Leonardo DiCaprio. Christian Bale is great (his performance in The Dark Knight is greatly underappreciated, probably because Ledger stole the show), but I don't Christian Bale has ever acted as well as DiCaprio did in The Revenant or Django Unchained.
As far as Robert Downey Jr. goes, he's definitely above average, but I don't even think he's in the same tier as DiCaprio or Bale.
Is... is this really a question? Neither of the other 2 have shown to have the range that Leo has. I could be wrong, but I’ve seen very little diversity in Bale’s roles ( from an acting standpoint), and majority of Rob’s roles seem kinda easy to pull off. I’m not a movie buff though. They may have films (would take more than a couple) that could convince me otherwise.
EDIT: my complaints about Rob and Bale can actually be interchanged. I think they both play easy roles, and don’t display much diversity.
@crawlerwing_night: For Bale, you need to watch American Psycho, The Machinist, American Hustle and The Big Short. He's fantastic in those films and they are all very different characters.
For RDJ, Chaplin and Tropic Thunder. He literally played a black guy in Tropic Thunder (well a white actor playing a black guy).
RDJ is good but not on the same tier as these two guys.
Leo and Bale are among the best actors in their age group Hollywood has to offer. It's very difficult to choose between them really. Both have been brilliant so far. I think I'll go with Leonardo DiCaprio. He seems to be the most versatile and has consistently appeared in some of the most splendid films in the last 20 years. Inception, The Departed, Django Unchained, The Wolf of Wall Street, Blood Diamond, Shutter Island, you name it. He's the modern day version of Jack Nicholson. Both of them even look alike.
RDJ in The Judge is one of the greatest acting I've ever seen. He is more than worthy to be put in that list among Leo and Bale. Ofc, Leo is the most talented. For me definition of "best"means to play as many different type of roles as possible and we've seen Leo to do this. I haven't seen a good comedy with Bale? Or romance, or crime-detective type of movie? He sticks to pretty much the same throughout his career. RDJ is almost the same, what he is most famous for - Iron man and Sherlock - are pretty much the same - arrogant genius with issues - but his performances in Tropic Thunder, The Judge, The Soloist and Due Date made me believe he could achieve more if he wants to, ofc.
Leo is legitimate contender for the best, most talented actor in the world. It's between him, Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Anthony Hopkins and ofc Al and Robert.
Well he has already spent a decade as Iron Man. He'll be like 54-55 when he probably quits playing the charcater. At that age, he's not gonna be able to choose between many roles. He'll be typecast into playing biopics or some serious dramas. He's certainly not gonna be playing lead role in action movies like Stallone or Arnie. But he's a good actor. I hope he does well.
DiCaprio is good and all but I always felt he was a little overrated. The Revenant is a (beautifully shot) cure for insomnia, The Wolf of Wall Street is just terrible, I didn’t buy him at all as Gatsby. Not to say I’ve not enjoyed him in other roles, but there are 3 well known and well regarded performances that simply didn’t engage me at all (not all his fault, the writers have to take some responsibility).
I haven’t seen RDJ in that much so I’ll discount him, but for me Bale > DiCaprio any day of the week.
I've never been a big fan of DiCaprio's work. Bale, however impressed me from Newsies through The Big Short. 3:10 to Yuma, American Psycho, The Machinist, American Hustle, The Prestige, Equilibrium, Swing Kids, hell even Empire of the Sun. I haven't seen Hostiles yet, but it's on my to-do list.
Well it should be stated that all 3 are exceptional actors, and I wouldn't dispute anyone's choice here (as long as their reasoning isn't "the other 2 are terrible" or anything along those lines). I would go DiCaprio with Bale a very close second.
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