With Luc Besson’s The Family hitting theatres this weekend and the first trailer for Grudge Match hitting the web, it’s time to address a question that we’ve probably asked ourselves numerous times over the past decade and a half: what the hell happened to Robert DeNiro? The man was once known as perhaps the greatest living actor, giving us intense performances in films like Taxi Driver, The Godfather: Part II, and Raging Bull. In fact, if you look at his pre-2000 filmography, there are hardly any bad movies at all. But after the one-two punch of Analyze This and The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, everything changed. He started doing a lot of comedies and quickly became a parody of himself.
To be fair, his performance in Silver Linings Playbook last year was noteworthy and even earned him an Oscar nomination. By and large, however, most of the movies he has been in lately are just plain bad. Many actors decline as they get older, but they don’t seem to drop off as steeply as this. Even people like Christopher Walken and Al Pacino, who have somewhat comparable careers, still occasionally do interesting work. So what happened? Did DeNiro just stop caring? Is he not being offered decent roles anymore or is he not versatile enough to adapt with his age? Did all of the comedies make it impossible to take him seriously anymore? What was the last great Robert DeNiro film anyway? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.