The denizens of IMDb have decided.
With Don’t Look Up scoring a Best Picture nomination, Leonardo DiCaprio has now starred in 10 films up for the big prize on Oscar night. This ties him with Jack Nicholson for second-most behind Robert De Niro’s 11 (Cate Blanchett’s two nominated films this year bring her to nine, the most among actresses).
DiCaprio’s 10 nominated films team him up with some of the most notable directors of all time, and four of the films netted DiCaprio acting nominations of his own. They all have budgets north of $75 million, with two of the films going on to win Best Picture. Here are DiCaprio’s ten Best Picture nominations, ranked by their IMDb scores.
Don’t Look Up is DiCaprio’s 10th nominated film, and his first with The Big Short director, Adam McKay. The film is a satire of the public’s response (or lack thereof) to climate change. Environmentally minded DiCaprio and the creative mind behind Anchorman seem well-matched for such a project.
Unfortunately, Don’t Look Up is the weakest performer of DiCaprio’s nominated films. It alone is deemed “Rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes and has made less than $2 million. Even handicapping for a Netflix release and pandemic atmosphere, that is still more than $190 million behind the next lowest earner. It has a 7.2 on IMDb.
Leo’s second film with Martin Scorsese shows the business achievements and personal failures of filmmaker-cum-airline executive, Howard Hughes. Scorsese tracks Hughes’ drive for technological progress by shooting each sequence to look like film stock from each specific era. The Aviator earned 11 Academy Award nominations, the most in 2005, winning five.
DiCaprio’s talent for obsessive focus is on full display in his Oscar-nominated lead performance (he lost to Jamie Foxx riding his Ray avalanche). His Howard has forward propulsion that is served well by DiCaprio’s intensity. It has a 7.5 on IMDb.
Martin Scorsese’s first outing with DiCaprio tells a story of 19th-century gang clashes in Five Points, Manhattan. Leo stars as the vengeance-seeking Amsterdam Vallon, the son of an Irish Catholic man killed by the Protestant ethno-nationalist “Bill the Butcher,” played by Daniel Day-Lewis.
As tends to happen with the renowned actor, Day-Lewis’ imposing performance commands the screen, and 26-year-old DiCaprio has not yet reached the point in his career where he could challenge a performance like that. Gangs Of New Yorkhas a 7.5 on IMDb.
Quentin Tarantino’s Tinsel Town hangout film is so charismatically lackadaisical in its approach, it goes so far as to erase a mass murder from history because it conflicts with the vibes. And DiCaprio’s aging actor Rick Dalton is right on frequency, especially in his interplay with his Oscar-winning costar, Brad Pitt.
DiCaprio may have lost the Best Actor award to Joaquin Phoenix, but this performance is a standout in his filmography. And at least he got immortalized in meme form. Once Upon A Time… Hollywoodhas a 7.6 on IMDb.
James Cameron’s epic romance set on an ocean liner that will never reach its destination is the iconic mega-hit of the 1990s. DiCaprio was a known entity before Titanic, but his cocky, pretty Jack Dawson, mixed with his terrific chemistry with Kate Winslet, launched him into teen idol superstardom.
Titanic is not only DiCaprio’s lone billion-dollar grosser, it is his most recognized film on Oscar night, tying records with its fourteen nominations and eleven wins. DiCaprio, however, was snubbed of a nomination and snubbed the ceremony in response. Titanichas a 7.8 on IMDb.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s follow-up to 2014’s Best Picture winner, Birdman tells the true survival story of Hugh Glass, a mountain man and tracker who runs into a grizzly bear and is left for dead by his companions. In preparing for his performance as Glass, DiCaprio slept in animal carcasses and ate raw bison liver, his response to which is visible in the film.
All that work paid off. Twenty-one years after his first nomination, DiCaprio finally picked up a trophy at the 2016 Academy Awards. The movie itself was not quite so lucky, getting upset by Spotlight for the big prize. The Revenanthas an 8.0 rating on IMDb.
In his fifth collaboration with Martin Scorsese, DiCaprio seems to have the time of his life as Jordan Belfort, the unreliable narrator of his own story. The film is a glitzy, gaudy bacchanal, with a cabal of Wall Street brokers vacuuming up money, cocaine, and the dignity of the people they victimize.
DiCaprio receives his fourth Oscar nomination for his performance, losing to his Wolf Of Wall Street costar, Matthew McConaughey. That is a shame since he gave us the Quaalude crawl. The Wolf Of Wall Streethas an 8.2 rating on IMDb.
Despite occasionally portraying antiheroes, DiCaprio rarely plays outright villains. The big exception is Quentin Tarantino’s western set in the pre-Civil War Deep South. DiCaprio plays Calvin Candie, a slaver keeping Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), the wife of the titular Django (Jamie Foxx), and Candie runs negotiations for her freedom like a casino runs a game, where Candie always wins.
DiCaprio hams it up in Tarantino’s floridly violent tale of the slavery institution. The Academy recognized the film with a nomination, Christoph Waltz with an award, but, alas, DiCaprio with nothing this year. Django Unchainedhas an 8.4 on IMDb.
It would be 26 years after Martin Scorsese’s first Best Director nomination for him to finally win in 2007 with that year’s Best Picture winner, The Departed. DiCaprio is a strong part of the ensemble crime drama, but the film’s success ultimately lies with its director, now in his third collaboration with the actor.
DiCaprio was not ignored at that year’s Academy Awards, however. He was nominated for Best Actor for his performance in Blood Diamond, losing out to Forest Whitaker. The Departedhas an 8.5 rating on IMDb.
DiCaprio takes on the role of navigator and tour guide through Christopher Nolan’s dream world blockbuster. Nolan utilizes practical effects like spinning hallways and novel editing to evoke the staggered comprehension of dreams. The result is a thrilling drop through multiple dream levels, grounded by the iconic image of a spinning top.
Inception is a major success upon its summer 2010 arrival, earning $836.8 million globally. The Academy recognizes it the following year with 8 nominations and 4 wins, including Best Visual Effects. Inceptionhas an 8.8 rating on IMDb.
KEEP READING:Every Real Person Leonardo DiCaprio Has Portrayed
John has written online about movies and television for the past decade. He has recapped TV shows and ranked films for the year. His area of expertise, however, for some reason, is writing about the Academy Awards, which he has done previously for Movieline. He is also a playwright. John lives in Los Angeles.
The denizens of IMDb have decided.