7.8/10
251,723
237 user 124 critic

Donnie Brasco (1997)

Trailer
1:30 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

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

Director:

Mike Newell

Writers:

Joseph D. Pistone (book), Richard Woodley (book) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
2,565 ( 153)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Carlito's Way (1993)
Certificate: 16 Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A Puerto Rican former convict, just released from prison, pledges to stay away from drugs and violence despite the pressure around him and lead on to a better life outside of N.Y.C.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller
A Bronx Tale (1993)
Certificate: 12 Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A father becomes worried when a local gangster befriends his son in the Bronx in the 1960s.

Director: Robert De Niro
Stars: Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, Lillo Brancato
Serpico (1973)
Certificate: 12 Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An honest New York cop named Frank Serpico blows the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Al Pacino, John Randolph, Jack Kehoe
Blow (2001)
Certificate: 12 Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of how George Jung, along with the Medellín Cartel headed by Pablo Escobar, established the American cocaine market in the 1970s in the United States.

Director: Ted Demme
Stars: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Franka Potente
Certificate: 16 Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

During the era of Prohibition in the United States, federal agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop ruthless Chicago gangster Al Capone, and because of rampant corruption, assembles a small, hand-picked team to help him.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro
The Insider (1999)
Certificate: AL Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer
Certificate: 16 Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An exceptionally adept Florida lawyer is offered a job at a high-end New York City law firm with a high-end boss - the biggest opportunity of his career to date.

Director: Taylor Hackford
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A prep school student needing money agrees to "babysit" a blind man, but the job is not at all what he anticipated.

Director: Martin Brest
Stars: Al Pacino, Chris O'Donnell, James Rebhorn
Casino (1995)
Certificate: 16 Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive, compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast living and fast loving socialite.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci
Certificate: 16 Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In the midst of trying to legitimize his business dealings in New York City and Italy in 1979, aging Mafia Don Michael Corleone seeks to avow for his sins, while taking his nephew Vincent Mancini under his wing.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Andy Garcia
Certificate: 12 Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen
Scarface (1983)
Certificate: 18 Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In Miami in 1980, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Lefty
Johnny Depp ... Donnie
Michael Madsen ... Sonny
Bruno Kirby ... Nicky
James Russo ... Paulie
Anne Heche ... Maggie
Zeljko Ivanek ... Tim Curley (as Zeljko Ivanek)
Gerry Becker ... Dean Blandford FBI
Robert Miano ... Sonny Red
Brian Tarantina ... Bruno
Rocco Sisto ... Richie Gazzo
Zach Grenier ... Dr. Berger
Walt MacPherson Walt MacPherson ... Sheriff
Ronnie Farer Ronnie Farer ... Annette
Terry Serpico ... Strip Club Owner
Edit

Storyline

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 <pwong@nt.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Donnie Brasco. Based On A True Story. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

16 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Japanese

Release Date:

24 April 1997 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Brasco See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,660,216, 2 March 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$41,909,762

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$124,909,762
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Imperioli played as an extra mob guy working for Sonny Black. He is briefly seen during the robbing compilation when they are loading suits on a truck. See more »

Goofs

Many 1990s cars and trinkets are visible. See more »

Quotes

Lefty: [to Donnie, while sitting in his living room] A guy like you don't touch a made guy, you know what I did yesterday? I went in front of the skippers, I'm going on the record with you, nobody can touch you now, I'm your man, Jesus Christ couldn't touch you because I represent you, keep your nose clean, be a good earner follow the rules, and who knows? Maybe one day they open the books you get straightened out, become a wise guy, a made guy, I'd die with you Donnie.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Biography: Al Pacino: Inside Out (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean
(1843) (uncredited)
Written by David T. Shaw
Arranged by Thomas A. Beckett
The first line sung a cappella by Bruno Kirby
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Al Pacino's Best Movie
6 October 2004 | by mullermikeSee all my reviews

Yes, I am going to make the bold claim that this is his best work. "Are you talking about the same Al Pacino that did Scarface, Heat, AND the Godfather movies" you ask. Yes, yes, and let me explain myself. First of all, I want to add that I LOVE Pacino's work. He has such a commanding presence on screen and nobody in cinematic history can scream as well as him (though Gene Hackman is damn good). He can scare the hell out of you with just one crazed look in his eye and he never gives a flat performance (well, except in Revolution).

Having said that, I think Pacino is incredible in this flick because his character is so understated. While his work often consists of playing flamboyant, over-the-top, and almost cartoonish figures(especially in Scarface and The Devil's Advocate), this film is a change of pace for him. Sure, he's still playing a mobster, but he's not as psychotic as usual, and for once, you get to see the inner struggles of a crook who deep down has a heart of gold (despite all of the murders). Pacino is perfect as Lefty, an aging crimical who wants out of the mob lifestyle, but doesn't know how to do it. Though you see the fast and fun world of mobsters in flicks like Goodfellas, this film gives you a sense that the mob life isn't that glamorous.

Along with Pacino's acting, Johnny Depp is delectable as Joe Pistone (Donnie Brasco) because you can see his inner torment as well. He knows that he's been assigned to infiltrate the New York mob scene, but he develops such a close bond with Lefty that it's almost hard to bring him down. A very real, human relationship permeates between the two that is very moving. I like how the characters are always joking about being a "wise guy," as it provides some light chuckles, and it also shows that in order to live this lifestyle, you've gotta talk tough and act tough (as if I would know what that's like).

The supporting cast is particularly noteworthy. Bruno Kirby plays a great weasel, Anne Heche is wonderful as Pistone's neurotic wife (you can understand her suffering, what with being married to an FBI special agent) and Michael Madsen is reliable, once again, as a mobster (honestly, does this guy do anything besides gangster or sci-fi flicks?). Every time I watch this movie I am breathless afterwards. The acting is wonderful, the music is superb, and frankly, I can't believe this stuff actually happened. Then again, I haven't read the book, so I don't know how much of it is true.

Overall, this movie gets 10 out of 10. I'm shocked it doesn't get more recognition, especially with such prolific actors as Pacino and Depp leading the way. This is a different kind of mob movie, as it shows a more somber side to this way of life, and I recommend it unequivocally.


193 of 238 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 237 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed