CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 26: Robert de Niro attend the amfAR Cannes Gala 2022 at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 26, 2022 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images for amfAR)
Movies - TV
The 15 Best Robert
De Niro
Films, Ranked
15. Wag the Dog
De Niro’s Conrad Brean, a White House spin doctor who is hired to deal with a presidential sex scandal, is overshadowed by Dustin Hoffman’s Stanley Motss, the flashy Hollywood producer Brean tasks with staging a fake war. De Niro is mostly in the background, except during a CIA interrogation scene when he has a moment to shine.
14. The Irishman
For some, the main problem with “The Irishman” is the main character, De Niro’s Irish-American union official, Frank Sheeran. He is not very complex or expressive and kills people with the same empty sense of duty that he brings to his career as a truck driver.
13. Joker
While “Joker” was controversial, and director Todd Phillips was accused of copying Martin Scorsese and other ‘70s auteurs, it was also very successful as the first R-rated film to make over $1 billion. It is more emotional than most comic book movies, and De Niro’s talk show host, Murray Franklin, is truly condescending and mean towards Arthur Fleck.
12. Mean Streets
“Mean Streets” was the start of the Scorsese-De Niro partnership, and critics praised both the movie and De Niro’s performance. In a retrospective, the Sydney Morning Herald called the film "freewheeling, energetic and raw” and said the movie became “magnetic" when De Niro's Johnny Boy was on-screen.
11. The Untouchables
While “The Untouchables” is about Al Capone’s downfall, De Niro is just in a supporting role as the kingpin. Still, his performance is solid and dependable, and De Niro is a part of why it’s one of the better gangster films of that period and one of director Brian De Palma's best works.