1. What's Eating Gilbert Grape?
The dashing leading man we've all come to know and love is almost unrecognizable in this indie favorite. Back in 1993, DiCaprio received critical acclaim for his portrayal of a severely autistic boy named Arnie, the little brother of the film's title character, Gilbert Grape (played to perfection by Johnny Depp).
Gilbert pushes aside his personal aspirations to stay home and care for Arnie and their morbidly obese mother. Despite their differences, Gilbert and Arnie share an unbreakable brotherly bond. Grab a tissue, and watch DiCaprio at his most vulnerable.
2. Romeo + Juliet
In 1996, visionary director Baz Luhrmann cast DiCaprio in a modern remake of the greatest love story ever told. DiCaprio plays a dashing, disheveled Romeo, and actress Claire Danes is his star-crossed love, Juliet. This visually stunning adaptation of William Shakespeare's play incorporates the best and worst of modern times. Guns stand in for swords, but the sentiment stays true. DiCaprio's intensity makes this story sizzle as hot as it did 400 years ago.
If the ship is going down, there's one thing most women would agree on. There's no man they'd rather share a life raft with than Jack Dawson, DiCaprio's roguish character in James Cameron's blockbuster hit. DiCaprio and his co-star Kate Winslet steam up the screen
as an unlikely couple with an unfortunate fate. This role catapulted DiCaprio to leading man status and made millions of women swoon.
4. Catch Me If You Can
Sweet talk and boyish good looks will get you anywhere...just ask real-life conman Frank Abagnale Jr. In one of his more lighthearted roles, DiCaprio brings this infamous check forger to life alongside director Steven Spielberg and co-star Tom Hanks.
In the span of two hours, DiCaprio plays a doctor, an airline pilot, a professor and a politician, which are just a few of the identities Abagnale assumed during his five-year crime spree. This role earned DiCaprio a Golden Globe nomination, and we can see why. If Abagnale was half as charming as DiCaprio made him seem, count us among the conned.
5. The Aviator
After working with Martin Scorsese in Gangs of New York, DiCaprio teamed up with the famed director once again to make an epic, award-winning biopic. This time, DiCaprio portrayed Howard Hughes, a legendary aviator, film director and industrialist who was one of the wealthiest men in the world. At the start of the film, DiCaprio turns on the charm as Hughes romances Hollywood starlets like Katharine Hepburn and Ava Gardner. As business booms, audiences watch as DiCaprio's character sinks slowly into madness and becomes overwhelmed by obsessive-compulsive disorder.
6. The Departed
Like Robert DeNiro before him, DiCaprio found that he and Scorsese make a great team. In 2006, just two years after the release of The Aviator, they joined forces again for a very different type of project. DiCaprio starred alongside Hollywood heavyweights Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin and Matt Damon in Scorsese's shoot-'em-up remake of the Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs.
To play undercover state trooper Billy Costigan, DiCaprio spoke with a Boston accent and got familiar with an array of semiautomatic weapons. The Scorsese-DiCaprio formula won over audiences and critics. The film went on to win five Oscars®.
7. Revolutionary Road
Ten years after their Titanic
love affair, DiCaprio reunited with Winslet
for another award-winning movie about love. This time, however, the story takes a more tragic turn, if you can imagine.
This film, based on a novel by Richard Yates and directed by Winslet's husband, Sam Mendes, is set in the 1950s. It's the story of an average couple, Frank and April Wheeler, who get stuck in a suburban rut and lose sight of their American dream. Slowly, their marriage disintegrates into a toxic relationship that makes audiences want to turn away. As always, DiCaprio gives his character an emotional edge that hits a nerve. This feeling sticks with audiences long after the lights come up.The many faces of John Travolta9 favorite romantic movie scenes