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From “The Godfather,” to “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Serpico,” and “Scarface,” Al Pacino is one of the greatest actors to ever grace the silver screen. He’s worked with prolific directors (Martin Scorsese, Sidney Lumet, and Francis Ford Coppola, to name a few), received nine Oscars nominations — though he’s only won once (for “Scent of a Woman,” which you can stream here), and fashioned the kind of acting career that’s worth celebrating over and over again.
In honor of the acting legend’s birthday, we put together a list of some of the many classic Pacino films that you can buy on Blu-ray, and stream on HBO Max, Amazon Prime, and other platforms. And because it’s never too early to start thinking about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts, feel free to use the movies below as an unofficial gift guide. For more legendary films to add to your Blu-ray collection, see our picks of classic movies from Christopher Nolan and Michael Keaton.
Sidney Lumet directed Pacino in this 1973 crime film based on the book by Peter Mass. “Serpico” is an autobiographical story about Frank Serpico (played by Pacino), an idealistic NYPD officer whose refusal to take bribes gets him shunned by other officers. Nonetheless, Serpico decides to go public with allegations of police corruption after his superior refuses to do anything. You can stream “Serpico” on Hulu or rent it on Amazon Prime.
“Donnie Brasco” is usually revered as one of the more brilliant acting performances from Pacino, and from Johnny Depp. In the film, Pacino plays a mob hit man who unknowingly befriends an FBI informant (played by Depp) and basically helps him infiltrate an infamous New York mob family. “Donnie Brasco” is available on many different streaming platforms including Hulu and Amazon Prime.
Directed by James Foley, “Glengarry Glen Ross” centers around a competitive and cutthroat real estate sales office, and the desperation of a group of salesman after learning that only two of them will get to keep their jobs. Alec Baldwin, Jack Lemmon, and Ed Harris, are among the cast of the 1992 drama based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name. If you’d rather stream the film than own it on Blu-ray, “Glengarry Glen Ross” is available to buy on Amazon Prime.
“The Godfather” was the first in an epic crime trilogy that became a defining work for Coppola. Apart from being one of the greatest mob movies of all time, the 1973 Oscar-winning film was only Pacino’s third movie, but it made a lasting impression. In “The Godfather,” Pacino plays Michael Corleone, the youngest member of the fictitious crime family who reluctantly joins the mob. Marlon Brando plays patriarch Don Vito Corleone alongside an all-star cast that includes James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, and Abe Vigoda. All three films in “The Godfather” franchise are streaming on Hulu.
No Pacino movie list would be complete without “Scarface.” Delivering one of his many riveting performances in the ‘80s crime drama directed by Brian De Palma, and written by Oliver Stone, Pacino portrays a Cuban immigrant-turned-Miami drug kingpin whose thirst for power leads to his downfall. The limited edition package comes with a Blu-ray, and a DVD of the 1932 film version. “Scarface” is also available for rent on Amazon Prime.
Pacino and John Cazale play crooks Sonny Wortzik and Sal Naturile, in the autobiographical crime drama about a botched bank robbery that erupts into a hostage situation. The screenplay was based on a magazine article chronicling a 1972 bank robbery in Brooklyn. Lumet directed “Dog Day Afternoon,” which went on to win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and was entered into the Library of Congress. The film is currently streaming on HBO Max and Amazon Prime.
Based on real events, “The Insider” details the true story of a whistleblower in the tobacco industry. Protagonist Lowell Bergman (Pacino) is a seasoned television producer whose interview with a former “Big Tobacco” executive Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe) puts a target on his back. You can rent the Michael Mann-directed film on Amazon Prime.
“The Irishman,” streaming exclusively on Netflix, combines the cinematic trifecta of Martin Scorsese, Pacino and Robert De Niro for a uniquely reflective story chronicling the life of Frank Sheeran (played by De Niro), a truck driver who becomes a hitman and works his way up the ranks to work for mob boss Jimmy Hoffa (played by Pacino). The Criterion Collection release includes a new 4K digital master approved by Scorsese, a newly edited roundtable conversation among Scorsese and actors Robert De Niro, Pacino, and Joe Pesci (originally recorded in 2019), and a new documentary about the making of the film featuring Scorsese, the lead actors, producers, and more commentary from the cast and crew.