Leonardo DiCaprio has always been an arresting performer, from his impressive work as a young actor to his thoughtful performances as an established star. IMDb's ranking of his 10 best roles may surprise you; Leo's laundry list of impressive and beloved performances is so long that two of his Oscar nominations don't even make the list.
Here are Leonardo DiCaprio's 10 best movies - according to IMDb.
10 Jack Dawson In Titanic (7.8)
Leo already had an Oscar nomination under his belt in 1997 - not to mention a starring spot in many teen's lockers for his work in Romeo + Juliet. His iconic performance as Jack Dawson, a dreamy artist from the wrong side of the tracks who fell in love with Kate Winslet in her breakout role, cemented him as a household name.
In Titanic, Leo played more than a steamy romantic lead. It was impossible to look away from his portrayal of a poor artist with big dreams, and he was just getting started.
9 Danny Archer In Blood Diamond (8.0)
Leo snagged his third Oscar nomination for his performance as Danny Archer, a white Rhodesian gunrunner and diamond smuggler. Blood Diamond received mixed reviews, but Leo's committed and empathic performance (as well as a stunning turn from comic book movie favorite Djimon Housou) snagged critical attention.
Although Blood Diamond doesn't make many Saturday afternoon movie rotations, Leo's performance and unforgettable death scene are huge highlights in a film spotlighting serious issues.
8 Hugh Glass In The Revenant (8.0)
Alexander Innaritu's picture often felt more like a technical challenge than a compelling story well-told, but there's no denying that Leo's performance as Hugh Glass was what held The Revenant together.
Leo endured brutal conditions, harsh natural lighting, and a famously technically-complex fight with a bear on Innaritu's demanding set. While this might not be Leo's most enjoyable picture, at the end of the day his performance ended his streak as an Oscars bridesmaid and for that, it will be remembered fondly.
7 Rick Dalton In Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood (8.0)
Leo shines as faded TV star Rick Dalton in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood. One of Tarantino's signatures is revisionist history, and the film's attention-grabbing premise of a reimagined version of Charles Manson's murder of Sharon Tate drew plenty of notoriety.
Tarantino, Leo, and a deeply charming Brad Pitt delivered a stunning meditation on aging and change in Hollywood. The film is unexpectedly unsettling and sweet, and that's thanks to a pair of supercharged performances from the well-matched Pitt and Leo.
6 Frank Abagnale, Jr. In Catch Me If You Can (8.1)
The legendary Steven Speilberg used Leo to full advantage as chameleon con-man Frank Abagnale, Jr. in Catch Me If You Can. The 2002 film marked an early example of Leo's fascination with real-life con men. He met Abagnale in person before portraying him on-screen, a practice he'd follow up on in The Wolf Of Wall Street.
Spielberg's film shows a sprightly and appealing chase between an FBI agent, portrayed by Tom Hanks, and Leo's chameleonic character. In another actor's hands, the grifting Abagnale could easily have been off-putting, but Leo's charm and range breathed real life into the charming con-man and sold a lifelong friendship between a cunning thief and his captor.
5 Teddy Daniels In Shutter Island (8.1)
Shutter Island is the only film in the fruitful Scorsese/DiCaprio collaboration that failed to garner any major Oscar nominations, and that's a crying shame. Scorsese's atmospheric adaptation of a modern-day Gothic horror novel is beautiful and atmospheric.
Shutter Island takes advantage of Leo's range to play on the ambiguity of reality and the constructs of madness. Fans' enduring fondness for the film is a testament to the Scorsese/DiCaprio team's ability to make the ugly and ambiguous appealing.
4 Jordan Belfort In The Wolf Of Wall Street (8.2)
Leo and auteur Martin Scorsese have collaborated many times, but The Wolf Of Wall Street was a commercial high for the legendary director. Leo was a producer on the film, which had a hiccup-filled history before landing in Scorsese's capable hands.
Leo had plenty of character notes from Jordan Belfort himself, but Leo and Scorsese crafted a complicated, harsh and uncompromising look at the life of a notorious penny-stock shill who made it big. The film is easily misunderstood as praising greed and questionable conduct like Belfort's, but Leo's egoless comedic performance and Scorsese's pitless lens on the pettiness of high-rolling life result in a scathing indictment of the Wall Street ethos that led to the crash of 2008.
3 Calvin Candie In Django Unchained (8.4)
It takes a special kind of actor to commit to the bit when the bit is "monstrous slaveholder." Detractors allege that Leo took the part of Calvin Candie as part of a desperate campaign to garner an Oscar, but any viewer can see that Leo committed wholeheartedly to Tarantino's project of creating a superhero narrative from slave tales. It's debatable whether Tarantino was the right person for the job, but Django Unchained stands as a committed attempt to create a film reckoning with America's painful slaveholding past with some commercial appeal.
As Candie, Leo was an unglamorous, unabashed villain. His portrayal worked to give the lie to lesser films that portray slave-holders as generally kind or oblivious. Candie's mustache-twirling glee and gristly comeuppance were watersheds not just in Django Unchained, but in America's cinematic reckoning with its slaveholding past.
2 Billy Costigan In The Departed (8.5)
The Scorsese/DiCaprio combination was at its mob movie best in 2006's masterwork The Departed. Leo's impresario performance as an undercover FBI agent knee-deep in the Boston mob was matched by Ford V Ferrari star Matt Damon's work as a mole within the Massachusetts state police.
The cat-and-mouse game played out between Damon, Leo, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg makes The Departed a Boston classic, and an achievement in modern American cinema.
1 Dom Cobb In Inception (8.8)
Leo's most inscrutable role is also his highest-rated on IMDb. Like most Christopher Nolan flicks, Inception threads the needle between art film and blockbuster, utilizing big stars and splashy effects to garner audience buy-in to a high-concept premise. Leo's Cobb was a thief who would rifle through the subconscious, seeking corporate secrets.
In Inception, he hires a team to help him do the seemingly impossible - implanting an idea in a person's subconscious. Leo works within the cerebral framework of the notoriously chilly Nolan to paint a portrait of a man in deep grief, all while helming a brisk heist movie. There's no denying that Leo's performance is a highlight of Inception.