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Our staff’s favorite Robert De Niro roles over the years

Will Robert De NIro’s performance in The Family join our staff picks for favorite performance? Who knows?

Taxi Driver (1976) There’s a good reason why the mere mention of De Niro’s name always and immediately conjures up his mohawked Travis Bickle: Never has he given a more searing, dominant and chew-worthy performance. –Mike Prevatt

The King of Comedy (1982) Unfunny comedian Rupert Pupkin resorting to kidnapping to get his big break on TV is a master class in awkward, yet De Niro almost has us believing in him. “Better to be king for a night than schmuck for a lifetime.” –Ken Miller

Midnight Run (1988) As bounty hunter Jack Walsh, De Niro matches Charles Grodin’s wry comedic timing—back when he was known as the dramatic icon at the heart of Raging Bull and The Godfather: Part II. –Spencer Patterson

Casino (1995) Though our fair city is the real star of this Scorsese classic, De Niro’s Sam “Ace” Rothstein is the perpetually frustrated (and quite stylish) focal point, a methodical control freak unable to maintain his empire. –Brock Radke

Heat (1995) Audiences had anticipated his confrontation with Al Pacino for years, but the real power of De Niro’s performance as master thief Neil McCauley comes in quieter moments, like the look he gives his girlfriend as he goes on the run to protect her. –Josh Bell

Stardust (2007) De Niro’s Captain Shakespeare starts out glowering and treacherous, but as the story unfolds, he reveals himself to be a tenderhearted, closeted lover of wild dancing in frilly petticoats. It’s a ridiculously emasculating role, and he owns it. –Erin Ryan


Commenting Policy

  • This biopic is less about Stephen than it is about Jane Wilde Hawking, who’s portrayed as indomitable and long-suffering.

  • Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey reprise their roles from the first movie in the most contrived ways possible.

  • Subjecting the feline to starring in a bargain-basement Lifetime Christmas movie seems like a form of animal cruelty.

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