Al Pacino and his greatest movies

Al Pacino (born 1940) is one of the most celebrated Hollywood actors of the 1970s and 80s. He glorified the silver screen by playing some of the most memorable gangsters in American cinema. He was nominated eight times for the Academy awards and won the Oscar once as Best Actor in 1992 for his role in the film Scent of a Woman. Pacino had three children though he was never married. Apart from film career, Pacino enjoyed success as a theater actor. He has received great acclaim all along his career for being a method actor. In recognition for his work, the American Film Institute honored him with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The gangster

For many, Al Pacino’s greatest character is Michael Corleone in the Godfather trilogy. Although he delivered good performances in the first and third parts, it was in the second installment that he gave a stunning performance. He fluidly plays the role of a gangster that never hesitates for a moment to take any extreme step to amass power and wealth. In Godfather Part III, we see him repenting for his horrifying sins – which include ordering the death of his own brother.

The Godfather part 1
Character: Michael Corleone | Genre: Crime, Drama | Year: 1972 | Director: Francis Ford Coppola
On of the most classic movies in the history in which Al Pacino plays against Marlon Brando.

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in Godfather Part II.

The Godfather part 2
Character: Michael Corleone | Genre: Crime, Drama | Year: 1974 | Director: Francis Ford Coppola
The sequel that by many is regarded as high as the first part. Al Pacino's role is her the most dominant.

Character: Tony Montana | Genre: Crime, Drama | Year: 1983 | Director: Brian De Palma
His performance as Tony Montana, a Cuban refugee turned gangster, earned him great praise, notably for his Cuban accent. Tony emerges from rags into riches by drug-dealing. He also finds a perfect wife, but things go terribly wrong when he becomes addicted to cocaine; to makes matters worse, he disobeys a more-powerful drug-lord. Tony is killed in the iconic climax during which he blasts groups of thugs with his grenade-equipped M16.

Carlito's Way
Character: Carlito | Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller | Year: 1993 | Director: Brian De Palma
Pacino plays a former gangster and convict that tries to start a new life, but his old manners gets in the way.

Donnie Brasco
Character: Lefty | Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama | Year: 1997 | Director: Mike Newell
One of Pacino's best movies from the late 90s and one reason is also a stunning performance by Johnny Deep as the under cover police that established a close relationship with Lefty.

Serving the justice

When Al Pacino wasn’t a gangster he was not seldom a cop or at least in the service of the society.

Character: Serpico | Genre: Crime, Drama | Year: 1979 | Director: Sidney Lumet
In Serpico Pacino played the real-life character, Frank Serpico, an honest uniformed patrolman who refuses to become corrupt. With very few friends in the police department, Serpico endures years of insult at the hands of his fellow officers, but excels at work. When his fellow policemen refuse to protect him while he gets shot by drug-dealers, Serpico exposes the corruption in the department and quits his job.

Al Pacino in …And Justice For All

As the passionate and brillaint lawyer in …And Justice For All.

…And Justice For All
Character: Arthur Kirkland | Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller | Year: 1979 | Director: Norman Jewison
Arthur Kirkland is a Baltimore based defense attorney who strives to defend the innocent people in. Al Pacino’s character shows a strong pathos for justice and this time criticizing an inhumane juridical system. This film points out the loopholes in the judicial system that let the innocent get punished while the guilty gets away. Kirkland does not mind punching a corrupt judge in the face and spend a night in jail, but he is brilliant and the most sought after lawyer in the town. When he was blackmailed to defend the same corrupt judge who is guilty of rape, Arthur snaps in the court room, declares in front of the judicial panel that the judge is guilty.

Sea of Love
Character: Frank Keller | Genre: Crime, Drama | Year: 1989 | Director: Harold Becker
Ten years later Al Pacino served the justice once again with the character Frank Keller chasing a serial killer in Sea of Love. This film are neither political nor extravagant, but a fine work as a genre movie.

Al Pacino in Heat

Al Pacino heads-up with Robert de Niro as police and thief in Heat.

Character: Vincent Hanna | Genre: Action, Crime, Drama | Year: 1995 | Director: Michael Mann
In the action classic Heat Pacino is once again on the good side and here he plays against Robert de Niro. The masterminds of a police and a thief clashes then a successful crook are planning his last big hit. Al Pacino's character is trying to one step ahead and get the big crook before his is of for pension.

Movie clips with Al Pacino.

When presenting the best movies with Al Pacino you can’t bypass Dog Day Afternoon (1975). Pacino plays Sonny Wortzik, a Vietnam veteran who never came to terms with his civilian life and was fed up that he couldn't arrange for a sex reassignment surgery for his transsexual wife. He decides to achieve his goals buy robbing a bank, but his plans go awry when he arrives just after the daily cash pickup which leaves just $1,100 in the bank; he takes the bank personnel hostage causing a drama between him and the police. Pacino makes Sonny’s character memorable, especially with the dialogue - “Attica! Attica!” - referring to the Attica Prison Riots.

Late career

A famous movie in the later part of Al Pacino's career is Scent of a Woman (1992) in which he still are eccentric, but without any political allegations. Pacino won his only Oscar for his role as Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade, a lone, blind alcoholic with a sole resolution to commit suicide. Eventually, he befriends his teenage caretaker Charlie and begins appreciating life.

Another great movie from the same year is Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) in which Pacino is probably losing his famous temper in higher frequency than ever.

With a career spanning for almost 50 years, Pacino still retains the vigor for churning out excellent performances. But if the 70s, 80s and 90s was his golden era the 2000s has been somewhat of a downswing. But, there are some good news for his fans; he is cast in Martin Sorcerese’s new film titled The Irishman that is based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses.

Link to Al Pacino filmography

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