Old 11-23-2012, 01:57 PM
Robert De Niro vs. Al Pacino

I think we can agree that both these guys are amazing actors, but neither has made a decent film in a fair while. Who do you think was the better actor in his prime?

I know De Niro is widely considered the best actor ever (while was) probably due mostly to his movies with Scorcese. I mean Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The King of Comedy and Goodfellas all created iconic characters. It's hard to see anyone else as Travis Bickle of Jimmy Conway. He totally owned those characters so much that you forgot it was Robert De Niro acting, he created these people (well not Jake La Motta obviously).

Al Pacino, while obviously an amazing actor, for me, never really became any of his characters. I honestly think Michael Corleone could have been played by anyone. Would they have brought the intensity that Pacino did? Who knows. Then you look at Scarface and I honestly just can't see Al Pacino in Tony Montana. He's just Tony Montana. I have to keep reminding myself that it's Al Pacino playing a character because he disappears into Tony Montana.

Seeing them act together awesomely in Heat is obviously stellar, but I think too much emphasis is placed on the diner scene. I think the scene when Pacino hold's de niro's hand as he dies is much more emotive. The less said about Righteous Kill the better.

I can't remember the last great film they did. I enjoyed Pacino in Insomnia, but not much else since. Haven't enjoyed a De Niro film since The Score.
Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2012, 03:45 PM
Overall this board leans slightly towards De Niro. And I think you can't really talk about either actor unless you're referring to them in their prime. Their recent stuff has been totally bland, generic and nothing really to talk about.

Last edited by creekin111; 11-23-2012 at 04:03 PM..
Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 01:42 AM
Al pacino

Al Pacino is the best.Rob de niro did better movies than Al pacino,but Al pacino is better actor than De niro.Rob de niro is also one of the greatest actors.Al pacino can both explode(scarface) and implode(Godfather).he can do more variations than de niro.
Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 06:27 PM
WOW, do I have to pick one? J/K

I give the edge to Pacino because he has shown more range, more variety in his roles. De Niro is kind of a one trick pony IMO (are you talkin' to me?) with a little comedy thrown in. Even his comedy seems to mostly play off his tough guy persona. While Pacino has shown many facets of personality, many vastly different characters who, while not as iconic as Travis and Jimmy Conway, they are still great characters none the less. In Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Sea of Love, Frankie and Johnny, The Insider, and Any Given Sunday Pacino shows a vulnerability that De Niro never displays.

Good Fellas is my favorite movie ever. Casino, Raging Bull, and Taxi Driver are all top 10-15 so De Niro has been in far more of my favorite movies, he plays a great gangster. In that regard, as that character, De Niro is unmatched. Pacino's tough guys will never measure up to De Niro's. Tony Montana is a cartoon character compared to Jimmy Conway. Even when Pacino plays a gangster (Donnie Brasco and Carlito's Way) he is a sympathetic character.

However, in the end the edge goes to Pacino for the range. To me, De Niro has Jimmy Conway or Jack Byrnes and that is all he seems to play. Pacino has so much more, Scent of a Woman, The Insider, Devils Advocate, and Glengarry Glen Ross are all examples of the wide variety of characters he plays.

They are both great and De Niro's had the luck of starring in the better movies but to me, Pacino is more skilled and has the edge as far as great and different characters. JMTC
Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 06:53 PM
Both are great actors, but I give a pretty solid edge to De Niro, who I think is the greatest actor who ever lived (at least in his prime). I've just never seen Pacino as the kind of actor who had the ability to do a scene like the jail scene in Raging Bull or the Russian roulette scene in The Deer Hunter. I don't think any other actor can go to the darkest depths that De Niro has gone to and make it believable.
Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 07:13 PM
I gotta go with Pacino - DeNiro is a really good actor and I DO like him, but to be honest the most range he's ever displayed was in The Godfather Part 2. Aside from that he's the same style of character (tough, gruff with a toss of funny); Whereas, Pacino has been in So many movies where he's seemingly become that character (The Godfather trilogy, Scarface, Any Given Sunday, The Devil's Advocate, Dog Day Afternoon, etc).

Obviously I'd pay to see either actor, they're legends who've acted in some of the most important films ever, but I'd pay AND never regret seeing Pacino in almost anything (Sorry DeNiro, The Fokker movies were the nail in your coffin of credibility).
Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2012, 10:18 PM
I go with DeNiro, because he has shown more range in doing comedies. Both are equally great in other respects. Plus, DeNiro seems to do a lot more than just act.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2012, 07:42 AM
This is a topic that seems to pop up every now and then. They are pretty much equal in talent. Both are living legends and are awesome. But I give the slight edge to Pacino just because I think he's smidge cooler.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2012, 07:55 AM
My brain is about to explode because of the amount of effort required of me to pick between the two. Both are masters of their craft and have made some of the best characters in cinema, but, since I must pick only one, I have to give it to Robert De Niro. De Niro has played a wider selection of characters as opposed to Pacino who seems to continuously play the guy who shouts a lot.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2012, 08:49 AM

Last edited by SS-Block; 03-31-2014 at 04:54 PM..
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2012, 09:08 AM
It's easy for me to pick DeNiro. Pacino is great, but DeNiro has displayed quite a bit more range and versatility over the years, and is better at both disappearing into his characters and acting with nuance and internalization. Both have delivered some crazy over-the-top work, but DeNiro can exercise restraint and subtlety whereas Pacino always seems to be at a 10. Plus, while both have had mediocre output over the past decade or so, DeNiro has still delivered some fun and enjoyable work: Being Flynn, Stardust, Meet the Parents. I appreciate that DeNiro isn't afraid of poking fun at himself or getting a little goofy.

Pacino has been doing some nice work on the stage (though when I saw him in Merchant of Venice he certainly did scream a lot), but he hasn't been good in a movie since Insomnia. Ocean's Thirteen was a hoot, but he nearly gets swallowed up by the ensemble in that one and certainly doesn't do much acting.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2012, 01:47 AM
Pacino did his best work in his early days and De Niro did his best work with Scorsese for the most part. Although, I do like Robert's performance in Jackie Brown. I think after that he should have taken quirky supporting roles like that, but he decided to go for the paychecks. And I guess after 30 plus years he has a right to do that... But it is sad to look at what has happened to De Niro and Pacino. Who would have thought that Sly would be doing better than both of them? After Driven, I think a lot of people have liked Rocky Balboa, Rambo 4 and it seems that most people liked at least one of two Expendables movies. Those two movies Righteous Kill and 88 Minutes.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2012, 07:16 PM
We can at least agree that they're both legends who's glory days have long passed.

But Pacino did have Angels In America in the past ten years, so as far as recent output, he's far ahead of DeNiro, if only for that.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2012, 03:00 AM
Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2012, 12:51 PM
The two best actors ever,but De Niro is the BEST..mean streets,godfather part II,taxi driver,raging bull,once upon a time in america,king of comedy,untouchables,goodfellas,a bronx tale,casino,heat,this boys life...vs godfather part I & II,Dog day afternoon,serpico,and justice for all,scarface,cruising,sea of love,carlitos way,scent of a women,heat,the insider...
Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 07:18 PM
Rob De Niro is one of my favorite actors of all time. He was extremely good in Taxi Driver as Travis Bickle, and without his roll in Goodfellas I don't think the movie would've turned out as well as it did.

When I think of Pacino, I continuously think of Scarface. To me, that's who he is...he was also exceptionally good in The Godfather movie(s) but not enough so to top De Niro.

Pick: Robert De Niro.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 09:17 PM
De Niro for me as well. I think I've enjoyed more of his movies overall. It's very hard to pick though, both are brilliant actors when they WANT to be.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 12:22 AM
Yeah, what kind of question is this anyways? Are you trying to make us lose our minds?


Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 05:56 AM
These guys are pretty much apples and oranges to me. They are both great in their own right and some of their lesser known and lesser appreciated work is where the may have shined the brightest. DeNiro in Copland was outstanding as a frustrated and overmatched internal affairs detective and Pacino may have had one of his brightest moments playing a homicide detective in Sea of Love. It's all subjective and I find it nearly impossible to say one of them is "better" than the other.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 12:01 PM
I'll say DeNiro because he takes more gigs ( 95 vs 51 for Al )

Both are good but De Niro looks more dedicated to his work.

By comparison , i'd say Deniro is to Jeremy Irons as Pacino is to Daniel Day-Lewis if that makes any sense.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 05:14 PM
There should be a poll added.

EDIT - Never mind, this thread has already been started (and with a poll).
Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2012, 01:33 PM
I've always been a bigger fan of Pacino's. With the Godfather movies, Dog Day Afternoon and Scent of a Woman, I prefer his work over DeNiro's. I love Deniro's movies, just prefer Pacino.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2012, 08:33 PM
The main thing that makes me pick Pacino over DeNiro is that Pacino just usually has a more interesting personality and voice than DeNiro does. His roles are more interesting, and the movies as a whole are better, too. Also, when Pacino is in a bad movie, just him being in it makes it watchable (the only exception being The People I Know, what a boring movie.) When DeNiro is in a bad movie, he just seems like a great actor stuck in a bad movie.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2012, 04:09 PM

A question for the ages. Thirty years from now fanboys around the world will still be wrestling with that same question.

From a personal preference, I love me some Pacino, lord knows I do. But until he makes a comedy, Bobby will be only slightly ahead. If you're looking at it more objectively, I think it's much closer than people make it out to be.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2012, 04:41 PM
Deniro was very good in Silver Lining's Playbook.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2012, 08:36 AM
Originally Posted by eljefe15 View Post
A question for the ages. Thirty years from now fanboys around the world will still be wrestling with that same question.

From a personal preference, I love me some Pacino, lord knows I do. But until he makes a comedy, Bobby will be only slightly ahead. If you're looking at it more objectively, I think it's much closer than people make it out to be.
in my book,Al pacino is ahead of Dniro even in Comedy.i love Pacino comedy in some scenes of Scarface,Heat(she got a great ass),Dick tracy,Adam sandler's Jack and jill(sorry for mentioning this film,but Al's performance and dance is wonderful in Duncaccino fake commercial in that film)
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2013, 12:23 AM
Two of the all time greats, but Pacino takes this. The Godfather films, Dog Day Afternoon, Scarface, Serpico (the real Serpico even recently said Al was a better Serpico than he was.), and more recent ones like Carlito's Way, Heat, Insomnia and The Insider. There are plenty others, but he becomes many of his characters and has such a wide range of roles, hands down my favorite actor of all time.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2013, 03:12 PM
Robert De Niro is way better than Al Pacino.

Pacino only had 3 memorable movies in my opinion. (The Godfather, Scarface and Dog Day Afternoon.)
De Niro had way more.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2013, 04:24 PM
DeNiro definitely. So many of Pacino's films portray just another carbon copy or variation of the Jack Daniels drinkin' cop from Sea Of Love or Heat. Panic In Needle Park is so overrated, it's absurd. DeNiro's early work is some of the best acting and film out there.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2013, 04:07 AM
Al Pacino it is.

Insomnia, Scarface, Serpico, Scent Of A Woman, Dog Day Afternoon, Carlito's Way, Godfather, Donnie Brasco... and many, many more.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2013, 06:07 AM
Originally Posted by twisted_state View Post
Al Pacino it is.

Insomnia, Scarface, Serpico, Scent Of A Woman, Dog Day Afternoon, Carlito's Way, Godfather, Donnie Brasco... and many, many more.
You could say the same for De Niro:

Mean Streets, Godfather II, Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, Raging Bull, Once Upon a Time in America, Goodfellas, Cape Fear, Casino and many, many more.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2013, 07:30 AM
Love them both, but I think De Niro is the better of the two...
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2013, 03:23 PM
Deniro, and it's not even close.
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump