Best and worst Al Pacino movies

Published 5:30 pm Monday, December 5, 2022

Silver Screen Collection // Getty Images

Best and worst Al Pacino movies

Al Pacino has been lighting up the big screen since the late 1960s, gaining a devoted fan base with his good looks, great acting, and rough-and-tumble charm. His film debut was a small role as a character named Tony in the 1969 drama “Me, Natalie” starring Patty Duke.

However, his big break would come when he was cast in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 gangster flick “The Godfather” three years later—a role that made him an instant legend. In that film, the Italian-American actor played the iconic lead character Michael Corleone—a part he beat out Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford, and Warren Beatty to get.

The following year he played the title character in the Oscar-nominated drama “Serpico” and together these two films cemented his public perception as a leading man. For the next few decades, he played mostly cops and gangsters in crime thrillers. Though he indeed starred in a few comedies and romantic dramas (“Frankie and Johnny” and “Scent of a Woman” being two of the most famous), most of his quieter, less dramatic roles came later in life. His early days were filled with shootouts, car chases, and lots of Italian-American swagger.

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Today, Pacino has more than 50 film credits to his name, as well as a handful of appearances on TV, stage, and in documentaries. He’s received numerous accolades for his work, many of which came early in his career. His first Oscar nomination, for example, was for the first “Godfather” film—though Pacino famously refused to attend the ceremony that year due to his placement in the Supporting Actor category for a lead role.

Nonetheless, his first Oscar nod kicked off a four-year streak where he was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe every year between 1973 and 1976. In total, Pacino has been nominated for nine Oscars (winning one) and 19 Golden Globes (winning four). He also has a Grammy nomination, two Tony wins, and two Primetime Emmy wins. Not all of his films have been Oscar winners—Pacino has also received attention from the Razzie Awards for his work in critically panned movies.

To honor the prolific actor, Stacker put together a list of every Al Pacino movie ever made, ranked from worst to best, according to IMDb user ratings as of November 2022. This list only includes feature-length Pacino films, and ties were broken by the number of IMDb votes.

Keep reading to see where your favorite Pacino movie ranks.

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Al Pacino in a scene from ‘Gigli’.

Revolution Studios

#53. Gigli (2003)

– Director: Martin Brest
– IMDb user rating: 2.6
– Metascore: 18
– Runtime: 121 minutes

Martin Brest’s “Gigli” is widely considered a terrible movie that’s frequently the butt of jokes—and unfortunately, Pacino’s performance wasn’t enough to save it. The film won seven Razzies (out of nine nominations) including Worst Picture, Worst Actor and Worst Actress for stars Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, and Worst Director. Even Pacino himself couldn’t escape Razzie ridicule, receiving a nomination for Worst Supporting Actor. The film only brought in $7.2 million of its $75.6 million budget, and film critic Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle called it “the most thoroughly joyless and inept film of the year, and one of the worst of the decade.”

Al Pacino in a scene from 'Jack and Jill’.

Columbia Pictures

#52. Jack and Jill (2011)

– Director: Dennis Dugan
– IMDb user rating: 3.3
– Metascore: 23
– Runtime: 91 minutes

Shortly after “Jack and Jill” was released in 2011, The Daily Beast’s Ramin Setoodeh called it the “worst movie ever made.” The Adam Sandler comedy, in which Pacino plays a caricatured version of himself, broke Razzie records with 12 nominations and also achieved the show’s first-ever full sweep, cleaning up in every category including Worst Picture, Worst Actor, and Worst Actress. Pacino’s performance earned the legendary actor two Razzie Awards—Worst Supporting Actor and Worst Screen Couple, the latter of which was shared with co-stars Sandler and Katie Holmes.

Al Pacino in a scene from 'The Son of No One’

Millennium Films

#51. The Son of No One (2011)

– Director: Dito Montiel
– IMDb user rating: 5.1
– Metascore: 36
– Runtime: 90 minutes

Directed by Dito Montiel—an author who also wrote the book the film is adapted from—this 2011 movie is a cop thriller starring Channing Tatum as a young police officer trying to clear his name from an incident in his past. Pacino plays a corrupt older detective who helped the protagonist years ago but has now become part of the political system. The film received mostly negative reviews, and at the Sundance Film Festival, a handful of people even walked out during a private distributor screening.

Al Pacino in a scene from ‘Hangman’.

Patriot Pictures

#50. Hangman (2017)

– Director: Johnny Martin
– IMDb user rating: 5.2
– Metascore: 31
– Runtime: 98 minutes

This 2017 thriller—which follows two investigators as they hunt down a serial killer who’s been using the kid’s game “Hangman” to stage murders—received exceptionally low ratings when it came out. The independent crime drama “makes a typical episode of ‘Criminal Minds’ look sophisticated,” according to film critic Frank Scheck at The Hollywood Reporter.

Al Pacino in a scene ‘Revolution’.

Goldcrest Films International

#49. Revolution (1985)

– Director: Hugh Hudson
– IMDb user rating: 5.3
– Metascore: 22
– Runtime: 126 minutes

This historical drama follows fur trapper Tom Dobb, played by Pacino, as he finds himself accidentally involved in the American Revolutionary War. The film was a giant box office flop that lost lots of money and prompted widespread criticism. At the time, Variety likened it to visiting a museum, saying the movie “looks good without really being alive.”

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Al Pacino in a scene from ‘Misconduct’

Mike and Marty Productions

#48. Misconduct (2016)

– Director: Shintaro Shimosawa
– IMDb user rating: 5.3
– Metascore: 24
– Runtime: 106 minutes

“Misconduct” is another Pacino film that received strikingly low ratings across the board, barely managing a 7% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s about a lawyer who ends up in a web of blackmail after taking a case against a corrupt pharmaceutical executive. Among many critics, Empire Online called out the film’s “fumbling ludicrousness” and said it was “muddled, risible, and overstuffed with twists.”

Al Pacino in a scene from ‘People I Know’.

Myriad Pictures

#47. People I Know (2002)

– Director: Daniel Algrant
– IMDb user rating: 5.4
– Metascore: 53
– Runtime: 100 minutes

Another crime drama, this film by Daniel Algrant is about a prescription drug-addicted publicist (played by Pacino) who’s hired by a politician to assist with a major scandal. The movie, which included footage of the World Trade Center at the time, was originally scheduled to be released earlier but was pushed back due to the Sept. 11 terror attacks in 2001. Those images ended up being removed from the film but can be seen on the DVD release version.

Al Pacino in a scene from ‘Manglehorn’.

Worldview Entertainment

#46. Manglehorn (2014)

– Director: David Gordon Green
– IMDb user rating: 5.5
– Metascore: 56
– Runtime: 97 minutes

In this 2014 independent drama directed by David Gordon Green, Pacino plays an aging key-maker named A.J. Manglehorn who’s stuck on a long-lost love. He meets a bank teller, played by Holly Hunter, who shows him kindness and brings him around. Although the film did not earn outstanding reviews, Pacino’s performance was mostly well-received.

Al Pacino in a scene from 'American Traitor: The Trial of Axis Sally’.


#45. American Traitor: The Trial of Axis Sally (2021)

– Director: Michael Polish
– IMDb user rating: 5.6
– Metascore: 25
– Runtime: 109 minutes

“American Traitor” explores the history of American-born Nazi sympathizer Mildred Gillars, the first woman in the United States ever to be convicted of treason because her World War II radio shows spread Third Reich propaganda. Pacino plays James Laughlin, Gillars’ attention-seeking lawyer tasked with saving her reputation. Some critics considered Pacino to be the only redeemable aspect of the film: Hope Madden of UK Film Review said, “Every moment he is off-screen is unendurable,” while Jessica Kiang of Variety wrote, “It’s hard to work out if he is miscast or if everybody but Pacino is miscast.”

Al Pacino in a scene from ‘The Humbling’.

Ambi Pictures

#44. The Humbling (2014)

– Director: Barry Levinson
– IMDb user rating: 5.6
– Metascore: 59
– Runtime: 112 minutes

Pacino optioned this movie after reading the book, tapping director Barry Levinson to direct it for him. It’s a dark comedy in which Pacino plays Simon Axler, an aging, suicidal actor who gets involved with an ex-girlfriend’s daughter. Although the reception was mixed, the overall consensus was not positive. As Rotten Tomatoes summarized: “‘The Humbling’ is an inarguable highlight of Al Pacino’s late-period filmography, but that’s an admittedly low bar that it doesn’t always clear by a very wide margin.”

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Al Pacino in a scene from 'Bobby Deerfield’.

Columbia Pictures

#43. Bobby Deerfield (1977)

– Director: Sydney Pollack
– IMDb user rating: 5.8
– Metascore: 47
– Runtime: 124 minutes

This dramatic romance is about an egotistical Formula One race-car driver who falls in love with a dying woman. Pacino played the title character and received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance.

Al Pacino in a scene from '88 Minutes’.

Millennium Films

#42. 88 Minutes (2007)

– Director: Jon Avnet
– IMDb user rating: 5.9
– Metascore: 17
– Runtime: 108 minutes

Directed by Jon Avnet, this crime thriller stars Pacino in the lead role as Dr. Jack Gramm, a forensic psychiatrist who becomes the target of a killer after testifying at a high-profile trial. The threat comes in the form of a phone call that warns him he only has 88 minutes to live. Like “Gigli,” the film was poorly received with a 5% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and two Razzie award nominations—including one for Pacino in Worst Actor.

Al Pacino in a scene from 'Righteous Kill’.

Millennium Films

#41. Righteous Kill (2008)

– Director: Jon Avnet
– IMDb user rating: 6.0
– Metascore: 36
– Runtime: 101 minutes

Prior to “Jack and Jill,” Pacino starred in this almost equally poorly rated film about two detectives investigating serial murders in New York City. The film has an 18% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and appears on The Times’ 100 Worst Films of 2008 list. One of the few positive things about “Righteous Kill” is that it marks the second-ever time that Pacino appeared in scenes with co-star Robert De Niro, the first time being 1995’s “Heat.” Although they both starred in “The Godfather Part II,” they did not share scenes together.

Al Pacino in a scene from 'Two Bits’.


#40. Two Bits (1995)

– Director: James Foley
– IMDb user rating: 6.1
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 85 minutes

Another film set in Philadelphia, this time during the Great Depression, this 1995 drama tells the story of a boy trying to scrape together 25 cents (“two bits”) to go to the grand opening of a new movie theater. Al Pacino plays the boy’s grandpa who recruits him to deliver a message to a woman he wronged years ago—something he wants to do before he dies.

Al Pacino in a scene from 'Author! Author!’.

Twentieth Century Fox

#39. Author! Author! (1982)

– Director: Arthur Hiller
– IMDb user rating: 6.1
– Metascore: 42
– Runtime: 110 minutes

This 1982 dramatic comedy, in which Pacino plays lead character Ivan Travalian, is about a playwright struggling to get his script produced while dealing with family issues. The movie was poorly received, earning a Razzie nomination for Worst Original Song and leading a Washington Post reviewer to lambast the star’s performance, writing: “Pacino’s maddening articulation would seem to argue against further flings at comedy.”

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Al Pacino in a scene from ‘Simone’.

New Line Cinema

#38. Simone (2002)

– Director: Andrew Niccol
– IMDb user rating: 6.1
– Metascore: 49
– Runtime: 117 minutes

In the 2002 sci-fi film “Simone,” Pacino plays Viktor Taransky, a movie producer who creates a digital actress to charade as a real human after the star of his film quits the project. With a 51% score on Rotten Tomatoes, the film had fairly mixed reviews, with Robert Ebert noting it was “fitfully funny but never really takes off.”

Al Pacino in a scene from 'City Hall’.

Castle Rock Entertainment

#37. City Hall (1996)

– Director: Harold Becker
– IMDb user rating: 6.2
– Metascore: 62
– Runtime: 111 minutes

When a young boy is accidentally killed in New York during a shootout between a cop and a mobster, an investigation leads to potential involvement by the mayor, played by Pacino, in this 1996 thriller. The movie did not bomb at the box office, but the reviews were pretty mixed.

Al Pacino in a scene from 'Two for the Money’.

Universal Pictures

#36. Two for the Money (2005)

– Director: D.J. Caruso
– IMDb user rating: 6.2
– Metascore: 50
– Runtime: 122 minutes

Although it falls toward the middle of this list, this film mainly received negative reviews when it came out in 2005. It’s about an injured college football star who finds himself under the wing of a fast-talking sports consultant and former gambling addict, played by Pacino. With a 22% approval score on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie did not break even with its modest $35 million budget.

Al Pacino in a scene from ‘Dick Tracy’

Touchstone Pictures

#35. Dick Tracy (1990)

– Director: Warren Beatty
– IMDb user rating: 6.2
– Metascore: 68
– Runtime: 105 minutes

Based on the titular comic strip character and written by the screenwriting team behind “Top Gun,” “Dick Tracy” is a detective film starring Warren Beatty (who also directed the film), Al Pacino, and Madonna with actors like Dustin Hoffman, James Caan, and Kathy Bates in supporting roles. The plot isn’t groundbreaking as it’s just a traditional detective vs. gangster story, but the film’s luminous and colorful aesthetic in conjunction with quirky characters like Pacino’s mob-boss Big Boy makes it a clear standout.

Al Pacino in a scene from ‘Salomé’.

Stonelock Pictures

#34. Salomé (2013)

– Director: Al Pacino
– IMDb user rating: 6.3
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 81 minutes

This 2013 film starring Jessica Chastain is a companion piece to an earlier experimental film titled “Wilde Salomé,” which explored an Oscar Wilde play about a Biblical character who performs a dance in exchange for John the Baptist’s head. Pacino wrote, directed, and starred in the movie, which is edited from footage of the first one (which he also wrote, directed, and starred in).

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Al Pacino in a scene from 'Stand Up Guys’.


#33. Stand Up Guys (2012)

– Director: Fisher Stevens
– IMDb user rating: 6.4
– Metascore: 41
– Runtime: 95 minutes

Starring alongside Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin, Pacino plays an aging criminal who reunites with old buddies after getting out of prison—comedy ensues. It received mostly mixed reviews, with a 36% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but the film did earn a Golden Globe nomination for Bon Jovi’s song “Not Running Anymore.”

Promotional poster from the film ‘me, Natalie’.

Cinema Center Films

#32. Me, Natalie (1969)

– Director: Fred Coe
– IMDb user rating: 6.5
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 111 minutes

Pacino’s big-screen debut, this film earned its lead actress Patty Duke a Golden Globe win. It’s about a frumpy woman who moves to Greenwich Village where she discovers love and independence. Pacino has a small role in the film as a man named Tony.

Al Pacino in a scene from ‘Cruising’.

Lorimar Film Entertainment

#31. Cruising (1980)

– Director: William Friedkin
– IMDb user rating: 6.5
– Metascore: 43
– Runtime: 102 minutes

“Cruising” is a 1980 crime thriller about a cop, played by Pacino, who goes undercover as a gay club patron in New York City to nab a serial killer targeting S&M clubs. In addition to receiving negative criticism for its film merits, the movie was criticized by gay rights activists who said the movie stigmatized them and played into stereotypes.

Al Pacino in a scene from ‘House of Gucci’.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#30. House of Gucci (2021)

– Director: Ridley Scott
– IMDb user rating: 6.6
– Metascore: 59
– Runtime: 158 minutes

“House of Gucci” is a fictionalized biopic of Patrizia Reggiani’s manipulation of the Gucci family, and is commonly associated with Lady Gaga’s often-praised performance and Jared Leto’s over-the-top turn. However, Al Pacino’s role as Aldo Gucci landed him in some hot water as the real-life Aldo’s daughter called his performance “shameful” and took particular issue with his appearance, calling his look “really ugly.”

Al Pacino in a scene from 'The Recruit’.

Touchstone Pictures

#29. The Recruit (2003)

– Director: Roger Donaldson
– IMDb user rating: 6.6
– Metascore: 56
– Runtime: 115 minutes

Although this high-intensity 2003 thriller received mixed reviews—with a 43% approval score on Rotten Tomatoes—it nevertheless grossed $101 million worldwide. The film follows the story of a young computer geek who gets recruited by the CIA to help find a mole. Pacino plays the senior CIA recruiter who takes an interest in the young trainee, played by Colin Farrell.

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Al Pacino in a scene from 'The Pirates of Somalia’.

Hungry Man

#28. The Pirates of Somalia (2017)

– Director: Bryan Buckley
– IMDb user rating: 6.7
– Metascore: 54
– Runtime: 116 minutes

Based on an autobiography, Evan Peters plays journalist Jay Bahadur who, after being inspired by a chance encounter with highly respected journalist Seymour Tolbin (Pacino), decides to become an investigative journalist by infiltrating a band of dangerous Somali pirates. While Evan Peters and Al Pacino together sound like a chaotic-yet-promising duo, the pair hardly get any shared on-screen time— critic Glenn Kenny described Pacino’s role as “a slightly extended cameo” and appreciated Pacino’s energy but lamented the dialogue the actor had to deliver.

Al Pacino in a scene from 'Frankie and Johnny’.

Paramount Pictures

#27. Frankie and Johnny (1991)

– Director: Garry Marshall
– IMDb user rating: 6.7
– Metascore: 66
– Runtime: 118 minutes

One of Pacino’s more famous movies, “Frankie and Johnny” is a romantic comedy that tells the story of an ex-con who gets out of prison and tries to start a romance with an emotionally reserved waitress. The film marked an on-screen reunion for Pacino and co-star Michelle Pfeiffer, who also played love interests in 1983’s “Scarface.”

Al Pacino in a scene from 'Sea of Love’.

Universal Pictures

#26. Sea of Love (1989)

– Director: Harold Becker
– IMDb user rating: 6.8
– Metascore: 66
– Runtime: 113 minutes

In “Sea of Love,” Pacino plays a detective who falls for a woman who may be behind a string of murders he’s investigating. The film, which co-starred Ellen Barkin and John Goodman, received mostly positive reviews, as did Pacino’s performance. Writing for the Washington Post, Hal Hinson noted that Pacino helped the character overcome tropes: “As written, the character is a cliche—he’s the cop with nothing in his life but law enforcement, the cop who’s broken with his family and lives alone, mostly drunk and mostly bitter. But as Pacino plays him, it’s the character’s cagey intelligence and tenacity that register.”

Al Pacino in a scene from 'Any Given Sunday’.

Warner Bros

#25. Any Given Sunday (1999)

– Director: Oliver Stone
– IMDb user rating: 6.9
– Metascore: 52
– Runtime: 162 minutes

Directed by Oliver Stone, 1999’s “Any Given Sunday” is a sports drama about the trials and tribulations of a professional football team in a league that resembles the NFL. The film, in which Pacino plays head coach Tony D’Amato, is partly based on the biography of real-life NFL player Pat Toomay. Roger Ebert said that the “psychology of the veteran coach” was well-captured in the script and that Pacino has some “nice heart-to-hearts” with the other characters.

Al Pacino in a scene from 'Ocean's Thirteen’.

Warner Bros

#24. Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)

– Director: Steven Soderbergh
– IMDb user rating: 6.9
– Metascore: 62
– Runtime: 122 minutes

In “Ocean’s Thirteen,” the third installment of the heist trilogy starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt, Pacino stars as Willy Bank, a greedy casino boss who becomes one of the criminal ensemble’s targets. Although the film received fairly good overall ratings, Pacino’s character was criticized as not being very well fleshed out. “Pacino is stuck with a wafer-thin role that denies us his usual fire,” one critic wrote for The Hollywood Reporter.

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Al Pacino in a scene from ‘The Panic in Needle Park’.

Gadd Productions Corp

#23. The Panic in Needle Park (1971)

– Director: Jerry Schatzberg
– IMDb user rating: 7.0
– Metascore: 74
– Runtime: 110 minutes

This 1971 drama is about a pair of heroin junkies in New York who fall in love while hanging around Sherman Square, a place that was referred to as “Needle Park” at the time. Pacino plays the main character who gets his love interest (played by Kitty Winn) hooked on heroin. It was fairly well-received at the time and still maintains an 80% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Al Pacino in a scene from 'Danny Collins’.

Big Indie Pictures

#22. Danny Collins (2015)

– Director: Dan Fogelman
– IMDb user rating: 7.0
– Metascore: 58
– Runtime: 106 minutes

This 2015 film written and directed by Dan Fogelman (who also wrote “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” and created the hit TV melodrama “This Is Us”) is about an aging rock star played by Pacino. The musician modifies his wild lifestyle after discovering a letter that John Lennon wrote to him four decades prior. Pacino was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in the film.

Al Pacino in a scene from 'The Merchant of Venice’.


#21. The Merchant of Venice (2004)

– Director: Michael Radford
– IMDb user rating: 7.0
– Metascore: 63
– Runtime: 131 minutes

This film was the first English-language adaptation not made for television of the famous and often controversial Shakespeare play. Pacino plays the lead role of Shylock, a Jewish moneylender who must convert to Christianity at the end of the plot—a storyline that has long prompted debate over whether it’s antisemitic. The film’s overall reception was mostly positive, but the response to its handling of the controversial elements was mixed, with some critics saying it sugarcoated the antisemitism inherent in the script.

Al Pacino in a scene from 'Chinese Coffee’.

Chal Productions

#20. Chinese Coffee (2000)

– Director: Al Pacino
– IMDb user rating: 7.1
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 99 minutes

Al Pacino originally played the lead role of Harry Levine in the Broadway play version of “Chinese Coffee” in 1992. He must have enjoyed the role because eight years later, he directed and again starred in the movie adaption. The film is essentially a long conversation between two struggling writers discussing their careers and other themes.

Al Pacino in a scene from ‘Scarecrow’.

Warner Bros

#19. Scarecrow (1973)

– Director: Jerry Schatzberg
– IMDb user rating: 7.2
– Metascore: 72
– Runtime: 112 minutes

Pacino stars opposite Gene Hackman in this 1973 road movie about two rough-and-tumble drifters who team up to travel cross-country with the goal of starting a car-wash business. Although the film was a flop at the box office in the U.S., it later gained a significant cult following internationally. Writing a retrospective in 2013 for The Guardian in honor of its rerelease, critic Peter Bradshaw said: “Contrary to rumours that this is second-string American new wave, this Pacino-Hackman double-hander is a freewheeling masterpiece.”

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Al Pacino in a scene from ‘Insomnia’.

Alcon Entertainment

#18. Insomnia (2002)

– Director: Christopher Nolan
– IMDb user rating: 7.2
– Metascore: 78
– Runtime: 118 minutes

This remake of a Norwegian film by the same name follows two cops as they hunt down a killer in a far-north Alaskan town bathed in perpetual daylight (hence the name “Insomnia”). Pacino plays one of the detectives in the movie, which received glowing reviews, boasting a 92% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The review aggregator site’s summary of the film calls it “a smart and riveting psychological drama” driven by the performances of Pacino and Robin Williams.

Al Pacino in a scene from 'And Justice for All’.

Columbia/Tri Star

#17. And Justice for All (1979)

– Director: Norman Jewison
– IMDb user rating: 7.4
– Metascore: 58
– Runtime: 119 minutes

“And Justice for All” provides shocking insight into the often-corrupt world of lawyers and judges, illustrated through the protagonist, defense attorney Arthur Kirkland (Pacino), whose morality puts him at odds with his career. This film is the origin of the often-misquoted “You’re out of order! You’re out of order! The whole trial is out of order!” line expertly delivered by Pacino, whose performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

Al Pacino in a scene from 'The Devil's Advocate’.

Warner Bros

#16. The Devil’s Advocate (1997)

– Director: Taylor Hackford
– IMDb user rating: 7.5
– Metascore: 60
– Runtime: 144 minutes

Starring Keanu Reeves, this 1997 horror film is about a brilliant young attorney who accepts a job at a powerful New York law firm where he discovers that his boss, played by Pacino, is, in fact, the devil. The film received mixed ratings with a 63% approval score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Al Pacino in a scene from 'The Godfather: Part III’.

Paramount Pictures

#15. The Godfather: Part III (1990)

– Director: Francis Ford Coppola
– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Metascore: 60
– Runtime: 162 minutes

In the final installment in Francis Ford Coppola’s mobster trilogy, “The Godfather: Part III,” Pacino takes on his role of Michael Corleone one last time. Although the film, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, is the lowest-rated of the three movies on IMDb, it is still one of Pacino’s highest-ranking movies of all time. Though the first two “Godfather” installments received high critical praise, film critics were more mixed on “Part III”; however, a recut version released in 2020 (dubbed “The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone”) got more love from critics than the 1990 version.

Al Pacino, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in a scene from 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’.

Sony Pictures Entertainment

#14. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

– Director: Quentin Tarantino
– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Metascore: 83
– Runtime: 161 minutes

Quentin Tarantino’s celebrity-infused historical epic serves as a fix-it flick of the real-life Manson Family murder of actress Sharon Tate in 1969, as in his version, the Manson Family is swiftly defeated by protagonists Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) instead. Dalton is a washed-up actor whose agent, Marvin Schwarz, is pushing him to consider a film career in Italy starring in spaghetti Westerns instead—and that agent is played by none other than Al Pacino. While Schwarz’s screen time is a small portion of the nearly three-hour film, Pacino and DiCaprio’s on-screen chemistry makes those scenes unforgettable.

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Al Pacino in a scene from 'Glengarry Glen Ross’.

New Line Cinema

#13. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

– Director: James Foley
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Metascore: 82
– Runtime: 100 minutes

This well-received early ’90s film by director James Foley is based on the Pulitzer-winning play of the same name about a group of morally corrupt real estate agents in Chicago. Al Pacino was nominated for both an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Ricky Roma, one of the sleazy agents.

Al Pacino in a scene from ‘Serpico’.

Artists Entertainment Complex

#12. Serpico (1973)

– Director: Sidney Lumet
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Metascore: 81
– Runtime: 130 minutes

This was only Pacino’s fifth film, but it cemented his fame alongside “The Godfather,” which had just been released the year before. The crime thriller told the real-life story of an undercover cop who investigated police corruption in New York City. Pacino played the title role of NYPD officer Frank Serpico, earning him a Golden Globe win for Best Actor, as well as an Oscar nomination.

Al Pacino and Johnny Depp in a scene from 'Donnie Brasco’.

Mandalay Entertainment

#11. Donnie Brasco (1997)

– Director: Mike Newell
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Metascore: 76
– Runtime: 127 minutes

“Donnie Brasco” tells a fictionalized version of the experience of Joseph D. Pistone, an undercover FBI agent who infiltrated New York’s Bonanno crime family in the1970s under the alias Donnie Brasco. Pacino stars as Lefty, a real-life Cosa Nostra mobster who befriended and mentored the agent, played by Johnny Depp. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Pacino’s performance was praised.

Al Pacino in a scene from ‘The Insider’.

Touchstone Pictures

#10. The Insider (1999)

– Director: Michael Mann
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Metascore: 84
– Runtime: 157 minutes

“The Insider,” which tells the fictionalized story of a real-life whistleblower in the tobacco industry, was a rare example of a film that did poorly in terms of commercial success yet received exceptional reviews across the board. Although it flopped at the box office, only earning $60.3 million of its $90 million budget, it received seven Oscar nominations including Best Picture. Pacino plays Lowell Bergman, the real-life journalist at the center of the story.

Al Pacino in a scene from ’The Irishman’.

Fábrica de Cine

#9. The Irishman (2019)

– Director: Martin Scorsese
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Metascore: 94
– Runtime: 209 minutes

Based on the book “I Heard You Paint Houses” by investigative writer Charles Brandt, “The Irishman” is a three-and-a-half-hour long retelling of the relationship between truck driver Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) and notorious mob boss/union leader Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). Patrick Phillips of Looper calls Pacino’s performance “grandstanding work” and considers it one of the film’s strongest features, which is saying something when almost every aspect is critically acclaimed. In an interesting twist, De Niro, Pacino, and Joe Pesci were all subjected to impressive CGI de-aging for the film’s duration.

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Al Pacino in a scene from 'Carlito's Way’.

Universal Pictures

#8. Carlito’s Way (1993)

– Director: Brian De Palma
– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Metascore: 65
– Runtime: 144 minutes

Directed by Brian De Palma—the same director who made “Scarface” with Pacino 10 years earlier—”Carlito’s Way” is a crime drama about a convict who tries to go straight after getting out of prison but gets roped back into his old ways. The overall reception of the movie was fairly mixed, as some reviewers felt that it too closely resembled “Scarface,” while others criticized Pacino’s accent in the film.

Al Pacino in a scene from “Dog Day Afternoon”

Warner Bros.

#7. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

– Director: Sidney Lumet
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Metascore: 86
– Runtime: 125 minutes

“Dog Day Afternoon” is a 1975 crime drama based in part on a Life magazine story about a Brooklyn bank robbery. One of the more famous projects of his career, Pacino plays one of the main robbers, Sonny Wortzik, a character believed to be based on real-life criminal John Wojtowicz. The hugely popular film was nominated for seven Golden Globes and six Oscars, winning the latter for Best Original Screenplay.

Al Pacino in a scene from 'Scent of a Woman’.

Universal Pictures

#6. Scent of a Woman (1992)

– Director: Martin Brest
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Metascore: 59
– Runtime: 156 minutes

In this 1992 film about New England prep school student Charlie Simms, Pacino plays the role of Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade, a blind man who Simms is charged with caring for temporarily. Although the film received somewhat mixed reviews, it did quite well at the box office and nabbed Pacino his first and only Oscar win. The film also garnered Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Daniel Day-Lewis in a scene from ‘In the Name of the Father’.

Universal Pictures

#5. In the Name of the Father (1993)

– Director: Jim Sheridan
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Metascore: 84
– Runtime: 133 minutes

“In the Name of the Father” is a classic Daniel Day-Lewis film that centers around the real-life arrests of the Guildford Four, four men wrongfully convicted of carrying out a bombing that was actually detonated by the Irish Republican Army. This film was referenced in “Derry Girls” Season Three and features an Al Pacino cameo by way of the protagonists watching “The Godfather” in prison when a particularly aggressive inmate breaks out a flamethrower.

Al Pacino in a scene from ‘Heat’.

Warner Bros

#4. Heat (1995)

– Director: Michael Mann
– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Metascore: 76
– Runtime: 170 minutes

This crime drama is about a homicide detective charged with finding a group of bank robbers after a bloody holdup. Pacino plays detective Lt. Vincent Hanna, while Robert De Niro plays Neil McCauley, one of the main thieves. The movie was notable not only for its critical acclaim but because it marked the first time that Pacino and De Niro performed scenes together on screen.

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Al Pacino in a scene from ‘Scarface’.

Universal Pictures

#3. Scarface (1983)

– Director: Brian De Palma
– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Metascore: 65
– Runtime: 170 minutes

One of Pacino’s most iconic movies ever, “Scarface” tells the story of fictional drug lord Tony Montana, played by Pacino, who arrives in Miami as a Cuban refugee and claws his way to the top of a powerful cartel. It is the source of the famous line, “Say hello to my little friend,” which Pacino shouts before opening fire on a room full of adversaries. The movie was nominated for three Golden Globes.

Al Pacino in a scene from ‘The Godfather - Part II’.

Paramount // Getty Images

#2. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

– Director: Francis Ford Coppola
– IMDb user rating: 9.0
– Metascore: 90
– Runtime: 202 minutes

“The Godfather: Part II” is the second installment in the series, and also the second-highest-rated film in which Pacino reprises his role as mobster Michael Corleone. It was well-received commercially and critically, becoming the first sequel to ever win the Oscar for Best Picture. Roger Ebert praised the subtlety of Pacino’s Oscar-nominated performance, saying he spent the film “suggesting everything, telling nothing.”

Al Pacino and Simonetta Stefanelli in a scene from ‘The Godfather’.

Silver Screen Collection // Getty Images

#1. The Godfather (1972)

– Director: Francis Ford Coppola
– IMDb user rating: 9.2
– Metascore: 100
– Runtime: 175 minutes

At the top of the list of the best Al Pacino movies is Francis Ford Coppola’s first installment of the highly lauded mobster trilogy—the first time Pacino played Michael Corleone, the role for which he’ll always be remembered. Many critics maintain to this day that the film, which has been called a “masterpiece, carved into the Mount Rushmore of film history,” was the best in the series. “Artfully constructed on every single level of production, epic and yet deeply personal, both of its time (the time it was made, and the time it is set) and utterly timeless,” IndieWire said of the movie.