Gimme 5: Favorite DeNiro Flicks!

Today marks the release of the highly anticipated Machete (directed by Robert Rodriguez & Ethan Maniquis). I’m not very excited about it at all, but since it co-stars Robert DeNiro, I thought it would make for an opportune time to get your feedback on the legendary, Oscar-winning actor. I figured there are plenty of movies to pick from, so this week I am asking you to Gimme Your 5 favorite Robert DeNiro Movies — they can be what you think his 5 best performances are or the 5 best movies he has been a part of…you decide!

Once upon a time, Mr. DeNiro put everything into his craft and gave us some of cinema’s most magnetic characters. That was a long while ago. Now, it seems he is more businessman than artist; cashing paychecks and busy making lousy Fockers sequels and other nonsense such as Hide and Seek, Godsend, Showtime and yes, sadly, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.  A far cry from The Mission, Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy. Regardless, he is a heavyweight talent and there is always hope that he will return to top form. Here is his extensive acting resume — now:


I will start…(going strictly with his actual performances here)

#1. Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull 
(still, the performance of his life…)
#2. Vito Corleone in The Godfather: Part II
(brilliant in his subtlety and taking on the persona of a young Brando. Exquisitely crafted)
#3. Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver
(cinema’s most notorious vigilante. Raw and uninhibited approach)
#4. Michael in The Deer Hunter
(the nucleus that holds this awe-inspiring film together. Absolutely captivating)
#5. Sam Rothstein in Casino
(I think a more multi-layered performance here than in Goodfellas & shows more range)

Hmmm….3 out of the 5 were directed by Martin Scorsese. I would think it’s high time to start collaborating with the master filmmaker again…Leo will be just fine for a while.



31 Responses to Gimme 5: Favorite DeNiro Flicks!

  1. ajkima says:

    Hi. I think King of Comedy should not be overlooked. He was brilliant in it.

  2. rtm says:

    I don’t watch enough DeNiro films, but my fave out of the ones I have watched are:
    • Heat
    • Falling in Love
    • Untouchables
    • Cape Fear
    • Analyze This

  3. CMrok93 says:

    1. Raging Bull (honestly who doesn’t agree with this!?!?!!)
    2. King of Comedy (darker than Travis Bickle honestly)
    3. The Deer Hunter (underrated as hell)
    4. Awakenings (makes Sean Penn look like a light-weight when it comes to playing mentally-challenged)
    5. Taxi Driver (great job at playing an iconic vigilante.

    Others to mention: Analyze This & That, Casino, Godfather Part II.
    Most disappointing: The Untouchables, and Jackie Brown.
    Great actor, love this list!

  4. Richard says:

    Okay, another good one. But tough!

    1. Godfather Part II (Vito Corleone)
    2. Goodfellas (Jimmy Conway)
    3. The King of Comedy (Rupert Pupkin)
    4. Midnight Run (Jack Walsh)
    5. Mad Dog and Glory (Wayne Dobie)

    • I love Midnight Run! His chemistry with Grodin is spectacular in that! His best comedy too, which runs neck-and-neck with King of Comedy. Rupert is awesome. A nice five here — what, no Raging Bull??? Surprised.

  5. Heather says:

    Dude you are the man for including Casino. This one is so hard for me. Bobby is one of my all time favorites, the utter man!

    Okay here goes:

    5. Heat – Neil McCauley
    4. Cape Fear – Max Cady
    3. Casino – ACE! Sam Rothstien
    2. Raging Bull – Jake La Motta
    1. Taxi Driver – Travis Bickle

    Really easily interchangeables for me would have been Vito Corleone, Michael in The Deer Hunter, or Leonard in Awakenings

    TOUGH List Peter!

  6. Chase Kahn says:

    1) “Raging Bull”
    2) “Taxi Driver”
    3) “The Godfather: Part II”
    4) “Mean Streets”
    5) “Brazil”

  7. Castor says:

    1. The Godfather 2
    2. Raging Bull
    3. Taxi Driver
    4. The Deer Hunter
    5. Ronin!

    • I’m surprised that most have almost the same 5…not a great sign for sir DeNiro. I did not care for Ronin (only saw it once), and don’t remember how good he was in it, but I will surely take your word for it…And GF2 is a good call for first also, I can see that – he was magnificent.

  8. MAGGIE SIMI says:


  9. Will Silver says:

    Your five are good picks. My personal favorite is his role in Jackie Brown. He gives a completely different performance that usual in it and I loved it.

  10. Nora says:

    Raging Bull and Taxi Driver, absolutely. Have not seen #2, #4 or #5 so I can’t say (blank slate), but I don’t think I would argue with your picks. I really loved him in the first Meet the Parents movie. Also, Analyze This. He’s intimidating but just so lovable.. 🙂

  11. Raul Duke says:

    Peter there is a first time for everything. But I cannot think of a movie he played in that can bump one of your picks. I agree with all 5. I did like Stanley and Iris even though Hanoi Jane was in it. I also liked him in Heat. He has made alot of paycheck movies but your list sums up his ability perferctly.

    • I really liked Stanley and Iris and he was excellent in it. A very sweet film. Heat is a good choice too. There are a lot to pick from in the early years, especially Mean Streets, which I had to leave out of the Top 5.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: