The award rack in Robert De Niro’s house must be pretty hefty. De Niro has bagged all but every major award in the field of cinema. In a career spanning over five decades, De Niro has gone through many ups and downs just like any other actor in the industry. However, the kind of ups he has experienced is only rivalled by a few.
Leaving no genre untouched, De Niro has made movies whose impact will last for as long as the art of moviemaking. Finding a top 10 is no easy feat but we’ve scoured the actor’s extensive filmography to put together our list of the best Robert De Niro movies!
Let us know what you think about our picks in the comments below:
Taxi Driver sealed De Niro’s spot in the movie industry as one of the greatest. A war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City, where immorality and crime force him to make a violently intelligent attempt to set things right.
Young De Niro captivates our attention throughout the entire duration of the film. He takes his character’s bizarreness to a whole ‘nother level with his bumper dialogues and gripping facial expressions.
The Deer Hunter
The Deer Hunter is a rare piece – some greatly like it, some greatly dislike it. Despite its exceedingly varied critical response, The Deer Hunter is one of the best war dramas ever made. Three military servicemen in Vietnam find themselves in life-threatening situations as an impact of the war. Matters only get worse as they make desperate attempts to get back to normal. What’s special is that the plot gives a detailed summary of how wars can cause disarray.
De Niro puts up a performance so strong that viewers can feel the intense emotions of his character. Just in case you are wondering, the three friends are fond of deer hunting, hence the title.
The King of Comedy
With The King of Comedy, De Niro proved – comedy might not be his go-to genre, but he can certainly dethrone the comedy king anytime he wishes. A struggling stand-up comedian is desperate for the spotlight of fame. After all his attempts fail to bear fruits, he decided to kidnap his comedy idol in a bid to achieve his dream.
Though a huge box office bomb, The King of Comedy remains one of De Niro’s top comedy works.
Based on the life of Jake LaMotta, Raging Bull is the best depiction of how the demons in one’s mind can eclipse one’s skills and glory. Jake LaMotta is a skilful boxer who is eyeing the championship title. His professional growth seems certain, however, his personal problems and ill-attitude start posing a threat to his career.
Robert De Niro had to do a bit of transformation to fit into the role. Well, once you finish the movie, you would know that transformation wasn’t only physical.
The Godfather II
Whether or not De Niro cracked the bar set by Marlon Brando is up for debate, but he certainly surpassed our expectations playing the younger version of Vito Corleone. The Godfather II focuses on Vito Corleone’s early days, struggle, and how he worked his way from small-time crimes to creating a massive crime empire.
The movie, in a way, reinvented the methods of making crime movies. What’s more, Godfather II can be attributed with upgrading De Niro from a star to a superstar.
Heat is a flavorful thriller drama. Featuring Robert Di Niro and Al Pacino in the lead roles, Heat plays off the classic cop vs. criminal tension. The film tells the story of a seasoned criminal who wishes to execute one last robbery before he can hang his crime-drenched boots. Though getting away for him isn’t going to be easy as the cops closely follow his trail.
Excellent scripting, immaculate acting, and superb direction make sure there isn’t a single stale moment throughout its 170-minute run. Once again, De Niro is a true treat to watch.
Frankly speaking, The Intern doesn’t belong on the list of De Niro’s A+ grade movies. But it’s nothing short of an A, given it’s De Niro’s first time in a totally unorthodox role which he pulled off splendidly. The Intern stars De Niro in the role of an aged intern in a modern fashion company. As an intern, he wins hearts with his old-school methods of getting his job done.
Furthermore, he starts a meaningful friendship with his young boss who is experiencing both personal and professional problems.
Another crime drama, another extraordinary performance. With nothing more than the support of his friends, a small-time criminal makes his way to the peak as a powerful gangster. However, his criminal life and family life remain majorly at odds, and he has to make a decision that changes the course of his life.
De Niro plays one of Hill’s crime associates – James Conway, a character inspired by real-life American gangster James Burke. The vet actor was offered the role of associate for a simple reason – the role turns more heads than any other character in the film.
Once Upon a Time In America
A former gangster has to go through regretful memories of the past as he returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan after 35 years. Once Upon a Time in America is arguably De Niro’s best performance to date. This amazing crime drama contains gravity, emotion, determination, and action – a recipe that has proved to be the sweet spot for De Niro.
Once Upon a Time in America is an absolute must-watch that promises to hold your attention until the last minute. Just make sure, you don’t get the short version of the movie – in which case you wouldn’t be so pleased. The original cut of the movie is 251 minutes long – and that’s what you should go after.
Silver Linings Playbook
Based on the 2008 novel The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick, Silver Linings Playbook stars De Niro in a supporting role. He is playing the father of a man who is returning from mental health hospital to fix his marriage and life. Simply put, the young man is tricky to father, but De Niro’s approach is even trickier.
Silver Linings Playbook renewed De Niro’s vigor and charisma as it earned him his first Oscar nomination in over two decades.
Side information: There is a good news for all the fans of De Niro and Scorsese duo. De Niro and Martin Scorsese are collaborating one more time for a crime drama titled Killers of the Flower Moon. It’s expected to release next year.
And there we have it, our picks for our 10 favourite Robert De Niro movies!
What do you think of our list? Have we included your favourites? Or have we missed any must-watch movies? We love to hear from you so do feel free to let us know in the comments below!