An FBI undercover agent infiltrates the mob and finds himself identifying more with the mafia life, at the expense of his regular one.An FBI undercover agent infiltrates the mob and finds himself identifying more with the mafia life, at the expense of his regular one.An FBI undercover agent infiltrates the mob and finds himself identifying more with the mafia life, at the expense of his regular one.
It is the first modern era film that is based on this kind of infiltration. Since Donnie Brasco, many movies have used this same formula using an undercover agent to partake in organized crime takedowns, but it was really Donnie Brasco that started, or at least rejuvenated, this form of the genre.
The only reason I can think that it is only a 7.7 on IMDB is probably because this mafia genre has incredibly high expectations for it with the likes of The Godfather(s), Goodfellas, and even Heat. It doesn't pack the punch that those movies have and is more subdued in its delivery, but the pacing is impeccable and there is barely a moment in the entire runtime that is even a momentary letdown, which is rare. Donnie Brasco goes in a different direction than these films, focusing distinctly on the impact the job has on Joe Pistone's marriage, as well as the relationship he unionizes with "Lefty", in a groundbreaking role by Al Pacino, who plays an over-the-hill, stagnated, and somewhat desperate, made mafia member who feels unappreciated and disrespected to a level that deep down inside he wants out of it.
Not only are the performances all solid throughout, particularly from Pacino, Ann Hesche, Michael Madsen, and Depp, but the writing is excellent and the musical score is emotionally stunning. Anyone who is a fan of the genre or classic movies in general will definitely not regret watching Donnie Brasco, a top 25 movie here. It's a 9/10, but I'm giving it a 10/10 since compared with what the average movie is today or in the past twenty years, Donnie Brasco is way above them in heart, originality, execution, and acting talent.
- Jun 15, 2020