Robert De Niro’s 5 Best Scorsese Movies (And 5 Other Iconic Films)


Robert De Niro is one of the biggest movie stars of all time. The two-time Academy Award-winning actor is often noted for his decades-long working partnership with director Martin Scorsese. The two industry icons have collaborated on nine highly praised films.

RELATED: 10 Unpopular Opinions About Robert De Niro’s Movies, According To Reddit

Beyond his work with Scorses, De Niro has found himself in countless other iconic films. Anyone looking to set up a well-balanced Robert De Niro movie marathon will need to include both Scorsese classics and non-Scorsese films from De Niro’s illustrious career.


Robert De Niro’s Best Movies Directed By Martin Scorsese

The Irishman

Robert De Niro in The Irishman

De Niro’s most recent Scorsese film, The Irishman, was a treat for crime movie fans. De Niro stars as the real-life truck driver turned hitman Frank Sheeran, while Al Pacino portrayed Jimmy Hoffa.

In addition to being Scorsese’s first-ever collaboration with Pacino, Joe Pesci returned from retirement to round out a dream team gangster cast. Also notable is The Irishman‘s use of de-aging technology, as both De Niro and Pacino were de-aged to half their years.


Casino, De Niro’s last Scorsese collaboration for two decades, was worthy of being the final gem in this glorious partnership. This time De Niro plays a Jewish-American gambling expert turned hotel and casino manager.

A story of greed, power, and betrayal captivates for the entirety of its 178-minute run time. The film uses a flash-forward plot device by opening with the character’s apparent death by car bombing, hooking the audience into wondering how the story will get there.

Raging Bull

In the leadup to the 1980 film Raging Bull, Martin Scorsese was suffering from health and drug addiction problems. He expected that Raging Bull would be his last film, and gave everything he had to make one last perfect movie.

What resulted was a masterpiece. To this day, Raging Bull ranks among the greatest sports films of all time. The breathtaking fight scenes are some of the most distinctive and captivating ever in sports movies. De Niro, who had suggested the project to Scorsese, was the deserving winner of a second Academy Award.


The quintessential Martin Scorsese movie, Goodfellas is packed full of terrific scenes glamorizing the world of organized crime. Ray Liotta stars as a young man working his way up through the business as an associate of Robert De Niro’s Jimmy.

RELATED: 10 Hilarious Lines From Goodfellas

The movie is loaded with quotable lines and unforgettable moments. The iconic three-minute long scene of Liotta entering the Copacabana is one of the greatest long takes in movie history. And who can forget Joe Pesci’s improvised “How am I funny” scene which helped him bag an Academy Award?

Taxi Driver

Robert De Niro Taxi Driver

The story of Travis Bickel’s deteriorating mental health as he descends from taxi-driving veteran to vigilante is one of the most captivating of De Niro’s roles. Scorsese’s direction brings a distinct and unmistakable mood to the film.

De Niro was once again nominated for an Academy Award, and his “You talking to me?” line marks another improvised moment from a Scorsese movie to achieve iconic status. In 2019, De Niro appeared in Joker, a film heavily influenced by the themes of Taxi Driver.

Robert De Niro’s Best Movies By Directors Other Than Martin Scorsese


Robert De Niro in Ronin

In 1998, Veteran director John Frankenheimer delivered his “end-of-career masterpiece”, Ronin. The film cleverly compares its former special operative characters with masterless samurai known as Ronin, thus the film’s name.

One of the quintessential action films of the 1990s, Ronin sports an unbelievable cast including Sean Bean, Stellan Skarsgard, Jean Reno, Michael Lonsdale, and Jonathan Pryce. The film is in particular known for its outstanding car chases which often rank among the greatest in the history of cinema.

The Untouchables

Brian De Palma brought the fictionalized exploits of Elliot Ness to the big screen with 1987’s The Untouchables. De Niro appears as the villainous Al Capone and gives cinema its most famous portrayal of the real-life mob boss.

RELATED: The 10 Best Quotes from The Untouchables

Beyond De Niro, it’s a stellar cast of Kevin Costner, Andy Garcia, and an Academy Award-winning turn by Sean Connery. Ennio Morricone’s award-winning score elevates some already terrific moments in the film. The film’s slow-motion shootout on the Union Station steps is a must-see moment.

The Deer Hunter

Robert De Niro in The Deer Hunter

This 1978 Oscar winner for best picture is one of the most striking Vietnam War movies of them all. It tells the tale of three working-class friends whose lives are changed by their service in the war.

Scenes of the men being forced to play Russian roulette by Viet Cong captures are truly horrifying. The film so effectively conveys how trauma can twist a person’s soul. Christopher Walken nabbed an Oscar for his supporting role, while De Niro and Meryl Streep also received nominations.

Midnight Run

Midnight Run

Midnight Run is a fun buddy film to break up the darker tone of some of De Niro’s other monster hits. Like with 2000’s Meet The Parents, it shows that De Niro has the chops for comedy too.

Midnight Run is renowned for its terrific script full of dialogue that sets up, pays off, and pops. The terrific chemistry between bounty hunter De Niro and his exasperating bounty Charles Grodin really manages to capture lightning in a bottle.

The Godfather Part II

Robert De Niro in The Godfather Part II

Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather sequel may have lost Marlon Brando, but what it gained was Robert De Niro as the young Vito Corleone. It was a breakthrough for young De Niro, who earned his first-ever Academy Award through the same role that had brought Brando one in the first film.

The Godfather Part II is a triumph of American cinema and has long been debated as the greatest sequel and film ever made. Coppola’s directing is masterful and brings together the film’s incredible acting performances, captivating story, warm and breathtaking visuals, and stirring dramatic score.

NEXT: 10 Best Monologues From Martin Scorsese Movies

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