Every Martin Scorsese Movie of the 1980s, Ranked by IMDb


In the 1970s, Martin Scorsese became a household name with hits like average streets and Taxi driver. The 1970s marked the height of the New Hollywood movement that launched Scorsese’s breakthrough career. At the end of the decade, Scorsese suffered its first critical and commercial bombshell with the polarizing musical romance New York, New York.

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But the director made a comeback in the early 1980s with one of his finest films, the boxing biopic. angry bull. Throughout the decade, Scorsese made beautiful, thought-provoking and lavishly crafted films like The king of comedy and The Last Temptation of Christ.

6 New York Stories (1989) – 6.4

Nick Nolte painting in New York Stories

Scorsese’s last film of the 1980s, NYC Stories, is a kind of stylistic experience. This is an anthology of three New York short films directed by three legendary New York filmmakers: Francis Ford Coppola (“Life Without Zoë”), Woody Allen (“The Wrecks of Oedipus”) and Martin Scorsese (“Life Lessons”). .

Scorsese’s segment is the first in the line and the only one to consistently achieve critical acclaim. The Coppola and Allen segments were heavily criticized, but Scorsese was praised for giving the film a strong start with the story of a middle-aged painter and his disillusioned young muse.

5 The Color of Money (1986) – 7.0

In 1986 Scorsese directed his one and only franchise film, The color of money. It is one of the first examples of a “legacy sequel”, which has since become a successful trend. It is a late sequel to the scammer released 25 years after the original. It was Scorsese’s second sports film of the decade after angry bull.

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Paul Newman won the Best Actor Oscar (his first Oscar win after seven nominations) for reprising his role as pool hustler Fast Eddie Felson. Tom Cruise played a supporting role early in his career as a young protege whom Felson takes under his wing.


4 The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) – 7.5

Catholic guilt was a theme of Scorsese’s cinema from the very beginning, but he didn’t make an overtly religious film until 1988. The Last Temptation of Christ. last temptation is a typical Scorsese biopic that casts its subject as a morally ambiguous anti-hero — it’s just that the subject happens to be Jesus Christ. This is a fictional depiction of Jesus that was not based on the Bible, but rather on the controversial novel by Nikos Kazantzakis.

Despite being a lifelong follower of the Catholic faith, Scorsese didn’t pack a punch in his depiction of a three-dimensional messiah. The film is notable for its star-studded cast, with Willem Dafoe as Jesus, Harvey Keitel as Judas, Barbara Hershey as Mary Magdalene and none other than David Bowie as Pontius Pilate.

3 After Hours (1985) – 7.6

Scorsese followed The king of comedyone of his only full-fledged comedies, along with another of his only full-fledged comedies, after hours. The perfect intersection of goofy comedy and film noir, after hours stars Griffin Dunne as Paul Hackett, with supporting performances by screen icons such as Rosanna Arquette, Teri Garr and Cheech & Chong. Set in one crazy night, after hours follows a bored office drone who finishes a late shift and finds himself on a bizarre odyssey through the weirdest corners of New York’s SoHo neighborhood.

With its one-night story structure, after hours play like Dazed and confused or super bad but with a more philosophical and existential side. Although he was not appreciated in his time, after hours was recently referenced by Apple’s hit sitcom Ted Lasso with the Coach Beard-centric episode in Season 2.

2 The King of Comedy (1982) – 7.8

Robert De Niro in a stand-up number in The King Of Comedy.

Scorsese’s Underrated Showbiz Satire The king of comedy is basically a comedic version of the Taxi driver formula with another story of a delusional loner pushed to his breaking point and turning to a life of crime. Taxi driverRobert De Niro plays Rupert Pupkin, an aspiring comedian who wants fame and fortune without putting in the work.

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Rupert imagines a friendship with talk show host Jerry Langford, played by a hysterically deadpan Jerry Lewis, and ends up kidnapping Langford to blackmail him into getting stage time on the show. The king of comedy was openly paid homage by the plot of the Joker film, whose billion-dollar box office receipts confirm the timelessness and continued relevance of Scorsese’s original. In Jokerthe roles are reversed with De Niro playing the exasperated talk show host.

1 Raging Bull (1980) – 8.2

Jake LaMotta boxing in Raging Bull

After New York, New York resulted in the first critical and commercial failure of his career, Scorsese came back strong with angry bull. In the same way Taxi driver and Freedmen, angry bull is hailed as one of the director’s best films. It won Robert De Niro the Best Actor Oscar for his raw and uncompromising portrayal of violent and abusive boxer Jake LaMotta.

Throughout the film, LaMotta’s rage – which is heightened but not contained by the ring – gets the better of him and drives out everyone who ever cared about him. To like Taxi driver, angry bull is a study in isolation, but instead of being a loner from the start, LaMotta is surrounded by family and friends whom he alienates with anger and violence.

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