Are Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro overrated actors?

Deniro_Pacino.jpgI know I’m taking my life in my own hands with the title of this post, but if you’ll hang in there with me, you’ll see where I’m coming from. A few months ago I posted my top 10 actors living today list. Like any list it was totally subjective. However, I left Pacino and DeNiro off the list and several people have commented that it was a mistake to do so. Just today someone left this in the comments section:

Pathetic!! where’s Pacino and Da Niro?? Watch these films then re-do the list: Scarface (watch it about 10 times), Godfather parts 1 and 11 (about 8 times each), Carlito’s Way (about 4 times should do), Dog Day Afternoon (you’ll want to watch it again and again, Taxi Driver, Casino, The Deer Hunter. Respects for including Jack Nicholson, totally agree there. But come on – Robbin Williams??? If you don’t enjoy my listed movies you need to get your priorities right man!!

I’ll agree that both Pacino and Deniro have given some great performances and been in some remarkable films. HOWEVER, just because an actor is in a great film doesn√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t mean he’s a great actor. Not to mention neither Pacino or Deniro have given a really good performance since Heat in 1995 (9 years ago).

How about these stinkers given to us by Pacino and Deniro over the last few years:
– City by the Sea (Deniro)
– Gigli (Pacino)
– Showtime (Deniro)
– The Recruit (Pacino)
– Analyze That (Deniro)
– Sim0ne (Oh gag) (Pacino)
– The Score (Deniro)
– The Devil’s Advocate (Pacino)
– 15 Minutes (gag gag gag) (Deniro)

Here’s something else to keep in mind about Pacino and Deniro. They are both essentially the SAME FRIGGING GUY in almost every film they’re in. They’re like Kevin Costner that way. Pacino always talks the same, moves the same√¢‚Ǩ¬¶ he’s the same frigging character with a different name in almost all his credits. Same with Deniro. Its all they can do! Granted, they both do it VERY well√¢‚Ǩ¬¶ but it’s still all they can do.

Contrast that with someone like Robin Williams. Williams can play almost ANY role with a shocking diversity you rarely see on screen. An unassuming killer in Insomnia, a disturbed and misunderstood loner in 1 Hour Photo, A psychotic maniacal kids show host in Death to Smotchy, the professor in Dead Poets Society (Which he SHOULD have won an Oscar for), the psychologist in Good Will Hunting (which he DID win an Oscar for)√¢‚Ǩ¬¶ and on and on and on. Williams has never been in a film as good as The Godfather and he’s never given a single performance as good as Pacino in Scarface or Deniro in Heat, but he is vastly more talented an actor when it comes to playing diverse rolls and different kinds of films. Deniro and Pacino have both shown they can’t.

Don’t get me wrong. I really like Pacino and Deniro both! As a matter of fact I think they’re great! They’ve given us some of the most memorable characters on the screen in the history of film. It’s just that most of those characters are all usually alike. You may leave your differing opinions (hate mail) in the comments section below.

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103 thoughts on “Are Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro overrated actors?

  1. I hate to say it, but that “you’re not actors” guy was right-on about alot of stuff about acting and the banality of this site.

    Just let it go already.

    Who the hell is this John Campea, or whatever his name is.

    De Niro and Pacino are trailblazers. What else do you need to know?

    By the way, you’re all nerds!!

  2. Wayne Greztky is a brilliant hockey player a center.. but if you put him in net hes gonna stink up the place.. De Niro and Pacino are amazing,and i don’t see this one role type.. Taxi? use your reasoning is stupid and uncalled for…

    Robbin Williams is the best.. Good Mourning Vietnam,One Hour Photo, and Dead Poets Society.. enough Said

  3. Yo man some of those movies you have down there as stinkers were some damn good performances by DeNiro and Pacino. Especially DeNiro who takes acting very seriously, is damn good at it, and gives a hell of a performance. If some ppl write some shit about why you think they are amazing at what they do, fuck it, no need to try and say shit on here to please a bunch of nobody’s. What they do is an art, and it takes understanding from certain types of people to appreciate that. As far of the rest of the discussion it’s all blah blah blah man. Not comparin this 2 to anyone…just sayin quite frankly…they know how to do it.

  4. I’m new to this page, but I have to agree that Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro are two of the greatest actors of all time. My reason is simple, I am an actor, I can’t watch movies anymore because that’s all I can do is critique them, I judge everybodys acting. I had never seen Scarface until about 3 weeks ago(I know I’m crazy), but when I saw that movie I realized why I love Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro(I know he wasn’t in it but it makes sense for him too) so much, its because they make me stop analyzing. In most movies I can point out weak choices an actor made, but when I can go through a 3 hour movie and be completely in awe of someones performance, that’s what make a great actor. Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro make choices that most actors dream of making. You talk about them being the same guys in every movie, well thats just not correct. They are themselves in every movie,correct, but they bring out the side of themselves that fits that character, which is what makes them so brilliant. What makes them better than everyone else? Is it their popularity? Is it because they’ve nailed their performances in legendary movies? Is it because we’ve grown to just love everything they do? Or is it because they are simply breathtaking in their performances and make us forget that we are watching a movie and actors.

    Bottom line, anyone is entitled to their opinion John, if you feel that they are aren’t the greatest actors of all time, that is absolutley fine. But you have to realize that you are the minority here, most people believe that they are the greatest actors of all time, there has to be a reason for that right? The majority of the population can’t all just have bad taste John. Again, to each their own, but I am an actor and I would give anything to bring what Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro bring to film.

    Hope I made a valid point.

    1. You argue your point with civility and respect. You’re in danger of giving online forums a good name.

  5. I think I can see where you’re coming from on some level with this post. I do think there is a tendency for many people to stick the “great” label on a DeNiro or Pacino role just based on reputation. And it is important, I think, to keep in mind that any listing of the “best” of anything is inherently flawed because it is such a subjective term. I personally believe they are 2 of the most gifted actors of our time. Where they fall in the rankings is open for argument. I would find it difficult to leave them out of the top ten, but again that is my taste. Pacino is my favorite actor, but I will concede that he has been involved in some crappy films.

    That being said, the point of this post is to respectfully disagree with your assertion that all of the roles that these two actors play are essentially the same. If you view Deniro’s performances in Taxi Driver,Raging Bull, The King of Comedy and Goodfellas, you can’t honestly say that those aren’t four distinct and richly developed characters. The same could be said of Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon,Scarface, Author Author, and say The Merchant of Venice. Very different characters.

    I can see your point though with respect to Pacino’s characters in Donnie Brasco, The Godfathers etc. Essentially the same type of role. He is a good mafia tough guy. Its his niche. I can’t deny that.

    Same with Deniro. His charcters in Goodfellas, Casino, Anylize This/That, Heat, and hell, really even the Meet the Parents movies are very similar in a lot of ways. Again, I feel like it is more a tribute to how well he plays those roles rather than a comment on his inability to play anything else.

    Anyway, great topic and I thank you for taking the time to read my comments.

  6. I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion. It is my opinion, however, that both Al Pacino and Robert de Niro are two of the greatest actors in America’s film history. These are two men that have stood the test of time and are still two of the most famous and respected men today. Yes they’ve had bad films but who doesn’t. Every successful actor has had a list of bad films. Keep in mind that acting is essintally telling a story. These men have the ability to do what alot of actor’s today can’t do which is make you forget that it’s them on the screen. alot of people trash godfather 3 because it wasn’t violent enough. But if you watch the saga, you’ll see that it wasn’t meant to be violent. It was the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. To say they are overrated is a great disrespect to them and to their careers. Ask any actor that has worked with either of these men if they’re overrated. Ask any producer or director if they are overrated. After you finish, read your column again. Buddy Bruce Willis, Tom Hanks, and K. Reeves okay. It makes since. But Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, what are you stupid or what?

  7. I spent a weekend watching the following movies:

    – Sea of love
    – Serpico
    – Heat
    – Carlito’s Way
    – Scarface
    – Any Given Sunday

    Much as they represent a minute sample from his archive of work, I tend to think its basically the same guy we see through out. In all these films, the character tends to be an eneregetic lonely guy at war with the world around him, ranting his thoughts/ideals to whoever cares to listen, having women who can’t keep up with his detachment from life, etc.. This is the Al Pacino people love, the Al Pacino that wins our sympathy, and the Al Pacino we pay to go watch in theatres – it doesn’t matter whether he’s a gangster, a cop, a football coach, a retired colonal. WE are entertained by him when he brings these qualities to his characters.

    If the measure of how great one is as an actor, is how ENTERTAINING he is, then by all means Al Pacino tops the list WITHOUT QUESTION.

    But if the measure of a great actor is how believably he loses himself into a character, then others might fare better. (Didn’t you actually forget it was Jamie Foxx you were watching when you saw RAY, for example?)

    I think these are important differences to this discussion

  8. all pacino does is scream!! aaahhh this…. baaaa that….fuck you blah blah… name me a film that disagrees?

    still gota love him tho

  9. I recently watched The Deer Hunter (why were they hunting elk in the movie?) and DiNiro was extraordinary. One thing I noticed was his Hillbilly accent disappeared after the first few scenes. DiNiro’s “stinkers” are mostly from the later part of his career and he obviously is taking the parts that are offered him.

    And how about Robin Williams in Patch Adams. It may not be the worst movie of all time (it’s real close though) but it has the all time worst scene. A man dying of cancer asks his family to leave, so he can spend his last few moments with a doctor wearing a clown costume. YUK

  10. Saying that De Niro and Pacino have always played the same guy in each movie is unfair, not to mention highly inaccurate. Now that they’re both middle aged men, they do this; but back in their day, people would stare at you as if you had a hole in your head if you said this. These guys were the most exciting, ecclectic, and innovative actors the world had ever seen up to that point.
    Are DeNiro’s characters in Taxi Driver, The Godfather, II, Raging Bull, and the Deer Hunter the same guy? Are Pacino’s Corleone and Montana at all similar, except for the fact hat they’re both gangsters? And is Serpico similar AT ALL to either of these characters??

    Don’t let their recent mediocrity make you forget how great these two once were.

  11. Saying that De Niro and Pacino have always played the same guy in each movie is unfair, not to mention highly inaccurate. Now that they’re both middle aged men, they do this; but back in their day, people would stare at you as if you had a hole in your head if you said this. These guys were the most exciting, ecclectic, and innovative actors the world had ever seen up to that pint.
    Are DeNiro’s characters in Taxi Driver, The Godfather, II, Raging Bull, and the Deer Hunter the same guy? Are Pacino’s Corleone and Montana at all similar, except for the fact hat they’re both gangsters? And is Serpico similar AT ALL to either of these characters??

    Don’t let their recent mediocrity make you forget how great these two once were.

  12. ofcourse you can compare robin williams, pacino and deniro in the same level. to say who is better, that is just plain stupid. its like comparing eric clapton to hendrix and slash. the result doesn’t mean anything. we enjoy their performances, hell ya. who’s you prefer? its like asking me which beer you like, up to you. I think the most overated actor is tom cruise, box office hollywood commercialize money making product, but dam he is good at it. respect.

    the only person that is overated is you, the person who post this, you overated yourself. who the hell you think you are? even the judge of oscar wouldn’t say somthing like this. btw oscar is fixed.

  13. Do you make films? Do you work on films like I do. NO. You know nothing of acting or performance. Actors end up getting the same roles. Its beyond their control. Most movies that are against thier roles are 90% of the time bad. And Actors like Pacino nad DeNiro know it just by reading the screenplay. You call DeNiro’s subtle and disturbing performance in taxi driver bad, or Pacino playing the very calm role of Michael Corleone bad? Listen kid. I deal with dumb asswholes like you trying to land movie roles everyday. And you take all of your anger out on hard work profesionals like these two guys. Kid I work with actors. Don’t try to even fucken try to get people against them. Its not working. If I find out who you even are I won’t even let you in any of my films as an extra even. I k theink I know who you are anyways. Don’t even try to emalil me since this is a fake adress. Fuck you

  14. Who out there thinks for one minute that he’s really gone?……….. He knows for a fact that I’m gay??? Oh, boy I hope my wife doesn’t find out…..C’mon “You’re Not Actors..we know you’re still out there reading every post…Not everything in Wisconsin sucks, just you.

  15. O.K.,I’m not really an actor. I’m a 52 year old twice divorced woman living in Reno. I’ve never even been to Wisconsin. You see, what I like to do, is go around on all of these sites and pretend that I’m in someway qualified to talk about the subject at hand. I waffle this way and that way, get everyone all wriled up and then just sit back and watch the carnage.

    You guys have been very funny. This is one of the few sites were I’ve actually succeeded in being taken seriously. Most of the time, I’m just ignored because the persona I create, is so off the wall with arrogance and pomp. I think some of you knew something was off. And the others fell for my little actor man, hook, line, and sinker.

    My life is filled with nothing but spare time.
    I’m living off of severance, and the money I’ve squeezed out of my past husbands. What I do, is no doubt, shameful and pathethic. But, who the hell cares? Like someone said earlier, It’s just the internet.

    I do, however feel a strange kinship with Wisconsinites. Just because of how I’ve had to stick-up for the entire state. And I like to think that there is a “You’re Not Actors” guy somewhere out there. And if he was real, I think his feelings would have been hurt by all that you guys had to say about him. After all, he’s only 25 and just starting his career out. What are you all doing to set the world on fire?

    Anyway, it’s been uproarious. Michael Bark, I will never forget you’re stupidity. As a matter of fact, I know that you’re gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Let’s just say this. You shouldn’t use you’re real name on sites like this. It makes it incredibly easy to find stuff out about you. My advice, just stop hiding, and let that fabulous you break out. I know that you feel guilty about leading on those past girlfriends (the scant few that there were) but don’t worry, they knew.

    Well children, continue you’re stupid little conversation. And don’t be taken so easily. You’re all way too credulous. Don’t miss C.S.I.. Ha,Ha. And go out and get a copy of Wisconsin Death Trip.

    The thing that he did, was open himself up. He shared where he was from, and what he has done. Who amoung you have done that? I’m sure that if Michael Bark told us what he did with himself on a daily basis, he would be just as open to ridicule.
    But, that’s the great thing about the net. Anonymity. “You’re Not Actors” was not hiding like all of you are doing. He told you who he was. And you shot him down. What could possibly be more cowardly than that.

    As much as you all hated my character, and wanted to ruin him, and wanted to expose him, and make fun of him, he has had the last laugh because he doesn’t exist. And you’re all stuck with you’re useless, “sit on the computer, and ridicule a guy just because he’s from Wisconsin” lives. How pathetic is that? To quote myself, you’re not actors. So what the hell are you talking about? My next stop will be a music blog. My only hope is that a few of them will have actually picked up and instrument in thier lives.

  16. i agree with with cescalina,lately they kinda suck, (and yes Steve Buscemi is underrated), but i do have to make one point
    these guys were on the top of the hill back in the day and no one could push’em down,stop trying to break their balls, capische?

  17. I agree that DeNiro and Pacino are overrated. People keep defending them by referring to the fact that they have been captivated by a character, but in all honesty this has very little do with the acting and a lot to do with the quality of the film, the script writers and many more factors. What proves a good actor is getting a poorly written film and being able to pull it off which very few can do. They are both good actors but neither is the best. I believe Steve Buscemi (Con Air, Fargo, Armageddon) is one of the best around and highly underrated. He manages to stand out in every film he is in even if his role is a minor one.

  18. You’re Not Actors, I never run out of ‘weak, pointless, insults’Just your blog name alone, “You’re Not Actors”…is pompous. The fact that you think that random strangers care about your bottom-rung, non-carreer in the sticks of small tow…oh wait, I forgot, the sprawling, electric metropolis of hip downtown Milwalkee…is pompous. (The biggest celebrity in that city is the guy who dresses in the sausage-mascot outfit at half-empty Brewer’s games.) The fact that you think that; performing kareoki in front of drunken shriners in a Motel 8 cocktail lounge, or performing mime-routines and passing the hat in the Greenbay Packer’s parking lot before a game, is considered showbiz…is pompous…..Whew…..I’m spent…this is to easy.

  19. “I have a daily routine of checking out a few sites, including news sites, national audition sites, and this piece of crap. Anyone else have any weak, pointless insults to hurl at me? After all, that’s what this site is about right?”

    “Youre Not Actors”, Simone here. I think that last comment about this site was uncalled for, it left quite a bad taste in the mouth. If you think at all that this site is indeed a piece of crap then maybe you should stop going here in the first place? Anyway, I have been reading your posts and the others with much interest and since this is basically a movie opinion site, everyone is entitled to his own, including yourself of course. I for one do not agree that both Pacino and De Niro are overrated actors but if other posters think that they are, I am kewl with that. In sites like The Movie Blog, some of us just need to agree to disagree.

    Anyway, I am not here to hurl insults at you, I just wish you all the best in your career.

  20. Um, I’ve never been an extra on a sitcom, I won’t be playing a corpse on C.S.I., I’m not a writer, I don’t live in a small town, and I’ve never worked at IHOP. Other than that, I don’t think you mispelled anything, so good job.

    Gifted One. Nice name. And I’m pompous? Huh. Anyway, I don’t know if you’re just a really slow typist but writing my comments on this site does not consume my whole day. I have a daily routine of checking out a few sites, including news sites, national audition sites, and this piece of crap. My comments take about five to ten minutes to type (42wpm) and then it’s on with the day. Nice try though. Anyone else have any weak, pointless insults to hurl at me? After all, that’s what this site is about right?

  21. I shouldn’t use presumptions to judge…..hmmmmm…I guess that would be like calling someone a sexist, racist, homophobe, based on the contents of a few internet postings ridiculing a pompous sit-com extra…….good luck as corpse #3 in CSI; maybe you can amble up to DeNofrio’s trailer during a break and pitch him your script ideas……I’m sure he’s dying to read your small town Wisconsin ‘coming-of age tale’ written in your mother’s basement between shifts at IHOP…….Load up on the catering, it’s free!!

  22. hey “Your not actors”. I commend on the pay day, but you probably would get a lot more parts if you didnt write on the site so much. I mean you should spend more time developing your craft instead of being a doofus like me and waste time on this site. Im not trying to hate on I’m just saying dont take it so seriously, after all this is just the internet.

  23. Man, you’re just trying so hard and not only failing to offend me, but also failing to be make up ground.

    You really possess all the wonderful traits of a racist, sexist, homophob’. Using only stereotypes, and pressumptions to judge. The assumptions that you’re so desperatly trying to bring to fruition, couldn’t be further from the truth. But as anyone who chooses to hate someone instead of challange them (as you have) would, you’ve succeeded only in regretion.

    Reading you’re inane responses has been like watching a spider struggle to get out of the toilet. You’re ignorance is only eclipsed by you’re denial.

    To John. Despite the fact that I heartliy disagree with you on a number of issues pertaining to actors and films. I profoundly apologize to you fom ever including myself on this debate because clearly these children can’t handle me. Look at them. Thier so consumed with anger that the aim of the site has been attacking me. Not debating me, or challanging me, or bringing up viewpoints to counter me(as David Terry did). It’s just been a Jerry Springer style ambush. You know how stupid the people on that show look? That’s how they look. I mean, tell me that my opinions and ideas about acting are wrong. I’m wide open to that. But none of them can. And thier so frustrated with the fact that all they can do is attack me personally which is hilarious because in a face to face open debate, I would slaughter them. My point is, I should have just read the stream of silly banter about DeNiro and Pacino, laughed, and moved along knowing that my contributions to the debate would only make people stagger, and crouch in attack position. The ironic thing is that I really overestimated the intelligence level here. And I’m just sorry that it’s gotten so far off the subject because of me.

    Two weeks ago, I flew out to Baltimore to audition for a small part on C.S.I.. I got a call yesterday from my agent saying that I got the part, and a $24,000.00 pay day for my work. It begins shooting in a month. Where will you be in a month? HA HA.

  24. He usually spends so much time on his puppets that I have to pleasure myself before crying myself to sleep…Oh!, the lonely life of a showbiz-wife….(well, sort of show-biz.

  25. Well, Halle Berry may be FROM Cleveland, but she’s lived in Wisconsin, made donatations to the theater scene, and once attended a play I was in.

    And elite, proving once again that you have nothing to say to me. I wish that there was some way I could convey hysterical laughter with the written word. The stupidity of your comment was so amplified by you’re eagerness to insult me with no means of doing so considering that you don’t know me. It would be like, if I called you fat.

    Because the wonderful world of theater and talent angencies are laced with prime ass, I did quite well in my single days. Now, I get “laid” as you so eloquently put it about 3 or 4 times a week by my sex-crazed wife. Anyone that would say, “you need to get laid” to someone they don’t even know is clearly lost.(and probably needs to get laid themselves)

    The things I wrote must’ve had a tremendous effect on you if you’re still taking “pot-shots” at me even after I’ve attempted to remove myself from the stream. Come on dummy, pull yourself together.

  26. Gee Michael, I think you just took a huge step backwards in terms of your credibility on this site. The digs on Wisconsin were mildly funny in a “Bob Saget” on “America’s Funniest Home Videos” kind of way, but they also make you sound like one of those morons that thinks that everyone in Germany wears leuterhausen, or everyone in Canada plays hockey.

    Wisconsin, while a punchline for the rest of the country in matters of “cheeseheads” and overwieght beer-drinkers, is also home to Milwaukee, which despite you’re narrow catagorization, is a fully fuctioning city with an unexpectedly vital theater and arts scene.

    I used to think that Kentucky was home to nothing but toothless rednecks, until I went to Louisville and saw that they have one of the largest theater communities in America.

    Wisconsin is home to John Cusack, Tony Shaloub, Heather Graham, Spencer Tracey, Chris Farley, Halle Berry, Willem Dafoe and of course Cotter Smith. And if it was good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.

    I hope you don’t excersise that same kind of prejudice in life….idiot.

  27. “Fame!!…I’m gonna live forever!!””….David Terry; Please, PLease, PLEase…SHUT-UP! ‘I didn’t have the courage to follow my dreams’ Excuse me for a moment while I put my head in an oven. Before you settle on “You’re Not Actors”, as you’re inspiration to “dare to dream”, remember that he’s somewhere in the middle of a half-empty county fair in rural Wisconsin right now providing dramatic accompainment to the “Art of Local Cheesemaking” with homemade puppets………Wisconsin is to Hollywood or Broadway, what my foot is to a standing rib roast….’nuff said

  28. Well Dave, your choice, while conventional and safe was smart. As an actor, I’m not even a needle in a haystack. I’m a needle in a stack of needles. I only do it because it’s an addiction. Fame is not my aspiration. The work is just too much fun.

    I will now bow out of this stream and let newcomers to the site banter. I’ve exausted myself on this topic, so now I’m gonna go re-watch all these movies we’ve been talking about. Later.

  29. Reading back “you’re not actors” you are absolutly right. Fundalmentally we agree on the main issue. I just read some reviews of Wisconsin Death Trip on Amazon and on the official web-site. Got decent reviews, and certainly sounds interesting. I live in England so I doubt it will ever get shown on TV here, but I’ll certainly keep my eyes open for a dvd copy.

    I wish you good luck with your chosen career path. It sounds like you have the will, motivation and ambition to give it your best go. I for one didn’t have the courage to follow my dreams “god how corny is that!” I took the easy and safe route in life and opted for a more conventinal career. Now at the grand old age of 27 with a mortgage and bills to pay, my chances of ever being an actor are pretty much gone! I keep saying im going to try and get into amateur dramatics and maybe do an evening course, but with my life and work the way it is now I don’t get the time! Oh well.

    I look forward to hopefully debating with you again in the future.

  30. the score wasn’t that bad. and scarface is overrated. God father was great. There is some mathematical element of critically breaking down a movie but a lot of it is subjective. that’s what makes it so great.

  31. Wait a minute…I think I’ve seen one of You’re Not Actors, numerous local commercials. It was the one where he’s standing in front of a used car dealership dressed in an old George Washington costume saying, “…I can not tell a lie, I will chop down high prices on every Chevy, Ford and Buick…” during the annual President’s Day sale. Man, was he good!!

  32. There are certainly great problems with not being able to debate “face to face”. Once you’ve written what you’ve written, it’s interpreted however it appears and the debate becomes less conversational and more a ping pong of “No what I meant was…”.

    Dave, I understand you’re reiterations, and as I suggested in a previous post, I think we agree more than it seems, and in recents posts, we’ve just been splitting hairs.

    Honestly my frustration and pomposity has been generally unearthed by John who refuses to engage in debate and prefers to just say, “This is all beneath me”

    As far as my own personal resume’, to answer what I think you’re real question was, No you probably haven’t seen me in anything. The only national production I was in was a film that was made for HBO directed by James Marsh and narrated by Ian Holm called Wisconsin Death Trip. It plays out as an “American Justice” type of movie about bizarre 19th Century murders in Wisconsin. Other than that my only PAID work has come from regional theater playing Hamlet, and “Teach” in American Buffalo, as well as numerous local commercials, which unless you live in southeastern Wisconsin, you haven’t seen. I’ve toured around the midwest in a couple of shows, and cut my teeth in coffee house improv and sketch comedy troups. I am, however, young and hope to achieve even the smallest degree of success. Until then, I take what I can get, and make a modest living as one of a million struggling thespians.

  33. Whats a Hot Pocket? When I re-read my post, apart from it a) being far to long winded I did read that “wouldnt you be angry if you were blind” comment and it did make me cringe! I looked around for a cane to beat myself with! When Pacino is cast in an average film, he does tend to revert to over use of shouting to try and bring life to the script. However, I do think shouting was a necessary character trait for Scent of a Woman.

  34. Hmm? Wouldn’t I be angry as a blind guy?…I don’t know, maybe, sometimes…I guess. I know if I was blind, and someone planted me in front of a television with a ‘Pacino marathon’ of “Any Given Sunday”, Scent of a Woman”, “Godfather 3” and “The Recruit”; I’d take my cane and beat myself over the head with it. The man chews up scenery like a starving man devouring a Hot Pocket.

  35. You’re not actors. My comments to your comments as follows: –

    I do not feel I added words to your comments or felt I put “words in your mouth”. That was my interpretation of your post. When you make the statement QUOTE- “Fuck that stupid “Goodfellas”, “Godfather”, “Scarface” crap. Yes thier great films. But they rely more on cinema, storytelling, and spectical than they rely on acting” surely I am not wrong in maybe intereptating this as “yes the acting was okay, but because the story was so good and the directing so good, it was easy for the actors”. My response to this was based purely on the notion that for a great script with a great director to become a great film then surely it need great acting performance’s. De Niro, Pesci and co did more than just turn up and perform a script. Many scenes were re-worked “ad-hoc” around De Niro’s ideas and “method ideologies”. Many scenes were ad-libed and re-scripted on the day of filming. Scorsese likes to work like this and has done on almost all his films. Coppala was more regimented in his approach to Godfather but when you read Puzo’s Godfather, the story is so vivid and the characters so colourful that I think a less flexible approach was required to make it work. Dont forget this was Coppalas first major picture and had the threat of the sack over him throughout the whole filming and editing process.

    Secondly you followed that with the following comments QUOTE “For great DeNiro watch “Jackie Brown” and “This Boys Life”. Wonderful, and nearly flawless performances”. From this can you not see how I was of the opinion that you thought De Niro in Jackie Brown was a better than his roles in Godfather 2 and Godfellas? I thought De Niro was under used in Jackie Brown, and as much as he was convincing in the role he played, it is role I feel he could have fulfilled whilst standing on his head. Thats not because I “don’t undertsand the craft of acting”. Okay Im not an actor. I have done acting (mainly on stage and rep stuff) and have studied film, but It is not my career (By the way I’ll be interested to know what you have been in). Therefore, I feel I have as good a grasp as most to comment on performances.

    Thirdly (God this is going on abit), what I meant about Pacino’s role in Dog Day Afternoon, that yes you could see the potential that the man had, you could see a rawness about him a vibrancy about him. You could sense his future greatness, but (and this is my opinion!) I would have liked to have seen him do this film a few years later when he had learnt to truely grasp a character and make it his own.

    My defence of these performance’s is not based purely on “macho” sentiments torward violence and gangster films, but on an appreciation of the acting performances. I loved De Niro in the King of Comedy, Wag the Dog (greatly under-rated as film), Taxi Driver and Brazil. Even “the Mission” which received much critisism and certainly was not a great film, but I felt De Niro’s performance was way above what the script, direction and other cast members had to offer. Pacino was superb in Frankie and Johnny, Sea of Love, The Scent of Women, (although he did shout alot, but wouldn’t you be angry as a blind guy?) and Serpico. I can talk about “method” acting with you, I can talk about how the true art of acting is dying, I can talk about anything. You may well be technically more knowlegdeable than me, but I know what I know, and I like what I like. I am sure many of your acting colleges share differing opinions to you, but I’m sure they may be equally as talented.

    If you were less pompus, and not as highly critical of others opinions you may well find that people will be more willing to “debate” with you. Film is and always will be a subjective craft, which as an actor, you can surely appreciate is what makes it great.

  36. See, now that was funny. Kudos to you Mike.

    Cotter will get top billing because of his psuedo celebrity, however, our intitial venue (the church basement) has fallen through due to the nature of the show. We are shopping around Milwaukee for a trendy coffee house to put it up in. As soon as I know specifics, I will let you all know the “when” & “where’s”.

    I will be playing the angry vagina which should come as no suprise. And when you cum, bring intelligeble heckling. None of this silly, “You’re a dumbass” nonsense. Be smart.

  37. Bear in mind that this is just a rumor. But, talk around town has revealed that ‘You’re Not Actors and Cotter Smith are planning to appear together in a community theater production of the ‘Vagina Monologues in a church basement in Cleveland, Ohio. I wonder who will get top billing?

  38. Wow, the brilliance just keeps on coming from you guys. Unlike you, I feel that my views should be well thought out, and my arguments brought full-circle.

    “Elite” just further asserts my point that you don’t have the ability to debate the content of my comments, so you resort to saying it’s to long? Sorry; too many words for you?

    “Elite”, just count to ten, and lay down for a minute. Turn “Teletubbies” on the T.V., and think about gumdrops and lollipops. Eventually the smoke will stop coming out of your ears and the shooting pain in your frontal lobe will subside.

    Now that I understand the caliber of people I’m dealing with here, let me submit a true Top 10 of the greatest actors that you guys might be able to get on board with.

    10. Keanu Reeves…whoa
    9. Kelly Clarkson…I “idolize” that girl
    8. Jm J. Bullock…one list at a time
    7. Brett Favre…brilliant in “Something About Mary”
    6. Horatio Sans…not just your token “fat guy”
    5. Cotter Smith…you probably never heard of him but he played the President in Xmen 2 and is a good friend of mine.
    4. “Lambchop”…able to sing with a hand up her ass; now that’s great acting
    3. Herve Vilachez…de plane, de plane
    2. Me…you knew that was coming
    1. Robin Williams…Give him Ritalin and he’ll top any list.

    There, does that warm you heart?

    Anyway, now that “Elite” has made a moron of him/herself, does anyone else have anything useless to say?

    I’ve stopped taking this debate seriously given the company that I’m in, because reading your responses is like going to the Zoo and watching the Apes. They’re amazingly humanlike yet somehow completly inept, opting to pick thier noses and hurl thier feces than actually engage in interaction.

  39. um…its been a while since i was involved in this debate… You’re Not Actors” says he has a life, look how much the dumbass wrote

  40. No, you did not render me speechless. It’s just that I have a life and I don’t have time to talk in circles about acting with people who don’t take well to debate.(David Terry excluded. You presented arguments)

    As for John. Your only retort is to say that I’m arrogant? Tell me why I’m wrong. I never proclaimed myself to be an expert. I merely introduced a perspective that had been absent up to that point. And your mind was so blown by what I said, that your only comeback was to say, “Uh…uh…yer dum.” Besides, I was only compelled to write what I wrote, because everything that YOU had said seemed so arrogant.

    The predominant viewpoint being expressed seemed to be coming from straight, white, 20’s to 40’s, men. Now, yes I also am in that category, but I felt that there was an over-emphasis on all these macho, male movies. I never discounted the importance of these films. I merely said, forget about that genre for a second and take a look at some other movies.

    (John) To just call me “foolish” without backing up your argument with a little explaination is just plain wimpy. Oh that’s right, what I said was so crazy that it didn’t even dignify a response. I should call all the film, T.V., and theater directors that have given me roles over the years and tell them that some dipshit on the internet thinks I don’t know anything about acting. I’m sure that we would have a hearty laugh.

    (Dave) Do you have ADD or something? Obviously you didn’t read what I wrote very carefully. From what you wrote, I fail to see exactly where our disagreement lies. It seems more to me that you had a difficult time wrapping your brain around that point that I was trying to make.

    First of all, I did not say that “gangster” themed movies relied PURELY on cinematic craft and storytelling. I said that they rely MORE on those craft-heavy elements. The ability that a director has to “set the scene” greatly enhances an actors ability to perform. I never said that the work by the actors in that film was lesser because of the writing and directing. You’re putting words in my mouth. Those movies that you so fervantly defend are epic. The scope of the film is greater than an actor’s performance. Those films took you on a wonderful ride. And the actors in those movies benefited from amazing stories and dream casts. The other side that I was trying to bring up, is the crop of films that are DRIVEN by thier actors.
    And although “Jackie Brown” could be classified in the male-movie category, it’s a great example of actors working without leashes. Tarrantino is a great actor’s director. He lets his story be born out of the instincts of his actors. Coppela does not. No actor’s instincts or personal vision will get in the way of him telling the story that he wants to tell.

    Second of all, by saying that DeNiro’s role in “Jackie Brown” was a “walk-on” makes my point for me, that you guys just to understand the craft of acting. I also didn’t say it was a superior performance to “The Godfather II”. There you go again with the ADD. I sited that performance as an example of a great DeNiro performance to cast a light on the type of concentrated, and method work that you guys were continuly leaving out.

    Third, you said that Pacino gave a “fine performance” in “Dog Day Afternoon”. You said it was “extremely raw”, “vibrant”, and full of “energy”. Then in the next sentence, you said that he “didn’t really bring the character alive”. Your words. Am I missing something? I don’t think I would use words like “vibrant” and “energy” when describing a dead character. The fact is that Pacino owns that movie. Natually, texture comes with age. And Pacino would later in his career bring wonderful depth and grit to his roles. In “Dog Day Afternoon” he is playing essentially a lost kid. For a young actor, I can’t think of a better performance.

    As for my Top 10, please “rip holes” in it. I can’t wait.

    (Michael Bark) You made a good point about Pacino’s yelling thing. That has become a safety net for him. Unfortunatly, the more crappy movies Hollywood makes, the more studios clamour for those marketable traits that some actors have. Pacino’s yelling. Hank’s everyman quality. Depp’s whole quiet n’ cool thing. And those otherwise talented actors fall into a niche.

    In my initial comments, I never called anyone stupid. I said that your comments were ignorant. And the word IGNORANT, as defined by the “Grosset Webster” Dictionary is: uninformed, lacking knowledge. And I stand by my statement. Even more so now than before. You see, the problem is, that you guys read what I wrote and your knee-jerk reaction was to ask “Who does this guy think he is?” Then, you were so excited an anxious to write an angry response that you didn’t bother to compute the things that I said enough to understand an angle other than your own.

    I’d love to have an intelligent debate, but you’re well has gone dry. How many more agruments are you going to make for “The Godfather”, or “Scarface”? Yeah, I get it. You like movies about violance, and manly men doing manly man things. I was just trying broaden the debate. But if it’s out of your league, I’m terribly sorry.

    I completely understand that I am coming off as a pompus jerk, but no one has made any GOOD arguments against me. You just keep saying the same stuff over and over. Read my comments again, and challange them. At least make it interesting. I have a posse of actors standing around me as I write, who have read the whole stream. And, as of know, you guys are just embarrassing yourselves.

  41. Al Pacino WAS great up until “…And Justice for All…,” where he discovered yelling. Since then he has not stopped yelling. Scent of a Woman…yelling. Any Given Sunday…yelling. The list goes on and on. I can’t think of a Pacino performance in the last 25 years, besides Donnie Brasco, in which he displayed any sort of subtlety or understatement…………As for DeNiro he was great up until he discovered mumbling around the time of …oh, i don’t know…Mad Dog and Glory??….the guy has sleep walked through dozens of movies since the early ’80’s.

  42. I totally agree that Robin Williams is a fantastic actor, but even he, Bob DeNiro, and Al have been in not so great movies, however that cannot disqualify them as not being in the top 10. There are actors that play the same type of role like John Wayne and there are charcter actors that can play differnt charcters very effectively. In my opinion I would have to say that Al and Bob are in the top 10.

  43. I have a few comments for you “You’re not Actors”. Goodfellas, Scarface and Godfather where indeed great movies, however, you intimate that this wasn’t done to the performance, and purely down to story and direction! Now you are talking shite! For me, Godfather 1 & 2 had two of the greatest film casts put togther! You mention three in your own list. Thats without talking about Caan and Duval! Goodfellas did indeed have a great story and great direction with energy of Scorsese written all over it, but that film would only have been half as good without De Niro, Pesci and Liotta. Scarface was and always will be Pacino. I love the film, but NO ONE else could have given that role what Pacino did and without him the acting was average.

    To site Jackie Brown as one of De Niro’s finest roles is basically insulting the man. He had little more than a walk on role. And this boys life, was indeed a decent film and a good performance from De Niro, but personally to me was a scaled down re-hash of his Bickle and Pumkin roles. To proclaim these as greater performance than Vito Corleone or Jimmy Burke makes me wonder what you look for from an acting performance!

    Dog Day Afternoon was indeed a fine performance from Pacino. Extremely raw and vibrant with again energy that only Pacino pocesses. But to me he didn’t bring the character alive, didnt make him memorable, because he hadn’t learnt that skill yet as an actor. This film showed Al’s potential but he was no where near the complete actor, and was no where near the complete performance. Frankie and Johnny showed another string to Pacinos bow. A far softer, funnier, relaxed Al Pacino, that hadn’t really surfaced before. For me Pacino’s ultimate performance’s will always be Godfather I & II, Carlito’s Way, Sea of Love and Serpico (Frankie and Johnny and Scarface are also up there).

    I could talk about this subject with you all day long, but I haven’t got the time. I could even comment on the list of YOUR top ten actors of all times. I could rip holes in that, but it is (as John has stated) your right to have your opinion. I will happily debate, but would not put you down and call stupid for having opinions that differ to mine

  44. No, it’s just that most of us found your comments to be so arrogant, self important and foolish that we decided it wasn’t worth responding to.

    It’s ok for you to have a different opinion, and to express that opinion… but you make yourself look like an ass when you just come on here, proclaim yourself to be the expert, explain why everyone else is wrong and then contest that film fans know nothing about what makes someone a good actor.

  45. Furthermore John, here’s an unprejudiced top 10 list of America’s greatest actors. I think lists are pretentious but I just want to show you how “off the mark” you are.

    10: Richard Dreyfuss
    9: Gary Oldman
    8: Dustin Hoffman
    7: Jack Nicholson
    6: Anthony Hopkins
    5: Sidney Poitier
    4: Robert DeNiro
    3: Marlon Brando
    2: Al Pacino
    1: Meryl Streep

    To understand great acting, you must first learn to seperate the idea of “actor” from “celebrity”. All of these actors worked throughout thier careers independant of pop culture. Some actors reach a certain level because thier representative of thier times. Like Tom Hanks, or Lawrence Olivier. And they become the voice for the archetype of that time. Their personality and pursuit become the cultural aspiration. And as times change the celebrity of those kinds of actors fades away.

    But through changing cultural aspirations, and changing fads, and wars, and political landscapes the actors that I listed have endured because they have always been actors before celebrities. That, to me, defines confidence in one’s craft. The fact that audiences respond to these people generation after generation is amazing.

    If you got together a group of today’s middle school kids and showed them “The Shining”, Jack Nicholson would scare the shit out of them. And that movie is almost thirty years old.

    People like Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, and Kevin Spacey, are merely celebrities. Sure, they’re fine actors. But they’re movie people. And without the people on my list, we never would’ve heard of the people on yours.

  46. There is always a tremendous disparity between who other actors view as “great actors” and who non-actors view as great actors. Non-actors tend to gravitate towards performances that are “cool” or adhere to this pedestrian mentality that great acting lies in the ability to play different character types. As as actor myself, I don’t care about a character’s costume, or make-up, or hair, or accent. That’s not great acting. Great acting is about honesty, and carisma. Anyone who would deny Pacino and DeNiro their rightful place atop the list of the greatess american FILM actors of all time, just doesn’t know what acting is.

    Robin Williams is a brilliant comedian, and a great mimic. But he is not a great actor because when you watch him (from an actor’s perspective) you can see him working. You can see the wheels turning in his head. You can see him trying to figure it out.

    Along this stream of ignorant comments, I didn’t see any mention of Meryl Streep, whom maybe the greatest American Actor alive. Of Course, you people seem only to acknowledge the work of male actors in movies about masculine things (i.e. crime, the mob)

    If you want to see great acting, watch Dustin Hoffman in “Kramer vs. Kramer” or Richard Dreyfuss in “The Goodbye Girl”. Those are wonderful examples of actors inhabiting roles, and carrying movies.

    As far as that list of box office failures from DeNiro and Pacino at the top of this page. That has nothing to do with Al and Bob. Hollywood just makes shitty movies now. In the 80’s the shitty movie to good movie ratio was about 50/50. Now it’s more like 80/20. And it’s because of people like you guys. Because Hollywood realized that the 7 minute attention span MTV generation is no longer savvy when it comes to their entertainment. They just want to see something fast and cool and fun. The result: the status quo has dropped almost off the map.

    Fuck that stupid “Goodfellas”, “Godfather”, “Scarface” crap. Yes thier great films. But they rely more on cinema, storytelling, and spectical than they rely on acting. For great Pacino, watch “Dog Day Afternoon”, and “Frankie and Johnny”. For great DeNiro watch “Jackie Brown” and “This Boys Life”. Wonderful, and nearly flawless performances.

    Unfortunately, movies don’t reach like that anymore. They’re delibrately pleasing. They don’t let us just watch and think. They tell us what to think, try to manipulate us, and leave us with this very synthetic, uninspired satisfaction.

    The only place to find great film anymore is outside of our own country. It was another effect of 9/11. The numbing of our entertainment. And they get away with it because they know that even if were dissatisfied, we still need it.

    Bottom line is: it was funny and a little embarrassing to read all these goofy and groundless opinions from a bunch of people, most of which probably never took an acting class.



  48. My two cents: I have to say that I, um, wholeheartedly agree with John on this. Pacino and De Niro are two very good actors, but they almost always end up consuming the character they play, rather than the other way around. When you watch them, you never forget that it’s them playing these noble, tragic roles‚Äîand that’s the worst thing an actor can do, allow his conceit to get the better of him. (Can anyone say Finding Richard?)

    Oh god, I’m going to get death threats now. ; )

  49. I wouldnt even put Al Pacino on any list, I dont give numbers to such a great actor.

    Oh yes, Al Pacino is the best. No numbers mind you though.

  50. Brando is as the greateast and brought in method acting but de niro and pacino took it to another level. All these new actors want to be like them. Watch pacino in serpico, dog day afternoon and watch godfather part1 where he plays two roles as a normal guy and then into a ruthless gangster. Watch de niro in taxi driver, raging bull, godfather P2 and goodfellas how different are all them roles. John mate you should get your head examined. You cant call them overrated. Al pacino was brillient in Donnie Brasco if that was robbie williams than that would be his best movie wheras pacino’s that’s his 10th best performance. Watch pacino in merchant of venice and you will reliase a truly amazing actor and a true legend.

  51. This is bull. Al Pacino is king. Just look at Scent of a woman, or the scene in the God Father just before he shoots the turk. Watch his eyes, that was awesome.

    Look at Deniro, look at his work, Raging Bull, Deer Hunter.These guys are accomplished stage actors also.

    Intensity, charm, charisma, style, talent are synonymous with these two actors. Who cares if they are in this list or not.

    Robin Williams is also a splendid actor. He is magic.

    Frankly there is no one actor that can be titled the best IMO. A great performance happens when one is at the right place, with the right directory, the right script and the passion to express a situation the way it should.

    It does not make a difference whether you left Pacino or Deniro out of this dumb list. Who cares about your list.

  52. This post is how I came about themovieblog (I was looking for information on upcoming films from de Niro). At first I thought John was a bit of a wally, and seriously doubted his movie knowledge. I now put it down purely to preference. The enjoyment of movies and the actors within them is so subjective and that is the beauty of them. I personally believe that de Niro and Pacino are the greatest actors alive today. Not necessary for some of their recent performances, which, although not all bad, have not lived up to their previous roles. I am a huge fan of both actors, yet even I didnt bother Simone or 15-minutes. However, to judge a film by its box office takings, is somewhat blinkered. Raging Bull or Taxi driver made hardly any money at the cinema, yet are two of de Niro’s finest performances and universally recognised as two of the greatest films ever made. Carlito’s Way or Scarface didn’t make huge money at the box office yet were superb films with great performance’s from Pacino. Other now huge films flopped at the box office but are now recognised as great movies Shawshank redemption is one that springs to mind. I think this is down to the content of the film and obviously not the quality of the film.

    As is said at the beginning (before I rambled) it is down to personal prefernce. I know John is a big fan of Robin Williams and has stated he is the greatest actor of all time. I whole heartidly disagree, and, like John with de Niro and Pacino, I like him as an actor yet he wouldnt make my top 40 of all time. John (like many) is a huge Star Wars fan. I personally like the films, and if they are on television will watch them. However, if I never see them again I wouldnt be particulaly bothered. The same goes with the Matrix (even the first one) quiet liked it, and its in my collection. However, it is way down my must watch list. I could go on, but I agree to differ with John on this issue, and think trying to convince the unconvincable is a fruitless task. PS RIP Christopher Reeves a true “Superman”

  53. PACINO AND Deniro has nothing much to do with their careers,I’ve seen all of Pacino’s work in order and i’ve gotta tell you he transformed like a baby going through puberty,his career is like a person’s life undergoing changes

  54. Hey Elite:

    You just proved my point for me. I can’t say what kind of role he would suck at… because… HE HASN’T DONE ANY!!! That’s my point.

    And yes, I think he’s a teriffic actor… but all of his recent films have sucked… and to be honest… he sucked in them (did you see The Recruit?!?! Holy crap he was awful in that. Simone… it wasn’t just the movie that was bad… Paccino was horrible in it. Anyway.

    Also, yes he’s done like 30-40 films… but the reality is only about 5 or 6 of them were really brilliant.

    Anyway, I’ll always like him… I just don’t think he’s the best… and no one here has presented me with anything that I don’t alerady know that has changed my mind yet. To each their own i guess.

  55. Come on, you are making it sound as if al pacino only starred in a couple of movies and 4 of them were herendous, NO, dont forget he’s starred in 40 movies and i can mention 5 were crap, 5 out of 40. Do you want me to write the list of all his good films? No I havent got that much time, i know you think they’re great actors, but everyone is trying to tell you they are the best!
    but hey, lets work this out, you say that a talented actor plays a variety of characters, name one character that al pacino would be shit at performing? Name one and ill be on your side of the argument.

  56. Well Elite, you just made my point for me.

    People DIDN’T go see Simone
    People DIDN’T go see The Recruit
    People DIDN’T go see The Score
    People DIDN’T go see 15 Minutes

    People haven’t gone to see any of their movies lately. So if going to see them in movies is what makes them great actors (and remember, I DO think they’re great actors), then what dose it say when no one goes to their films? Just a thought. Cheers.

  57. the one and only REASON why al pacino and robert de niro are so good in films is because they both have one thing: energy. WHen you watch al pacino in scarface or carlito’s way, you want to hang on to his every gesture, every movement and every word, there is so much strenth in this guy. I dont agree with the fact that they are “overrated” because “overrated” is such a shit word. To be the best guy isnt about being rated, To be the best actor or actress you have to be loved by your viewers, i mean the reason why we watch al pacino or robert de niro movies is because we want to watch them, not the movie, I dont give a shit what role they play, janitor, ticket salesman, fisherman, anything, even if they only have 2 lines i a script, I WOULD WATCH THEM OVER AND OVER AGAIN. If thats the effect they have on you, then hey are the best. Now let me tell you about a guy who is on the same wavelentgh as pacino and deniro, EDWARD NORTON, fucking brilliant

  58. the one and only REASON why al pacino and robert de niro are so good in films is because they both have one thing: energy. WHen you watch al pacino in scarface or carlito’s way, you want to hang on to his every gesture, every movement and every word, there is so much strenth in this guy. I dont agree with the fact that they are “overrated” because “overrated” is such a shit word. To be the best guy isnt about being rated, To be the best actor or actress you have to be loved by your viewers, i mean the reason why we watch al pacino or robert de niro movies is because we want to watch them, not the movie, I dont give a shit what role they play, janitor, ticket salesman, fisherman, anything, even if they only have 2 lines i a script, I WOULD WATCH THEM OVER AND OVER AGAIN. If thats the effect they have on you, then hey are the best. Now let me tell you about a guy who is on the same wavelentgh as pacino and deniro, EDWARD NORTON, fucking brilliant

  59. I consider myself to be a novice when it comes to actor trivia, I’m just another guy who likes movies, but after viewing all of your comments I do have an observation. If you make a top ten list of “all time greatest actors” then Pacino and DeNiro are obviously on it. If you make a top ten list of “todays greatest actors” then they may not be. It is that simple, you have to separate the two categories or you are comparing apples to oranges.

  60. all of you clowns out there who think Bob and Al are anything but the best can take your sick twisted shitt and shove it up your %#! coz they really are “untouchable!”. You freakin morons talk about Mobsters ..yeah what about ’em. its better than watching dumb pukes playing fetch in sorry ass krap you pay 5 bucks/hr just to feel you still got it. Bob has more balls than all the A,J & S’s at Hollywood combined as for Al he was born Corleone, so why dont you fruit baskets go warm up a twig coz where Bob and Al come from there aint no room for lapdogs.

  61. Dude, look man to say that Pacino and Deniro are overrated is one thing, but to say that they are not 2 of the best actors of all time is a crazy if not idiotic statement. If you watch any of these guys films they make their other co stars step up their game, they bring out the very best in decent actors for example aJohnny Depp, who worked with Pacino in Donnie Brasco,and Sean Penn who worked with him in Carlito’s way. These guys are legendary, granted yes the movies that they have recently been in have sucked without a doubt especially Deniro, but come on man every great actor has a shit list of movies. Between the 2 of them they have i dont know how many oscar nominations, both of them already won the award, even to this day they can come out with a film that everyone is gonna be interested in seeing even if it looks like its gonna be horrible. When your presence alone on screen can make people wanna go see your movies i think you have the right to be considered great, movies like the godfather and scarface, dog day afternoon, raging bull, and good fellas are what got theseguys the respect that they have in hollywood. Your gonna tell me that scene in heat where they finally meet didnt steal the whole movie, there wasnt even one gun shot in that scene it was straight dialogue being delivered back and forth and it had people goin crazy, thats what i call acting man. The only reason people went to go see that movie was to see that scene that lasted not even 10 mins, and it was worth every penny. Now do these guys have a reputaion or what, you gotta understand man they have earned the right to make bullshit movies and as long as they are alive we are gonna keep goin back for more. These guys are movie icons man,think about it.

  62. By the way, movies Pacino made after Heat that were good are City Hall, Donnie Brasco, and Any Given Sunday were all pretty good. As for DeNiro what about Meet the Parents, Wag the Dog, and Men of Honor were all pretty good.

  63. Okay. The movies they have put out the last few years have sucked, I get that and i respect your opinion. But you cant say they dont belong on the op ten actors list. Mostly yes, they play mobsters or cops, but no one plays those roles like they can. You look at a list of the top ten movies ever and they’re probally in 9 out of 10 of them. Pacino played a blind man in Scent of a Woman for godness sakes and he nailed the performance. Thats not a gangster or a cop movie. DeNiro played a boxer in Ragging Bull. Thats not a gangster or a cop movie. DeNiro and Pacino are without a doubt in the top ten best actors and should be 1 or 2. Tom Hanks could give them a good fight as could Jack Nicholson. But Robin Williams? He has to be the best comedian on stage I have ever seen. But his comedies have all stunk. Yes, he has had some great movies and performances, but compare the resumes. And about the actor in a great movie thing. A movie could never really be great without a strong performance from the actors. The way Pacino and DeNiro play the characters in their movies are what makes the movies so great. You cant put them down because they havn’t had a great movie in recent years. Nothing Robin Williams has done lately has made goe “wow!” Please post something back because Im curious what you have to say now.

  64. Spawn:

    Once again let me remind everyone that I did not say Pacino or Deniro are bad actors. On the contrary, i think they are both quite good… but not a chance in hell are they the best actors or even top ten.

    Who cares that they were in Godfather II?!?! Just because an actor is in a great movie does not make them a great actor. John Cazali and Bruno Kirby were in Godfather II as well… should they be on the top ten list as well?

    Not to mention, no one has yet to address the reasons I listed as to why i think they may be overrated. I’m so tired of everyone just yelling “you’re dumb” without engaging the arguments I’m putting forward.

    Once again, I LOVE Pacino and Deniro, but the fact that most of the parts they’ve played over the years have been homogeneous in nature, and the fact that neither of them have put forward a really strong performance in years keeps them off my top ten list.

    That’s just my opinion. Like I always say, the most beautiful thing about film is the pure subjectivity of it. Keep commenting.

  65. Can’t speak for John, who’s list this originally was, but as far as I’m concerned Morgan Freeman is essentially a one note actor who’s very good in a particular role but tends to repeat himself over and over. Denzel Washington succumbs to the Tom Hanks syndrome, I think, in that he’s a phenomonally talented actor who tends to choose ‘safe’ roles, with Training Day being an obvious exception. For black actors I’d take Samuel L. Jackson over either of them any day.

  66. Let’s take a reality check here. Pacino & Deniro should be #1 on everybody’s list, First of all they were both in the greatest film ever made, The Godfather II. Secondly, they have consistently done what it takes to be at the top of their performance levels over the years. Deniro, even going through extraordinary physical changes in order to reinforce realism in the roles he plays. (See Raging Bull). Pacino, a perfectionist to the end, simply will not settle for less than exemplary. (Scarface, are you kidding me)? Seems to me, someone just wanted to criticize just because no one else was. Get a clue, there’s a reason no one else criticizes the two greatest actors living. By the way, is this a list of White only actors. Where the hell is Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington??? Now I know this list is a COMPLETE JOKE!!!

  67. I don’t see how anyone can say Pacino and DeNiro are not two of the very best actors on the face of the earth. I can’t think of many actors who have contributed as much as both of these guys have. When I read all the comments about them, I felt like I’d entered the twighlight zone. I think some of these folks need to go down to block buster and rent some of their best films and then come back and discuss it again.

  68. I did see Angels in America. It was very well done and Pacino was quite good in it. And yes I still say he is overrated.

    But please understand that by saying he’s overrated, I’m NOT saying he’s a bad actor… I actually think he’s quite a good actor… but he IS NOT one of the best actors of all time as some seem to think he is. That’s why I believe he’s overrated.

  69. if you haven’t seen Al Pacino as Roy Cohn in Mike Nichol’s HBO production of “Angels in America” you have no right to say he is overrated. He deviates from the “tough guise” he usually dons and performs brilliantly. See this, then come back and say he is the same in every movie.

  70. I’ve seen and read Garp and Lithgow was about the only thing I really liked in that movie … though I will say it was a long time ago and my reaction to it may change if I saw it again now …

  71. You list the World According to Garp as one of Williams BAD movies? I am guessing you have never seen it, or heard of it and that is your basis to assume its not a good film.

    Name one other film that has John Lithgow in drag as a supporting cast member.

  72. Don’t missunderstand me. I’m not suggesting being in a bad film makes you a bad actor any more than being in a good film makes you a good actor.

    And I never said DeNiro or Pacino were BAD actors… I only suggested they were overrated (remember, I actually like them a lot).

    And I can’t disagree with you more about Williams playing only one character like Pacino. From The Fisher King, to 1 Hour Photo, to Insomnia, to Death To Smootchy, to Good Morning Vietnam, to Good Will Hunting Williams plays a pretty broad spectrum of characters will vastly differnet personalities, traits and behaviours.

    But yes, Williams has made his share of bad films.

  73. Okay John, since you opened the floodgate by citing people’s bad films, here’s a list for you:

    Bicentennial Man
    Jakob the Liar
    Patch Adams
    What Dreams May Come
    World According to Garp

    And there are more in his filmography that I’m sure I could cite if I could only bring myself to watch them …

    Now, I like Robin Williams a lot – and how could you possibly leave The Fisher King off your list of his good films? I’d say that’s his best performance – and I agree that he’s under-rated but, just like any actor he has his little quirks and tics that he always falls back into and he’s done more than his share of bad films. With good material he’s quite good, but I’d say his highs don’t rise nearly as high as Pacino or DeNiro’s best work and his lows are right down there.

    Of the three Williams is the most erratic in terms of quality, the last decade or so has just been brutal to DeNiro (with a couple exceptions) and I’d say Pacino consistently produces the highest caliber work, which is probably a function of his always remaining very active in live theater.

    And yeah, Pacino tends to do the same types of characters (something equally true of Williams, by the way, until he set about consciously changing that in the past couple years) but saying someone is a poor performer because they either play to their strengths or tend to get cast in the same types of roles is like saying Christopher Plummer or Lawrence Olivier or any easily identifiable leading man couldn’t / can’t act. We like them because they have strong personalities.

    And as for Costner, he doesn’t even have one character he plays. He’s got about a third. On a good day.

  74. Of course De Niro and Pacino are overrated; they’ve both been stuck in ruts for years. A valid comparison is contemporary Harvey Keitel, who is a better actor in part because he’s made better choices; he hasn’t allowed himself to be pigeonholed, so he has more flexibility in the roles he chooses and is forced to find new things in his performances. (De Niro and Pacino are victims of habit.)

    As for your initial list, women are curiously absent. And I can think of a half-dozen women I’d choose before anybody on your list save Spacey and Crowe.

  75. I agree that Robin Williams is an excellent actor. One only has to look at the Fisher King to see that. But I never was swept away with any of his characters like Deniro did in Godfater II, Raging Bull, The Untouchables and Good Fellas, and like Pacino did in Godfather I and II, Scarface, Dog Day Afternoon and And Justice For All.

    And both Deniro and Pacino can take mediocre work and elevate it, something I don’t believe Williams can do.

  76. I’ve gotta disagree…. I think they are both fantastic actors… and I don’t think they play the same characters.

    But, I do agree that Williams is a fantastic actor. He was outstanding in One Hour Photo.

  77. I’ll get killed for this, but I’d put Tom Hanks in the same boat as PAcino and De Niro. The only difference is Hanks plays 2 guys instead of one, depending on if he’s in a drama or a comedy. The only exception I can think of that was outstanding was his role in Philadelphia.

  78. It’s true that Williams has been in poor films too. But just as good films don’t mean the acting was good, a bad film doesn’t mean the acting was bad.

    I agree that the portrayal of Satan in Devil’s Advocate was interesting, but I chalk that up more to the writing than to the performance… wich was really just like most of Pacino’s performances… the Devil was Scarface with a little more influence. :)

  79. The one exception I would make to your list of stinkers was Pacino in Devil’s Advocate, admittedly not a great film (if we needed confirmation that Keanu Reeve is the Al Gore of cinema, this was it), but I thought he did an interesting take on what a contemporary ‘Lucifer’ might be like. As far as De Niro goes, see him in The Mission, very against type and an amazing film. And while Robin Williams is extremely talented and versatile, you could make a long list of the stinkers he’s been in (Patch Adams sucked more ass than Day-Vuhl’s housekeeping skills)

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