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Donnie Brasco 1997

Al Pacino and Johnny Depp head an all-star cast in this brilliant gangland thriller about an undercover FBI agent who befriends a hitman to gain entry to the mob.

Al Pacino, Johnny Depp
2 hours, 1 minute

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Action & Adventure, Crime
Director Mike Newell
Starring Al Pacino, Johnny Depp
Supporting actors Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby, James Russo, Anne Heche, Zeljko Ivanek, Gerry Becker, Robert Miano, Brian Tarantina, Rocco Sisto, Zach Grenier, Walt MacPherson, Ronnie Farer, Terry Serpico, Gretchen Mol, Tony Lip, George Angelica, Val Avery, Madison Arnold
Studio TriStar Pictures
BBFC rating Suitable for 18 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: 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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By A Customer on 21 Sept. 2002
Format: 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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This review is going to focus on the blu-ray US import version of the 1997 gangster film, Donnie Brasco. The reason for this is that in 2007, Sony released an "Extended Cut" featuring an extra 20 minutes footage (taking the running time up to 147 minutes); of further possible interest to UK audiences, is that this version was never released in Britain, hence the US import review.

No doubt as most of you already know, Donnie Brasco tells the (mostly) true story of how FBI agent Joseph Pistone (convincingly acted by Johnny Depp) worked undercover for six years in the 1970s, infiltrating the Bonanno mafia family in New York City. His gateway in to this world was through Benjamin "Lefty Guns" Ruggiero, an aging hitman for the mob, brilliantly portrayed by Al Pacino (Pacino, here, plays a mafia character on the very bottom rung of the hierarchy, the diametric opposite to his Michael Corleone of The Godfather). Lefty comes to regard Donnie as the son he wished he had and as the two men bond, Donnie's critical distance from the mob becomes diminished (in reality, Agent Pistone never felt this deep sense of empathy for Lefty, as Ruggiero was a stone-cold killer with over two dozen murders under his belt).

The blu-ray US import is not region coded, so it will work on UK blu-ray players. The video quality is solid with some good detail on the wider street scenes and the audio is respectable, given that it's mostly about older men talking in rooms. The best of the limited extras is a 23 minute documentary that contains an interview with the real Joseph Pistone.
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