Robert Downey Jr Movies

Saturday, April 16 by Joshua Wade

Showcasing the talents of an extraordinarily gifted actor, these Robert Downey, Jr. movies exemplify the multitalented artist’s award nominated and highly successful career. From cult classics like the Indie gem “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” to major Hollywood blockbusters like “Iron Man” and “Tropic Thunder”, these films highlight Downey’s exceptional skill and acting range, underscored by standout performances from actors like Michael Douglas, Jamie Foxx, Zooey Deschanel and James Spader.

  1. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” Undoubtedly one of the best films of Downey’s career, this Indie cult classic about a criminal-turned-actor posing as a private detective who attempts to solve a murder is chock full of ingenious pulp references and brilliant noir-infused dialogue. The film revitalized Downey’s lagging career and includes a hilarious performance by Val Kilmer as “Gay” Perry.
  2. “Less Than Zero” One of the best early Robert Downey, Jr. movies, this film was based on the novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis and stars Downey as Julian Wells, the drug addicted friend of college freshman Clay Easton, played by Andrew McCarthy. Ellis himself praised Downey’s emotional performance, as well as that of James Spader as Julian’s ruthless drug dealer, Rip.
  3. “Iron Man” This film chronicles the origins of the Marvel comics hero and stars Downey as womanizing playboy Tony Stark, who attempts to make the world a better place by becoming the titular iron-clad hero. The film catapulted Downey to leading man status and proved to be a major blockbuster for Marvel and actor-director Jon Favreau.
  4. “Chaplin” One of the best Robert Downey, Jr. movies ever made, this moving, well written biopic stars Downey as legendary actor and filmmaker Charles Chaplin and chronicles the artist’s life and career. Produced and directed by screen legend Richard Attenborough, the film earned Downey his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
  5. “Richard III” One of the most acclaimed Robert Downey, Jr. movies, “Richard III” stars a talented ensemble cast and is a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s tragedy about the merciless British King. Downey plays the Earl of Rivers, backed by exceptional performances by Ian McKellen, Jim Broadbent, Maggie Smith and Annette Benning.
  6. “Wonder Boys” This smart 2000 comedy based on the novel of the same name by Michael Chabon stars Michael Douglas as a creative writing professor trying to finish a novel amid the confusion of problem causing friends, a sexy flirtatious student and his flamboyant editor, played by Downey. Douglas is at his best while Downey shines as Terry Crabtree, backed by standout performances by Tobey Maguire and Katie Holmes.
  7. “Whatever We Do” This 2003 short film directed by actor Kevin Connolly about two couples who fall apart over the course of an alcohol soaked afternoon stars Downey as womanizing alcoholic, Bobby. A stellar cast including Tim Roth, Amanda Peet and a lovely Zooey Deschanel highlight this sentimental short.
  8. “Charlie Bartlett” This hilarious Indie film about a charismatic teenager who begins dispensing prescription drugs and therapeutic advice to his schoolmates stars the exceptionally talented Anton Yelchin as the titular character and Robert Downey, Jr. as his alcoholic principal, Nathan Gardner. Downey is at his best as the boozing, embittered principal who begins to lose it when his daughter (played by the lovely Kat Denning) falls for the charming Bartlett.
  9. “Tropic Thunder” Arguably one of the funniest Robert Downey, Jr. movies, this film about a group of actors who are unwittingly dropped into the jungle to film a war epic was written, produced and directed by star Ben Stiller and featured Downey at his most hilarious as Australian method actor Kirk Lazarus. The film features Downey in blackface as he portrays African American Sergeant Lincoln Osiris, a role that earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
  10. “The Soloist” One of the finest Robert Downey, Jr. movies in recent years, this critically acclaimed film follows the relationship between real-life schizophrenic musician Nathaniel Ayers and L.A. Times journalist Steve Lopez, played beautifully by Downey. Downey gives one of his most stirring performances as the frustrated Lopez, coupled with Jamie Foxx’s moving turn as Ayers and a lovely performance by Katherine Keener as Lopez’s ex-wife, Mary.

- Joshua Duncan

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