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Donnie Brasco (1997)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 195,381 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 224 user | 112 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

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

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Title: Donnie Brasco (1997)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Walt MacPherson ...
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Storyline

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 <pwong@nt.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Donnie Brasco. Based On A True Story. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong graphic violence, pervasive strong language and brief nudity and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

28 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brasco  »

Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,660,216 (USA) (28 February 1997)

Gross:

$41,954,997 (USA) (13 June 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the project was in its first stages, Joe Pesci was the first and main choice for Nicky. But after the release of Goodfellas (1990), the idea gradually faded. See more »

Goofs

In the car, Lefty shows Donnie a newspaper photo of the Carmine Galante crime scene. In the next scene, they pull up to Sonny's club, and small piles of snow are on the sidewalk. Galante was killed in July 1979, so there should be no snow on the ground. See more »

Quotes

Joe Pistone: All my life I've tried to be the good guy, the guy in the white fucking hat. And for what? For nothing. I'm not becoming like them; I am them.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Air Doll (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
(1944)
Written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane
Performed by Jerry Vale
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
one scene really gives us a leg up on everything
25 May 2006 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

On one level, "Donnie Brasco" might just look like another mafia movie. But it's not. It tells the story of FBI agent Joe Pistone (Johnny Depp), who in the late 1970s was hired to infiltrate the mafia. So, he got acquainted with hit-man Benjamin "Lefty" Ruggiero (Al Pacino). But lo and behold, Joe got too much into the mafia lifestyle, to the point where it dominated his life and kept him from his family. And no one ended up with a very good reward at the end.

Both Depp and Pacino are about as intense as we expect them to be, with good support from Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby, James Russo, Anne Heche and Zeljko Ivanek. With his hair all greased back, Depp looks like the ultimate mafioso. I should identify that there are two scenes that will probably make your skin crawl: the leg scene, and what they do to the Japanese waiter.

But don't get me wrong. This is a really good movie. It's certainly a less glamorized view of mafia life than most of Al Pacino's movies, and Johnny Depp was certainly showing the same flair for acting that he has brought to the screen for the past 16 years. Very well done.


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