Robert De Niro is one of Hollywood’s most bankable and most reliable stars, who still manages to stay in the spotlight even though the peak of his career has passed. Known primarily for his gangster pics, frequent collaborations with Martin Scorsese, and stints in comedies (Meet the Parents Who?), Robert De Niro still tries to give it his all when in front of the camera. glass and that’s why we love him.
Below is a list of Robert De Niro’s best performances of all time that you don’t want to miss.
1. Taxi Driver (1976)
One of Martin Scorsese’s most notable works and certainly the film that really put De Niro in the spotlight, Taxi Driver tells the story of Travis Bickle, a veteran (and taxi driver) in the City. New York, who is slowly losing his mind. Striving to fight against local injustice (including the liberation of a child prostitute), Travis engages in various acts of violence that bring him to public attention.
If you’re looking for a classic Robert De Niro movie that pushes the boundaries and makes you think then Taxi Driver is the movie for you.
2. Mad Cow (1980)
Eat your heart out, Rocky! Raging Bull (another Scorsese film) stars De Niro as real-life Italian-American middleweight boxer Jake LaMotta as he fights a never-ending battle amid self-destruction and obsession, leading to a rift between him and his family. Joe Pesci (Goodfellas) also plays Jake’s brother and manager, Joey.
Raging Bull is a simple film with a variety of emotions and authenticity that will keep you glued to the screen as it breaks your heart.
3. Casino (1995)
An American crime epic directed by Martin Scorsese, Casino stars De Niro alongside frequent collaborator Joe Pesci in a film about greed, power, and friendship. Along with De Niro and Pesci, this gangster epic also stars Sharon Stone (Total Recall), James Woods (vampire), Kevin Pollak (The usual suspects) and comedy legend Don Rickles. De Niro plays “Ace” Rothstein, who is sent by the Chicago mob to handle some of their business in Las Vegas. As you might guess, things don’t go as planned as De Niro finds himself in deep water.
As De Niro and Scorsese’s eighth collaboration, Casino is one of the best, not only a gangster epic but also one of De Niro’s most solid performances on the show. screen.
4. The Godfather Part II (1974)
Often considered one of the greatest films of all time, The Godfather Part II is a masterpiece starring De Niro (Taxi Driver) as young Vito Corleone. It’s a fascinating and insightful look at two different time periods (and lives) as the film alternates between young Vito and his son, Michael (Al Pacino, The Godfather), both of whom work to ensure and protect the family business.
The Godfather Part II is one of De Niro’s most iconic roles, as he stepped into Marlon Brando’s extra-large shoes and fit them quite nicely.
5. Heat (1995)
Arguably the greatest crime film of all time, Heat is memorable for its antagonistic character-driven dramas. De Niro plays career thief Neil McCauley, who is looking to get out of the game before it’s too late. Al Pacino plays veteran LAPD detective Vincent Hanna, a cop haunted by his failed marriage following McCauley’s heels. Although there is a lot of focus on the two characters, they only interact once, in the memorable cafe scene, which was also the first time De Niro and Pacino were in a scene together.
The expanded cast is also top notch with the participation of major stars Val Kilmer (The doors), Tom Sizemore (Rescue Private Ryan), Jon Voight (Anaconda), Ashley Judd (Double jeopardy) and Natalie Portman (Closer) starring character actor Danny Trejo (machete), Tom Noonan (Hunter), William Fichtner (Black Hawk Down), Ted Levine (The Silence of the Lambs) and Mykelti Williamson (Forrest Gump).
Heat is a slow, pulsing burn (emphasis on slow), but it gets results in the end.
6. King of Comedy (1982)
Delving into De Niro’s comedic talents, Scorsese’s The King of Comedy is a satirical black comedy about Robert Pupkin, an aspiring (and delusional) stand-up comedian whose life isn’t quite right. as he expected. His constant fantasies about late-night host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis, actually the “King of Comedy”) are comically disturbing.
If you’re a fan of the recent Joker movie (which actually stars De Niro as the late-night host), then The King of Comedy (and Taxi Driver) is a must-see for both both are clear sketches for the film. 2019 Award Winner.
7. The Deer Hunter (1978)
One of the most revered Vietnam War dramas to come out during this time period, The Deer Hunter follows three Russian-American friends; Mike (De Niro), Nick (Christopher Walken, The Prophecy) and Steven (John Savage, Dark Angel) as they face the pain of war and the bonds of friendship, two of them even fall in love together a woman.
While director Michael Cimino (Heaven’s Gate) may not be able to recreate the magic he created with The Deer Hunter, De Niro is luckier.
8. GoodFellas (1990)
Yes, another gangster movie… GoodFellas is a biopic (directed by Scorsese, of course) about the rise and fall of mob boss associate Henry Hill (Ray Liotta, Field of Dreams) lasted three decades, and as the name suggests, was a really good time. The stellar cast includes gangster movie legend De Niro as Jimmy Conway and Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito.
GoodFellas remains one of De Niro’s best films and is often considered one of the best gangster films ever made.
9. Mean Streets (1973)
Another De Niro/Scorsese picture, Mean Streets is an entertaining look at the struggles of a young Italian-American man in Little Italy (Harvey Keitel, The Irishman) as he struggles amid illegal Mafia activities. his legality and devout Catholicism, while also always caring for that of his volatile young friend, Johnny Boy (De Niro).
De Niro’s performance as Johnny Boy Civello is excellent, while the uncertain ending will leave you wanting more.
10. Nose of Fear (1991)
While most of De Niro’s roles are gray in character, his role as convicted rapist Max Cady in Cape Fear is one of his darkest. Nick Nolte (Thin Red Line) stars alongside De Niro as the rapist’s former lawyer, whom he now terrorizes after his release. De Niro is absolutely terrifying in this film, playing the psychopathic seducer almost too well as he mercilessly stalks, harasses, and beats Nolte and his family.
The aptly named Cape Fear certainly is, with a long list of thrills that are sure to make you want to sleep without the lights on for the next few weeks.
11. The Untouchables (1987)
Based on the book of the same name, The Untouchables tells the story of 1930s Prohibition-era Chicago, in which Prohibition agent Elliot Ness (Kevin Costner, Yellowstone) works to take down mob boss Al Capone (De Niro ). De Niro takes down Capone and really stands out in this equally entertaining and fictional mobster opus.
While The Untouchables is based on true events, many of the events in the film were heavily fictionalized by writer David Mamet (The Verdict), but that doesn’t make the film any less interesting.
12. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Sergio Leone (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly) gave his own take on the gangster genre with the Italian-American venture Once Upon a Time in America. This gripping drama about friendship and regret stars De Niro as Noodles and James Woods as Max, best friends who lead a group of young Jews from the ghetto to the world. Organized crime in New York.
The film was scored by the great Ennio Morricone and featured regular cameos from De Niro, Joe Pesci along with Treat Williams (Increased depth), Burt Young (Stone) and William Forsythe (Raising Arizona).
Once upon a time in America is a four-hour epic and the last film that Leone directed before his death.
13. Ronin (1998)
Ronin is an action thriller from John Frankenheimer (Birdman of Alcatraz) that features some of the best and most realistic car chase scenes in the industry. Not to mention Robert De Niro was once a CIA mercenary. And if that doesn’t make you want to watch this then nothing will.
Although the plot can be a bit complicated, don’t let that scare you, Ronin is an action packed achievement that will land you successfully. All it asks of you is that you ride.
14. Dat Cop (1997)
Before making modern classics like Logan, Ford v Ferrari and Walk the Line, James Mangold’s Cop Land took center stage. Starring Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) as a small-town New Jersey sheriff and De Niro as an Internal Affairs investigator, Cop Land tackles corruption within the NYPD in a way no other film else can do it.
Once again De Niro surrounds himself with an incredible cast that includes Harvey Keitel (Bad lieutenant), Ray Liotta (GoodFellas), Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day), Edie Falco (Sopranos) and Janeane Garofalo (A secret man).
Despite the police brutality and corruption we see in the spotlight today, De Niro and Stallone make it clear that even in Cop Land no one is above the law.
15. The Irishman (2019)
De Niro’s most recent collaboration with Scorsese (ninth in total and soon to be tenth), The Irishman stars De Niro, Pacino and Pesci in a three-hour crime epic that puts The gangster genre reaches new heights. Both an homage to Scorsese’s previous work, as well as the film’s stars’ previous gangster work, and loosely based on the life of a real-life assassin, this film is a slow work.
While The Irishman isn’t exactly a captivating work, it’s a gangster epic worth seeing for more than its title performance alone. De Niro has proven once again that he can still do it.