If you had polled a random sampling of movie nerds in 1993, and asked them to name the best living male and female American actors, I’m willing to bet that the winners would have been Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep. Fifteen years later, Streep is as revered and versatile as ever. But what about Bob?
On the one hand, you’ve got to hand it to DeNiro for attempting a late-career change of course, re-inventing himself as a comedic stalwart for Analyze This, Meet the Parents and their sequels. But he’s also taken to slumming in limp thrillers (Hide and Seek, Righteous Kill) and saving some of his most interesting work for cameo roles (the swish-buckling pirate in Stardust). Like a great athlete past his prime, we keep watching DeNiro on the off chance that we’ll catch glimpse of what once made him unstoppable