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Donnie Brasco (Special Edition) (Bilingual)

Al Pacino , Johnny Depp , Mike Newell    DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
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Donnie Brasco (Special Edition) (Bilingual) + GoodFellas (Bilingual) [Import] + Casino (Widescreen 10th Anniversary Edition)
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Product Description


Based on a memoir by former undercover cop Joe Pistone (whose daring and unprecedented infiltration of the New York Mob scene earned him a place in the federal witness protection program), Donnie Brasco is like a de-romanticized, de-mythologized version of The Godfather. It offers an uncommonly detailed, privileged glimpse inside the world of organized crime from the perspective of the little guys at the bottom of Mafia hierarchy rather than from the kingpins at the top. Donnie Brasco is not only one of the great modern-day gangster movies to put in the company of The Godfather films and GoodFellas, but it is also one of the great undercover police movies--arguably surpassing Serpico and Prince of the City in richness of character, detail, and moral complexity. Donnie (Johnny Depp, a splendid actor) is practically adopted by Lefty Ruggiero (Al Pacino), a gregarious, low-level "made" man who grows to love his young protégé like a son. (Pacino really sinks into this guy's skin and polyester slacks, and creates his freshest, most fully realized character since his 1970s heyday.) As Donnie acclimates himself to Lefty's world, he distances himself from his wife (a terrific Anne Heche) and family for their own protection. Almost imperceptibly his sense of identity slips away from him. Questioning his own confused loyalties, unable to trust anybody else because he himself is an imposter, Donnie loses his way in a murky and treacherous no-man's land. The film is directed by Mike Newell, who also headed up Four Weddings and a Funeral and the gritty, true crime melodrama Dance with a Stranger. --Jim Emerson

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Depp/Pacino ~ Donnie Brasco

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Donnie Brasco: Based On A True Story... May 11 2004
A good actor is one who we forget is on the screen seeing the character rather than the performer. Johnny Depp seems to achieve this often in his career and once again we are treated to an outstanding performance in Donnie Brasco. Depp plays FBI Agent Joe Pistone who goes undercover to infiltrate a New York Mafia family. Hollywood has been there done that with this subject matter many times over but this film has a feel that is different than most of those over the top productions. Joe Pistone becomes his alter ego Donnie Brasco, blurring the line between his job and reality.
This is an intricate character study, not a film full of flying bullets and cheesy bravado. Depp and Al Pacino both give Oscar worthy efforts as you see the fondness develop between their characters over the course of the story making the inevitable ending that much tougher for Pistone to deal with.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEPP'S OPUS May 29 2004
How many actors say their prayers for a role like this? DONNIE BRASCO is Johnny Depp's bright light moment...when you upstage Pacino, in yet another of his own moments of greatness, you tend to wonder what's next. This is where Depp shed his "youth star" label and became an actor. The real crime here is that Depp and Pacino were hijacked at Oscar time (the film was released early in 1997). Mike Newell's direction again makes the point that Eurpoean's have a fresh view of American film and it's most stalwart genres. DONNIE BRASCO could serve as an FBI training film and why protocol should dictate that married men are forbidden to undertake deep cover assignments. The only flaw I caught was the reference to John Wayne's death: The Duke died June, 1979 and the film shows 6 inches of snow in New Jersey. Fatal, forget-about-it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally we know what 'fuggedaboudit' means June 23 2004
Donnie Brasco is based on a true story but it is still gripping. Donnie Brasco is the alias of Joe Pistone, an undercover agent. He joins the mob as a help of Lefty played by Al Pacino. Pacino again plays a great mobster. This time as just a spoke, and sometimes not very smart.
But DB gets so involved that he does not know on which side he is, that is what loyalty does to him. Even his marriage is almost falling apart.
Depp and Pacino are of course brilliant as ever and this is another great maffia movie like Goodfellas are the Godfather.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Johnny Depp April 7 2004
Absoluetly worth seeing and owning. Depp and Pacino are fantastic in this true story of Joseph D. Pistone, special agent for the FBI.
It is a chilling and moving performance. Children should not see this movie. The language and violance reflect the true lives of the NY mob.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doonie Brasco March 25 2004
By Tad
Donnie Brasco is a modern classic. The script is realistic, the direction is focused and the sets are atmospheric. Is Donnie Brasco a good movie, Fuhget about it.
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First rate mafia drama connects on a deeper level than most. Its cinematography may not have the moody, noirish atmosphere that makes The Godfather so appealing, but despite its slick Hollywood look, it seems to attain such penetrating truth (this, perhaps, has a little to do with its being based on a book by the real life main character). The central situation of the aging mafia man taking under his confidence and vouching for an undercover FBI agent, and that a bond forms between the two men is a great one. The performances are absolutely superb. Particularly the two men who the story centres on, Joe Pistone, a.k.a Donnie Brasco (Johnny Depp, going for realism in this role, is incredible. It begins and ends with a closeup of his eyes - this movie would be nothing without him) and mafia man "Lefty" (Pacino, who gives us one of his finest characterisations - best bit, his close-up after Donnie is asked to shake hands by a certain character on a certain boat). The vividness of the characters in this movie seems to owe a great deal to the superb screenplay (again, credit to the real-life source material). Recurring catch-phrases make it easy for us to get to know characters, a wonderful little touches give the story such a resonance, and make it ring true: like Lefty's smoking inside the car when driving with Brasco and accusing Brasco of trying to kill him with the draft when he opens a window to let some smoke out, and the portrait of Lefty, the opposite of how we imagine a mafia veteran, as a vulnerable, often emotional man.
Deserves at least four stars. Recommended to anyone (except, obviously kids, for a few scenes unsuitable to them).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Semi-slept on classic Feb. 13 2004
This is an absolutely GREAT mob flick, and it's also one of the first movies to start Johnny Depp into more mature and serious roles. His Portrayal of Joe Pistone is amazing. Additionally, Al Pacino's portrayal of Lefty Two Guns, Donnie Brasco's Mentor, is ALSO amazing.
This movie is especially good because it's a mob movie done from the other side of the spectrum. Instead of having the central figure being a mobster, who is destined for either jail or a pine box, the central figure is a FBI agent, who's infiltrated the mob deeper than anyone in the history of the FBI.
Basically, what you get is a main character who is human and has all the traits of a normal person, but it also shows the human side of the mob. You see how a person could become part of it, how they can get drawn in, and how the mob acts like family. And from how it sounds, Pistone got so far into the mob, he wasn't sure if he really wanted out. Depp's portrayal of this is fantastic, and I can't say enough about how much I like this movie.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Stéphane
5.0 out of 5 stars A MASTERPIECE
Bought the DVD to replace a VHS.
Real life infiltration in the mob agent story, well romanticized and acted by masters of the Art. Read more
Published 2 months ago by R. Paquette
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't believe I overlooked this until now
This is a Johnny Depp movie that people don't really think of when they say "he's my favorite actor!", but this is the kind of movie that should make people say that. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Jesse
5.0 out of 5 stars a top notch gangster flick(Depp does it again) (4.5/5)
now this,is a good movie.It is based on the Book co written by Joseph.D
Pistone and Richard Woodley,chronicling undercover FBI agent Pistone
and his life as "Donnie... Read more
Published on Oct. 14 2007 by falcon
2.0 out of 5 stars More of the Same
There are so many great mafia/mobster movies out there. This aint one of them. Slow and preachy. Pacino plays a schmuck and Depp's character must have rocks in his head for... Read more
Published on July 5 2004 by J
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
Al Pacino learns what its like to be Fredo Corleone in this movie..being stepped on, stepped over, getting no respect, and finally getting killed by people he trusted... Read more
Published on June 10 2004 by jc
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but unfair
Great performances throughout and a solid story make this film very entertaining.
However, I feel it's very cheap to end a nonfictional story with ambiguity. Read more
Published on May 24 2004 by Chris Tyrrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Donnie aka Joseph
According to Joseph Pistone, this movie is about 95% true. This movie is based on the experience of Joseph D. Pistone. In this movie he is played by Jonny Depp. Read more
Published on May 10 2004 by Alicia Zieman
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