Donnie Brasco
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This drama about an undercover cop who learns the hidden dangers of working his way inside the mob was based on a true story. Joe Pistone (Johnny Depp) is an FBI agent who is given an assignment to infiltrate the Mafia; calling himself Donnie Brasco, he befriends Lefty Ruggiero (Al Pacino), a low-level mob hit man whose personal life is in tatters. Lefty's marriage is falling apart, his son is a junkie, and his health is failing, which only adds to his growing disillusionment about having spent 30 years with the Mafia (and killing 26 people) with little to show for it. But in Donnie, Lefty… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Although perhaps familiar in its outer trappings, Pacino's fine work is the key to the film succeeding to the extent that it does."
‑ Todd McCarthy, Variety
"A first-class Mafia thriller that is also, in its way, a love story."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"A gritty and humorous crime drama about an undercover cop infiltrating the Mafia."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"[Newell and Attanasio] pay as much attention to emotional details as to the clockwork details of mob life."
‑ Rob Gonsalves,
"A blue collar gangster movie that succeeds on all attempted levels, particularly acting."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"A tense, sharp and compelling character study, Newell's film is a worthy addition to the Mob-movie canon."
‑ , Time Out
"In the tired figure of Lefty, manifest in the craggy icon of Pacino, our sympathies are definitely enlisted, and the theme rings a poignant note."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"Depp's tight, guarded performance is almost painful to watch, and Newell seems to have reined in the flamboyant Pacino, whose portrait of the mobster as a grumpy old man may be his best work in years."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Just misses ranking in the upper echelon of mob movies."
‑ Chuck O'Leary,
"Donnie Brasco is a fine movie but it might just be best remembered as Johnny Depp's coming-out party. A star -- check that, an actor -- is born."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Unfortunately, the story isn't inventive and Newell's methodical approach to it verges on monotony."
‑ Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"Pacino and Depp are a match made in acting heaven, riffing off each other with astonishing subtlety and wit."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"It's tempting to think Pacino stopped trying sometime in the mid-1980s. But watch Lefty's elegiac final scene and you might conclude that it's not Al's ability that's dimmed, rather it's the imagination of casting directors that's grown stale."
‑ , Film4
"A classy piece of work that may disappoint those looking for something more conventional."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"Shows that solid acting and writing can salvage even material that has been covered by much better filmmakers."
‑ Dragan Antulov,
More reviews for Donnie Brasco on Rotten Tomatoes

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