Top 5 Robert Downey Jr. Roles

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Wayne Gayle

If hindsight is 20/20, then perhaps Oliver Stone’s ode to TV violence was a harbinger of things to come. Downey’s channeling of Geraldo Rivera is worth the price of admission. As the over the top shock-host Wayne Gayle, Downey delivers an unforgettable performance that hits a little too close to home.  The performance almost hits clown levels, but fits in nicely with the cacophony of visuals this film offers.

Harry Lockhart

This sleeper hit from 2005 is a fantastic (and very funny) LA mystery. The script is fresh and witty, and the acting and direction are great. Here is a perfect example of a director using all of an actor’s “hits” to his or her advantage. Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of petty thief turned actor turned P.I. Harry Lockhart is quick, manic and right on the mark. The chemistry between RDJ and his co-star Val Kilmer is almost palpable.

Tony Stark / Iron Man

It’s hard to release a superhero movie the same summer as The Dark Knight – but if you have to…release this one! John Favreau did a damn fine job bringing Tony Stark and his Iron Suit to the big screen. Downey Jr.’s portrayal of the industrial/playboy/superhero is pitch perfect. The role could easily have been paper-thin but he brings depth, humor and grace to the man behind the mask.

Kirk Lazarus

This was one of those films that just didn’t live up to the hype for me. It was funny, but it wasn’t Superbad funny. There were two things that made this movie worthwhile for me. Oddly enough, one was Tom Cruise and the other was Robert Downey Jr. “as a dude, playing a dude, disguised as another dude.” Robert Downey Jr. doing his best Bill Cosby imitation in blackface. One word: AWESOME!

Charlie Chaplin

Richard Attenborough’s 1992 sweeping biopic about the silent film star was both a critical and box office success. Critics around the world acclaimed the tour de force performance by Downey.  The role of Chaplin not only cemented him as a Hollywood A-lister but also as an actor of the highest caliber! He even learned how to play tennis and the violin for the role. RDJ was nominated by best actor in a leading role in 1992 but lost out to Al Pacino for Scent of a Woman.

2 Comments
  1. Anonymous says

    whoa! what about Zodiac??!!

    1. Jacob Barker says

      You could totally make a case for it. You could make solid cases for Wonder Boys and Home for the Holidays as well, but you know what? As good as Zodiac might be; the one thing that always stuck with me is how long it is! Not Mr. Downey’s performance.

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