Robert De Niro's Best, Worst and Craziest Performances

From 'Raging Bull' to 'Rocky & Bullwinkle'

Load Previous

Ugly: 'Angel Heart' (1987)

Don't puzzle over the name of De Niro's character, Louis Cyphre, too long: It takes Mickey Rourke's private eye the entire movie to figure out the identity of the dark — some might say, devilish — client who has enlisted him to track down a dangerous WWII vet in New Orleans. The actor lets his beard do much of the work for him while Rourke acts himself into a spittle-filled fit in reaction to his implacable evil. ("If I had cloven hooves and a forked tail, would I have been more convincing?") It's the most dignified role in a thriller that's overheated even by Big Easy movie standards, and the mark of a career shift when De Niro seemed to realize that he had enough screen presence to carry a scene without so much as shaking a cane. ST

Back to Top