One of the finest actors working today, as well as one of the biggest in Hollywood, Leonardo DiCaprio has carved out a fantastic career for himself. Whether it be as a heartthrob, a sufferer of psychological issues or a wolf, DiCaprio always delivers a great performance, the type of performances which often lead to critical acclaim.
An authoritative figure in movie reviews is Rotten Tomatoes, a site that audiences often go to gauge a film’s quality and read the reviews of both fans and critics. The often-cited Tomatometer works well in given a sense of the quality of a film if used well and Leonardo DiCaprio often has great scores. Here are the 10 best feature-length films Leonardo DiCaprio has given a performance in according to Rotten Tomatoes.
10 THE REVENANT (2015) – 79%
Tied with The Wolf Of Wall Street at 79% on the Tomatometer, but earning its place on this list due to its superior audience score, The Revenant was the epic that finally earned DiCaprio his Oscar. The film follows Hugh Glass on his exploration and survival of the American wilderness following the betrayal of his confidant.
DiCaprio delivers a fantastic performance, arguably not the best of his career but still enough to earn him the gold statue. Even when there is no dialogue, DiCaprio’s facial expressions and mannerisms show brilliant acting. Beautiful cinematography and brilliant performances help make up for hollow characters and a slow pace in this Oscar-winning epic.
9 MARVIN’S ROOM (1996) – 84%
One of DiCaprio’s lesser-known films, Marvin’s Room comes earlier in his career, anchored by its performances. Marvin’s Room looks at two estranged sisters and their dysfunctional family lives, both separately and together.
It is a simple premise anchored by Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, and Leonardo DiCaprio and their performances. Not heralded as the best film of DiCaprio’s career, it is a slow, somber experience with only fifty critic inputs and a much lower audience score, but it does hold a good narrative and fantastic performances.
8 ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD (2019) – 85%
Quentin Tarantino’s latest picture, Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood was a film which was not to everyone’s taste, but in which DiCaprio (and Brad Pitt) were undeniable. It takes us through a journey aging actor, Rick Dalton, and his best friend stuntman Cliff as they navigate a changing Hollywood in 1969.
Both DiCaprio and Pitt are phenomenal. DiCaprio seems so natural and so at home in the role of a borderline alcoholic middle-aged actor whose career seems to be headed nowhere. Perhaps outshined by Pitt, it does not take away from DiCaprio’s performance. While the film may be lacking in a clear narrative structure it is still a great, immersive picture with two great leads.
7 THE AVIATOR (2004) – 86%
The Aviator holds an underrated performance from DiCaprio and typically high-quality direction from Martin Scorsese. It details Howard Hughes’ life as a financially successful individual in his filmmaking and aviation ventures while dealing with his personal demons.
DiCaprio gave an Oscar-nominated performance, greatly portraying the real man’s madness. It was a solid film that was well-received by critics and most audiences, being nominated for numerous awards and adding another notch on DiCaprio’s belt.
6 DJANGO UNCHAINED (2012) – 86%
Getting the notch over The Aviator for its far superior audience score, Quentin Tarantino’s revenge western Django Unchained was a fantastic supporting performance from DiCaprio. The story follows bounty hunter Shultz and free slave Django on the hunt for Django’s love and Shultz bounty, finding themselves at Candyland where DiCaprio’s Calvin Candie resides.
While Christoph Waltz got the Oscar nod, DiCaprio arguably earns it just as much as the deplorable plantation owner. The film as a whole is brilliantly written and acted, overly long yes, but forgiven due to the rest of its aspects, and DiCaprio gets lost in perhaps the most villainous role of his career.
5 INCEPTION (2010) – 87%
Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending Inception is one of the films of the decade and DiCaprio delivers a great performance in an ensemble cast. The film, beautifully complicated, follows a group with the ability to enter dreams to steal ideas, and the film goes into the very dangerous process of going into multiple dreams known as inception.
The ensemble all delivers, including DiCaprio, but is the visually stunning and intellectually thrilling plot and direction that is the star of this picture. 2010’s best blockbuster delivered on all fronts and was popular both critically and commercially, as well as by audiences.
4 TITANIC (1997) – 89%
With 89% of the Rotten Tomatoes critics recommending the film, James Cameron’s 1997 epic Titanic skyrocketed DiCaprio’s career. Following Jack and Rose and their romance on the disastrous voyage of the RMS Titanic, it is a love story for the ages.
Young DiCaprio plays the poor, charismatic Jack brilliantly with Kate Winslet matching that. The film, with its stunning visuals and old-style drama which was eaten up by audiences at the time, even if it is overly long and does not hold up as well with current audiences, it was a massive help in DiCaprio’s career.
3 WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE (1993) – 90%
DiCaprio earned his first Oscar nomination for the outstanding What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. The film follows Johnny Depp’s Gilbert as he cares for his mentally challenged brother Arnie and obese mother while juggling home, work and romantic duties, and is a brilliant film.
With a personal, and caring atmosphere and a pair of beautiful performances, and despite its predictability, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape is DiCaprio’s best film and best performance of the ’90s.
2 THE DEPARTED (2006) – 91%
A brilliant gangster film, Martin Scorsese’s The Departed holds multiple great performances, not least of all DiCaprio’s. The story follows an undercover cop and an undercover gang member in an intertwined story with both trying to infiltrate the Irish mafia and avoid authorities.
From Jack Nicholson to Damon to DiCaprio the cast are amazing. Throw in great storytelling and direction from Scorsese and The Departed is arguably the best gangster film of the 2000’s.
1 CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (2002) – 96%
One of Stephen Speilberg’s best, Catch Me If You Can is a phenomenal film with DiCaprio delivering brilliantly in the lead alongside Tom Hanks. Following the exploits of real-life con artist Frank Abangale Jr. through his careers of a pilot, lawyer, doctor, etc as FBI agent Carl Hanratty is not far behind, Catch Me If You Can is a fantastic chase.
DiCaprio, Hanks, and the cast do brilliantly delivering a clever script and develop a smart, stylish and sweet narrative. Christopher Walken got the Oscar nomination for this film, however, that does not mean DiCaprio did not do amazingly in the lead of this great film – beloved by critics and fans alike.