Wednesday, February 17, 2010

By the Numbers: Bobby De Niro

The man, the myth, the Fearless Leader. That's a Rocky and Bullwinkle reference. He portrayed said character in the film version. Just one of De Niro's many missteps. I really wasn't sure how this would go, given how many bad movies he's done in recent years. I hoped good. After all, I adore Midnight Run. Nevertheless, it isn't up to me, but to the numbers.

The quick rundown as to how this works for anyone new to the setup.

I take all the films an actor or actress has been in and break them down into three categories, 'Good' 'Bad' and 'Ok.' I do not count TV appearances or Made for TV movies. Afterwards a quick analysis will show whether or not they're a good actor by the numbers. Invariably there is a 2-3 +/- point bias on a person to person basis. Also, since 'ok' movies are not bad they count towards the positive column in the overall figuring.

You talkin' to me? Yes sir, Mr. De Niro. Well alright then carry on.
Thank you Mr. De Niro. Let's see those numbers:

I was struck by a couple things when I started crunching numbers. Firstly, that he's done a heck of a lot of films, and secondly, that I've seen a surprising amount of them. While the ratio of bad to good clearly shows the iffy start to his career as well as the last decade, the ok column still spins it positive. In the end De Niro stands at 62% positive over 38% negative, which officially makes him a "good" actor. Here's hoping the next decade is better than the last. I'd hate to revisit him in a fw years and find the numbers had swung the other way.

Thanks to The Intermittent Sprocket for suggesting De Niro.
And remember, I'm always open to suggestions for future weeks. Kindly leave any in the comments below.


  1. Love this. De Niro seems to take any role offered and he really has to be more choosy.

  2. You are so right TS.
    My favorites: (not in order)
    Raging Bull
    Taxi Driver
    Good Fellas
    The Deer Hunter

    A major disappointment. To me, the last really good thing he did was Goodfellas, and that came out about 20 years ago...I heard somebody say that he has about seven movies coming out in the next 2 1/2 years... One of them is a sequel to "meet the fockers!" What the FOCK?

    Is he going to be doing TV commercials next?

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Where does his cross-dressing pirate in Stardust fall?

  5. Camel, Pat, thanks, and yes he really does need to be more discretionary when choosing a role. What the Fock indeed! lol

    AsBlack, I actually thought stardust was a good movie, and his presence in it, while not necessarily the greatest thing he's ever done, was pretty decent.

  6. So... this comment is not geared toward DeNiro because I like him... but... using this formula where the OKs count as good, has anyone ever been a bad actor???

  7. I thought this would be an interesting one due to the length and depth of his resume.

    Cheers for the linkage, n'all!

  8. Kristy, yes, Angelina Jolie and Dave Thomas were bad and Harrison Ford just barely made good. The interesting thing is that so many are just barely good. Only two have really been great.

    Mass, No prob, I really enjoyed this one.

  9. I loved Taxi Driver, just had to throw that out there. I hated how mean he was to Leo in This Boy's Life. It really, really upset me. I'm one of those people you need to stop and say, "It's just a movie, relax." But actually that was based on the life of Tobias Wolff, right? So it was real!

    Hey, you should do Benecio Del Toro. I think I may actually wanna see Wolfman, but just because of him. Sorry I'm always being so bossy :(

  10. Benicio Del Toro....As long as he does off beat stuff, I LOVE him..
    He had one of my favorite movie lines, ever!

    "As your attorney, I advise you to take a hit out of the little brown bottle in my shaving kit. You won't need much, just a tiny taste."

  11. Moose and Squirrel...MOOSE AND SQUIRREL??? I tend to like him in comedies like 'Midnight Run' or 'Meet the Fockers'

  12. Simply put, the man can never say no to a script. I hate it as he's one of the best actors we'll ever see.

  13. @Ally, @Pat, I shall add Benicio to the list. I think he should probably do well, seems like he generally makes good career moves.

    @Ian, I know, it's sad to see what he's doing to a career marked by so much brilliance.


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