If we could sit down and count the cult films that Robert De Niro tied to his name, we'd run out of fingers. Few actors are so fortunate to have had success in Hollywood, and even fewer have so many iconic roles under their belt that it's hard to narrow them down to the top ten films of their career.
With that said, we think we have a pretty solid idea of the best films of Robert De Niro, we've looked at the greatest films he's been in and thought about how he got them up in the rankings. Not everyone will agree with the results, but as we have learned from looking at them, it is difficult to argue against any of the 10 below.
1. Cape of Fear.
Anyone who has seen Robert De Niro's Mafia movie knows that an actor can play a bad person, although we've rarely seen him play a person as insane as Max Cady. Cady is a violent rapist who wants revenge on his lawyer who hid evidence in Cady's previous conviction that could have mitigated his sentence. Armed with a knowledge of the law and an insatiable lust for blood, Cady takes steps to ruin his lawyer's life.
The fight is an overall solid film, but the highlight of this film is the dynamics of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. The fight may not be Robert De Niro's best film, which also features Pacino on our list, but it absolutely deserves top 10 status.
In The Untouchables, Robert De Niro plays one of the biggest real-life gangsters of all time in the celebrity business. Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness in his efforts to overthrow the great Al Capone during Prohibition.
4. The king of comedy.
Robert De Niro plays Rupert Papkin, a celebrity wannabe.
While some critics have compared it to The Nice Guys, Scorsese and De Niro's collaboration with the Mafia makes the film pretty fantastic. Whether he's interacting with co-star Sharon Stone or Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro is amazing in every scene. The viewer may even want to be him ... that is until he sees how awful things are for him in the second and third acts.
6. Deer hunter.
There are many great films that explore the intensity and aftermath of the Vietnam War, and The Deer Hunter is one of the best. We see Robert De Niro in pre-war America and ordinary life, and then we embark on an insane journey that is both frightening and tragic at the same time.
7. The Godfather: Part II.
Of course, this list includes The Godfather: Part II. This is probably one of the first titles that come to mind when thinking about Robert De Niro's films, and he is voted one of the best and most influential by the American Film Institute in several categories. De Niro plays the young Vito Corleone in his part of the story, which shows his rise to power in the mafia.
8. Taxi driver.
Please note, we have officially reached the point where every record from now on is a masterpiece by Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro. The taxi driver is undoubtedly one of the best in the duo, as Travis Bickle has gone from being a dangerous and a bit frustrated working class to a real hero.
9. Nice Guys.
Nice Guys is arguably the best Mafia movie of all time and one of the best performances by Robert De Niro. It's kind of funny considering Henry Ray Liotta is the main character, but as this list shows, De Niro is generally fantastic, whether he's a star or a supporting actor. Here he plays the gangster Jimmy, who essentially shows Henry the intricacies of the mafia life.
10. Raging bull.
Of all Robert De Niro's films, Raging Bull is one of his most striking performances of all time. His portrayal of former boxer-turned-comedian Jake LaMotta is a stunning portrait of the guy you love and hate. You regret, sympathize, and hate him at the same time.