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Donnie Brasco

Crime . Drama . Thriller . Biography

An FBI undercover agent infilitrates the mob and finds himself identifying more with the mafia life at the expense of his regular one.

Actors: Johnny Depp , Al Pacino , Michael Madsen , Bruno Kirby , James Russo , Anne Heche , Zeljko Ivanek , Brian Tarantina , Rocco Sisto , Zach Grenier
Directors: Mike Newell
Country: USA
Release: 1997-02-28
More Info:
  • Peter Travers

    One terrific movie... Pacino and Depp are a match made in acting heaven, riffing off each other with astonishing subtlety and wit.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    The true soul of the New York mob is portrayed in Donnie Brasco, a first-class Mafia thriller that is also in its way a love story -- perhaps director Mike Newell's best.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Ella Taylor

    There are moments here that are so distinct in emotional timber it's as if they were directed by someone who'd skipped the last two decades of American genre film and opted to get back to basics -- like character, and the ways in which two actors can sit in a smoke-filled car and turn an everyday conversation into art.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    It's hard to think of another American film with this range of moods: satirical, sometimes hilarious, yet suffused with a sense of loss and riddled with the kind of violence that makes you recoil and lean forward simultaneously.

    Slate Full Review
  • Michael Sauter

    It's the electric interplay between Pacino and Depp that will make it a Mob movie classic.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Charles Taylor

    You wouldn't mistake Donnie Brasco for a great movie or an important one, but it's something that's become almost as rare in American movies: a consistently absorbing and intelligent adult entertainment. Full Review
  • Elvis Mitchell

    Crackling good... the best crime movie in a long while.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • David Ansen

    This is Depp's coming-of-age role, and he's terrific. Pacino, who's shown more flash than substance recently, reminds us how great he can be when he loses himself inside a character. The bond between these two makes the film sing.

    Newsweek Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    The violence in this movie is gruesome (a scene involving the disposal of bodies is particularly graphic). But the movie has many human qualities and contains what will be remembered as one of Pacino's finest scenes.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • David Sterritt

    This sort of story has been told many times before, but thoughtful performances by Al Pacino and Johnny Depp make it more engrossing than expected.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Perhaps the most impressive thing that Newell has done with Donnie Brasco is to cull an atypically low-key and introspective performance from Al Pacino, an actor known for manic, scenery-chewing efforts.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    What better casting than Al Pacino, whose own career, of course, has reflected all the seasonal changes in the gangster saga. Pacino takes the part and runs with it so boldly that he ends up in Arthur Miller land.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Maitland McDonagh

    Depp's tight, guarded performance is almost painful to watch, and Newell seems to have reined in the flamboyant Pacino, whose portrait of the mobster as a grumpy old woman may be his best work in years.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    The psychological dimensions of the story remain underrealized, but the loaded central premise and intimate focus the film sustains combine for a very involving and dramatic piece of crime lore.

    Variety Full Review
  • Lisa Alspector

    Depp conveys his character's ambivalence and ambiguity with utter conviction, and though the annoying score tries to throw Pacino's monologues over the top, his persuasive, low-key performance puts the violins in their place.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    It’s [Depp's] first genuine “adult” role (not counting the tedious Nick of Time), and it allows him the freedom and emotional range to move, speak, and deal with issues more as an actor and less as a brat-packer.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Because the filmmakers have skewed the story into a Donnie-Lefty lovefest, the breakage of their trust signals the breakage of Donnie's spirit even in triumph. Case closed. It's the kind of fade-out we might expect from the it's-all-hopeless era of '60s counterculture movies. It's emotionally effective, but also a cheat.

    Dallas Observer Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    That bland, opaque quality is a disadvantage here; whatever else [Depp] is capable of, making audiences feel his pain is not at the top of the list.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Desson Thomson

    The movie’s disappointingly straightforward, with no discernible flair.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Rita Kempley

    Unfortunately, the story isn't inventive and Newell's methodical approach to it verges on monotony.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Susan Wloszczyna

    Pacino cans the showboating bluster and gives a gently nuanced portrait of a simple man in decline.

    USA Today Full Review
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