Alfredo James Pacino recently turned 79 this week. The actor is known for some of the greatest films ever made in every decade from the 1970s to the 1990s. Al Pacino has been nominated for the Oscars eight times winning once. Here is a list of his best films to date.

The Godfather Part I & II

The Godfather movies (at least, the first two) are hands down the greatest movies ever made. Al Pacino gained universal recognition for his role as Michael Corleone, the youngest son of Don Vito Corleone. The first film showed his rise to prominence from an innocent man to a ruthless and cunning Don. However, it is the second part where the actor maximized his acting potential. The second part masterfully contrasted Michael’s failure as a Don with Vito’s rise in 1920s New York.

Scarface

Al Pacino teamed up with Brian De Palma for the Miami based gangster flick Scarface. This drugs and violence fueled movie introduced us to another side of Al Pacino. He plays the role of Tony Montana, a Cuban refugee whose thirst for power and money driven by rage and jealousy lead to his downfall. The film has some of the best dialogues of the 1980s and is a benchmark in terms of the crime genre. Who can forget Tony going all in with his M16A1(and a grenade launcher) for a final stand?

Dog Day Afternoon

At the peak of his career, Al Pacino starred in a film based on a true story. A man decides to rob a bank in order to raise money for his lover’s operation. However, things don’t work out as planned, forcing him to make irrational decisions. Pacino gave an energetic and optimistic performance that was praised by critics and audience alike.

Heat

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Michael Mann did the impossible when he was able to cast two of the best actors of all time in the same movie (unlike The Godfather Part II, they meet in this film). Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are on different sides of the law. Heat is probably the greatest heist film made. Did I mention that the sound design of the film is LEGENDARY? Pacino plays the role of Lt Vincent Hanna, an eccentric yet dedicated cop. Heist thrillers have yet to bring themselves to this film’s level.

Scent of a Woman

Ah, the movie that finally won him the Oscar. Pacino essays the role of a blind retired army colonel who along with a student spends Thanksgiving in New York with his family. Pacino delivers a powerful monologue in the climax scene. However, the film is quite predictable and easy to forget. Pacino has impeccably shown all emotions of stubbornness, rigidity, rage, and desperation.

Honourable Mentions:

Serpico: Pacino plays the role of an honest and upright cop (and whistleblower) who decides to expose the rampant corruption in the police departments. This puts him on bad terms with his colleagues and he earns their wrath.

Insomnia: Christopher Nolan directed mystery film with Al Pacino playing the role of a confused and guilt-ridden cop. Need I say more?

Carlito’s Way: Pacino teamed up with De Palma 10 years after Scarface for an underrated crime flick. An ex-convict crumbles under the pressure to stay away from drugs in NYC.

Pacino’s next film is The Irishman ( directed by Martin Scorsese). The film also stars more legends like Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel and Joe Pesci. In conclusion, this Netflix produced film is going to be dope.

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