Leonardo DiCaprio’s Debut: A Start in One of Cinema’s Worst!


Leonardo DiCaprio’s talent in the world of cinema is unquestionable in 2023. With an Oscar under his belt and a filmography filled with critical and commercial successes, he has solidified his place as a Hollywood heavyweight. However, his cinematic journey began in a considerably different place—a ’90s horror movie that could only be described as a disaster.

In 1991, DiCaprio starred as the son of a dubious landlord in the creature feature sequel, “Critters 3.” This film, deemed one of the worst of its year, was laden with cringe-worthy cheesiness, combining low-budget effects with awkward dialogue. Notably, it never made it to theaters—a far cry from the wide theatrical releases DiCaprio enjoys for his recent projects.

“Critters 3” stands as a testament to its own dismal quality, boasting a dismal 0% approval rating from critics on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Even among the typically more forgiving audience reviews, it manages to scrape together a mere 23% approval score.


For perspective, DiCaprio is currently captivating audiences with his latest collaboration with Martin Scorsese in “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Our own review of the film hailed it as one of the best movies of 2023, awarding it a full five stars. It stands in stark contrast to “Critters 3,” which could only muster a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. The difference is night and day.

In all fairness, DiCaprio himself does not hold “Critters 3” in high regard. Just two years after its release, he described his character as “your average, no-depth, standard kid with blond hair” in an interview with the New York Times.

In Douglas Wight’s 2012 biography of DiCaprio, the actor didn’t mince words when he called “Critters 3” “possibly one of the worst films of all time.” He went on to emphasize the importance of learning from such experiences, stating, “I guess it was a good example to look back and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

So, if you’re hoping for DiCaprio to revisit the Critters franchise after its 2019 reboot with “Critters Attack!”, it seems you’re out of luck. The star hasn’t ventured back into the realm of horror since, although one can only imagine what he might deliver if given the opportunity—it might just be one of the best horror movies of all time.