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Whack-a-mole

By PAUL BABIN  |  October 5, 2006

Movie: Donnie Brasco (1997) (directed by Mike Newell)
Undercover cop: Johnny Depp treading the fine line between Joe Pistone and Donnie Brasco.
Undercover Quarry: Al Pacino’s aging mobster and father figure, “Lefty” Ruggiero.
Face Off: Has Joe become Donnie?
Crime does/does not pay scene: Lefty leaves the drawer open.
Words to live/die by: “Fugeddaboutit.”
Coroner’s Report:The miracle of the film, which is based on a memoir by the real ‘Brasco,’ Joseph D. Pistone (in collaboration with Richard Woodley), is that with so many layers of irony, it's so emotionally pure — and so wrenching.” -David Edelstein, Slate.com

Movie: The Fast and the Furious (2001) (directed by Rob Cohen)
Undercover cop: Brian O'Conner. AKA: some guy in a kick ass car.
Undercover quarry: Dominic Toretto. AKA: Vin Diesel when he was cool.
Face Off: There’s nothing like NOS.
Crime does/does not pay scene: Dominic doesn’t just get away scot-free, he gets a Supra!
Words to live/die by: “I live my life a quarter mile at a time.”
Coroner’s Report: “Turbo-charged wallbanger with the IQ of a tire iron. But it jumps off the screen with the mindless panache of a good bad movie.” -Jay Carr, BostonGlobe

Movie: Infernal Affairs (2002) (directed by Alan Mak and Andrew Lau)
Undercover cop: Chan.
Undercover quarry: Police Inspector Lau.
Face Off: He fought the Lau, and the Lau…
Crime does/does not pay scene: Meeting the boss in the garage.
Words to live/die by: “I’m a cop.”
Coroner’s Report: “A huge cult hit; let’s see what Martin Scorsese makes of it in “The Departed.”

Movie:A Scanner Darkly (2006) (directed by Richard  Linklater)
Undercover cop: Bob Arctor.
Undercover quarry:  Bob Arctor.
Face Off: Arctor gets his man.
Crime does/does not pay scene: One word: rehab.
Words to live/die by: “What does a scanner see? Into the head? Into the heart? Does it see into me? Clearly? Or darkly?”
Coroner’s Report:A Scanner Darkly” is a movie that tries, in a way, to mess up our minds. And it does.” -Michael Wilmington, ChicagoTribune

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