5 Brilliant Paul Sorvino Movies And Where You Can Watch Them

We've lost a monumental figure in cinema, with the brilliant Paul Sorvino passing away at the age of 83. A commanding presence on both stage and screen, Sorvino amassed a whopping 172 credits in film and television alone if IMDb is to be believed. Sorvino made a name for himself by playing tough guys, gangsters, and tough-as-nails cops, but every once in a while was given the opportunity to play something a little softer, which really gave him the chance to have fun on screen. His career has spanned across genres and decades, which means some of his greatest films, like William Friedkin's "The Brink's Job," or his most sentimental, like "The Trouble With Cali," aren't easy to come by outside of physical media.

As devastating as it is to lose a performer of Sorvino's caliber, it is fortunate that his talent and artistry is forever cemented to celluloid (or digital files), and he leaves behind countless appearances for us to remember him by. Here are five of his most phenomenal films and where you can watch them.

Nixon (1995)

The second in Oliver Stone's trilogy about American presidents, 1995's "Nixon" was a peculiar film at the time of its release. It was a massive bomb at the box office, but a critically acclaimed drama that was nominated for four Academy Awards for Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Best Supporting Actress (Joan Allen), Best Original Score (John Williams) and Best Original Screenplay. The film served as a biopic of former U.S. President Richard Nixon, showcasing the major moments in his life that would eventually lead to the Watergate scandal. Paul Sorvino shows up throughout the film as National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Many consider Sorvino's performance to be the premiere portrayal of Kissinger, a man often relegated to caricature, because he was able to bring a sense of humanity to a complicated political figure. It's easy to dismiss corrupt politicians as evil monsters; it's a lot harder to process when you remember they're still people.

"Nixon" is available on VOD for $3.99 at all the usual haunts.

The Rocketeer (1991)

We're pretty vocal here at /Film about our love of "The Rocketeer," an underappreciated Disney classic that demands to be seen by absolutely everyone. Based on the comic books by the same name, "The Rocketeer" tells the story of a stunt pilot named Cliff Secord (Billy Campbell) who discovers a jetpack that allows him to become a high flying hero, all the while straight-up Nazis want to use his jetpack for Nazi badguy nonsense and promise to take them all down. Sorvino plays Eddie Valentine, the head of a group of mobsters hired by film star Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton) to bring the jetpack to him. Unbeknownst to Eddie, Neville Sinclair is Nazi scum, but when he finds out, he immediately turns on the fascist f***wad and delivers one of the all-time great movie moments. Eddie Valentine may be a mobster, but he don't "work for no two-bit Nazi."

"The Rocketeer" is available exclusively on Disney+.

Romeo + Juliet (1996)

If there's anything anyone should know about Paul Sorvino the man, it's that he loves his daughters and will do anything to keep them protected from scumbag men. I've been a fan of Sorvino my entire life, but I'll admit that my fandom got a swift uptick of appreciation after I found out the multitude of ways in which he's gone above and beyond to defend his children. This is likely why Sorvino gives such a fantastic performance as Lord Fulgencio Capulet in Baz Luhrmann's "Romeo + Juliet." Sorvino is absolutely magnetic every second he's on screen, joyous at the party one moment and immediately ruthless in the blink of an eye — all while rocking some serious body glitter. Sorvino's classical training is well on display, and he's even able to bust out a song. Of course, the intensity is shown in a very Shakespearean manner after he discovers his daughter is fraternizing with the enemy, but even through his aggression, the love he has for his daughter is the clear motivation for his actions.

"Romeo + Juliet" is currently available to stream on HBO Max.

Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)

Shortly after Darren Lynn Bousman raked in some serious dough directing "Saw II" and "Saw III," he took the money and put it toward a passion project, the rock opera gorefest known as "Repo! The Genetic Opera." While the film is remembered by most for the casting of Paris Hilton, the decision to cast Paul Sorvino as the father of the notorious Largo crime family was nothing short of brilliant. The director took to Instagram to pay respects to his Rotti Largo. Sorvino almost quit on the first day of filming, but Bousman managed to keep him on board. Here's an excerpt from his story, which will certainly warm your heart:

"When the film ended and the lights came up he sat there stoically. After what seemed like forever he turns to me. Tears in his eyes. He didn't say a word. 'Well?!' I pushed. He stood up and hugged me. And I'll never forget what he said. 'I'm more than a gangster. Thank you for giving the chance to show that.' We walked outside and right before we left he stops me. "Whenever you need me. Whatever the role is, I'm there. No questions asked.'"

"Repo! The Genetic Opera: is streaming for free on Pluto TV.

Goodfellas (1990)

Paul Sorvino is somewhat synonymous with his role as Paulie Cicero in "Goodfellas," and for good reason. The man taught a generation of people how to correctly slice garlic, to not put too many onions in the sauce, to stay away from garbage, and that aristocrats like their steaks medium-rare. As tough as Big Paulie was when it got down to brass tacks, the reason he's so beloved is because he's a gangster with a lot of heart. We talk a lot about antiheroes, but seldom about anti-villains. Big Paulie is quite possibly the best example we have of the trope, and it's all because Sorvino was so irresistibly fantastic. Rest in peace, Big Paulie. Go slap Henry upside the head on the other side for us.

"Goodfellas" is currently streaming on Netflix.