Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942, in New York City. He grew up in an area known as Little Italy which would positively affect his work throughout his career providing him with much needed inspiration.
In 1973 he directed one of his first feature films called Mean Streets starring Robert De Niro. The two would become good friends and De Niro became one of Scorsese’s favorite actors to work with. He would eventually be a part of more than a half dozen of Scorsese’s films.
Moving on in his career Scorsese would meet a young but talented actor named Leonardo DiCaprio who was set to play the lead role in Gangs of New York (2002). DiCaprio would essentially become Scorsese’s new Robert De Niro as the two would work together on four other films.
As for Scorsese’s career being noticed, he has been nominated for an Academy Award eight times, winning it once for his genius in directing The Departed (2006).
[new page = 10. The Aviator, 2004]
IMDB Rating: 7.5
Scorsese’s second film with Leonardo DiCaprio came with The Aviator. This film set the main character as a man with a vision and countless roadblocks in his way. However the character isn’t scared of the risks he must take although his end goal seems terribly improbable.
The first 50 minutes of the film was shot in reds and cyan blues to give a good idea of how a film would have been shot in that era. It was the only technology available at the time setting of the film.
[new page = 9. The King of Comedy, 1982]
IMDB Rating: 7.8
Like most of Scorsese’s films the main character is power hungry but unlike most others this main character has a small time goal, becoming a stand-up comic. With that said, he has no problem taking matter into his own hands when he needs to get nasty. Scorsese does a good job with camera angles on small shots that by most would go unnoticed but to some have a lot of meaning.
This film is a dark comedy but almost puts a bright side to most of his other films.
[new page = 8. Gangs of New York, 2002]
IMDB Rating: 7.5
This is DiCaprio’s first film with Scorsese. The perfection of this movies comes with its attention to detail. The film does a very good job of showing the era of New York and all the different cultures that put together a very small area.
The best performance of this film came from Daniel Day-Lewis as ‘Bill the Butcher’. He gives a few memorable speeches but overall is just a terrifying character.
[new page = 7. Casino, 1995]
IMDB Rating: 8.2
This is the last film that De Niro and Scorsese worked on together. This film is about the colorful world of the Tangiers casino but like most of his films Scorsese paints a good picture of what happens behind the scenes. Needless to say it gets ugly.
The main character has to keep up with the casino and deal with his wife who is played by Sharon Stone. Most say it is the best performance of Stone’s career.
[new page = 6. Shutter Island, 2010]
IMDB Rating: 8.1
This film is different than most of Scorsese’s other works but he does his best to stay within the era that he knows. It does a good job of making the viewer believe one truth only to realize at the end that everything they thought they knew was a fabrication.
Based off a book, this film does a decent job staying in line with the story but does add some Hollywood produced scenes. Overall I thought this film was intense and came full circle with the last scene of the film.
[new page = 5. Raging Bull, 1980]
IMDB Rating: 8.3
This could be one of the best character driven movies in Scorsese’s arsenal. Based off a true story, De Niro went on to win his second Oscar with his performance as ex-boxer, Jake LaMotta.
Before directing the film Scorsese actually was hospitalized due to an overdose. He was known to have a cocaine addiction. De Niro went to see him in the hospital and convinced him it would be good to go forward with this film. The two worked on the script together for a long time as De Niro kept Scorsese sober and it turned out to be one of his best films.
[new page = 4. The World of Wall Street, 2013]
IMDB Rating: 8.3
This film is unlike any other DiCaprio or Scorsese film. Based on true events, it is about a man’s trip from having nothing to having anything and everything. The biggest success of this film was taking an actor known for his comedy (Jonah Hill) and turning him into an Oscar nominee. Scorsese was known back in the De Niro era for bringing a new ideal to film – violence and corruption. This film set a new ideal – drugs and money.
[new page = 3. The Departed, 2006]
IMDB Rating: 8.5
This is one of the most star-studded films of this generation. Scorsese also used his genius in crime drama to make this film one of his best of all time. This whole film is about a simple story that just gets more complex as time goes on with one twist after another.
The last twenty minute of the film are by far the best as everything slowly unfolds before your eyes. Who is going to shoot who? No one can be trusted.
[new page = 2. Taxi Driver, 1976]
IMDB Rating: 8.4
This is another very simple story that just gets more twisted as it goes. It’s based on a Vietnam veteran who takes on taxi driving to quickly get through the hours of the night – he is an insomniac.
While driving around New York at night he starts to witness all the crime and corruption that happens at night. This thriller is basically a struggle within De Niro’s character. Man vs. Self
[new page = 1. Goodfellas, 1990]
IMDB Rating: 8.7
This is one of the all-time classic gangster movies. Drugs, money and crime rule this film as a truly frightening villain proves to be somewhat comical. The idea of the Italian mob is cemented through scenes involving big Italian meals and the strong idea of family.
The aspect that makes this movie is the narration. The viewer is basically inside Ray Liotta’s head the whole time which is an interesting take on a criminal organization.