Donnie Brasco

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3 1/2

Back in 1978, a young FBI undercover agent, Joe Pistone (Johnny Depp), infiltrates the New York Mafia under the guise of a jewel thief named Donnie Brasco. His first contact is with Lefty (Al Pacino), a longtime hit man under pressure to generate income for the Wise Guys. Donnie looks like his answer and Lefty quickly introduces him to the mob. But beneath Donnie's self-assured, cocky facade is a dedicated father and husband risking his life and about to lose his family. His brief visits home become more strained as Donnie/Joe becomes more entrenched in the tightly knit Mafia. Lefty has taught Donnie "the ropes" and Donnie's quick learning has greatly elevated Lefty's standing in the mob. The two develop a genuine affection for each other, creating a moral dilemma for Donnie. If he's pulled from the Mafia by the FBI, Lefty will be the mob's next hit. Never dull and with many plot twists, Donnie Brasco keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. Although this fact-based movie is receiving high marks from critics, its depressing theme of betrayal and gang violence is not for the faint-hearted.

It is particularly depressing to realize how little regard these hoodlums have for life, whether that of a stranger or one of their own. Violent beatings, kicking and shootings are part of a day's work as the mobsters hijack trucks and destroy people and property with no provocation. A bloody, horrific massacre of some FBI agents ends with Donnie, Lefty and other mobsters cutting the bodies into small pieces with sharp knives. The gentle, caring Joe changes from a dad listening to his daughter recite the Catechism to a tough-talking mobster participating in this body-hacking. Along with the violence is non-stop cursing, including 152 obscenities. One brief but fairly graphic sex scene between Joe and his wife takes place on the stairs, with no nudity. Party girls follow the mob around, wearing very revealing, low-cut outfits, and topless girls are shown very briefly in a hot tub. Incessant filthy language and brutal violence saturates this disturbing, realistic look at organized crime.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
TriStar Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (8) times - Mild 2, Moderate 8

Obscene Language: Many (152) times - (f-word 126, s-word 11, other 15)

Profanity: Several (8) times - Regular 7 (G-d 2, JC 4, C-sake 1), Exclamatory 1

Violence: Many times - Moderate and Severe (point-blank shootings, beatings, kicks to head, stomach, graphic massacre scene of bloody bodies being cut up into small pieces; man slaps wife; bar destroyed)

Sex: Once (married couple, no nudity)

Nudity: Once (breast nudity); near nudity (women in revealing outfits)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (gangsters with partying girlfriends, crude remarks about sex)

Drugs: Many times (alcohol drinking, smoking)

Other: None

Running Time: 121 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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