Robert De Niro is one of the best actors in this modern age. He has won countless accolades including Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTA’s. Some of his films have become instant classics, while some have gained even more popular over time. De Niro is one of the most instantly recognisable faces in Hollywood, and even in 2019, he is planning on dominating the big screen for years to come.
The impending releases of Joker and The Irishman look certain to be two of the highest grossing films of the year. The latter of the films sees De Niro team up with Martin Scorsese along with Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in what is sure to be a classic crime thriller. But, which films have passed the test of time and are always among the front runners when movie experts discuss the best films that he has been in?
Of course, The Irishman isn’t the first time that Scorsese and De Niro have worked together, and this film remains in discussions when people talk about the greatest films of all-time. The ensemble cast feature Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta, but it is De Niro who steals the show with his portrayal of James ‘Jimmy the Gent’ Conway. His performance as a hardened member of mafia is captivating, but how he employs the full range of his acting qualities in group scenes ensures that De Niro is always the man that you’re watching.
The 1990 release grossed $47 million and was nominated for six Academy Awards; including Best Director and Best Picture. Goodfellas was also named as the film of the year by various critics’ groups, and the popularity of the film remains even now.
Scorsese, De Niro and Pesci teamed up again for the 1995 release of Casino, and once again it was met with critical acclaim. De Niro plays the role of Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein, who is a Jewish American overseeing the daily operations at a Las Vegas casino. Pesci’s character of Nicholas ‘Nicky’ Santoro is brought to the casino as an enforcer and to ensure that the mobsters in Sin City are kept in line. The film features various scenes of casino games, including blackjack, roulette and poker; you can check them out here.
Sharon Stone famously rose to prominence in this flick for her portrayal as Ace’s scheming wife. Stone was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Golden Globe for the Best Actress in a Motion Picture. Casino went onto claim over $110 million at the box office and is always referred to as a classic.
Despite being released just months after De Niro won an Oscar for his role in the Godfather II; Taxi Driver remains the film that made the American a bonafide star. De Niro plays Travis Bickle, who is an ex-Marine and is isolated and angry. The story is gripping from the start as you wait to see what he does next.
It achieved mainstream success instantly and was nominated for four Academy Awards; including Best Picture and Best Actor. The film won the Palme d’Or at the 1976 film festival in Cannes. In 2012 Sight & Sound placed it at 31st in the 100 best movies ever created.