"Donnie Brasco" by Yojimbo
Undercover FBI agent Johnny Depp is taken under the wing of low level mobster Al Pacino and soon finds that the lines between his work and his personal life start to blur. Donnie Brasco is the true story of Joseph Pistone whose testimony resulted in hundreds of arrests within the New York Mafia in the late 1970s. Pacino plays the virtual opposite of Tony Montana in this warts and all depiction of life in the mob; he is a rather pathetic figure, little more than a flunky to self serving bosses within a world that's riddled with duplicity, treachery and hypocrisy. His partnership with Depp works really well as you start to feel the same sympathy for this shambling, dishevelled figure trying to get ahead without the intelligence or faculties to do so and the film is one of the first mainstream American films to tackle the implications of the work for a deep cover operative. Mike Newell's direction is maybe a little too slick so it was never going to challenge Goodfellas or The Godfather, but thanks to a fascinating true life story that's expertly performed it's a minor classic and worthy forerunner to the likes of The Departed and American Gangster.