USA Today - 02/28/1997
"...Downbeat, dark-humored and disturbing....[The film] delivers the somber flipside to CASINO's snazzy high rollers..." -- 4 out of 4 stars
New York Times - 02/28/1997
"...Crackling good....The best crime movie in a long while....It's full of life..."
Entertainment Weekly - 03/07/1997
"...A wonderfully dense, clever, and moving gangland thriller....[An] engrossing movie..." -- Rating: A-
Los Angeles Times - 02/28/1997
"...An ambitious film with an effective and modulated performance by Al Pacino..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 02/28/1997
"...For Johnny Depp, DONNIE BRASCO breaks new ground; he seems a little older here, a little wearier, and he makes the transition from stoolie to friend one subtle step at a time..."
Ultimate DVD - 07/01/2007 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] thoughtful character study of male loyalty..."
Joe Pistone (Johnny Depp) is an FBI mole who integrates himself into the Mafia pecking order by posing as "jewel man" Donnie Brasco. He finds his loyalties divided when Lefty Ruggiero, a jaded hit man, takes him on as a protégé and places real trust in him. The two men form a friendship--and a criminal partnership--that jeopardizes Brasco's mission and obscures the boundaries between the law and the underworld. The film is based on the autobiography DONNIE BRASCO, MY UNDERCOVER LIFE IN THE MAFIA by former undercover agent Joseph D. Pistone. Directed by Mike Newell (FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL) and also starring Bruno Kirby (THE FRESHMAN, THIS IS SPINAL TAP), Michael Madsen (RESERVOIR DOGS) and Anne Heche (WAG THE DOG).
Al Pacino and Johnny Depp are terrific together in this excellent Mafia drama from director Mike Newell. Pacino, who played undercover cop Frank Serpico 25 years before, now becomes the hunted Mafia man whom undercover cop Johnny Depp is after. The film was coproduced by Barry Levinson and the screenplay was written by Paul Attanasio, two of the people responsible for the extraordinary television police drama HOMICIDE.