Posted by: ckckred | November 3, 2013

What Do You Think About Robert De Niro’s Roles Today?

Robert De Niro

Due to the current blogathon held by Tyson and Mark over at “You Talkin’ To Me” (I have a piece on Casino coming soon) as well as the new movie Last Vegas, I though it’d be appropriate to ask what do you think of Robert De Niro’s current movies?

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, there is no actor I respect more than Robert De Niro.  The man did to acting what Orson Welles did to directing.  He delivers performances with such rawness that no other actor could do.

But it’s hard to deny that De Niro’s recent work has disappointed many fans.  The legendary actor has over the past decade starred in many comedy duds and forgettable action pictures.  While I still believe he can be as great as an actor as he once was (Silver Linings Playbook proved that), I wish he’d take more ambitious roles from strong directors.  Hopefully his new miniseries will help him get back on track.

But what do you think?


  1. In a word poor. Or two words poor and lazy. For every Silver Linings Playbook there is a 88 Minutes and for every Being Flynn (I liked it anyway) there is, like you say, some rubbish comedy!

    Oh we’ll, nothing can diminish what he was in the seventies. The same as no one remembers fat Brando!

    • Thanks for the comment. I agree, De Niro has been doing nothing really. Fortunately, like you said, nothing can diminish his former reputation.

  2. Silver Linings Playbook was one of his better recent roles.

    • Yeah, I agree. Not a perfect film but De Niro was great in it.

  3. As you know, he’s my favourite actor too but there’s no denying his recent efforts have been lacklustre. Like you say, though, Silver Linings was proof that he can still deliver the goods and another project with Scorsese in the near future has been confirmed by the man himself. Hopefully that can put him back on track.

    Thanks for the shout out too, man. Much appreciated. 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment. De Niro still has the potential to be a great actor, but he hasn’t done much besides SLP to be worthy in his filmography. I hope that Scorsese project really goes through. Can’t believe he hasn’t made a film with De Niro in almost twenty years.

      • Yeah, I seen an interview with him last week and he confirmed it’s definitely going ahead. Scorsese/DeNiro/Pacino & Pesci. It’s a mouth watering prospect.

  4. I think he’s become a parody of himself. The likes of Meet The Parents and the comedic roles seem to see him phoning in characters that play on his old hard-man persona from the 70s/80s. That said, Silver Linings was the best I’ve seen him in recent years…he’s still got it.

    • Yeah, I agree. I couldn’t sit through those films, really painful to watch. He’s working on a project with Scorsese now, so hopefully that goes through.

  5. Robert is one of my favorite actors as well. His collaborations with Scorsese have turned out some of the finest movies and performances as well.

    Having said that, I have to say honestly that his recent movies have been one disappointment after another.

    Interestingly, I read recently that he invested in some real estate in China..So I guess he knows what he is doing.

    While it may be a bit unrealistic to expect a Travis Bickle or a Rupert Pupkin, I do wish that Bobby would put in more efforts into his performances.


    • Thanks for the comment. Yeah, De Niro really needs more effort in his roles or try working with better directors. I want audiences today to recognize him for his role as Travis Bickle, not as the patriarch in Meet the Parents.

  6. Your question made me want to see De Niro’s filmography. Looks like to me 1995 was his last good year (Casino and Heat) and it was downhill, for the most part, after that. It makes me wonder because other older really good actors take parts with really good directors. Not everyone is probably as big a fan of No Country For Old Men as I am, but consider how good Tommy Lee Jones was in his performance. Or think of Jeff Bridges in True Grit. What do they have in common? The Coen Brothers. I’m guessing if I looked at the directors of the movies De Niro has been in since 1996, the list is less than stellar.

    • Thanks for the comment. Nice point; De Niro has mostly been working with second rate directors since then. A lot of great actors need great filmmakers to guide them and the Coens always have strong performances in their films.

  7. Pretty much agree with everything you’ve said. De Niro’s priorities have shifted in the past decade or so towards funding the Tribeca Film Festival so he’ll do things he would never have gone anywhere near beforehand.

    • Thanks! Yeah, De Niro’s been doing some lousy films that feel out of place in his filmography. Wish he’d stick to working with more established directors.

  8. I agree with the others that he’s a parody of himself like Shatner is to Star Trek. DeNiro’s finest roles were in the past when he was rough, raw, and passionate killer. Harvey Keitel is in the same boat. When DeNiro tries to expand and be something else, his performances are less than. Now he’s an old man and I’d love to see him play wiser roles. Seems like he grabs at anything; I can’t believe he needs the money. I’ll always root for DeNiro, just wish he’d be more selective.

    • Thanks! Nice point about Keitel, I can’t remember the late film I really loved him in. I think it might be as far back as Reservoir Dogs.

  9. I definitely think DeNiro had made some lazy decisions and mailed in several performances lately, but I also think he gets a lot of unnecessary and unfair criticism. Fans have this totally unfounded assumption that DeNiro can just get any role he wants but decides to play shitty roles instead of good ones. I don’t think that is how the industry works. We might not hear about it on TMZ or other Hollywood insider/gossip tabloids, but I imagine it is very hard for an older actor to get work, even one of DeNiro’s stature. Perhaps even *because* of that stature. Reputations can be really hard to shake, and there aren’t a lot of elderly tough-guy roles out there beyond the ridiculous Expendables movies, and clearly that is not a good fit. Also, the man has been making movies for longer than I have been alive, so maybe he deserves a little bit of slack.

    • Thanks for the comment. You may have a good point about De Niro not having a wide selection of roles. Still, I’d rather have him doing less work than see him in another Meet the Parents film.

  10. Great question.

    I believe De Niro is as good as ever. He still fabulous to watch. And you can always see something new in his work. But as someone above has posted – De Niro’s priorities have changed.

    It is easy to say that he is mailing it in, or that his energy and work have gone downhill. But I think it is really just the priorities and that in real words is that De Niro wants to work as often as possible and collect as many pay checks as he can.

    And that means he is less concerned with quality of the projects he accepts. Not a top director? Okay fine. Script? Plot? Supporting cast – no matter.

    After all, he’s not all that far away from playing Grandfathers, curmudgeons, and grumpy old men. His days as an actor with his name ABOVE the title is past.

    • Thanks! That’s a good point. He can still pull out a great performance but he isn’t as concerned as he once was on latching onto great projects.

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