Posing as jewel broker Donnie Brasco, FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone (Johnny Depp) is granted entrance into the violent mob family of aging hit man Lefty Ruggiero (Al Pacino). When his personal and professional lives collide, Pistone jeopardizes his marriage, his job life and, ultimately, the gangster mentor he has come to respect and admire. From acclaimed director Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral), and featuring an extraordinary supporting cast including Michael Madsen, Anne Heche, Bruno Kirby and James Russo.
Oscar, Paul Attanasio, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
Donnie Brasco is based on the true-life story of FBI agent Joe Pistone, who went undercover as a member of the New York mob for six years. With absolutely stellar performances by Al Pacino and Johnny Depp, this gritty tale of the low level grunts of the Mafia has a true to life feel and intellect...This special film deserves its own place in the annals of mob movies such as Goodfellas...I consider Donnie Brasco to be one of the pre-eminent mob films ever made. Johnny Depp is superb in his role as Brasco/Pistone, and his spiral from the calculating agent to mobster is completely believable. This is one of his finest roles ever. Al Pacino is a natural for roles like this; yet brings new nuances to his characters in each picture...one of the finest films in the organized crime genre.
Norman Mailer told us tough guys don't dance, but in the movies, it's mostly tough guys who do dance. We're so leery of close emotional bonds between men that the movies are only comfortable showing them if the guys are cops, jocks, soldiers or mobsters. Beneath everything else, "Donnie Brasco'' is the story of two men who grow to love each other, within the framework of a teacher-student relationship...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. At an important moment in his life, he puts some things in a drawer. He starts to leave, then thinks again, turns back and leaves the drawer ajar. What this implies and how it plays creates the perfect ending for the film, which fades to black--only to start up again with unnecessary footnotes. No matter; I'll remember that scene.
Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 2.40:1, Dolby Digital (5.1), English, French, Subtitled
Gene Shalit, Today Show
A killer gangster picture!
Janet Maslin, The New York Times
...the best crime movie in a long while...a sordid and deadly story. But along the way, it's full of life.
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
...a first-class Mafia thriller...
Pat Collins, WWOR-TV
...may rightfully take its place beside the best films of this genre.
Rita Kempley, Washington Post
...a bang-up job of de-glamorizing the mob.
Siskel & Ebert
Two thumbs up!
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by Handimandad@hotmail.com on Apr 06, 2008