Raging Bull [1980]

Extreme violence can sometimes be extremely beautiful, just look at Raging Bull: the gorgeous, black and white cinematography by Michael Chapman, the blend of fast cuts and slow motion; of intense, shouty drama and light humor, and those painstakingly choreographed fight sequences. Yes, Scorsese creates beauty out of the bloody story of Jake LaMotta, a great boxer and a disgraceful man. Robert De Niro took Method acting to new heights as LaMotta, with an intense training regime followed by an unprecedented weight gain. His dedication to the role, one of just two that have gained him Academy Awards, is evident. He’s at his scenery-chewing best. Anybody in a movie with De Niro runs the risk of being overshadowed, but Cathy Moriarty and Joe Pesci more than hold their own against the juggernaut actor.