With his Best Director nomination for "Killers of the Flower Moon," Martin Scorsese has now been nominated for an Oscar more than any other living director.
"Killers" makes it 10 total, surpassing Steven Spielberg by one. Scorsese ranks second in all-time Best Director nominations. The most belong to William Wyler ("Ben Hur"), who died in 1981 and received 12 nominations in his lifetime.
Of the 10 times Scorsese has been up for Best Director, he only took home the Oscar once, for "The Departed" in 2006. Wyler has him beat in wins, too, having won Best Director three times. Spielberg has won it twice.
But many people feel that the award for "The Departed" was a long time coming — that although "The Departed" wasn't Scorsese's best film, giving him the Best Director award was the least the academy could do after all the times it robbed him in the past. Indeed, "The Departed" is a masterfully woven thrill ride of a film, but it's hardly as iconic or influential as Scorsese classics such as "Raging Bull," "Goodfellas" or "Taxi Driver."
At the Academy Awards this year, Scorsese will have to beat out Christopher Nolan ("Oppenheimer"), Yorgos Lanthimos ("Poor Things"), Justine Triet ("Anatomy of a Fall") and Jonathan Glazer ("Zone of Interest").
As we lead approach the ceremony on March 10, let's take a look at all of the films that earned Scorsese an Oscar nomination for Best Director.
'Raging Bull' (1981)
Who's in it: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci
This brutally violent biographical film about the life of boxer Ray LaMotta had so much blood that Martin Scorcese shot it in black and white to make it palatable to a broader audience. This wasn't enough, however, as the now universally praised film was too much for many critics to stomach at the time.
Stream it on Tubi, MGM+, The Roku Channel, Pluto TV
'The Last Temptation of Christ' (1989)
Who's in it: Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Barbara Hershey
This controversial film wasn't adapted from the Gospel but from the Nikos Kazantzakis novel of the same name. Both drew the ire of Christian groups for their depiction of a uniquely human Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who grapples with various temptations throughout the film. He suffers from depression, doubt and anxiety, and has lustful thoughts about sex, culminating in his final temptation on the cross. "The Last Temptation of Christ" was a reflection of Scorcese's own struggle with religion.
Rent it on YouTube
Who's in it: Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci
Scorcese made his ensemble cast of wise guys shine by giving them an outline for a scene and then letting them ad-lib much of the dialogue. The result was a gritty, authentic look at mobster life that spawned classic lines at once hilarious and terrifying. Take Pesci's: "I'm funny how? Like a clown? Do I amuse you?"
Stream it on Philo, AMC+
'Gangs of New York' (2003)
Who's in it: Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz
"Gangs" chronicles the Catholic-Protestant feud that engulfed New York City in the late 1800s. The film was marked by its violent and epic battle scenes in the streets of old-timey New York — and a remarkable performance by Daniel Day-Lewis, who received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.
Stream it on Max
'The Aviator' (2005)
Who's in it: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale
Scorcese's sympathy for his subject in "The Aviator" is palpable, as is his love for classic Hollywood. The epic biographical film follows the life of Howard Hughes, who — despite being a successful director and aviation pioneer who frequently bedded the top actresses in Hollywood — privately struggled with depression.
Stream it on Paramount+
'The Departed' (2007)
Who's in it: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson
This Irish Mafia masterpiece won Scorcese his only best director Oscar. "The Departed" follows the Irish Mafia and the Boston police, who simultaneously place undercover agents within each other's organizations. When both discover what the other is up to, all hell breaks loose. The tight and hard-hitting thriller is an American tragedy of epic proportions propelled by a spectacular soundtrack.
Rent it on YouTube
Who's in it: Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley
This whimsical film follows a young orphan boy who lives in the walls of a Paris train station. He works to maintain and oil the clocks in the station but sets out to solve the mystery behind an automaton left to him by his late father. "Hugo" is Scorcese's only family-friendly offering on this list and, arguably, in his entire filmography. He made it for his youngest daughter, Francesca, to inspire her imagination — and the departure paid off.
Stream it on Pluto TV, Rent on Amazon Prime Video
'The Wolf of Wall Street' (2014)
Who's in it: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
This is based on the true story of stockbroker Jordan Belfort, who rose to exorbitant wealth before the feds caught up with him. The film is a swaggering, chest-thumping look at the excess and frat house culture of Wall Street, and it introduced us to the phenomenal Margot Robbie.
Stream it on Paramount+
'The Irishman' (2020)
Who's in it: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci
This sprawling look at the life of the man who may or may not have killed Jimmy Hoffa was too long for theaters, so Scorcese brought it to Netflix. Starring three titans of American gangster flicks, the film offers stunning performances — perhaps the best of Pesci's career — even if the de-aging CGI dipped into the uncanny valley.
Stream it on Netflix
'Killers of the Flower Moon' (2024)
Who's in it: Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone
This true story covers the murders that swept through the Osage Nation when greedy opportunists sought the oil on their land, as well as the woman who fought to protect her family. Scorcese has never shied away from violence, and here it does a service to the people of the Osage Nation. The atrocities they faced are shown in disturbing detail, making their resilience all the more inspiring.
Stream it on AppleTV+
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