Al Pacino, the full name is Alfredo James Pacino, is one of the most prominent actors in the world. We are sure you have heard about him and know at least a couple of his movies. 

However, do you know that he has been in the film industry for more than 50 years? Yes, this is an icon of the industry. And he is the one who has received or has been nominated for all the possible film awards. Academy Awards, Primetime Emmy Awards, the Crown of Acting are just a couple of awards worth mentioning. 

Do you know though that the popular actor was born in 1940 on April 25th? It means that he has just celebrated his 81st birthday! We at a German TV company congratulate the famous Al Pacino with birthday and wish him inspiration and energy to create new masterpieces for us. And for now, we are glad to offer to your attention the best movies with the participation of Al Pacino. Every of the mentioned movies is a real masterpiece and can be watched over and over. 

The Godfather

Godfather

Photo: Indie Wire

Release date: 1972

Director: Mario Puzo

Awards: Academy Reward for the Best Actor in Leading Role, Golden Globe Award for Best Director, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, Golden Globe Award for Best Score, Academy Award for Best Picture, and many more. 

The Godfather looks like a usual gangster movie but for some reason, it has won almost all the possible awards. Is there any special reason for it except for the fact that Al Pacino plays the main character? Well, there is, and the reason is significant, indeed. 

While earlier, gangster movies were romanticizing the gangster life, this is the first cinema creation that does the contrary. The romance is removed, and the viewers have a chance to see all the boredom and miserability of gangsters. The stuffy space, bad quality food, occasional violence bursts on Brooklyn neighborhoods - it all is far from the things shown about the gangster life in the movies before The Godfather was released. So, this was one of the main details that attracted people. 

One more detail that attracted viewers is that the movie shows a closed circle of people. There, you don`t find any political or global issues discussed. On the contrary, you are following specific people, specific families, so in the end, you know them very well as if those were your neighbors. This is one more reason why The Godfather has been so popular over the years. 

Devil`s Advocate

Devil`s Advocate

Photo: Syfy Wire

Release Date: 1997

Director: Taylor Hackford

Awards: Saturn Award for the Best Horror Film, Chainsaw Award for the Best Actor

Devil's Advocate is a well-known mystical thriller. While it doesn`t happen often that a thriller is accepted so well by both critics and viewers, there are reasons why it was the case with Devil`s Advocate. Of course,  Al Pacino is in one of the main roles there. But this is not the main reason. 

So, let us remind you of the movie plot. A very successful lawyer is invited to work for a huge company. A wonderful apartment, an impressive salary, and attention from the company`s head are motivating, too. So, Kevin (the lawyer) with his wife Mary Ann are incredibly happy and full of hopes. But soon, everything changes. 

There is an expression “devil`s advocate”. We tell it about somebody who goes against the commonly accepted moral and protects those who are guilty. So, the movie sends us this message to understand what to expect. There are other secret messages, too, and that`s why Devil`s Advocate fascinates.  

For example, when Kevin accuses Milton of the death of Mary Ann, about all the awful things that have happened to him, Milton tells something worth attention. He reminds Kevin that he, Milton, just sets the scene, and Kevin is the one who plays, and that everything was paved by the choices made by Kevin. 

Heat

Heat

Photo: NPR

Release date: 1995

Director: Michael Mann

Awards: the movie was nominated for Felix Award for the Best Cinematography, Saturn Award for the Best Supporting Actor, and the Best Action/Adventure Film, CFCA Award for the Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Score, and many more awards.

Heat is a movie about the collision of two worlds: the one of a cop, and the other one - of a criminal. Vincent Hannah, the cop, is emotional, and sometimes, these emotions burst out uncontrollably. But he has that sense of a predator chasing his prey. He always finds those who breach the law. Neil McCauley is a criminal. He is brilliant, cool, and is always ready for non-standard solutions. Both characters understand that something isn`t going as it shall but nobody can change his path.

The events unfold in Los Angeles, the City of Angels. And no, it is not that romantic city as it is usually shown in the movies. It is the city of twisted relationships, the city where dreams die and hopes are killed. 

The movie is immensely deep and explores human nature in the most unexpected way. At the same time, it is a first-class cop movie. 

Scent of a Woman

Scent of a Woman

Photo: Mental Floss

Release Date: 1992

Director: Martin Brest

Awards: Academy Award for the Best Actor, Golden Globe Award for the Best Actor, Golden Globe Award for the Best Screenplay, and many others.

Scent of a Woman is a movie about a person. He is an old colonel who has lost his vision. Viewers see him as a dull angry man nurturing self-pity and waiting for new victims to accuse of his problems. But then, the character develops into something else. 

When a young man gets a temporary job in the colonel`s house, the colonel shows his completely different side. While we know him as mean and sarcastic, he also appears to be very romantic and naive. He believes that he can tell everything about a woman just by feeling her smell. 

In this movie, two worlds are colliding: the one of an elderly deeply unhappy man, and the other is of a young person full of life and hopes who, by accident, happens to accompany the colonel in his adventures in New York. 

Irishman

Irishman

Photo: Park Circus

Release Date: 2019

Director: Martin Scorsese

Awards: the movie was nominated for Academy Award for the Best Picture, BAFTA Award for the Best Film, Academy Award for the Best Supporting Actor, Golden Globe Award for the Best Supporting Actor, and many more. 

Frank Sheeran is a WWII veteran who turns into a hitman. The movie has a standard plot but the way how it is filmed is mesmerizing indeed. 

We see an old man, he is in his 80-ies. And he is telling his story. We also see the flashbacks of his past. The far past, the recent past, and the present merge by creating the complete picture of what was and is happening. The traumatic experiences of the second world war, the meeting with a gang head, and friendship with him that led to a new life. This is the way the story is told and this is what makes it unusual. Add the fact that Al Pacino was performing the main role, and the movie success is guaranteed. 

Donnie Brasco

Donnie Brasco

Photo: Talk Film Society

Release Date: 1997

Director: Mike Newell

Awards: the movie was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Writing, the award from Writers Guild of America for Best Adaptation, and some more.

Donnie Brasco is one more movie about the world of gangsters. The movie was nominated for a plethora of awards, and there are reasons why so. First of all, Johnny Depp and Al Pacino played their characters absolutely realistically. It was a “match made in acting heaven”, as many critics and viewers insist. While the movie is about an FBI agent working undercover, the piece is filled with emotions, feelings, and is immensely deep. 

Insomnia

Insomnia

Photo: IMDb

Release Date: 2002

Director: Christopher Nolan

Awards: Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay, and some more.

Will Dormer is a police detective. He is sent to a remote Alaskan town to investigate a murder of a teenage girl. But by accident, he shoots his colleague. It is just an accident, and it is not clear why he is trying to hide it. But the real issue is that the girl murdered saw it, and now, Will has to disguise the accident. In addition, affected by the constant daylight, he starts suffering from insomnia. 

The movie is exploring such matters as the difference between murder and killing, the truth and justice, and tries to investigate such a term as the intent.