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Top 10 De Niro Performances


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Whether he got top billing or supporting role, let's pay tribute to this screen legend by ranking his best performances.


My top 10

1. Raging Bull - easy pick for me as I consider this the single greatest acting performance in movie history. De Niro is Jake LaMotta and his best actor Oscar self-explanatory.

2. Taxi Driver - his Travis Bickle may be the definitive portrayal of a walking (or rather driving) time bomb.

3. The Deer Hunter - as Mike Vronsky, De Niro delivers one of the most affecting and nuanced performances of his career as a man ravaged by the horrors of war.

4. Once Upon A Time In America - another ensemble movie in which De Niro gives a mesmerizing performance as Jewish mobster David 'Noodles' Aaronson.

5. The King Of Comedy - so apparently The Joker is the bastard child of Travis Bickle and Rupert Pupkin. Another tour de force from Scorsese and Bobby D.

6. Mean Streets - his turn as the volatile and unpredictable 'Johnny Boy' is the landmark role which really launched his career and landed him the part in the next movie on this list.

7. The Godfather Part II - except from the oily hair and the mustache, young De Niro doesn't remotely look like Brando yet he totally sells it as a young Vito Corleone with an understated performance that earned him his first Oscar for best supporting actor.

8. Jackie Brown - in a movie filled with so many brilliant performances, his is often criminally overlooked. As Louis Gara, his performance his both incredibly nuanced and hysterically funny.

9. Casino - at the time unjustly considered a rehash of Goodfellas, it is now rightfully claiming its status as a bonafide classic, thanks in part to Bobby D's understated turn as Sam 'Ace' Rothstein.

10. Goodfellas - in a movie choke full with murderous sociopaths, his Jimmy Conway was the definition of cold, calm menace (especially when paired with Cream's 'Sunshine Of Your Love').


Other notable roles that nearly made the list:

Jack Walsh in Midnight Run truly the first movie where De Niro proved he had serious comedy acting chops and his chemistry with Charles Grodin is buddy movie heaven.

Max Cady in Cape Fear - another hypnotic performance that shows the lengths to which this actor was willing to go in order to make for a truly terrifying psycopath.

Neil McCauley in Heat - I expected to love this movie a lot more than I actually did considering the talent involved, but there's no denying De Niro's performance is a highlight.





Edited by R1s1ngs0n
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Ooohhh now this is hard 


1 , The Untouchables oozes calm evil


2 , Awakenings so well played with Robin Williams 


3 Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. 

The Creature taken to a new level


4 Goodfellas  i need a rewatch 


5 Heat . 3 hrs too long that diner scene  perfection. 


6 Limitless  i had no idea  what was going on but it was  GREAT


7 Cape Fear  cracking reboot.


8 Men Of Honor  edge of my seat the whole movie .


9 Brazil small yet a BRILLIANTLY pivotal  role


10 Machete  love the movie so why not 👍😊💋💋

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  • 2 months later...

My personal favorite is Midnight Run.

Awakenings is my 2.

The Irishman 3

Raging Bull 4

Godfather II 5


others not mentioned that are worth mentioning:


Meet the Parents

The Irishman

Silver Lining Playbook

Wag the Dog

Marvin’s Room

A Bronx Tale

Angel Heart

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