Al Pacino is undoubtedly one of the finest film and stage actors of all time. The Oscar winner and the seven-time nominee's portrayed some of the most memorable movie characters ever written, including Michael Corleone, Tony Montana, Frank Serpico, Carlito Brigante, and many, many more. But did you know he's never worked with Martin Scorsese until now?
As Pacino's first collaboration with Martin Scorsese in The Irishman hits Netflix this Wednesday, November 27th, it's time to see what casual filmgoers think of Pacino's best movies to date. Sound good? Check out Al Pacino's 10 best movies, according to IMDb, below!
10 The Insider (1999): 7.8
In his second time working with director Michael Mann following Heat, Pacino was given the tough task of playing real-life journalist and news producer, Lowell Bergman.
The film follows conscientious chemist Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe) who, after learning tobacco companies knowingly sold carcinogenic products to the public, goes on a moral crusade to expose the industry's nefarious cover-ups. Bergman is the one person who believes in, and sides with, Wigand, but must convince him to go public and risk everything to expose the truth.
9 Carlito's Way (1993): 7.9
After making cinematic history with their first outing, Scarface, Pacino, and director Brian De Palma nearly replicated the success with Carlito's Way. At least, critically.
Carlito Brigante is a Puerto Rican ex-con intent on living life on the straight and narrow following his release from prison. But old habits die hard for Carlito, who slowly becomes seduced back into a destructive life of crime on the streets of NYC. The deeper he goes, the harder it is to break free, leaving Carlito in a dire existential quandary.
8 Once Upon A Time In... Hollywood (2019): 7.9
While Pacino only has a few scenes as Rick Dalton's (Leonardo DiCaprio) Hollywood agent, Marvin Schwarz, his one and only collaboration with Quentin Tarantino is good enough for IMDb voters to crack the Top 10. Natch!
Despite Pacino's underwhelming role, the film became the highest-grossing opening weekend Tarantino film to date. For trivia buffs, notice when Marvin mentions to Rick that he's seen The 14 Fists of McClusky. McClusky is the name of the cop who socked Michael Corleone (Pacino) in the fist in The Godfather.
7 Scent Of A Woman (1992): 8.0
While many at the time considered it a make-up Oscar for all the times he lost but deserved to win, Pacino earned his only Academy Award for his work as the wise blind-man Lt. Col. Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman.
When yuppie schoolboy Charlie Simms (Chris O'Donnell) is tasked with looking after a blind war vet, he expects nothing but an unchallenging babysitting job. However, grand lessons in life and love are imparted by Slade on the bright-eyed boy, leading to an unlikely bond of friendship, love, trust, family, and enlightenment.
6 Dog Day Afternoon (1975): 8.0
The late great Sidney Lumet is responsible for some of the greatest movies ever made, and thanks to Pacino's heartbreaking role as Sonny, Dog Day Afternoon is certainly one of them. That the movie is based on a true story makes it all the more impressive!
To pay for his lover's sex-change operation, Sonny robs a bank in broad daylight. But the poorly planned heist turns into an utter debacle, devolving into a dangerous hostage situation as the media and police force cordons the bank.
5 Heat (1995): 8.2
In one of the most searing scenes between two of the all-time best actors at the top of their game, Pacino faced off with Robert De Niro for the first instance in Heat. We can still feel the afterburn!
The sweeping L.A. crime epic from director Michael Mann charts the criminal enterprise of Neil McCauley (De Niro), a professional thief planning an ambitious bank heist with his men. Hot on Neil's trail is Lt. Vincent Hanna (Pacino), a dedicated lawman who is just as good at his job as McCauley is at robbing banks. Who will flinch first?
4 Scarface (1983): 8.3
In what is arguably his most famous role to date, Pacino burns up the screen as Tony Montana, the poor Cuban-exile turned Cocaine impresario of Miami in Brian De Palma's gangster epic, Scarface.
The pedigree of the picture is too superb to pass up. Written by Oscar-winner Oliver Stone and directed by the great Brian De Palma, Scarface is a high-flying spin on the age-old tale, a la Icarus, of becoming too ambitious for your own good. The more powerful Tony becomes, the more he self-destructs, and not even his loyal family can save him from himself in the end.
3 The Irishman (2019): 8.7
Is there any surprise that Pacino's first collaboration with Martin Scorsese already ranks among his top three films of all time? Heck no!
In The Irishman, Pacino is tasked with playing the real-life Jimmy Hoffa, one of the most infamous gangsters of all time. The film not only marks the return of Scorsese to the crime genre since The Departed, but it also reunites Pacino and De Niro for the first time since Heat. Joe Pesci also returns to the crime-genre since appearing in The Good Shepherd in 2006 as a favor to pal De Niro, who directed the film.
2 The Godfather: Part II (1974): 9.0
The great debate continues to rage among critical circles as to what movie is better: The Godfather of The Godfather: Part II. Where do you stand on the matter?
Well, according to IMDb, the original triumphs. Even so, The Godfather: Part II, in which Pacino reprised his role as Michael Corleone, currently ranks as the #3 movie on IMDb's Top 250. The epic crime saga directed by Francis Ford Coppola won six Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (De Niro), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Art Direction. Pacino was also nominated for Best Leading Actor.
1 The Godfather (1972): 9.2
Pacino holds the honor of starring in the #2 and #3 movies listed on IMDb's Top 250. Off the top of your head, do you know what the #1 movie is?
Ranking behind only The Shawshank Redemption as the highest-rated movie ever made, The Godfather was nominated for eleven Oscars. The movie won three awards, including one for Best Picture, Best Leading Actor (Marlon Brando), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola). Pacino was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his work as Michael Corleone.