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Ranking the Best Performances From Robert De Niro

Apple Original Films

After looking at Leonardo DiCaprio yesterday (here), alongside Martin Scorsese earlier in the week (here), it only makes sense to do Robert De Niro today, right? They’re all certainly having a moment right now with the release of Killers of the Flower Moon (reviewed here). Beyond that, De Niro is just simply one of the all-time greats. If one was crafting a Mount Rushmore of acting legends, it’s hardly obscene to suggest that his face would be on it. Even if some of his more recent works have been lacking at times, his heights are as high as anyone.

Below, you can see how I’d rank the best of the best, in terms of De Niro’s work. Unsurprisingly, his collaborations with Scorsese are littered throughout this list. What’s perhaps more surprising is that a few of his more modern turns have cracked my top ten. Where does Killers of the Flower Moon fall within his career? You’re about to find out…

Here now are what I believe to be the ten best performances from Robert De Niro. Take a gander:

“Taxi Driver” (1976) Cinematography by Michael Chapman

Honorable Mention: Awakenings, Being Flynn, Cape Fear, Casino, The Deer Hunter, Mean Streets, and Wag the Dog

10. Goodfellas

9. The Irishman

8. Cop Land

7. Everybody’s Fine

6. Killers of the Flower Moon

5. The Godfather Part II

4. The King of Comedy

3. Silver Linings Playbook

2. Raging Bull

1. Taxi Driver


What are your favorite performances from Robert De Niro? Let us know!


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Robert Hamer
1 month ago

If I remember correctly, you once declared Robert De Niro‘s portrayal of the disturbed Vietnam War vet-turned-failed-political-assassin-turned-violent-crusader Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver the best film performance ever delivered by a man, and… I mean, it’s pretty hard to argue too forcefully against that!

1 month ago

I do rank Raging Bull lower than most would but I still don’t see anyone playing the role better it’s just not my absolute favorite of his.
1.The Deer Hunter
2.The King Of Comedy
5.The Untouchables
6.Cape Fear
7.The Godfather Part II
8.Taxi Driver
9.Raging Bull
10.Killers of the Flower Moon

HM Wag The Dog,Analyze This,Silver Linings Playbook,Goodfellas,( guilt pleasure but I don’t feel so guilt Meet The Fockers)

Brian H.
Brian H.
1 month ago

Another incredibly hard one to do…just like Leo and Marty’s movies…not too many wrong answers in the bunch. So many iconic ones, so many fun ones, even in bad movies he does his thing so well. I do agree with Joey though. The Taxi Driver performance is too hard not to put at the top. I had to go 30 deep….Also I love that both Joey and Kellie mentioned Wag the Dog! I felt like that one has been forgotten and glad to see it isn’t.

  1. Taxi Driver
  2. Raging Bull
  3. Deer Hunter, The
  4. Godfather Part II, The
  5. Killers of the Flower Moon
  6. Goodfellas
  7. Irishman, The
  8. Casino
  9. Silver Linings Playbook
  10. Wag the Dog
  11. King of Comedy
  12. Midnight Run
  13. Cape Fear
  14. Mean Streets
  15. Awakenings
  16. Jackie Brown
  17. Jacknife
  18. Untouchables, The
  19. Everybody’s Fine
  20. Score, The
  21. CopLand
  22. Mad Dog and Glory
  23. We’re No Angels
  24. Heat
  25. A Bronx Tale
  26. Meet the Parents
  27. Bang the Drum Slowly
  28. Analyze This
  29. Backdraft
  30. Men of Honor



Written by Joey Magidson

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