1. Raging Bull (1980)

As Jake LaMotta, the actor devolves into a transformation that still stuns, not just in acting but in the physicality as he pumps up and then fattens out to be the boxer at different points in his life.
Verdict: Excellent choice.


2. Showtime (2002)

When did this great actor become the grumpy old man who irritates the young guy? Here it’s Eddie Murphy.
Inspired casting but the script and studio just weren’t capable of producing the kind of film that should have starred the guys who made Raging Bull and 48 HRS.
Verdict: Bad choice.


3. The Godfather Part II (1974)

They didn’t have Marlon Brando and who else but De Niro could fill those shoes? He steps in as a younger version of the immortalized Don Corleone, almost making you forget Brando.
Verdict: Excellent choice.


4. We’re No Angels (1989)

No one expected the pairing of De Niro and Sean Penn to result in such a lackluster production. It’s not a bad film, but the material was better suited for lesser talents.
As two cons hiding out in a monastery, the duo simply doesn’t shine.
Verdict: Bad choice.


5. Cape Fear (1991)

De Niro doesn’t need excessive gore, thrills and blood to out scare Freddy Krueger. As vengeful Max Cady, he makes you understand why even a guy as big as Nick Nolte would run and hide.
Verdict: Good Choice.


6. Flawless (1999)

Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a drag queen physical therapist (?) helping conservative homophobic rent-a-cop (?) De Niro recover from a stroke by teaching De Niro to sing (!).
Worse, the script’s too busy to showcase the great leads.
Verdict: Bad choice.


7. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Not that anyone should need reminding but De Niro reignites his role as great actor.
As a father helping his son cope with mental illness, the actor received his first Academy Award nomination in decades. He should have won.
Verdict: Good choice.


8. The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)

If this movie were anything like the source material, it would have been smart, political, irreverent and extremely funny.
Unfortunately, the film proceeds so badly when De Niro shows up as Fearless Leader he’s already forehead deep in muck.
Verdict: Very bad choice.


9. Meet the Parents (2000)

Not necessarily one of the actor’s great films but it is a highlight in the type of material he’s been leaning toward lately. And everything clicks.
Ben Stiller makes a clever and helpless foil against De Niro’s always intimidating presence.
Verdict: Good choice.


10. Little Fockers (2010)

This is a powerful example of how Hollywood doesn’t know when to leave good enough alone.
ThisParents sequel squishes everything that made the original enjoyable, churning out a sitcom episode that should have never aired.
Verdict: Very bad choice.