What’s your favourite DiCaprio movie?

Hot on the heels of some stateside controversy and his second acting Golden Globe, Leonardo DiCaprio brings latest film the - Wolf of Wall Street to the UK. With Wolf of Wall Street on the horizon, we reminisce about favourite DiCaprio movies...

Hot on the heels of some stateside controversy and his second acting Golden Globe, Leonardo DiCaprio brings latest film the - Wolf of Wall Street to the UK. With Wolf of Wall Street on the horizon, we reminisce about favourite DiCaprio movies...

Romeo + Juliet

There’s a reason why we’re able to quote the text of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet on demand, yet might struggle to recite a soliloquy from Othello or Titus Andronicus, and that reason is Baz Luhrmann’s blistering 1998 adaptation Romeo + Juliet.

Anchoring the whole film is Leonardo DiCaprio, with a raw and powerful performance as fiction’s greatest romantic that solidified not only his status as a teen heartthrob, but his standing in the eyes of critics.

The Departed

Choosing a favourite DiCaprio movie is no easy task. Try it: Gangs of New York, Body of Lies, Inception, The Great Gatsby and half a dozen others could all easily take the mantle. But for us it’s The Departed that just nudges it.

DiCaprio has evolved before our eyes from the angel-faced boy in Romeo + Juliet, into Hollywood heavyweight Jack Nicholson’s rightful heir as arguably the most thrilling male actor alive. And The Departed stands as a stone-cold classic on his CV.

A young undercover cop (DiCaprio) is sent to infiltrate Nicholson’s underworld. Conversely, an informer (Matt Damon) working within the police is battling on behalf of the mob. Twisting, violent and tragic, a cast including Martin Sheen and Mark Wahlberg makes this movie unmissable.

Titanic

Someone had to pick it. The black sheep of DiCaprio’s impressive movie portfolio. The romantic epic may have won him a legion of female admirers, but it also cost him credibility with movie critics. Maybe they were just jealous that a man could be such a great actor and also have such lovely, lovely hair.

Shutter Island bore.

DiCaprio has never been more ferociously compelling than he is as Teddy Daniels, a hard-bitten US marshal who finds himself gradually unraveling as he investigates the disappearance of a patient from an isolated psychiatric facility.

Revolutionary Road

It is brutal. It is cruel. It’s about as far removed from Titanic as you can get. Revolutionary Road was the moment at which Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet finally reunited on screen. Its primary message? Love hurts.

The Beach

Okay, so Danny Boyle’s film, The Beach might be a slightly cartoonish (sometimes literally) adaptation of Alex Garland’s frequently bleak novel, but it does manage to achieve that underlying eeriness so crucial to making us believe this story of a tropical paradise decaying into a murderous dystopia.

Whatever you think of The Beach, few would quibble with DiCaprio’s performance. He basically is the movie, the island’s fortunes and the tone of the piece spiraling down as his character Richard goes from wide-eyed dreamer to psychotic hermit.  So that’s why we love The Beach – because of DiCaprio.

Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino did not disappoint when he unveiled his first foray into Westerns with Django Unchained. Despite its long running time of just under three hours, it never feels slow - it’s continuously engaging, tense and often very funny. Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz give excellent performances, but it was Leonardo DiCaprio’s appearance as suave but strict plantation owner Calvin J Candie that impressed me the most.

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

Despite an impressive cast including Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen and John C Reilly, it’s Leonardo DiCaprio’s heartbreaking turn as Arnie Grape in 1993’s tragicomic movie, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? That truly stands out the most. DiCaprio brings Arnie’s vulnerability to life so vividly, and his emotive performance won the actor critical acclaim and his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. (He was robbed, eventually losing out to Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive).

It’s obvious that Leonardo DiCaprio is long overdue an Oscar for many a role since, but this breakthrough remains his best to date.

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