Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the best actors in Hollywood. He carefully picks his projects, and that shows. He’s worked with the likes of Danny Boyle, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott, James Cameron and of course Martin Scorsese. Leo has Five Oscar nominations and one win, which if you ask me, should be two. If it was any another year, his portrayal of Jordan Belfort would’ve won. Matthew McConaughey was just too good in Dallas Buyers Club! Today I’m ranking every DiCaprio movie that I’ve seen from worst to best. I’m omitting a few that I just haven’t gotten to. Let’s do this thing!
19. J.Edgar (2011)
I was hyped for this movie and boy was I let down. This is a 2-hour snooze-fest. Armie Hammer and Judi Dench can’t even save it. It’s just a dull film throughout. Nobody is going to pop in J.Edgar on a weekend. Clint Eastwood is hit and miss for me and this was just a huge miss.
18. Body of Lies (2008)
This thriller is directed by Ridley Scott, with Russell Crowe and a then unknown Oscar Isaac. Sounds like a home run right? Nope. Instead, it’s just a basic run of the mill CIA thriller. Good performances by Leo, Mark Strong & Issac are about the only reason to a watch this one.
17. The Basketball Diaries (1995)
A young Leo and Mark Wahlberg give gritty, realistic and raw performances in this mid-90s drama. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s killer to watch as a potential basketball star falls into drug addiction. It just shows how even recreational use isn’t all fun and games.
16. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
If this was a list of DiCaprio’s performances, this would be near the top. I never really liked this as a movie but the performances are great.
15. Revolutionary Road (2008)
It’s as if Jack survived and lived a miserable life with Rose. Really. Although a little dark, I dig the characters in this. Michael Shannon is incredible. Sam Mendes is one of the best in Hollywood and this isn’t his best work. It’s still an intriguing story with characters you care about.
14. The Beach (2000)
Oh Boy. The Beach. This was the second movie I ever saw of DiCaprio after Titanic. This movie is different. Like at one point it changes into an actual video game. Throw in the tribe, shark scene, and the beginning.. just all-around weird. I kind of dig it though *shrug emoji*.
13. Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Leo’s first collaboration with Baz Luhrmann was a twist on the old tale. A modern day Romeo + Juliet but still with mostly the same Shakespeare dialogue? I enjoyed it, I believe the relationship, you kind of have to when it’s this story. Also: Paul Rudd!
12. Gangs of New York (2002)
Marin Scorsese and Leo’s first pairing came with Daniel Day-Lewis. Bill the Butcher was terrifying every time he was on screen. The beginning of this movie and the end are great. It drags in the middle and feels like it takes forever to get the climax.
11. The Aviator (2004)
The first biopic Leo chose was on Howard Hughes. He sure was an interesting guy with a lot of stories to tell. DiCaprio captures his OCD relentlessly. The Aviator spans over years in Hughes life. From movies to pushing aviation, they were all entertaining on screen. Again, this is a pretty long movie that definitely feels long. But, the overall arc of the title character pays off in the end so it’s worth it.
10. Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Man, this was hard to place on the list. This movie is so much fun from start to finish. The dynamic between Leo and Tom Hanks works so well off one another. I like to pop this in around Christmas. Another Spielberg’s film that will be a classic. Also: Amy Adams!
9. The Great Gatsby (2013)
Another team up with Baz Luhrmann for Leo. They took on The Great Gatsby. I know a lot of people don’t care for this movie a whole lot. I really like this version. I enjoy the spectacle, mystery, the casting. I also enjoyed the music a great deal too. I think Joel Edgerton and Carey Mulligan especially do great jobs in this film.
8. The Revenant (2015)
The Revenant is beautiful. The shots that they get in this film are incredible. The bear sequence is so well done and really scary. DiCaprio’s face-acting is on point as usual. We see the entire journey to get to the man who killed his son (Tom Hardy). Through so many hardships, it shows the human will to persevere. The cinematography in The Revenant is the best I’ve seen in quite a while.
7. Django Unchained (2012)
This movie had my curiosity and now it has its ranking. Quentin Tarantino delivers another fascinating film. The duo of Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx is admirable. DiCaprio plays an awful human but, he does it incredibly well. The full journey of Django sort of reminded me of my favorite Tarantino flick, Kill Bill. So it gets bonus points for that.
6. Blood Diamond (2006)
I absolutely love this movie. The accent that Leo had to pull off for this role was South African and it was near perfect. He was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the film. I feel like this movie is really underrated. There are multiple plot lines to follow, but I especially drew to the father and son relationship. It’s incredibly moving and Jennifer Connelly is great as always. Watch this if you haven’t already.
5. Shutter Island (2010)
Oh yes. Shutter Island is my kind of movie. Messed up. Boy, it’s messed up. It’s rare for me to go back on fourth or fifth viewing and find something new. I still do that with Shutter Island. The movie makes you think like a patient without you knowing it. That’s partly what makes it brilliant. It’s really a heartbreaking story at its core. This was another ending that left my jaw open.
4. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Fun. If I had to use one word to describe this movie, it’s fun. 3 hours feels like 1 in here. Wallstreet is incredibly rewatchable too. The lengths Scorsese was willing to do to tell the story had me in awe. The scene where Leo tries to make it to his car should have won him an Oscar alone. McConaughey though…man was he amazing. There’s so much to love in here. Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, and Jon Bernthal are perfectly cast. Wolf of Wall Street will be a classic in 30-40 years.
3. Titanic (1997)
Leonardo DiCaprio was first known to me as Jack Dawson, and then he died. I immediately had to see more movies that he was in. James Cameron made one of the highest grossing movies of all time with Titanic, and it helped Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio instantly skyrocket their carers. I love the romance and when the ship starts going down, there are great moments of cinema. The ending of this film is emotional and intense. If I had to point out negative, I’d say getting to the actual story is a bit of a drag. Come on old Rose! Hurry up! Also: Bill Paxton!
2. The Departed (2006)
An all-around (see what we did there) acting powerhouse. You follow two flawed main characters who share screen time for maybe 6 minutes. The Departed is a thrill from the moment the film starts. You have all these big-time actors, but Vera Farmiga really stands out. Not like DiCaprio or Damon, but she is a perfect character to balance between the two. Jack Nicholson delivers an extremely convincing and creepy mob boss Frank Costello. Mark Wahlberg gives one of best performances in limited screen time. The Departed is one of the best-told stories of the last two decades.
1. Inception (2010)
Here it is. Quite possibly my favorite movie of all time. Christopher Nolan at his best is Inception. A fantastic film idea used for a heist? Brilliant. The family dynamic DiCaprio has gives the movie heart. The visuals that are used blew me away in 2010. Mind-bending technology that I’ve only seen mirrored in Doctor Strange. The score is one of the first movie soundtracks and I immediately went out and bought. Hans Zimmer is a mastermind. Joseph Gordon Levitt & Tom Hardy are standouts on the team together. Ellen Page is.. there I guess? The ending is still the best ending I’ve seen in years, with only La La Land coming close. Inception by a smidge is my favorite DiCaprio movie.
There it is! What did you think of my list? What’s your favorite Leo performance of all-time? Make sure to tell us on Twitter!