My only criticism of Daniel Day-Lewis is that he has done so few films. Why?
Since 2002 he has been in 5 films (7 since 1996). He turns in solid performances but his resume is not extensive. DiCaprio on the other hand has done 13 films since 02. I don't know if that is a knock on him or not?
None the less, the guy is brilliant. DiCaprio has also pushed his way to the top too. Not sure who I would put in third spot though.
I read somewhere that DDL takes time between films so as not to overexpose himself. I read that Marlon Brando had told him that "an actor has only so many faces" and to not make too many movies.
It makes sense, and I think its a part of what makes him so believable in all his roles.
Russell Crowe my top actor for his performance in Gladiator, my favorite movie ever. His performance in A beautiful mind is excellent too but nothing touches his portrayal of Maximus. and then there's cinderella man. Les Miserables should be good if he's playing Jean Valjean.