First, Don Cheadle is an excellent actor but would you want him as your leading role in all kinds of movies? Maybe, maybe not. Action movie? I don't think so. Again, he's very good but not great. He's been a great character actor and was good in Hotel Rwanda, but come one, that movie was so sad and gut-wrenching, anybody could have done it.
We're talking Hall of Fame with Jack, Bobby, Al and those guys. Not solid producer, but Hall of Famer. Stratosphere good. That's not Cheadle. Not to diminish him, but he's Drew Bledsoe. You can win with him (not now, but at one point you could. Relax Jeremy, I'm not attacking Drew) but he doesn't make you a Super Bowl favorite by himself. Better analogy, Scottie Pippen. Can do a lot of everything, doesn't really dominate, can't do it all by himself. Needs a Batman to his Robin.
Leo was left off of this list accidentally. He is good, although Titanic sinks his chances (pun certainly intended). His best work was Growing Pains, undoubtedly. He's probably on the Mt. Rushmore of this generation.
Downey Jr. is Jeremy's hero b/c of the racist/insensitive joke freedom, but his star is not as bright as Jack, or Pacino, or Bobby DeNero. Not even close. He's a foot hill, not a mountain.
Johnny Depp would be the best actor of this generation, hands down. He's Mr. Lincoln on the Mt. Rushmore of this generation. That was a screw up on my part, but i intended to make this a post about Vince Vaughan being the same character in every movie. The best thing about Vince Vaughan is his initials. Very powerful initials indeed. It's not his acting, that's for damn sure.
Cap'n Jack is the winner. To quote everybody's favorite oaf, Warrick Dunn (no, not the running back, the running into people, food spilling, giant), "My bad, my bad!"