The Reckoner!

De Niro versus Pacino. Which actor has embarrassed himself more over the past ten years?

Believe it or not (and you likely will elect not to), it wasn't that long ago when Robert De Niro and Al Pacino were beyond reproach as actors.  Their careers have followed similar trajectories over the past forty years, which isn't exactly great news considering where that trajectory has been trending:

  • 1970s

    The awesome years.  It's a Reckoning all its own to say which actor had the better decade, but they both had damn good ones.  Pacino had The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Serpico, and Dog Day Afternoon, as a one-two-three-four punch of you will remember me as an actor for the rest of your life.  

    De Niro countered with Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, Raging Bull (given honorary 1970s status despite coming out in 1980), and a little The Godfather Part II action of his own.  Times were good.
  • 1980s

    Both of them took it easy, with a few big-budget blockbusters to break up the trips to the Chateau Marmont.  Pacino did Scarface.  He also smoked four packs of cigarettes a day, giving him the Al Pacino Voice.  De Niro did The Original King of Comedy, Brazil,  The Untouchables, and Midnight Run.
  • 1990s

    Suddenly, they both wanted to act again!  And wham! There's Goodfellas.  Wham!  There's Glengarry Glen Ross.  Wham!  There's Casino!  Wham!  There's Carlito's Way!  It's a slugfest!  And then they made Heat together, which was great, but that's where everything went pear-shaped.
  • Today

    Pacino: Gigli. Jack and Jill. 88 Minutes. S1m0ne. Righteous Kill.
    De Niro:  15 Minutes. Little Fockers. Hide and Seek. What Just Happened. Righteous Kill.  The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

What madness is this!?  It seems like they'll take any role.  Don't they care about our memories!  Our precious memories!?  How many lake houses do they need to make mortgage payments on? How many warehouses full of Faberge eggs do they own?

Fellow Reckonauts, I need you help on this one.  Can you tell me, honestly tell me, which of these two has embarrassed himself more since Heat came out?

Reckoning Results!
WINNER!
De Niro!
Pacino!
Rocky and Bullwinkle!?!
Gigli!?! Jack and Jill!?!
31.5%
(17)
68.5%
(37)
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Reckoning Comments!

Pacino, but just barely.  Both have descended into caricature, but De Niro seems slightly more cognizant of it.  (e.g. The Focker movies and Machete)

That being said, they both should lose forever based on The Righteous Kill.  


I think it's a matter if you're a peak badness voter or a sustained badness voter.  De Niro has made an absolute ton of crap over the last fifteen years.  A preposterous buttload of absolute dreck.  But most of it is just 'ordinary' bad.  'Forgettable' bad.  Bad that you'll sit through on an airplane  if your Kindle ran out of juice.

Pacino has actually made a few good movies recently, but the bad ones are catastrophically bad.  It basically boils down to Gigli and Jack and Jill.  And it's not just that he's in Jack and Jill, he's in it as himself, and his being Al Pacino is crucial to the plot.  How do you not immediately contact your lawyers if you find out that Adam Sandler wants to make a movie about him playing against himself in drag where you are a crucial plot element.

I ended up going Pacino because of that whole Jack and Jill thing.


I can't vote on this one only because, they both have paid their dues in Hollywood, and are entitled to take any roles they want to just because they want to. They have already established their place in movie history as great actors in great movies. They don't need to please anybody at this point.

By the way you forgot that Pacino won an Oscar for Scent of a Woman which I think was in the 90's, and he was perfect in the Devil's Advocate - even though many may say he was a caricacture of himself.

They are two great actors who in their later years are playing the roles they feel like playing.....nothing to prove anymore. Why not have some fun!!!!


I go with Linda!


The Reckoner!