When Scorsese Teams Up With DiCaprio or De Niro, Audience Scores Rise | Charts

Killers of the Flower Moon” is Martin Scorsese’s 27th feature-length narrative film, and it seems as though the famed director, now 80, is only getting better with age. The rave reviews of Scorsese’s latest movie, as well as its $23 million opening, indicate that his powers as an artist are far from declining. And while much of the critics’ praise is reserved for star Lily Gladstone, audiences will no doubt be drawn into theaters by the return of two of Scorsese’s most frequent collaborators: Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.

Just how closely associated are Scorsese and his favorite lead actors? On Ranker’s list of The Best Martin Scorsese Movies, voted on over 12,000 times, every one of the Top 13 movies features either De Niro or DiCaprio. According to Insights, those who show their appreciation for Martin Scorsese by voting him up on lists like The Greatest Directors in Movie History are 6X more likely to do the same for Robert De Niro on lists like The Best Actors in Film History, while Scorsese fans are 5X more likely to vote up DiCaprio on similar lists. It’s clear that fans of the “Goodfellas” director see these actors as two of the best of their respective generations.

But beyond Scorsese’s fanbase, how does the general public feel about the director’s movies? The auteur has made a point of criticizing the modern film industry — are modern audiences similarly critical of his work? And as these three artists work together on a feature-length film for the first time ever, does the presence of De Niro and DiCaprio help or hinder the reception of his movies with moviegoers?

We used Ranker Insights to answer these questions. Using the millions of votes cast by fans across our thousands of movie lists, we’re able to see the ratio of positive to negative votes each of Scorsese’s movies has gotten from our voters over the years. We call that ratio a sentiment score, but it functions similarly to an approval rating. Here’s what we found:

As you can see, films featuring either star are more popular with movie fans than the average Scorsese flick — with one actor in particular associated with higher sentiment scores.

Robert De Niro

The sentiment score for the average Scorsese movie that features De Niro is 57% — two points higher than the average for Scorsese’s work in general. If that difference seems small, it should be noted that, including “Killers of the Flower Moon,” De Niro has been in 10 of Scorsese’s films, over a third of the director’s total body of work.

Which collaboration between these two Hollywood giants is most popular with our voters? It’s actually “Casino,” beating out both “Goodfellas” and “Cape Fear” by less than a single percentage point. The least popular De Niro/Scorsese film is the 1977 musical drama “New York, New York,” co-starring Liza Minnelli. This movie, considered a rare misstep for Scorsese, is an outlier that brought down the average for De Niro’s movies, with a sentiment score of 44%.

Leonardo DiCaprio

DiCaprio, the younger of the two stars, has made half the number of movies with Scorsese that De Niro has. But when he does work with Scorsese, the results are incredibly popular with Ranker readers — the average sentiment score for a Scorcese movie starring DiCaprio is 66%, 11 points higher than Scorsese’s overall average.

The DiCaprio movie with the highest ratings from our viewers is “Shutter Island,” which nets an incredible 71% sentiment score. This neo-noir may not be critics’ favorite, but it has the highest score of any Scorsese movie among our readers, point blank. Even the floor for DiCaprio’s movies is high, with the lowest score for any collaboration between him and Scorsese belonging to “Gangs of New York” at 61%. None of these movies, which also include “The Aviator,” “The Departed,” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” have a score that falls below 60%.

What Does This Mean for “Killers of the Flower Moon?”

Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro in Killers of the Flower Moon
(Apple Original Films)

This all obviously bodes well for Scorsese’s latest movie, which is actually the second film from the director to feature both actors (the 2015 short “The Audition” had both De Niro and DiCaprio playing fictionalized versions of themselves). But even for a giant like Scorsese, the rule in Hollywood is that you’re only as good as your last picture. Have the director’s latest movies gotten the same kind of reception as his greatest hits, or is his favor declining among audiences?

In fact, Insights suggests that Scorsese’s movies are only getting better sentiment scores over time. The average sentiment score for his last five movies — ”The Irishman,” “Silence,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Hugo,” and “Shutter Island” — have an average sentiment score of 61%.

“Killers of the Flower Moon” may dwell on a dark subject and last an intimidating three and a half hours, but from what we can tell, that likely won’t stop it from being remembered as one of Scorsese’s most beloved films ever.

Ryan Mach is a content marketing manager at Ranker, a WrapPRO partner. Visit Ranker Insights for more unique information about any audience or to contact us for more information.

For more from WrapPRO partners, visit the Data and Analysis Hub.

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