What to say about this movie? We have the incredible portrayal of Al Pacino as a veteran mobster with vulnerabilities, Johnny Depp in a less eccentric role than usual, Michael Madsen once again delivering an effortful interpretation, in addition to a good work of direction by Mike Newell. Also noteworthy is the instrumental soundtrack by Patrick Doyle, especially in the opening minutes.
You wouldn't mistake Donnie Brasco for a great movie or an important one, but it's something that's become almost as rare in American movies: a consistently absorbing and intelligent adult entertainment.
Perhaps the most impressive thing that Newell has done with Donnie Brasco is to cull an atypically low-key and introspective performance from Al Pacino, an actor known for manic, scenery-chewing efforts.
Depp's tight, guarded performance is almost painful to watch, and Newell seems to have reined in the flamboyant Pacino, whose portrait of the mobster as a grumpy old woman may be his best work in years.
Because the filmmakers have skewed the story into a Donnie-Lefty lovefest, the breakage of their trust signals the breakage of Donnie's spirit even in triumph. Case closed. It's the kind of fade-out we might expect from the it's-all-hopeless era of '60s counterculture movies. It's emotionally effective, but also a cheat.
Rated M for Meh. The cast is fine, some great actors with Al Pacino and Johnny Depp. But the story is rather dull and slow. The first half hour nothing happens, then a montage of like ten minutes a lot happens and back to slowness. Godfather movies aren’t fast either but they mostly had bigger (?) and more well rounded casts. And a much better story. This story might have been okay if it wasn’t so difficult to pay attention because of the dullness.
This mob thriller is very average. A viewer familiar with Pacino and Depp's movies would expect great acting and constant action. However this movie is lacking in both acting and thrills. There are a few parts of action but barely any. For a mob thriller the movie is very disappointing. The story drags and by the end of the movie you are relieved that it is over. This movie received high reviews from the critics and the public but it isn't on the level of mob thrillers like Casino, Goodfellas, Scarface, and The Untouchables. I wouldn't watch this movie again and for anyone who hasn't seen this skip it. Whoever misses the movie who hasn't seen it, you aren't missing anything vital. This movie adds nothing new or original to the crime genre.