Ranking Robert De Niro’s Greatest On-Screen Looks, From “Taxi Driver” to “The Irishman”

The "Taxi Driver" actor turns 79 today. Let's look at some of his best 'fits over the years.

August 17, 2022 7:27 am
a black and white photograph of a young Robert De Niro from the movie "Taxi Driver"
Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Robert De Niro turns 79 today. With a storied career spanning decades, the Oscar-winning actor is a generational talent — and he has an undeniable penchant for profound looks when it comes to the silver screen.

To honor ol’ Bob on his big seven-nine, we’ve decided to split the difference and compiled eight of his most memorable film ‘fits and ranked them. They are a glorious representation of how versatile and generally sick as fuck De Niro was and is. Below, his best on-screen looks of the one and only Robert De Niro, from Taxi Driver to The Irishman.

A movie still from GoodFellas
Warner Brothers/Getty Images

8. GoodFellas (1990)

GoodFellas may just be the best gangster movie ever made, due in large part to De Niro’s performance as Jimmy Conway. As it turns out, big suits and bigger attitudes make for the perfect mobster makeover.

A movie still from Raging Bull
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7. Raging Bull (1980)

A colossus of spirit, emotion and hunky young Bob bleeding it out, Raging Bull is a triumph not only for cinema but for the cheetah print robe.

A movie still from Meet the Parents
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6. Meet the Parents (2000)

Meet The Parents introduced a new De Niro to a brave new world in 2000, one with distinguished greys and a predisposition for sweaters. While the scowling “Grandpa Rob” era would eventually go on to be one of his most lauded, the comedy proved that the actor could, in fact, give up his mafia pinstripes and pull off a house in the suburbs (with the cardigans to match).

A movie still from The Godfather Part II
Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images

5. The Godfather, Part II (1974)

If GoodFellas isn’t the greatest mafioso movie ever, the Godfather, Part II is, again, thanks to some Italian-American contributions of a young De Niro.

A movie still from Jackie Borwn
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

4. Jackie Brown (1997)

Reinforced by flicks like Heat, De Niro’s bread and butter gangster is a dish best served with…facial hair? Though a supporting role in the Tarantino-directed thriller, De Niro’s Louis Gara has a leading man mustache to rival that of Burt Reynolds. Toss in some Magnum P.I.-worthy button-downs and you’ve got yourself a winner.

A movie still from The Irishman
GC Images

3. The Irishman (2019)

De Niro’s decades of acting prowess are on full display in Scorcese’s slogging, drama-filled, three-and-a-half-hour The Irishman, as is a variety of killer camp collars.

A movie still from Raxi Driver
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2. Taxi Driver (1976)

One of the first films to put De Niro on the map, Taxi Driver is chock full of iconic lines — “You talkin’ to me?” — and iconic looks — the military jack, the tank top, the military jacket, the mohawk.

A movie still from Casino
Universal/Getty Images

1. Casino (1995)

Casino, while an engaging gangster flick, is not Robert De Niro’s best film. It is not co-star Joe Pesci’s best film (that would be Home Alone). It is certainly not Scorsese’s best film. What it is, however, is a bombastic collage of some of the wildest menswear the silver screen has ever seen, courtesy of “Ace” Rothstein. De Niro sports silk ties, oversized sunglasses that would make even signora balk and a barrage of pastel-hued, strong-shouldered blazers; far removed from his typical style, the role is a fun side of De Niro that’s often forgotten, and coupled with a bevy of inspiration for pajama-lovers everywhere, it takes the crown.

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