Robert De Niro has spoken out against gratuitous violence in films, saying: "I don't like it personally."

The Oscar-winning actor has starred in famously gritty movies including Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Cape Fear, Goodfellas and The Godfather Part II, but he told the Daily Mail he disapproved of the unnecessary glamorisation of violence in cinema.

De Niro said: "I think a lot of stuff is gratuitous, and I don't like it personally. If there's a reason for it, and it is what it is, then that's what it is. It's a complicated one."

The 69-year-old actor - who stars with Bradley Cooper in new indie film Silver Linings Playbook about a man with mental health problems - was wary about endorsing stronger censorship for the film industry.

De Niro added: "Movies are like dreams... you have to be careful [with censorship].

"Seeing things that are done in movies are like dreams. You see things you couldn't do in normal life. It's a collective dream for an audience. It's not like it's real - they know it's not real.

"Unfortunately, there are some people who take it as real. They're unbalanced, unhinged, or whatever."