Best Al Pacino Movies of All Time

Known mostly as Al Pacino, Alfredo James Pacino is one of the most iconic actors in Hollywood courtesy of his intense and riveting performances in a range of movies. Whether performing the role of a mob boss, a cop, a coke-addled drug lord or the devil, Al Pacino has added his intensity to all the roles he got over the years. TechTrends narrowed down a list of the best Al Pacino movies of all time.

Al Pacino, the nine-time Oscar nominee and Academy Award winner, is one of the greatest actors the history of cinema has ever known. Not only has he performed outstandingly through the course of his career – which was more than 50 years, but most of his movie are all-time classics. Ranking a filmography as great as Al Pacino’s is no easy task but we did our best. In 2019, he made incredible appearances in movies from Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, proving once again why he is called a legend, earning his ninth Oscar nomination.

Best Al Pacino Movies of All Time

Al Pacino has worked with incredible directors during the course of his career, putting together a body of work many actors cannot compete with. Here are the best Al Pacino Movies of All Time.

11. Scarface 1983

  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: Brian De Palma
  • Stars: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Mark Margolis, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, F. Murray Abraham
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 81%, IMDb 8.3

Scarface is the tenth one on the list of the best Al Pacino Movies of all time, which shows the cocaine-fueled attitude of the 1980s. Al Pacino performs as Tony Montana, who is a Cuban immigrant. He comes to Miami, taking over a drug cartel. The movie is directed by Brian De Palma and it is a flashy, stylish and bloody gangster epic. The more revolves around how men can be corrupted by power. Despite receiving a Golden Globe nomination at Best Film Drama Actor, he was not noticed at the Oscars.

Read more: Best Daniel Craig Movies of All Time

10. Scent of a Woman 1992

  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: Martin Brest
  • Stars: Al Pacino, Chris O’Donnell, Gabrielle Anwar, Philip Seymour Hoffman, James Rebhorn, Margaret Eginton
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 87%, IMDb 8

In the movie Scent of a Woman, Al Pacino won an Oscar following seven unsuccessful nominations. He portrays the role of Lt. Col. Frank Slade, who is an ex-Army officer. Moreover, he had to retire following an accident that made her blind. Chris O’Donnell played the role of a prep school student hired by the officer. Pacino’s performance was as magnetic as it could be and his character rises to the occasion during the end. Pacino had a great year in 1992 as he won the Oscar and competed for Best Supporting Actor in Glengarry Glen Ross. This is also one of the best Al Pacino movies of all time.

9. Donnie Brasco 1997

  • Genre: Crime/Action
  • Director: Mike Newell
  • Stars: Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Anne Heche, Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 88%, IMDb 7.7

Another one of the best Al Pacino movies of all time is this abrupt change of image for the famous actor in the true story of a young FBI agent. Johnny’s character goes undercover as “The Jewel Man”, Donnie Brasco. He then finds himself embedded deep in the Bonnano crime family. He creates a relationship with mob hit man Benjamin (Al Pacino) to go further under cover. However, his friendship ends up being a real one with the Mafioso. With their relationship developing, Pistone should decide whether to do his job, as it may lead to the murder of his newfound friend.

Read more: Best Johnny Depp Movies of All Time

8. Heat 1995

  • Genre: Crime/Action
  • Director: Michael Mann
  • Stars: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Val Kilmer, Diane Venora, Ashley Judd
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 88%, IMDb 8.3

The movie Heat is quite remarkable and Robert De Niro plays the role of a master criminal. Al Pacino portrays the role of a veteran cop, with the two playing cat and mouse game in the three-hour movie. courtesy of the two actor’s commitment, the movie works great and another reason for its success is the mechanics of the plot, which are quite compelling. This film shows how the criminal and the cop are not that different. This also makes it to the list of the best Al Pacino movies of all time that you might want to add to your watchlist.

Read more: Best Action Movies of 2022

7. Serpico 1973

  • Genre: Crime/Drama
  • Director: Sidney Lumet
  • Stars: Al Pacino, Cornelia Sharpe, Albert Henderson, Barbara Eda-Young, Norman Ornellas, Jack Kehoe
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 91%, IMDb 7.7

Serpico is one of the best Al Pacino movies ever. In 1970s, an honest man going against a rigged system storyline was quite popular and kind of its own genre. The movie Serpico exemplified this in the best way possible. This is based on a true story and Al Pacino appears as Frank Serpico, who is a New York City detective. He finds corruption in the force but his co-workers turn their backs on him. Al Pacino won the Golden Globe award for Best Film Drama Actor in this movie, but he failed to win the Oscar. Serpico is another one of the best Al Pacino movies of all time.

6. Insomnia 2002

  • Genre: Thriller/Drama
  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Stars: Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank, Martin Donovan
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 92%, IMDb 7.2

The movie Insomnia is actually an adaptation of the crime thriller that came out in 1997 in Norway revolving around a flawed cop with a troubled past. This is a character that is often present in Christopher Nolan movies. He kills his partner by accident and tried to cover it up. The antagonist and protagonist of the film have an intense relationship and the story is not easy to predict. This film is more relatable and logical compared with the more recent movies the director has produced. When Nolan’s talent was combined with the likes of Al Pacino and Robin Williams, this movie became an unforgettable one. However, the film can sometimes be tedious as nothing happens. This is indeed one of the best Al Pacino movies of all time.

Read more: Best Christopher Nolan Movies of All Time

5. Glengarry Glen Ross 1992

  • Genre: Crime/Drama
  • Director: James Foley
  • Stars: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 95%, IMDb 7.7

Glengarry Glen Ross is the fifth one on the list of the best Al Pacino movies of all time. The movie is directed by James Foley and it is an adaptation of David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play regarding real estate salesmen. There are plenty of incredible performances that make picking a favorite really hard. Pacino plays the role of Ricky Roma, the top closer of the office. There were also other incredible performers, including Jack Lemmon and Alec Baldwin. However, Pacino was the only one who won an Oscar nomination.

4. The Irishman 2019

  • Genre: Crime/Drama
  • Director: Martin Scorsese
  • Stars: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, Anna Paquin
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 95%, IMDb 7.8

Al Pacino delivered one of the best performances of his life in Martin Scorsese’s movie. The movie is three-and-a-half-hours long and this is a great one among the many themes the director and Pacino have worked on during their careers, going far beyond the glamorous gangster effects they explored before. De Niro plays the role of Frank Sheeran, who is a low-level truck driver. He then becomes a hitman when he crosses paths with Teamsters head Jimmy Hoffa, portrayed by Al Pacino and Mafia Russell Bufalino, played by Joe Pesci. The special effects are mind-blowingly good. This is one of the best Al Pacino movies of all time.

Read more: Best Drama Movies of All Time

3. The Insider 1999

  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: Michael Mann
  • Stars: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer, Diane Venora
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 96%, IMDb 7.8

The Insider is a movie based on real events, and it stars Al Pacino, where he reunites with director of Heat, Michael Mann. The movie was about how journalism exposed Big Tobacco’s risks. He portrays the role of Lowell Bergman, the producer of 60 Minutes going against CBS to air a part of an interview with ex Brown & Williamson research chemist Jeffrey Wingard. Russell Crowe plays the role of Jeffrey Wigand, who is an ex-executive at the Brown & Williamson tobacco company. He attracts the attention of Lowell Bergman, who suspects that Wigand knows more than he is showing about the tobacco industry. They soon realize that they should team up as CBS and Brown & Williamson. This is indeed one of the best Al Pacino movies of all time, despite him being overlooked at the Oscars.

Read more: Best Russell Crowe Movies of All Time

2. Dog Day Afternoon 1975

  • Genre: Crime/Drama
  • Director: Sidney Lumet
  • Stars: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Chris Sarandon, Charles Durning, Penelope Allen, Amy Levitt
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 96%, IMDb 8

Another one of the best Al Pacino movies of all time is Dog Day Afternoon, which is a kind of film that is based on a true story. The film revolves around a crook, portrayed by Pacino, who tries to rob a bank in order to pay his lover’s operation of sex change. Pacino was able to add passion and sympathy to the character he was portraying, Sonny, who was a man full of kindness and consideration to be a criminal. The film got lots of nominations and awards. Pacino, in addition, got a nomination as Best Actor, but did not win. We highly recommend Dog Day Afternoon as one of the greatest Al Pacino movie roles.

1. The Godfather 1972

  • Genre: Crime/Drama
  • Director: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Stars: Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 97%, IMDb 9.2

The Godfather is one of the best crime movies of all time and Ground Zero for all the subsequent mafia movies. The indelible characters portrayed by an impressive cast made this movie epic. Moreover, the director worked Mario Puzo’s Mafia novel like a virtuoso, with the ultimate pick inside a Mafia family’s life and the weaknesses it brings along. Al Pacino is right at the center of the movie, which is known as one of the greatest movies ever made. Pacino’s performance is just as incredible as Marlon Brando’s Vito. Portraying the role of Michael, he is a young upstart who is desperate to avoid the criminal clutches of his family. Don’t miss this incredible film; it is one of the best Al Pacino movies ever, and the top one on our list.

Read more: Best Robert De Niro Movies of All Time

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *