Trailers have become their own art form – short feature films that need to be concise and pumped with a rip-roaring song or two – and no actor rocks his role in them like Leonardo DiCaprio.
Part of this could be his working relationships with Martin Scorsese or Baz Luhrmann. The rest could just be that he’s good enough to get any movie he wants.
Still, there are more films deserving to be in Leo’s trailer top 10 than there are in Jennifer Aniston’s top 10 movies list.
The Quick and the Dead
It’s not that this isn’t a fine trailer. Considering its mid-90’s inception, it might be the most impressive one here. But, it’s hardly a DiCaprio vehicle. This one’s meant for the evil lady from Basic Instinct and the coach from Hoosiers.
Not on the list because it’s for the 3-D redux of the 1998 film. Also, you’ll notice that most movies in the Nineties had trailers that told the entire film’s plot – I couldn’t find a high-res trailer for Titanic that was under five minutes.
10. Gangs of New York
Personally, it’s my favourite film of anything in this list. It just suffers from its air date – movies made before 2005 had trailers that were largely hit-and-miss, mainly because Kanye West hadn’t arrive. Also, Scorsese didn’t have a chance to use “Gimme Shelter” in this one, so…
9. The Aviator
I don’t have any real commentary here. It’s just kinda cool.
8. The Beach
Moby, Thailand, and post-Titanic DiCaprio make this trailer the only entry here that’s better than the film it was previewing.
7. Catch Me If You Can
I wanted to bump it up, simply because it’s ahead of its time, but it’s still not quite there. Catch Me If You Can was just a damn fun film to watch, and the trailer was about as enjoyable.
6. Romeo & Juliet
Baz Luhrmann hits and misses with his movies, but they’re tailor-made for the trailer scene.
5. Shutter Island
Everything about this is completely creepy and perfect. That siren sound that keeps going off, the shots of the prisoners who looked they died 30 years ago and are still walking, and this trailer for one of the more criminally underrated films in the last 20 years is as good as it can be.
4. Revolutionary Road
It strikes a chord with me… what can I say? Who would think you could have turned “Sea Of Love” into an action theme? As creepy and harrowing as Shutter Island‘s trailer, but for different reasons.
3. The Wolf of Wall Street
I had to hold it at No. 3, even though it’s my favourite right now. It’s just too new. Give it five years, then ask me again.
2. The Great Gatsby
Got the jump on Wolf of Wall Street because they made three trailers for this film, and all of them were as good as the last. The two below are my personal selections, but the fact I didn’t have the heart to only put one in this list should show just how well-constructed this Leo/Luhrmann alliance was.
1. The Departed
The Rolling Stones, the Dropkick Murphys, and a live performance of “Comfortably Numb” from a live concert at the Fall of the Berlin Wall? Add Jack Nicholson to the Scorsese/DiCaprio bromance and you’ve got yourself a fine motion picture, and a trailer that seems to have set the tone for every film since 2006.
This trailer was so good, there’s even a fan-made version for the The Office.