Donnie Brasco (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

Donnie Brasco1997

Donnie Brasco (1997)



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

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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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Critic Reviews for Donnie Brasco

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (20)

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.

February 27, 2018 | Full Review…
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.

November 20, 2008

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

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Unfortunately, the story isn't inventive and Newell's methodical approach to it verges on monotony.

August 14, 2002 | Full Review…

A first-class Mafia thriller that is also, in its way, a love story.

June 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.

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

Audience Reviews for Donnie Brasco


A great cop/mafia film. You'll like it if you like Casino, Goodfellas etc.

Dean King
Dean King

Super Reviewer

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 Alvarez
Eric Alvarez

Super Reviewer

WOO! A breath of fresh air. After a recommendation from a good friend of mine -- yup, I'm talking to you Rottentomatoes buddy ;) -- "Donnie Brasco" took me by a big surprise. What an enthralling piece of work that surges the audience into a non-Hollywood-ized portrayal of an everyday Mafia lifestyle. Everything you can ask for from a movie, "Donnie Brasco" answers it all. An undercover within the mob. It's been done countless and millions of times. However, when done as exquisitely as "Donnie Brasco" does, it's like watching an original plotline again. The obvious story outcomes that we're expecting from a plotline in this type of genre, "Donnie Brasco" hurdles over somewhat the same plot-points with a higher emphasis on the psyche and the hidden. Altogether, it makes for an incredibly rich and engaging narrative. One of the most entertaining mafia flicks I've seen in an extremely long time, mainly due to the mind-blowingly outstanding performances -- by the likes of Johnny Depp and the infamous Al Pacino, -- the entertaining dips and dives of the narrative, and the exquisitely sharp writing that throws a lot of comedic punches to the gut, all the while having a sober basis on reality. "Donnie Brasco", with these elements done in grade-A fashion, manages to place itself as one of the most well-paced gangster movies of all time. Not once does the movie begin to outstay its welcome. There's not much more to talk about without giving out the vital details of the narrative. Everything within this film works. This is a pitch-perfect, immaculate B-movie mafia flick, coupled with real rich tension, characters the audience deeply sympathizes with, and a narrative that's buttery-smooth. "Donnie Brasco" is a much watch.

Super Reviewer

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