Donnie Brasco (1997) - Biography, Crime, Drama

Hohum Score



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

IMDB: 7.7
Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Al Pacino, Johnny Depp
Length: 127 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 19 out of 249 found boring (7.63%)

One-line Reviews (139)

With a good cast, good soundtrack, wonderful story, a truly fantastic character study as well as an ending that left me as empty as it did fulfilled, Donnie Brasco's story is one that everyone should sit through.

While the film starts out very promising with the bonding of Pacino and Depp and some good nuts and bolts gangster action, the whole thing soon becomes trivialized and ultimately destroyed by a pointless domestic storyline that keeps eating away at the main narrative like termites, before consuming it utterly in the final reels.

The man with the "voice-box" is a walk-on cliché.

First of all, the direction of Mike Newell and the cinematography of Peter Sova were breathtaking.

I got slightly bored when Pistone had arguments with his wife Maggie, played by Heche, as it slowed the film down.

But in fact, it's also something else, something equally gripping and profound.

All in all, this is a confused mess of a movie and just plain boring.

Still, it's well worth watching for the brooding drama and the terrific performance by Pacino.

Donnie Brasco is a movie filled with intelligent and fast paced dialog, with characters that are all very intriguing and equally important to the progression of the story.

Highly Engrossing .

Hey Micheal, why'd you waste your time with Free Willy and not take Quentin Tarantino up on his offer to play THE Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction??.

Engrossing and eminently watchable, with first-rate lead performances and able back-up from Michael Madsen, this is an overlooked and extremely worthwhile film.

Atmospheric and evocative cinematography by Peter Soba , despite the fact that this was filmed in Super 35, "Filmed in Panavision" is listed in the end credits .

Pacino's character is fascinating, a made-guy who turns out to be a wannabe, and he gives it everything in his massive toolbox.

It's already a cliché, so why feed the fire?

It is a long movie but it's still worth the watch!!

It may be second-rate when compared to the likes of "GoodFellas" & "The Godfather" but it's still worth watching.

Michael Madsen is my favourite actor and although you don't see enough of Sonny Black in contrast to his importance in the book, what you do see of him is enjoyable.

One clichéd attempt at recreating the aforementioned films after another made this tedious and cringe-worthy to watch - especially in light of the resumes of the cast.

From the first moment he appears on screen his character is just plain boring.

An intense story based on the novel by Joseph Pistone nicknamed Donnie Brasco.

This excellent movie gives us another look at the evil yet fascinating life of mobsters.

Slick, highly engaging mob movie about an aging gangster (Al Pacino) who takes a young recruit (Johnny Depp) under his wing, not knowing that he's an undercover FBI agent sent to infiltrate the crime organization.

It is honest, tight and gripping.

Johhny Depp plays Brasco/Pistone and delivers a very compelling performance.

Although there are mobster trappings all over this movie, it's essentially a compelling story of friendship and betrayal that would work even without the guns and slang and seedy New York locales.

Acting: 9/10 , Story: 9/10 , Atmosphere: 8/10 , Cinematography: 9/10 , Character Development: 10/10 , Special Effects/Make-up: 9/10 (very minor, but good) , Nudity/Sexuality: 2/10 (brief breast shots only) , Violence: 6/10 (relatively brief, but very entertaining) , Gore: 1/10 (extremely brief, good quality) , Dialog: 9/10 (fagghettaboutit) , Music: 7/10 , Direction: 9/10 Cheesiness: 1/10 , Crappiness: 0/10Overall: 9/10 Overall, I'd have to recommend this, especially to Johnny Depp fans, and fans of Mafia/Mobster movies.

A more compelling scene would have somebody almost picking up the same magazine or even pick up that magazine.

It is slow-moving, melancholy, and does not glamorize mob life at all.

As it's based on the true story of an undercover FBI agent who infiltrated the New York City mob in the late-1970s, this movie is predictably gritty, realistic and fascinating to watch.

This movie is entertaining from beginning to end in the description of life in the Mafia, and the risks FBI agent Joe Pistone (Depp) faced to infiltrate.

DONNIE BRASCO isn't a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination but it's certainly an intense, highly entertaining and at times thought-provoking film that manages to have many strong points.

This movie had some touching dramatic moments and also some intense moments (since it's a story about undercover cop).

Worth watching simply to see Pacino wearing a tracksuit and watching nature programs on the T.

The plot is gritty, intense, violent, captivating, insightful, duplicitous and has a cathartic ending.

Very entertaining with some of the finest performances of the 90s.

Pacino gives a fully rounded performance as a small fish in a big pool, elevating this largely predictable flick.

Long, complex and truly fascinating; most things that could go right, do go right.

DONNIE BRASCO does that and it's certainly one worth watching.

Overall Donnie Brasco is well worth the watch.

But how much can a performance carry around a movie on its shoulder, Donnie Brasco lacks better editing, gripping screenplay and a soul.

It has it all, a great soundtrack scenes with the tension racked up to the maximum, violence and moments of unexpected humour.

The family conflicts with scenes like the daughter's first communion are extremely annoying and boring to me.

A very entertaining movie.

Gripping .

Donnie Brasco seems to slow down and lose its focus in the middle, only to pick up again towards the end.

The character study of Donnie Brasco was just phenomenal and how the story went on was really gripping.

Who could forget his equally stunning performance in Resevoire Dogs.

The storyline is intense and the performances of Depp and Pacino make the film special.

Depp gets immersed way too deep and the mafia knows that someone is not who he appears to be.

As the inevitable conclusion draws closer, the suspense level rises to an unbearable level and there's a powerful, upsetting conclusion to prepare for.

Well worth watching , above average ; the picture will appeal to gangster genre buffs and Johnny Depp/Al Pacino fans .

It's the true story of an undercover FBI agent, played by Johnny Depp, who gets so immersed in his assignment that he loses touch of who he really is.

They're either great or they're a waste of time.

Depp plays undercover FBI agent Joseph Pistone in this intriguing true story.

My main faulting with Donnie Brasco is that some parts of it seemed rather rushed to me, which resulted in an element of unintentional confusion.

Most of them are just stereotypes, but entertaining to view.

Surprisingly boring.

But in some places it seemed rather dark and slow-moving.

It is very entertaining.

Not only that, but as seems to be standard practice with these kinds of films, it goes on far too long.

The story itself is handled sloppily and the use of the word "forgetaboutit" (in an average script) becomes tedious.

Donnie Brasco is a fascinating look at human nature

While it at times gets too slow, or the story sometimes loses focus, it still is a very worthy film of watching.

I would mark this as one of the most enjoyable films of the gangster genre, as stereotypes are largely ignored in favour of a more unexpected portrayal of gangster life.

Excellent and top-of-the-range mobster movie contains top-notch performances , pretentious familiar drama , thrills , fast-paced , action , being richly narrated and including an emotive final .

I think this is a movie well worth a gander and I highly recommend it for that next person yearning to volunteer – 'for the team.

As a true story, it's also pretty fascinating; with the closing credits, we learn that the real Joseph Pistone, through his undercover work, ensured that 200 indictments and 100 convictions brought against the mob.

Depp's Joe is badly treated by the FBI - his frustration, anger, and confusion over his own feelings are apparent.

Entertaining & Intense- what a combination.

Al Pacino And Johnny Depp star in this intriguing wonderful look at Donnie Brasco, the man who went undercover in the Mafia and nearly didn't make it.

It's easy to see why Lefty felt the way he did and wanted to leave that life, and start over.

A gripping, involving piece of mature entertainment.

However, i was gladly surprised because, let's be straightforward, this movie had me absolutely on the edge of my seat.

So, if you are bored at first...

But I am unsure whether the things I find entertaining about it were deliberate or unintentional.

Al Pacino is riveting, as usual, in the co-lead role of "Benjamin 'Lefty' Ruggerio.

Intense Mob Thriller.

Then the unexpected happened.

This film is definitely worth watching.

The end of the film would definitely have been more enjoyable if I hadn't known the real story.

I find this film fascinating.

But when you watch "Donnie Brasco", these considerations never matter because there's much more to appreciate than the typical gangster material, and we know that the best gangster movies were impacting because crime only provided the necessary setting to highlight much more fascinating human dilemmas.

Donnie Brasco is a well-acted crime drama, but the predictable story line offers few surprises.

Donnie Brasco is certainly an entertaining film.

I thought he did an amazing job, as the transformation from his real identity Joe to the cool Donnie Brasco is very visible and intriguing.

Otherwise, quite compelling.

Multi-faceted, gritty, realistic, touching, suspenseful - this movie is not to be missed.

Johnny Depp is okay in the title role but in the main he is surprisingly bland and uninteresting; Al Pacino on the other hand, is very good as a beaten down unglamourous gangster, who is a far less assured character than the ones he plays in most of his other starring roles in crime films.

Donnie Brasco was a solid crime film that is pretty enjoyable.

Pacino is on familiar territory, and again is intense and thoughtful when he needs to be, giving another strong performance.

Donnie Brasco is one of the ones worth watching.

Donnie Brasco is an overlong stretched script that is predictable and flat out exhausting in its first act only to discover that the rest of it was just mundane.

Saying more about the film would be time-consuming and wrong, since I only feel like I should give the basic meat of this very intriguing story and let anyone who hasn't seen it experience it for itself.

All the gangster activities are fascinating and we really want to know how they will find the rat.

Emotive as well as thrilling musical score by Patrick Doyle .

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.

"Donnie Brasco" shows us the mafia from the perspective of the title character, a perspective that changes as the film progresses; from the outside at first, then a slow u-turn to an insider's view.

Anne Heche plays Brasco's wife who struggles to maintain his true identity but unfortunately the role is pretty predictable and one note .

It is engrossing and I wanted it to be perhaps a half hour longer -- it had a storyline that was so interesting that it could easily have been longer without me getting bored.

This movie was so boring, predictable.

*************spoilers end******************************** Worth watching if you want to see a slightly different take on the mafia, and for the performances of Depp and Pacino.

the story is well paced and gripping and at times we get astonished that we are watching a true story.

Formula and cliché with superb climax.

) Newell, an outsider himself – and a bit of a chameleon, as established filmmakers go – succeeded in making a film that remains fascinating twelve years on, because it asks questions of Mafia culture, rather than revel in, or glorify it.

"Donnie Brasco" is completely enjoyable, but I was hoping to see more breathtaking moments.

What I got, however, was an intense, unnerving drama dealing with one's man struggle to cope with two different lives.

This would have made a much more entertaining plot, rather than the whole love/hate thing going on with Depp and Pacino.

His undercover work gathers damning evidence against the syndicate however he slowly becomes entangled in their web of betrayal and immersed in their crimes which include drug dealing, hi-jacking and yes murder.

It's smooth and thrilling and you don't realize where those two and half hours gone.

He did great portraying himself as a tough, impulsive Mafia boss and every time he was on the screen was extremely enjoyable.

The performances of all the main characters are breathtaking.

While it is entirely the solely expected mob crime movie it has a much unexpected value of feelings.

But its Anne Heche or her character which makes an otherwise interesting enjoyable movie sorta unwatchable.

It was very entertaining and the great performances sucked you right in.

Those points aside, though, this was a very entertaining movie.


The main story is good and compelling.

I enjoyed it and found it very entertaining.

Firstly, Al Pacino (Lefty Ruggiero) and Johnny Depp (Donnie Brasco) are captivating and absorbing coz they paint a realistic portrait of a low level mobster and an undercover cop.

And Donnie Brasco is another fine jewel that so powerful and intense in revealing the underworld life of mobsters and their painfully loyal and ruthless culture.

Depp with him only helps the pairing to be even more enjoyable.

This movie is a classic mafia movie along the lines of casino, goodfellas and scarface, depp portrays donnie brasco effortlessly it is depp's most intense role since edward sccissorhands overall the movie is thrilling and great would rate it 7.5 a must watch for the mafia fans

This film is in a well known and fairly reliable genre - the Italian American gangster movie but has the strength that it is an engaging true story.

A movie with a different perspective altogether, is worth watching, both for acting, as well as the other side of Mafia !

A very entertaining film to say the least, with strong performances from Pacino and Depp.

Very entertaining and thought provoking, and a worthy 8/10

I had somewhat high hopes for this movie, but ended up amazed at how scene after scene turned out to be totally engrossing.

A surprisingly compelling adaptation of a true story .

Very Intense & Brutal Crime Story With Pacino The Main Attraction .

The chemistry between Depp and Pacino is very convincing, as well as riveting and exciting.

I found that the story kind of dragged out a bit and that the direction was a bit depressing but it is still very enjoyable.

worth watching.

This movie touched my heart, The Acting,the direction,the dialougues everything was mind boggling....

This was, for me, the most intriguing aspect of the story ( as it is told in this version ).

A well-executed, entertaining, interesting and heart-felt adaptation which, executes the principles of the true story excellently, even without the chronology.

It has the music, it has the great cast, and it has the unpredictable violence.

An absorbing, well made gangster movie.

This was a great film and a gripping story.