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Rediff.com  » Movies » The very best of Leonardo DiCaprio

The very best of Leonardo DiCaprio

Last updated on: June 3, 2010 10:14 IST

Image: A scene from What s Eating Gilbert Grape
Raja Sen in Mumbai

Initially considered just another pretty boy, the multiple-Oscar nominated Leonardo DiCaprio is now one of the most critically acclaimed mainstream leading men in Hollywood, and his roster just keeps getting hotter and hotter.

So as his Inception readies to release, and his Shutter Island comes to Indian theatres, here's a look at Leo's ten best performances:

What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

Leo first came to prominence with Lasse Halstrom's drama where he played a developmentally disabled youth called Arnie.

Not just did young DiCaprio hold his own in a cast including Juliette Lewis and Mary Steenburgen, but he outshone Johnny Depp, the film's leading man.

Shutter Island

Image: A scene from Shutter Island

Martin Scorsese's latest pushes DiCaprio right in the center of the spotlight, and the actor does very well to navigate the murky, psychotic waters with impressive ease.

He plays US Marshal Teddy Daniels, out to investigate the psychiatric facility on Shutter Island, and the demanding film pushes him hard -- and he delivers.

The Aviator

Image: A scene from The Aviator

Marty's biopic on the life and times on American pioneer and eventual eccentric Howard Hughes saw DiCaprio in top form.

The film charts his rise through the Hollywood ranks, from a young director to a leading producer, and eventually his struggle as an industrialist.

DiCaprio, at his best when showing limitless ambition, made the role as vulnerable as needed.

Catch Me If You Can

Image: A scene from Catch Me If You Can

Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can sees DiCaprio in the role of real-life scamster Frank Abagnale Jr.

On the run from Tom Hanks' FBI agent, DiCaprio breezes through the 70s and 80s, wheedling through life armed with a lie, a smile and a twinkle in his eye.

It's a role built on lots of charm and significant smarminess, and Leo sold his character well.

Gangs Of New York

Image: A scene from Gangs Of New York

In this sprawling Scorsese period epic, Leo played Amsterdam Vallon, a young man taking on crime boss Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting, played by Daniel Day-Lewis.

The film opened to a mixed reception, but DiCaprio showed impressive maturity in the role, finally growing out of his pretty-boy image and doing well opposite an astonishing Day-Lewis.

The Beach

Image: A scene from The Beach

Danny Boyle's 2000 adaptation of Alex Garland's novel casts Leo as a fanciful American backpacker called Richard.

The film is a surreal one and often flounders into too much exotica, but DiCaprio is consistent in the lead role.

It is a role often unfairly criticised, but while the film might deserve flak, Leo's work was deceptively impressive.

Total Eclipse

Image: A scene from Total Eclipse

In Agnieszka Holland's biopic, DiCaprio played legendary French poet Arthur Rimbaud opposite David Thewlis' Paul Verlaine.

The homosexual relationship between the two men was shown with significant accuracy, and while the film didn't do too well, Leo was singled out for accolades.

Romeo + Juliet

Image: A scene from Romeo Juliet

Baz Luhrmann's take on William Shakespeare featured the Bard's original text while going into a gun-blazingly modern new age.

DiCaprio played Romeo to Claire Danes' Juliet, and while the film itself only works in fits and starts, the Titanic star appropriately showed his most romantically vulnerable side.

The Departed

Image: A scene from The Departed

Scorsese's heavily appreciated remake of Infernal Affairs featured Leo as Billy Costigan, a cop sent deep undercover to infiltrate the mob headed by crime boss Jack Nicholson.

With Matt Damon as his mirror-rival, DiCaprio played off the actors around him to come up with a compelling, conflicted performance.

Revolutionary Road

Image: A scene from Revolutionary Road

Sam Mendes' tight adaptation of Richard Yates' novel bravely reunited Titanic stars Leo and Kate Winslet in a depressing film about a breaking marriage.

The film is held together by its performances, with both actors sparring off each other brutally and strongly, delivering heartbreak, anguish as well as undying love.