Anyone familiar with the famous jail-cell scene in Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro‘s Raging Bull knows something about irony. For watching a crude and bestial man experience the absolute nadir of his bruising (and bruise-dispensing) life…his explosive acting out of feelings of absolute and overpowering self-loathing…this horrific episode results, for viewers, in something oddly cleansing and almost therapeutic.

This was DeNiro’s all-time peak moment…the kind of bravura acting moment that only a young or youngish fellow can capture or deliver. It was also the grand crescendo of DeNiro’s initial glory chapter (’73 to ’80), the highlights of which were Bang the Drum Slowly, Mean Streets, The Godfather Part II, 1900 and Taxi Driver.

Chapter Two began right after Raging Bull and continues until this day — The King of Comedy (’82), Once Upon a Time in America (’84), Brazil (’85), Midnight Run (’88), Goodfellas (’90), This Boy’s Life (’93), Heat (’95), Casino (’95), Analyze This (’99), the Meet the Parents films (2000–2010), Silver Linings Playbook (2012), The Intern (’15) and The Irishman (’19).

If you start with Brian DePalma‘s Greetings (’68), DeNiro has been at it for 55 years.