Donnie Brasco


Donnie Brasco

Critics Consensus

A stark, nuanced portrait of life in organized crime, bolstered by strong performances from Al Pacino and Johnny Depp.



Total Count: 57


Audience Score

User Ratings: 203,958
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Movie Info

True story of FBI agent who infiltrates the mob as Donnie Brasco. He befriends underling Lefty who vouches for him and the two form a deep friendship. Donnie gradually loses himself in his new identity and his real life is turned inside out. Powerhouse performances from both Depp and Pacino with a gritty, true-to-life feel.

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Al Pacino
as Lefty Ruggiero
Johnny Depp
as Joe Pistone/Donnie Brasco
Michael Madsen
as Sonny Black
Anne Heche
as Maggie Pistone
Zeljko Ivanek
as Tim Curley
Gerry Becker
as Dean Blandford
Zach Grenier
as Dr. Berger
Robert Miano
as Sonny Red
Rocco Sisto
as Richie Gazzo
Ronnie Farer
as Annette
Terry Serpico
as Strip Club Owner
Gretchen Mol
as Sonny's Girlfriend
Tony Lip
as Philly Lucky
Val Avery
as Santos Trafficante
Kate Sagona
as Daughter
Sara Gold
as Daughter
Tim Blake Nelson
as FBI Technician
Paul Giamatti
as FBI Technician
Jim Bulleit
as US Attorney
Andrew Parks
as Hollman
Keenan Shimizu
as Japanese Maitre D'
Rocco Musacchia
as Trafficante's Man
Joe Francis
as Trafficante's Man
Sal Jenco
as Mare Chiaro Bartender
Billy Capucilli
as Communion Party Man
Laura Cahill
as Communion Party Woman
Doreen Murphy
as Mob Girlfriend
Elle Alexander
as Mob Girlfriend
Denise Faye
as Mob Girlfriend
Elaine del Valle
as Mob Girlfriend
John Horton
as FBI Director
Dan Brennan
as FBI Photographer
Frank Pesce
as Wiseguy
Edward Black
as Wiseguy
Pat Vecchio
as Wiseguy
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News & Interviews for Donnie Brasco

Critic Reviews for Donnie Brasco

All Critics (57) | Top Critics (18)

  • This is Depp's coming-of-age role, and he's terrific. Pacino, who's shown more flash than substance recently, reminds us how great he can be when he loses himself inside a character.

    Feb 27, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • Although perhaps familiar in its outer trappings, Pacino's fine work is the key to the film succeeding to the extent that it does.

    Nov 20, 2008

    Todd McCarthy

    Top Critic
  • A tense, sharp and compelling character study, Newell's film is a worthy addition to the Mob-movie canon.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Unfortunately, the story isn't inventive and Newell's methodical approach to it verges on monotony.

    Aug 14, 2002 | Full Review…
  • A first-class Mafia thriller that is also, in its way, a love story.

    Jun 18, 2002 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Apr 12, 2002 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Donnie Brasco

  • Jul 02, 2016
    Watching Johnny Depp as the lead character, an FBI agent who goes undercover to infiltrate the mob, I have to wonder why he isn't considered one of our greatest film actors of all time. Especially playing opposite Al Pacino in one of his greatest film roles. Then I remember the acting flubs the adventuresome Depp has had in recent years (Black Mass is an exception). This is meticulously well told story. Unlike many other mob movies, this film deglamorizes wise guy life.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • May 23, 2016
    This true to life mobster thriller is bolstered by excellent performances from Depp, Pacino and Madsen. One to watch for mafia fans.
    Peter B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2013
    I'm over a decade and a half late, but I finally watched Donnie Brasco. Went in not knowing a clue about who or what the movie was about, but afterwards I was left feeling stupid. Stupid because I didn't watch such a great mobster/suspense film sooner. It's pretty awesome to see Johnny Depp in a role where he is not playing a pirate or a man with scissors attached to his hands lol; if only he could get back to more of this real life acting. I enjoyed the movie and thought it flowed really well.
    Eric A Super Reviewer
  • Jul 31, 2013
    "Forget about it." Inspired by a true story, Donnie Brasco is a thrilling crime drama that explores the struggle of living a double life. The story follows an FBI agent that goes undercover with the New York mafia, but when he stops reporting in the FBI starts to suspect that he may have been turned. The cast is especially strong and includes Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen, and Anne Heche; who all deliver excellent performances. The writing is also very good; particularly the dialog and the character development. A fascinating look at organized crime, Donnie Brasco is an impressive and compelling film.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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