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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mobster Masterpiece that Stands Out from the Rest
Based on a true story that is so amazing and shocking, "Donnie Brasco" is a fantastic film that hooks you from start to finish. With stars like Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen and many more, this is a movie that should be seen by all.
FBI Joseph D. Pistone is an undercover agent who's goal is to get into the violent and unpredictable mob world. He goes the by...
Published on 21 Aug 2003 by Michael Crane

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stick to the book
I have to say I was rather disappointed with this film. Having read the book first and then saw there was a film I thought this has got to be good. So much was missed from the book that would have completed the story. We didn't see how Lefty, Sonny Black and the others who let Donnie into their circle end up....
Published 13 months ago by Paul


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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mobster Masterpiece that Stands Out from the Rest, 21 Aug 2003
This review is from: Donnie Brasco (1997) [DVD] (DVD)
Based on a true story that is so amazing and shocking, "Donnie Brasco" is a fantastic film that hooks you from start to finish. With stars like Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen and many more, this is a movie that should be seen by all.
FBI Joseph D. Pistone is an undercover agent who's goal is to get into the violent and unpredictable mob world. He goes the by name of Donnie Brasco. Soon he is discovered by Lefty Ruggiero, who sees potential in the kid and is not aware of who Brasco really is. He brings him into the family and the world of the Mafia. It doesn't take long for Joseph to get so deep into the action that he starts to become one of them. This unforgettable picture shows us that sometimes you can become what you chase if you're in too long, and that in order to catch a monster you may become one yourself in the process.
I became addicted to this film in no time. It's one of my favourites that I have seen over and over again, and it hasn't gotten old yet. The acting and directing is all fantastic. Al Pacino really shines, as always, and Johnny Depp gives an Academy Award performance as the FBI agent. He actually spent time with the real Joseph Pistone to get his character down, as he did when he was working on "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and spent time with the real Hunter S. Thompson. Michael Madsen is also terrific and can once again send chills down our spines just as he did in "Reservoir Dogs."
All in all, "Donnie Brasco" is an outstanding picture on all fronts. Filled with drama and suspense, this is a film that will take you deep into the world of the Mafia. The only question is how far would you go? And would you risk becoming one of them when it's all said and done? Excellent all the way!
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fergeddaboudit! Hugely underrated gangster classic, 2 Jan 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Donnie Brasco (1997) [DVD] (DVD)
Goodfellas takes all the plaudits, and deservedly so, as being the third best gangster film of all time (behind Godfathers I & II) but Donnie Brasco has to make the Top Five, surely. This is an utterly brilliant, thrilling, amusing and moving tale based on the true story of an undercover cop (Joe Pistone, Johnny Depp) who befriends an ageing Mafia gangster (Lefty, Al Pacino) and then is torn between good and evil. This film has never received the accolades it deserved. OK, the story isn't entirely original, but the casting and acting is first class. This is probably the film where Depp proved he was more than just a pretty-boy actor and turns in a towering performance as Pistone, who slowly becomes his gangster alias, Donnie Brasco. The ever watchable Pacino is as good as he is in Scarface and Carlito's Way, though for once the viewer sympathises with rather than fears him. Another superbly cast character is Michael Madsen (Mr Blonde from Reservoir Dogs) who is just born to play bad-guy roles. There is plenty of amusing dialogue, too, especially between Lefty, Sonny Black and Brasco. This isn't a comedy though, far from it. It is a superb piece of drama from Mike Newell, best known for Four Weddings And A Funeral but has done little since.
The extras are OK but nothing too special. It's the film that you will buy this DVD for. An underrated classic.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pacino's sensitive side..., 6 May 2005
This review is from: Donnie Brasco (1997) [DVD] (DVD)
Al Pacino has starred alongside many youth actors, from Chris O Donnell (Scent of a Woman), Keanu Reeves (The Devil's Advocate) and Colin Farrell (The Recruit) but I don't think he has ever been more compatible on the screen with any of these, than what he was with Johnny Depp in this superb film.
He plays Lefty. A small time gangster who decides to take young Donnie Brasco under his wing and show him the ropes of the mafia world. Unaware of the fact that he is actually an undercover fed trying to land himself the trust of the mob, so he can eventually catch the boss.
This film is dramatic, tense and offers many sentimental messages regarding respect, friendship and mainly trust. As Donnie slowly grows fond of Lefty and creates a fickle bond with him it shows a change of loyalties as his marriage fails, and his mission is jeopardised by the friendly compassion he has developed for Lefty.
Al Pacino is on top form and shows he has a sensitive side to him, and Depp offers sound support. Mike Newell directs subtly and with the detailed styles of other great sensitive directors such as Jonathan Demme and Steven Spielberg.
I urge you to watch this exceptionally good film.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Donnie Brasco is surprisingly memorable, 28 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Donnie Brasco (1997) [DVD] (DVD)
Donnie Brasco is surprisingly involving and memorable, and is the type of film that could be watched again and again, without getting bored, such is the quality of the script and the level of attention to detail. Above all, it feels real, which owes a lot to the research undertaken, using the real life undercover agent that Depp plays, as a research consultant in the making of the film. The story, above all is one of divided loyalties, which causes increasing tension in Depps life as he becomes more and more involved with his new aqcuaintances. The relationship between Depp and Pacino also develops well through the storyline, and provokes thoughts of the similarities between the two characters, despite their different codes of dignity, and differing backgrounds. In addition to the excellent lead performances (Depp is surprisingly adept!) lookout for an excellent supporting performance by Michael Madsen as Sonny Black.
Picture quality is good, and the trailer and making of documentary are included (though the latter is a little short - 7 mins long).
Overall, this is a film which separates itself from run of the mill gangster films by the volatility of the situation, having an FBI agent infiltrating the mafia, the additional detail of the effect on Depp's family life, and the excellent portrayal of what is amazingly, a true story.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to watch a gangster movie, watch this one!, 24 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Donnie Brasco (1997) [DVD] (DVD)
Possible the most faultless film I have seen. The definative Gangster movie - expressing the more indulgent synthetic gangster, fast talking, "Casino" style whilst still holding the same realism you think you are getting from "Once upon a time in America". Unlike many of the other films in its genre however, the film manages the keep the pace going more or less from start to finish. The plot, while it was as predictable and any other gangster film remained resonable complicated to keep the mind ticking over, yet not so bathed in "gangstar speak" to be unfollowable. Plus it seem to be much more clever then just about any other film of its kind - you could see they were trying to show something other than the smooth talking gangsters with random aggression. Although of course these features all played key parts in the film. Also how many ganster films can boast Johnny Depp who as always does his character complete justice.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words don't do this film justice, 3 Jun 2000
By A Customer
The true story of an undercover agent for the FBI, who infiltrates one of the mob families, Donne Brasco, with it's low key style, grabs you from start to finish. I usually avoid Johnny Depp films like the plague, but he really comes good as the agent torn between his wife, his job and his loyalty to his friend Lefty (Pacino). It's a joy to watch these two on screen as Depp becomes dragger deeper into the mafia world. If you want glamour, go for The Godfather. If you want grit and unanswered questions, go for Donne Brasco.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film but it mainly only holds its appeal to..., 4 July 2004
This review is from: Donnie Brasco (1997) [DVD] (DVD)
...Mafia fanatics. If you like your Wiseguy films you'll more than likely enjoy this. It's a great film. Also if you like this film - then get the book, it's far better and you get to learn the real story of Pistone's undercover life.
The film is fairly inaccurate to the book, but that doesn't take away any of the enjoyment just like Goodfellas is an excellent but fairly inaccurate film. The inaccuracies are minor though, like some personality traits are molded into one character when in fact it was someone else that had "done" or "said" that.
With a superb cast and fantastic performances from Pacino, Depp et al. the average Wiseguy and mob fan will love this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a gangster film, 30 Jan 2002
By 
J. Smith (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Donnie Brasco (1997) [DVD] (DVD)
This is quality. Obviously Al Pacino and Johnny Deep are on top form, we wouldnt expect anything else! Better than The Godfather and Goodfellers? Just different. But not only has it the makings of a classic gangster film, its about how tight the bonds of friendship are. This might sound cheesy, but its so powerful you cannot but be moved by it. The picture of the dvd is really good too.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Donnie Brasco review, 21 Sep 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Donnie Brasco (1997) [DVD] (DVD)
I watch a lot of mafia type documentaries and films as I am very interested in the ethics and workings of the organisation behind the mafia. This film could have been a documentary - it is very believable. I read the book quite a while before the film came out and was surprised how close to the book the director kept the script and action A job well done.
Al Pacino (despite being fairly type-cast as the Sicilian baddie)is an extrordinary actor who always makes you believe that his characters are real. I have only seen Johnny Depp in this film (although I know he's made a lot more)but found him very realistic too.
A film for anyone to watch for the social interaction and (few, admittedly)light comic scenes as well as the obvious gangster theme.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Donnie just wants to be part of the family, 31 Jan 2007
By 
Tangerine "tangerineman" (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Donnie Brasco (1997) [DVD] (DVD)
Wow. Johnny Depp is superb as the undercover agent that was that good the Mafia didn't believe he was an undercover FBI agent. Pacino produces a sublime effort as 'Lefty' the ruthless yet loveable gangster who takes 'Donnie' under his wings giving him access to the Mafia world he needed to do his job. Michael Madsen plays the boss. Ruthless, funny and violent (sometimes all at once). The film twists and turns drawing you in like Brasco was in real life. Eventually almost wishing he really was a 'made' guy. Brasco has a real friendship with the men he worked with for years. Especially Lefty. When pulled off the job he is actually physically removed by fellow FBI officers. He resists. But it to no avail. Racked with guilt he knows Lefty will pay the price for bringing him into the Mafia world. It is a testament to the brilliance of the performances and writing that you actually feel sorry for Lefty who is a killer. All round this is a highly polished affair and compulsive viewing.
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Donnie Brasco (1997) [DVD]
Donnie Brasco (1997) [DVD] by Mike Newell (DVD - 1999)
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