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Donnie Brasco (1997)

5. Donnie Brasco (1997)

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Donnie Brasco is one more instance of Depp playing more than one character.  In the movie, an undercover agent has infiltrated the mafia as a gangster-up-and-comer in order to gather evidence and pick leads and tips through surveillance. Agent Pistone’s (Depp) struggle to be the fictional mobster Brasco without having worlds collide kept the audience’s uneasy attention the entire film. It didn’t hurt that Depp worked with the godfather of all mafia character actors on the project in Al Pacino.  Depp hadn’t played too many tough guy roles before Donnie Brasco, but no one’s questioned his range ever since. There’s nothing bizarre about Pistone, he’s just trying not to blow his cover and keep his family safe.  What’s Eating Donnie Brasco? could’ve served as an alternate title.  Depp later appeared briefly on screen in a cameo with costar Pacino in the dreadful Jack and Jill.

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