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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Joseph D. Pistone said in an interview in the special features on the DVD that he was supposed to be undercover for a few months. It ended up being six years. His family was moved across the country after nine months. He rarely saw them. See more »
Early in the movie, when Donnie Brasco is fixing the items in his house, the Jif peanut butter moves counter clockwise in the cabinet. See more »
[standing outside the club King's Court before it opens]
I'm tellin' ya, Donnie... nothin' but nothin' but right.
See more »
In 2007, Sony released an DVD "Extended Cut" featuring an extra 20 minutes footage (taking the running time up to 147 minutes). See more »
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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