The 7 best Leonardo DiCaprio movies
Leonardo DiCaprio has been acting since a young age and therefore it’s no surprise that he has an extremely diverse filmography from the last few decades. That means it’s certainly not easy to pick the very best Leonardo DiCaprio movies and not leave anything out… well, you know what, we have had a go.
As is customary here at Screen OD, we offer for your consumption two ways of enjoying this list. You can either read it or you can watch it. Or if you are a completist, you can do both. If you’re more of a watcher, head to the video below and press play – however, if you’d like to read the entries, continue down the page and find out what we have crowned as the very best Leonardo DiCaprio movie of all time.
Right, movie fans! It’s time to start your adventure…
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7. Revolutionary Road
DiCaprio teamed up once again with Kate Winslet after they both became international superstars for their pairing in Titanic, for this adaptation of Richard Yates’ novel about a couple living in suburbia who want for more. Somehow a couple have become the thing they hate the most, working long hours in a job he hates and being a 1950s housewife – they realise they must plot a way to escape the mundanity of what their existence has become. A beautifully nuanced by DiCaprio is at the heart of this fantastic film.
6. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino movies are always going to offer a challenge and something for an actor to their teeth into, and this quirky comedy drama about the last days of the Golden Age of Hollywood certainly has plenty for DiCaprio to work with. In the role of Rick Dalton, a Western star who thinks his career may be fading DiCaprio lights up the screen opposite amongst many Brad Pitt who plays his best friend and stunt double, Cliff Booth. This is an intriguing and masterfully well put together film with a leading performance from DiCaprio that’s equal to it.
5. Gangs of New York
When this film was made, DiCaprio hadn’t made a movie with Scorsese before – but for anyone with any doubts about the ability of an actor to move on to the next level, they only need to watch his performance as Amsterdam Vallon as he returns to the Five Points to try to avenge the death of his father. For many this 2002 drama was a graduation for DiCaprio into a new world of roles, and playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis he didn’t just hold his own, but simply excelled in a film that decades on continues to be remembered.
Christopher Nolan’s high concept mind-bending sci sees DiCaprio take front and centre stage as Dom Cobb, a professional thief who goes into people’s dreams in order to steal their secrets. When offered the chance to have his criminal record wiped clean if he takes on one last big job, well, you can imagine what happens next, right! The 2010 film is regarded as a classic of its genre and won the director and cast, which includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elliot Page, Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy to name but a few, critical and public acclaim.
3. The Departed
After a long wait and many brilliant films that certainly deserved them, Martin Scorsese finally won his first Oscar for this brilliant 2006 crime drama based on the 2002 Hong Kong action thriller Infernal Affairs. The story revolves around South Boston cop Billy Costigan, played by DiCaprio, as he goes undercover to try to infiltrate a renowned gang run by Frank Costello, played with the usual excellence by Jack Nicholson. Meanwhile a mobster Colin Sullivan (played by Matt Damon) is undercover in the police – and with two moles in operation the story really hots up.
2. The Aviator
Martin Scorsese doesn’t make films by half, and he certainly ensured that cinema fans were treated when he created 2004 epic The Aviator. Telling the story of businessman and inventor Howard Hughes, this movie takes us on a journey through Hughes life, the highs and the crashing lows, the power struggles, the glitz and the glamour and to the very darkest places too. The central performance from DiCaprio is sensational, bring alive a complicated character and showing just what a versatile actor he is.
In many ways the film that put Leonardo DiCaprio on the map as an international superstar, James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster remains a film with which the actor will forever be associated. His portrayal of Jack Dawson, an orphaned artist from a different world to most of the passengers on the doomed voyage in 1912 is a triumph. A part that requires true acting craft, care and nuance, he delivers with style opposite an equally magical performance from Kate Winslet. Although he has made a huge number of films since Titanic, it is hard to find one where he is more impressive.
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