7.8/10
237,095
239 user 119 critic

Donnie Brasco (1997)

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

Director:

Writers:

(book), (book) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
1,782 ( 510)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The Feds try to take down notorious American gangsters John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd during a booming crime wave in the 1930s.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, Christian Stolte
Casino (1995)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia underboss and a casino owner, for a trophy wife over a gambling empire.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In the midst of trying to legitimize his business dealings in New York and Italy in 1979, aging Mafia don Michael Corleone seeks to avow for his sins while taking his nephew Vincent Mancini under his wing.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Andy Garcia
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 1970s America, a detective works to bring down the drug empire of Frank Lucas, a heroin kingpin from Manhattan, who is smuggling the drug into the country from the Far East.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire
The Insider (1999)
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Hitman "El Mariachi" becomes involved in international espionage involving a psychotic CIA agent and a corrupt Mexican general.

Director: Robert Rodriguez
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of 3 people with the culprit being the legendary apparition, the Headless Horseman.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson
Ed Wood (1994)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An ambitious but troubled movie director tries his best to fulfill his dream, despite his lack of support.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1863, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father's killer.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Tim Curley (as Zeljko Ivanek)
...
...
...
...
...
Walt MacPherson ...
Ronnie Farer ...
...

What You Missed at San Diego Comic-Con 2017

From the madness of the convention floor to the emotional panel reveals and star-studded interviews, catch up on all the unforgettable sights from Comic-Con.

Browse Our Guide to Comic-Con

Edit

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 led 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:

In 1978, the US government waged a war against organized crime. One man was left behind the lines. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Mike Newell said that the point of the violence is to show that it's "A terrible mess." See more »

Goofs

When Sonny Black is "sent for", he's smoking a cigarette, then throws it on the floor. As he walks off in the next shot, the cigarette is no longer there. See more »

Quotes

[Lefty is cooking dinner in his kitchen]
Lefty: Punch of salt.
Donnie Brasco: [watching him from behind him] Punch?
Lefty: Punch. Punch of salt.
Donnie Brasco: Punch or pinch?
Lefty: Punch, punch. Not pinch. What'd I say? I say pinch?
Donnie Brasco: Nah, you said... you said punch.
Lefty: Sometimes you don't make no fuckin' sense, Donnie.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mic Macs à Tire-Larigot (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Thump It Up
Written and Performed by Curt Sobel and Gary Schreiner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Depp and Pacino in terrific movie
17 September 2004 | by (The Hague, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

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 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.


93 of 106 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page