Robert De Niro movies used to be deadly serious. Movies like "Taxi Driver" and "Casino" found the man playing the ultimate tough guy. In later life, he moved more into comedy. Nevertheless, when you're looking at De Niro, you always get the feeling even his funny guys can switch immediately to a serious side and kill somebody. That's just one of the reasons we can never take our eyes off of De Niro.

"Taxi Driver" -- "Are you talking to me?" Robert De Niro's character, Travis Bickle, asks himself in the mirror. It's a famous scene. He was the bad guy somehow chosen by fate to wipe all the grime off of New York City streets. One of the film's major sections is the relationship Bickle has with a teen prostitute, played by Jodie Foster.

"Cape Fear" -- In this remake, Robert De Niro played Max Cady, who terrorizes a family. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. If you're on vacation, De Niro's character would, indeed, be your worst nightmare. De Niro's Cady character terrorizes Nick Nolte's Sam Bowden character, a former public defender that once represented Cady.

"Meet the Parents" -- This Robert De Niro role of Jack Tiberius Byrnes finds the actor turning the already nervous Ben Stiller into a nervous wreck. He wants to marry Byrnes' daughter, but can he live with Byrnes as a father-in-law for the rest of his life? That's the big question of the film.

"Casino" -- This Robert De Niro part is that of Sam 'Ace' Rothstein, a casino boss. It's based on a true story. It also shows the old Vegas back when it was still run by the mob. Rothstein is the ultimate mob casino man. He thinks he's so great, he even gets his own TV show, which is shot right there on the Vegas Strip.

"The King of Comedy" -- Robert De Niro is Rupert Pupkin, a man obsessed with a late night television talk show host. He was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. It's about comedy, but it's actually scary because De Niro's character has no life except the image of what he wants to one day be on the TV screen. Jerry Lewis plays a Johnny Carson-like character in the film. Pupkin wants to be just like Lewis' character, and the film finds him trying almost any means necessary to do so.

- Dan MacIntosh