan there is still a chance you might like it.
The Biggest Mutt In The History Of The Mafia (by bkoganbing)
With only one real scene of violence and mayhem in the film, Donnie Brasco relies far more on character development in a story of two men and the planned betrayal of one by another in the line of duty.Johnny Depp plays real life FBI undercover agent Joe Pistone who infiltrates the Bonano crime family through the good offices of Lefty Ruggiero, a small time Mafia button man played by Al Pacino. During the five years undercover, Pistone who used the alias of Donnie Brasco was responsible for about 200 federal indictments because of the work he did. It took a terrible strain on him and his <more>
family as the film so aptly demonstrates.It must have been like old home week for Johnny Depp who made his acting bones playing a youthful undercover cop in the television series 21 Jump Street. But the difference between Officer Tom Hanson going undercover for a couple of weeks at some high school and agent Pistone living and working with the wise guys for five years afraid of being found out is the difference between Donald Duck and Donald Trump.Depp's performance as Pistone/Brasco is conveyed as much by body language and closeups as with dialog. He'd like very much to return to his wife and three daughters and live a normal life, but the demands of the job make it impossible. According to Wikipedia's article on Pistone he was uniquely qualified for his undercover assignment having lived and grown up among wise guys in New Jersey. He was familiar with all the Mafia culture and could blend in easily. The strain shows on him in his scenes with wife Anne Heche, only someone with a real gift for acting could make those scenes so real.Depp is matched by Al Pacino as the luckless Lefty Ruggiero. In the Mafia code he vouches for Depp and if Depp betrays trust in any way, Pacino's marked for death.Lefty Ruggiero is a hired killer with as he boasts 27 contract kills to his credit. Yet he's also a family man with a lot of problems as is Depp. Even though the man is in fact evil, Pacino does make him a likable sort. It's why Depp is dreading the day he's out from undercover because it means certain death for a man who's grown to be his friend. Except when the crew that Depp and Pacino are part of do ambush a rival group before in fact they do it to them, Donnie Brasco is a fairly non violent film for a gangster story. Donnie Brasco emphasizes character development and a good script as opposed to bloody mayhem.I think you'll like the story about a man who turned a friend into the biggest mutt in the history of the Mafia.