In the late 1970s, FBI agent Joe Pistone (Depp) is assigned to infiltrate a New York City mafia family. Calling himself Donnie Brasco, and posing as a diamond expert, he befriends Lefty Ruggiero (Al Pacino), a low-level mob hit man whose personal life is in tatters, and Dominick Napolitano (Michael Madsen). Lefty can't seem to make any money, his son is a junkie, and he is continually passed over for promotion to a higher position within the Family. He continually reminds Brasco of his growing disillusionment about having spent 30 years in the mafia (and killing 26 people), with little to show for it. In Donnie, however, Lefty sees a young protégé who might be able to succeed where he had failed. He takes Donnie under his wing, and under Lefty's tutelage Donnie quickly becomes accepted by the other Family members, although he is never elevated above the rank of "associate" member (the lowest mafia rank). But the longer Pistone plays the role of a gangster, the more he finds himself actually becoming Donnie Brasco during his rare off duty hours. His change in personality drives a wedge between him and his wife (played by Anne Heche) and three children. Over time, Pistone comes to realize that the slightest mistake in his performance as a mobster could result in the death of him and his family. In addition, Joe Pistone has come to regard Lefty as a close and trusted friend. He knows that when the day finally comes that the FBI arrests his mob associates, he will be ending Lefty's life as surely as if he himself had killed him.
This was one of the few Johnny Depp movies I hadn't seen yet, but I now have. It's definitely not one of my fave Depp movies, but I did enjoy it. Al Pacino is also a fabulous actor (especially in THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE) so that helped make the movie a winner as well. I'll probably re-watch this one someday though as I was kinda drifting in and out towards the end.