Robert De Niro‘s career is like a cinematic masterpiece woven with the golden threads of success and acclaim.

He’s practically got an award for every role he’s touched, leaving other actors green with envy and scrambling for a piece of his acting prowess.

Regarded as America’s favorite gangster, De Niro has ruled Hollywood like a modern-day Don.

From the red carpet glitz to the silver screen grit, we can’t help but be in awe of his amazing talent and mesmerizing performances.

Related: Top 10 Richest Actors in the World [2022]

He effortlessly embodies his characters in them, making us believe they’re his real personality.

It’s like he breathes life into them effortlessly!

Let’s talk about those collaborations with the legendary Martin Scorsese that turned De Niro into the ultimate gangster icon.

The duo’s creative partnership has gifted us with unforgettable gangster movies like “Goodfellas,” “Casino,” and the more recent mob masterpiece, “The Irishman.” Whenever De Niro and Scorsese join forces, it’s pure movie magic.

Get ready for a cinematic feast as we take you through the top 10 best Robert De Niro movies!

Top 10 Highest-Rated Robert De Niro Movies, According to IMDb

  • ‘Brazil’ (1985) – 7.9
  • ‘The Deer Hunter’ (1978) – 8.1
  • ‘Raging Bull’ (1980) – 8.2
  • ‘Casino’ (1995) – 8.2
  • ‘Taxi Driver’ (1976) – 8.2
  • ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ (1984) – 8.3
  • ‘Heat’ (1995) – 8.3
  • ‘Joker’ (2019) – 8.4
  • ‘Goodfellas’ (1990) – 8.7
  • ‘The Godfather Part II’ (1974) – 9.0

10 ‘Brazil’ (1985)

Brazil (1985) - #10 Best Robert De Niro Movies

IMDb: 7.9/10 205K | Popularity: 2,100 | Metascore: 84
Genres: Drama, Sci-Fi

We kick off this top 10 best Robert De Niro movies countdown with a movie that takes you on a wild ride.

Explore a dystopic society where a bureaucrat is branded an enemy yet pursues his dream woman.

Related: 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time, Ranked by Viewers

In this offbeat film, the protagonist’s pursuit of love lands him in a web of danger and intrigue.

With every turn, you’ll immerse yourself in this dystopian world where dreams and reality clash.

Catch this incredible Robert De Niro movie that’ll leave you pondering society and the pursuit of happiness.

[ Watch on Prime Video ]

9 ‘The Deer Hunter’ (1978)

The Deer Hunter (1978) - #9 Best Robert De Niro Movies

IMDb: 8.1/10 347K | Popularity: 1,056 | Top 250: #192 | Metascore: 86
Genres: Drama, War

This powerful film immerses you in the lives of a group of friends from a small Pennsylvania steel mill town, whose lives are forever disrupted and shaped by the harrowing experiences of the Vietnam War.

Related: 10 Best War Movies of All Time, Ranked by Viewers

Get ready to witness the profound impact war has on their friendship and the profound toll it takes on their souls.

In this captivating story, you’ll meet ordinary folks facing extraordinary circumstances.

From the battlefield to the aftermath, “The Deer Hunter” explores the complexities of human nature, delving into the deep scars of war and its far-reaching effects.

The Deer Hunter” is a testament to Robert De Niro‘s remarkable talent, showcasing his ability to embody complex characters with depth and authenticity.

As you immerse yourself in this cinematic gem, be prepared to be moved and challenged by its exploration of friendship, sacrifice, and the indelible marks of war.

[ Watch on Prime Video ]

8 ‘Raging Bull’ (1980)

Raging Bull (1980) - #8 Best Robert De Niro Movies

IMDb: 8.2/10 364K | Popularity: 1,488 | Top 250: #158 | Metascore: 90
Genres: Biography, Drama, Sport

Get in the ring! “Raging Bull” awaits, standing tall among the best Robert De Niro movies.

It proudly holds the eighth place on our list, ready to captivate your senses.

This captivating film tells the story of Jake LaMotta, a boxer whose explosive violence and uncontrollable temper propel him to the pinnacle of success inside the ring.

Related: 10 Best True Story Sports Movies on Disney Plus

However, as his career soars, his personal life crumbles, destroyed by the very same traits that made him a champion.

In “Raging Bull,” you’ll witness the raw power and intensity that De Niro brings to his portrayal of Jake LaMotta.

With each punch thrown and every emotional outburst, De Niro delivers a performance that will leave you breathless.

It’s a masterclass in acting, showcasing his ability to embody a troubled man’s physicality and emotional turmoil.

Director Martin Scorsese again teams up with De Niro in this gritty masterpiece, weaving together a tale of triumph and tragedy.

Through Scorsese’s skilled lens, you’ll witness the brutal beauty of the boxing world and the destructive forces that can lurk beneath the surface of success.

Raging Bull” captivates. It portrays a boxer’s life. Unflinchingly, inside the ring and outside too.

[ Watch on Cinemax ]

7 ‘Casino’ (1995)

Casino (1995) - #7 Best Robert De Niro Movies

IMDb: 8.2/10 536K | Popularity: 388 | Top 250: #138 | Metascore: 73
Genres: Crime, Drama

This flick is notorious for that brutal scene where Joe Pesci gets a serious beatdown in a cornfield with a baseball bat.

It’s a real knockout moment that packs a powerful punch of violence, leaving you wide-eyed and breathless.

In the film, De Niro takes on the role of Ace Rothstein, a guy hired by the mafia to manage a vibrant and flashy Vegas Strip casino.

Alongside his lifelong buddy Nicky, they transform the establishment into a thriving success, raking in the big bucks.

With mounting pressures and rising tensions, trouble emerges.

Casino” is a wild journey through the glitz and grit of Las Vegas, where De Niro delivers a magnetic performance that keeps you hooked from start to finish.

Brace yourself for a thrilling ride through one of the best Robert De Niro movies, where loyalty, power, and deception collide in a whirlwind of drama and excitement.

[ Watch on Peacock ]

6 ‘Taxi Driver’ (1976)

Taxi Driver (1976) - #6 Best Robert De Niro Movies

IMDb: 8.2/10 866K | Popularity: 226 | Top 250: #119 | Metascore: 94
Genres: Crime, Drama

Let’s step into the neon-lit streets of New York City as you meet Travis Bickle, a mentally unstable veteran-turned-taxi driver.

In this iconic Scorsese masterpiece, “Taxi Driver,” you’ll witness a city brimming with decadence and sleaze, igniting Travis’ dark desires for violent action.

You’ll experience a gritty and raw portrayal of a man teetering on the edge as you accompany Travis on his nighttime journeys through the concrete jungle.

His mind, a turbulent storm of frustrations, is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.

Through the lens of Travis’ taxi window, you’ll see the underbelly of society, where corruption and despair lurk around every corner.

De Niro’s performance as Travis Bickle is nothing short of mesmerizing.

With each furrowed brow and clenched fist, he immerses himself into the character, breathing life into his disturbed psyche.

When De Niro’s talent, Scorsese’s direction, and Schrader’s screenplay come together, it’s an experience that leaves a lasting imprint on your mind.

You’ll find yourself unable to look away as De Niro’s transformative performance takes you on a gripping journey that will leave you both disturbed and fascinated.

[ Watch on Prime Video ]

5 ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ (1984)

Once Upon a Time in America (1984) - #5 Best Robert De Niro Movies

IMDb: 8.3/10 361K | Popularity: 445 | Top 250: #82 | Metascore: 75
Genres: Crime, Drama

Once Upon a Time in America” is considered among the best Robert De Niro movies.

The movie takes you to the Prohibition-era streets of Lower East Side Manhattan.

Brace yourself as a former Jewish gangster from those bygone days returns after 35 long years, facing the ghosts and regrets of his past life.

It’s a nostalgic and reflective journey that will leave you mesmerized. De Niro portrays a character wrestling with his past, navigating the streets he once ruled.

With every step, memories come flooding back, forcing him to confront the choices and consequences that shaped his life.

It’s a tale of redemption, old wounds reopened, and old friendships tested.

Once Upon a Time in America” weaves a tapestry of emotions, blending past and present in a symphony of regrets, hopes, and bittersweet nostalgia.

De Niro’s exceptional performance embodies a man trapped in his own shadows. Get ready to be transported to a timeless world where echoes of the past surround you.

[ Watch on Hulu ]

4 ‘Heat’ (1995)

Heat (1995) - #4 Best Robert De Niro Movies

IMDb: 8.3/10 678K | Popularity: 79 | Top 250: #110 | Metascore: 76
Genres: Action, Crime, Drama

Heat” is undoubtedly one of the best Robert De Niro movies.

Brace yourself as a group of high-end professional thieves finds themselves in hot water when unknowingly and unintentionally they leave a clue at their latest heist.

Related: 10 Best Crime Movies of All Time, Ranked by Viewers

The LAPD starts closing in on the masterminds behind the heists as the heat intensifies. The tension rises, the stakes increase, and you’ll fully immerse in this gripping crime saga.

De Niro’s performance, alongside an outstanding ensemble cast, brings the characters to life in a way that hooks you from the first scene.

Each twist and turn will hold you captive in the intricate web of deceit and high-octane action, making this film one of the best Robert De Niro movies.

[ Watch on Netflix ]

3 ‘Joker’ (2019)

Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker

IMDb: 8.4/10 1.4M | Popularity: 241 | Top 250: #78 | Metascore: 59
Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Taking the third spot is the crime drama “Joker,” where De Niro’s character channels echoes of “Taxi Driver” or “The King of Comedy.”

Follow the compelling rise of Arthur Fleck, a man with dreams of becoming a stand-up comedian, as he transforms from a societal outcast to the infamous clown prince of Gotham.

Related: 18 Best Thriller Movies (Ranked by IMDb Votes)

Arthur Fleck, played brilliantly by Joaquin Phoenix, faces the hardships of a fractured society, ultimately leading him down a path of chaos and rebellion.

Through a series of unfortunate events and a society that has forsaken him, Fleck descends into madness, eventually embracing the identity of the Joker.

The film immerses you in his troubled mind, exploring mental health and societal disillusionment themes.

“Joker” is intense and thought-provoking. Showcases the dark brilliance of one of the best Robert De Niro movies.

[ Watch on Max ]

2 ‘Goodfellas’ (1990)

Goodfellas (1990)

IMDb: 8.7/10 1.2M | Popularity: 91 | Top 250: #18 | Metascore: 92
Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama

Deservedly sitting at number two among the best Robert De Niro movies is this timeless work of genius, “Goodfellas.”

This captivating film delves into the life of Henry Hill, an insider in the mafia.

It’s a rollercoaster ride that explores his relationships with his wife Karen and his mob partners, Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito.

Related: 10 Best Biopics of All Time, Ranked by Viewers

As you follow Henry’s journey, you’ll witness the allure and danger of the mob lifestyle.

From exhilarating heists to lavish nights out, the film vividly depicts a world where loyalty and betrayal often intertwine.

With De Niro’s magnetic performance alongside a stellar cast, “Goodfellas” weaves together a gripping narrative that keeps you hooked until the end.

Get ready for a thrilling ride through the highs and lows of Henry Hill’s life, where love, loyalty, and crime collide in a stroke of brilliance.

[ Watch on Max ]

1 ‘The Godfather Part II’ (1974)

The Godfather Part II (1974)

IMDb: 9/10 1.3M | Popularity: 219 | Top 250: #4 | Metascore: 90
Genres: Crime, Drama

Step into the vibrant 1920s New York City backdrop. Taking the number one spot among the best Robert De Niro movies is the enthralling tale of “The Godfather Part II.”

Related: The Godfather Movies in Order

Explore the early life and career of Vito Corleone. And experience Michael’s tightening grip on the family crime syndicate.

Unravel the captivating story of Vito Corleone’s rise to power. Marvel at De Niro’s unforgettable portrayal of the iconic character.

Navigate the treacherous world of trust and power with Michael Corleone. Delve into the complexities of family, loyalty, and the pursuit of dominance.

“The Godfather Part II” weaves a rich tapestry of masterful storytelling.

[ Watch on Prime Video ]

FAQs About the Best Robert De Niro Movies

What is Robert De Niro’s highest-grossing film?

The figures below are the top 10 highest-grossing Robert De Niro movies with worldwide gross earnings in USD.

  • 10. Limitless (2011) – $161m
  • 9. Sleepers (1996) – $165m
  • 8. Analyze This (1999) – $176m
  • 7. Cape Fear (1991) – $182m
  • 6. Heat (1995) – $187m
  • 5. The Intern (2015) – $194m
  • 4. Little Fockers (2010) – $310m
  • 3. Meet The Parents (2000) – $330m
  • 2. Shark Tale (2004) – $374m
  • 1. Meet The Fockers (2004) – $522m

More BuddyTV Movie Suggestions

We hope you’ve enjoyed this countdown of the 10 best Robert De Niro movies. Visit BuddyTV for more articles like this one. We have covered some of your favorite Hollywood stars like Tom Hanks, Tom Hiddleston, Keanu Reeves, and Leonardo DiCaprio, among others.

Dee Gambit

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Professional SEO writer & editor with 8+ years of print journalism and writing experience across different platforms — blogs, website, eBooks and social media. His writing experience also cuts across industries like IT, fashion, education management, real estate, consulting and entertainment.