Entertainment

Scorsese-Leo Films, Ranked

Director, star reteam for darkest project yet

Martin Scorsese has a serious muse addiction.

The auteur who once worked repeatedly with Robert De Niro (eight times) now calls Leonardo DiCaprio his go-to leading man. The duo previously teamed for five noteworthy films. Now, they’ll resume their collaboration on their darkest project yet.

The film adaptation of Erik Larson’s nonfiction thriller “The Devil in the White City” gives DiCaprio the kind of role that may forever change the way we think of him on screen. He’ll play a notorious serial killer stalking the streets of Chicago circa 1893. Billy Ray (“Captain Phillips,” “The Hunger Games”) is set to write the screenplay.

The big-screen “Devil” will arrive with plenty of expectations, all the more given the intensity of the Scorsese-DiCaprio pairings of yore. Here they are, ranked in order of excellence.

“The Departed”

Scorsese received his long-overdue Oscar coronation for this 2006 gem, which found DiCaprio infiltrating a notorious mobster’s Boston gang. The film didn’t reach the dizzying heights of Scorsese’s “Goodfellas.” What could? It still gave a crush of great actors (DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon) gritty material and a knockout blow of a finale.

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“The Wolf of Wall Street”

Can a movie be exhilarating and soulless all at once? Enter “Wolf,” a dazzling display of can’t-turn-away cinema starring DiCaprio as a sleazy stockbroker’s rise … and rise. The good guys get precious little screen time, but DiCaprio is so mesmerizing you almost cheer him on.

“The Aviator”

Warren Beatty is currently wrapping his own Howard Hughes biopic, but Scorsese got their first. The film earned Cate Blanchett an Oscar for portraying Katharine Hepburn, but it was DiCaprio’s vibrant performance that sold this occasionally enthralling film.

“Gangs of New York”

Ah, what might have been! Scorsese’s back on familiar gang ground, but this time it’s mid-19th century Manhattan, lorded over by Daniel Day Lewis’ crime boss. The saga sprawls as you expect, but DiCaprio can’t outshine Day Lewis as the film’s villain. “Gangs” felt like a missed opportunity then … and now.

“Shutter Island”

Those Scorsese hallmarks are all over this 1950s film noir attempt. The spikey soundtrack. The visual dexterity. The dynamic actor coming into his own. Yes, DiCaprio finally shed his baby-faced look here, but the mystery at the heart of his “Island” isn’t worth solving.

 

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