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. Written by
P. Wong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Joe Pistone practicing on the FBI's firing range was inserted at the insistence of the studio, which wanted a shot of Johnny Depp firing a gun for the movie's trailer. See more »
In 1970's New York, sawhorse-style traffic safety barricades were pieced together out of wood, like real sawhorses, then painted yellow or orange, sometimes with stripes. One street scene shows a white plastic model with applied reflective orange stripes, first used in the mid 1990s. See more »
[talking to Donnie]
When I introduce you, I'm gonna say, "This is a friend of mine." That means you're a connected guy. Now if I said instead, this is a friend of ours that would mean you a made guy. A Capiche?
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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 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!
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