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Leonardo DiCaprio’s 11 Best Performances Ranked

DiCaprio is back in the awards mix for his turn as a flustered astronomy professor in "Don't Look Up." Here, look back on his 11 best performances.

DON'T LOOK UP, LEONARDO DICAPRIO as DR. RANDALL MINDY. Cr. NIKO TAVERNISE/NETFLIX © 2021

Leonardo DiCaprio in “Don’t Look Up”

NIKO TAVERNISE/NETFLIX

With five Academy Award nominations and a win for “The Revenant,” Leonardo DiCaprio has established himself as a Hollywood icon who has stayed classy, opting for challenging roles with major auteurs including Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese — all the while chasing humanitarian issues through his prolific environmental activism.

In “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” DiCaprio played a washed-up movie star at the end of his tether — which is perhaps the biggest stretch yet for an actor with such an esteemed pedigree and enviable body of work. With nearly $3 billion dollars of global box office to his name, and a list of roles that prove his selective instincts each time out, DiCaprio is one of the few movie stars working today who always delivers something worth seeing.

That includes in his latest film, Adam McKay’s end-times satire “Don’t Look Up,” which finds DiCaprio back in the awards conversation for his turn as a flustered astronomy professor heralding a planet-annihilating comet to deaf ears. DiCaprio gets many a chance to chew the scene — including in a few pivotal, “Network”-inspired, blistering monologues about the idiocy of the modern world — but it’s in the film’s quieter moments as Dr. Randall Mindy that DiCaprio reminds us of his subtle comic gifts and the human touch he brings to his characters. (See the film’s final moments, where DiCaprio delivers a touching line-reading that he ultimately improvised.) And while DiCaprio may have started his career as a marquee heartthrob in films like “Romeo + Juliet” and “Titanic,” he’s now equally adept at playing somewhat schlubby, affable outsiders.

While “Don’t Look Up” may not be DiCaprio’s best-ever turn, there are plenty of great performances from the Oscar-winning actor to look back on. Below, IndieWire picks 11 of his best.

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