Robert De Niro: Goodfellas, Casino, Heat… here’s a list of his 10 best movies
Robert De Niro, a monument of American cinema, who will celebrate his 80th birthday on August 17, 2023, has a dizzying filmography. Here is a list of his top 10 films according to the editorial board.
He is one of the greatest actors of American cinema. Actor Robert de Niro has an impressive filmography. However, CNEWS challenged itself to come up with a (subjective) list of the 10 best films of his career.
Mean Streets (1973)
The film marks the first collaboration between the actor and Martin Scorsese. Robert De Niro shares the poster with Harvey Keitel in this feature film, in which they play Charlie and Johnny Boy, two young mobsters from New York’s Little Italy who try to integrate into the local mafia. The character played by the actor does not stop annoying his friend, he constantly puts himself in danger by taking loans from employers, not being able to pay them back, and openly mocking him. A story that inevitably ends in blood.
Still behind the camera with Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro brilliantly portrays gangster Sam “Ace” Rothstein, who runs the Tangiers hotel-casino with an iron fist with the help of childhood friend Nick Santoro. , one of the hottest businesses. In Las Vegas. But his meeting with the queen of scams, Ginger McKenna, as tempting as it is, will lead to his downfall. Inspired by the true story of a mobster named Frank Rosenthal, “Casino” remains one of the reliable values of the actor’s filmography, despite certain flaws.
The Heat (1995)
The first face-off between Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, this film, masterfully directed by Michael Mann, lives up to all its promises (they both starred in The Godfather II, but note that they didn’t share a scene). The actor plays Neil McCauley, the charismatic leader of a gang of professional robbers who are pursued by Inspector Vincent Hanna after an armored van attack gone wrong. “Heat” starring Val Kilmer, Jon Voight and Tom Sizemore became a reference of this genre.
Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Director Sergio Leone’s last film, Once Upon a Time in America, was long in a shortened version that made it difficult to understand (221 minutes anyway) before the 1994 “Director’s Cut”. ) regained its status as a major work of the 7th art. The story follows the friendship between two mobsters named Max and Noodles over the years. From petty dealings in the New York ghetto of the 1920s to the late 1960s, the audience is transported into this utterly epic tale.
The Godfather – Part 2 (1974)
It is impossible not to include the “Godfather” in this list. Francis Ford Coppola’s trilogy is a cinematic monument. In the second part, made in 1974, Robert De Niro confirms his status as a rising star in Hollywood by playing Vito Corleone in his youth – Marlon Brando’s character in the first opus. The performance of the actor is such that next year he will win an Oscar for the best supporting actor.
The Irishman (2019)
“The Irishman”, mocked for its length (209 minutes), once again reunited Robert De Niro with director Martin Scorsese. And with Joe Pesci, Al Pacino or even Harvey Keitel to answer him. The actor delivers one of his best performances in this dark film, which uses stunning special effects to rejuvenate its performers. It follows the decades-long journey of Frank Sheeran, his character, from his humble beginnings as a truck driver to a killer. Above all, The Irishman offers a fascinating dive into the heart of the mafia, revealing its workings, internal wars and connections to the world of politics.
Journey to Hell’s End (1978)
Few films about the Vietnam War and its impact on survivors are as intense as “Journey to Hell’s End.” This gem by Michael Cimino follows the way this conflict disrupts the lives of the residents of a small industrial town in Pennsylvania. If the film has since been criticized for its treatment of the Vietnamese (as well as its famous scenes of Russian roulette), it is a seminal work of American cinema, winning the 1979 Oscar for Best Picture.
Raging Bull (1980)
Directed by Martin Scorsese, “Raging Bull” will allow Robert De Niro to win an Oscar for best actor for this amazing performance in the skin of Jake LaMotta, in which he is forced to change his body amazingly. The actor is admirable in his portrayal of the person nicknamed “Bronx Bull”, managing to recapture all the anger that the former champion experienced in and out of the ring.
Martin Scorsese, yet he makes perhaps the greatest mob movie of all time with Les Affranchis. Ray Liotta plays Henry Hill, who lives in 1950s Brooklyn and always dreamed of being a gangster. After winning the respect of the local godfather, Paul Cicero, he refuses to sway his accomplices, what can he do. Robert De Niro plays Jimmy Conway, the mobster who will become his mentor, and Joe Pesci plays Tommy DeVito, an unpredictable, dangerous and impulsive man.
Taxi Driver (1976)
“Are you talking to me?” This replica of Travis Bickle, played by Robert De Niro in the movie “Taxi Driver”, has become a cult to the point of merging generations. The performance of the actor in the skin of this Vietnam war veteran pays tribute to the taxi driver. Most often while driving at night, he is in constant contact with the violence that rages on the streets. This is inconsistent with a visibly deteriorating mental health condition. When the opportunity arises to free a young prostitute from her swindlers, Travis doesn’t hesitate for a second. The director of the film is Martin Scorsese, whose work was awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1976.
BONUS: BRAZIL (1985)
Brazil, directed by Terry Gilliam in 1985, is a dystopian film in which Robert De Niro plays one of the secondary roles, Harry Tuttle, a dissident plumber who comes to help the main characters Sam Lowry. played by Jonathan Pryce), the latter struggles in a bureaucratic and totalitarian world. A performance as delightful as it is unexpected in this cinematic gem.