Leonardo DiCaprio’s Top 10 Film Performances
With so many notable performances under his belt, it is truly difficult to pick the top 10 of Leonardo DiCaprio’s many roles. Many of his most crucial roles, such as Jack Dawson from Titanic and Howard Hughes from The Aviator, earned the acclaimed actor numerous awards. But, with DiCaprio’s recent announcement that he will take a break from acting (he did do three movies in two years, after all), a thorough review of the star’s best accomplishments is highly necessary.
10. Romeo + Juliet (1996)
It seems only obvious that an actor that oozes so much sensuality would master a role as romantic as Romeo from Romeo + Juliet. The best part is, DiCaprio is not limited to playing the pretty boy with a soft side for the fair maiden. His role as Romeo merely served as evidence of his depth as an actor, which includes his ability to play a devoted lover. He is well-rounded in genres and thus an ideal actor for any role he comes across.
9. Gangs of New York (2002)
DiCaprio’s role as in Gangs of New York greatly contrasts his part as Romeo, as the actor’s character Amsterdam Vallon is openly aggressive and violent. Yet again, DiCaprio’s depth as an actor is proven, as well as his ease at adopting new accents for whichever role he takes on. Here, he plays a fighter who goes up against Americans who find him and his Irish group to be weak immigrants. Watch the film's trailer here.
8. The Departed (2006)
This film also features Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, and Mark Wahlberg, ensuring an action-packed film from the beginning. Though DiCaprio is forced to share the spotlight with other big names in Hollywood, his performance in The Departed sticks out in its own way. His character brings an energy and excitement that allows The Departed to be the captivating Oscar winner it is. Watch the film's trailer here.
7. Blood Diamond (2006)
As is expected from the actor, DiCaprio helpfully adopts yet another accent to suit his role as Billy Costigan in Blood Diamond. The moving performance (with DiCaprio and other actors’ contributions) is set in a money hungry environment that ultimately raises awareness of the African turmoil, as seen through the eyes of a smuggler in the land. The struggles DiCaprio’s character faced in Blood Diamond communicate the real-life struggle the people of the land face for the same cause.
6. Marvin’s Room (1996)
Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton, along with Leonardo DiCaprio, deliver fantastic performances that engage the viewer and provide a humorous experience in Marvin's Room. The characters are endearing and hilarious, with DiCaprio providing many laughable moments as Hank, a troubled teenager with a history as the pyromaniac of the unsettled family. Watch the film's trailer here.
5. The Aviator (2004)
Regardless of the role, DiCaprio in The Aviator is a clear indication of his versatility as an actor. He manages to deliver a strong performance that successfully communicates Howard Hughes’ Hollywood success and eventual downfall. He puts his soul into the role and is victoriously capable of assuming a madman’s character in a number of his films, including this one. Watch the film's trailer here.
4. Catch Me If You Can (2002)
DiCaprio’s character Frank Abagnale is a forger in Catch Me If You Can, in which a high school boy uses his skillful techniques to become a lawyer, pilot, and doctor. The actor has the ideal demeanor for a role this lighthearted, which is a biography for the real-life forger who later assisted the government to prevent future falsifying. Frank Abagnale is no doubt honored by DiCaprio’s entertaining and witty delivery of his life.
3. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
This film made Leonardo DiCaprio well-known in the Hollywood world. The 1993 film, also featuring Johnny Depp, provided DiCaprio with his “breakthrough” role. DiCaprio plays Arnie Grape, a young brother with mental retardation but a big heart. His role in What's Eating Gilbert Grape was a supporting one, of course, as Depp starred as the lead actor, but DiCaprio managed to capture the hearts of the film’s viewers with his boyish smile and playful nature. Watch the film's trailer here.
2. Inception (2010)
This blockbuster propelled DiCaprio to a new level of fame when it was released in 2010. Just as with his other performances, the actor was chosen for a promising film with a gifted director who expected a strong performance from him – and DiCaprio, as usual, was able to deliver. This is the secret of Inception’s success, as DiCaprio and his other costars (such as Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page) delivered dynamic performances to match some phenomenal visual effects. It is no surprise, then, that one of the biggest films of recent times features Leonardo DiCaprio within its cast list. Watch the film's trailer here.
1. Titanic (1997)
Leonardo DiCaprio’s role as Jack Dawson in Titanic is inarguably the most memorable film performance of his career. His role as Rose DeWitt Bukater’s (played by Kate Winslet) star-crossed lover was electrifying. DiCaprio has an unmistakable ability to adopt any emotion needed for his character, whether it be joyful recklessness one moment and flaming hatred in another. He was as carefree and passionate as the film required, without coming across as cheesy or artificial.