Al Pacino is basically one of the greatest actors of all time. It can be summed up like that. His ability to convince an audience of his emotions (often in the countless unbelievable monologues he’s performed). To become an entirely new person is astounding and electrifying, whether he’s performing on stage or in front of the camera.
It is highly challenging to choose just 6 of Al Pacino’s movies as the best. He is one of the only actors to rarely have made a mistake in his acting career, with a few exceptions that occurred more recently. Even when he does something wrong, we can forgive him because of all the other times he gets things right.
Not only has the octogenarian delivered amazing performances throughout his career for more than 50 years, but many of the movies in which he has starred are considered timeless. In my opinion, that’s a situation where we can all walk away satisfied with the outcome.
How can one possibly rank a filmography as fantastic and legendary as his? Although it won’t be simple, we’ll give it a shot anyway. Come along as we explore the extensive filmography of Al Pacino and rank the top 6 films in his career.
Scarface is the perfect example of a gangster movie because it has everything viewers could want from such a film. More importantly, it does not take itself too seriously. Tacky suits, a soundtrack unmistakably reminiscent of the 1980s, Michelle Pfeiffer with bangs, and an endless supply of quotes as with all of Pacino’s best films.
Oliver Stone, the screenwriter, deserves a lot of credit. Reading it is a highly entertaining experience; watching it is even more so than reading it. The main character, Tony Camonte, is modelled after the notorious Mafioso Al Capone, considered one of the most notorious crime lords in the history of the mob.
Al Capone and Tony Montana were significant crime bosses in their respective cities, had major hits put out on them, and most notably, had deep scars on their faces, earning them the nickname “Scarface.” Capone and Montana both had major hits put out on them.
On the other hand, Capone did not perish in a hail of bullets as is commonly believed; instead, he passed away from cardiac arrest in the company of friends and family. Al Pacino plays the cocaine-fuelled gangster Scarface in the iconic remake directed by Brian De Palma. Scarface’s desire to become a drug kingpin ultimately leads to his own downfall.
Pacino’s performance in the film is likely his most memorable leading role. Al Pacino gives one of his most passionate and intense performances, starring as a gangster that the audience cannot help but adore. He is joined in the cast by Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, and F. Murray Abraham.
2- The Infamous Godfather
Francis Ford Coppola did a better job than the original author in the phenomenal adaptation of Mario Puzo’s best-selling novel The Godfather, which was published in 1969. The movie was successful in garnering several awards and accolades. It remains the undisputed champion in the affections of film enthusiasts and film critics. The Sicilian Mafioso patriarchs in Coppola’s film engage in vicious battles to assert their dominance.
This causes family structures to crumble amidst gruesome violence and intense bloodshed. Coppola’s film stayed faithful to the source material and was made in collaboration with the author himself. Don Vito Corleone is the dominant figure in the family. Al Pacino hopes that his most deserving son, Michael, will one day succeed as the head of the family business. However, betrayal and a thirst for blood come from within the family itself, which causes chaos during the Godfather’s reign.
The Godfather, adapted from the best-selling Mario Puzo novel and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, is undoubtedly one of the most compelling family sagas ever filmed. It is considered one of the best movies. It is a sprawling story about power, lawlessness, tradition, family, duty, loyalty, and betrayal that illuminates the shadowy side of power and the tainted American Dream. When it comes to films about the mafia, most people consider “The Godfather” to be the epitome of the genre.
3- Dog Day Afternoon
At the San Sebastián International Film Festival on 20 September 1975, the first screening of Dog Day Afternoon was held. The movie’s debut occurred in New York City on 21 September 1975. It was available in theatres across the country in October.
It earned between $50 million and $56 million, equivalent to $251.79 million and $282.01 million in 2021. Based on fifty-one user reviews, Dog Day Afternoon has received a rating of 96% “Certified Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes.
Dog Day Afternoon is a highly gritty film that is only tangentially based on a failed bank robbery that led to one of the tensest hostage situations in the annals of American history. The film was directed by John Sayles. Al Pacino played one of the three would-be thieves in the film, released just three years after the robbery.
In addition, Heat features one of the best performances from Val Kilmer and some of the best-directing work from Michael Mann, who brings an acute awareness to the film’s detail, visual style, and character creation.
In the 1990s, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro enjoyed some of their most successful roles and performances. Heat is widely regarded as the film that best showcases their careers to that point. Heat, one of the many films in which Robert De Niro and Al Pacino both starred, is a tense and action-packed crime thriller that couldn’t be more symbolic of its period even if it tried.
The director Michael Mann did an excellent job of coaxing the best performances out of his two male leads, whose compelling on-screen competition was a significant factor in the film’s overall success. It is captivating from the beginning to the end, and any fan of either of the two actors owes it to themselves to watch.
De Niro and Al Pacino were all that most audiences required from Michael Mann’s suspense film, and Heat did not let them down in that regard. Pacino takes on the role of the cop. At the same time, Robert De Niro plays the part of the criminal in this film, essentially a live-action rendition of the tyred old adage “We’re not so different, you and I.”
Even so, what makes the movie successful is the commitment of both Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, and the fact that they both appear in a scene that has become a cultural touchstone is an added bonus.
5- A Sequel To “The Godfather”
The Godfather Two is one of the few sequels that are even better than its original. It takes all of the compelling aspects of the iconic original and amplifies them as a sequel should.
Pacino’s best on screen-role was vivid in the mind-blowing transformation he exquisitely portrayed as he plays Michael Corleone.
Dual timelines ingeniously split the film between the past, where the younger Vito Corleone (played by Robert De Niro) immigrates to the United States and works his way up to be a mafia don, and the present, where Michael, his son, navigates a new post, which allows “The Godfather Part II” to function as both a prequel and a sequel in a single go-around.
You have what is still considered one of the best sequels in the annals of film history when you add in outstanding acting from the cast and incredible richness and depth of story that further explores the characters and the shifting priorities and motivations that drive them.
In many people’s opinions, one that is even better than its predecessor and the best movie that Al Pacino has ever made in his impressive career.
6- Scent of a Woman
The story of Scent of a Woman centres on the relationship between a retired colonel named Frank Slade, a blind man, and Charlie, a student at a private university. Charlie is pursuing employment because she needs financial support to cover her educational expenses.
She finds work as a babysitter for a man who is blind. She accepts the job in the mistaken belief that it will be simple, but the course of events does not go according to her plans. Scent of a Woman is one of Al Pacino’s best films.
Scent of a Woman is the film for which Al Pacino was honoured with his first and only Academy Award in 1993.
So, in a nutshell, no one can put an end to Al Pacino’s best movies; it’s hard to compare perfect roles. Do not forget to mention your favourite Al Pacino performance in the comments below!