! Best Robert Downey Jr. performances

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Best Robert Downey Jr. performances

by Released : 2024-03-21

Best RDJ performances 

1. Tony Stark in Iron Man (2008)

One of the most perfect comic book castings ever, Iron Man (2008) revived RDJ’s career and made him the king of the box office. His charisma and uncanny resemblance to Tony Stark made everyone forget his troubled past. 

2. Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin (1992) 

RDJ was nominated for his first oscar for portraying famed actor Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin (1992). He was also nominated for the golden globe and won the BAFTA. However, despite praise for his performance the film received mixed reviews and was a box office bomb. 

3. Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder (2008)

RDJ’s second oscar nomination this time for best supporting actor. Here he poked fun at method actor’s like Daniel Day Lewis. A controversial, but multifaceted role along with Iron Man helped establish RDJ’s comeback .

4. Lewis strauss in Oppenheimer (2023)

RDJ won his first Oscar for this film and for his first big role outside of Iron Man. With This performance RDJ reminded people why he was such a beloved Dramatic actor before Marvel. 

5. Julian in Less Than Zero (1987)

RDJ’s breakout role that helped distinguish him from a crowded field of Brat-Pack actors. Primarily known as a bully character in films like Weird Science and Back to School this film showed that RDJ had more range. Despite a critical and commercial flop the film has since developed a cult following. RDJ while going through his own issues of addiction wears his heart on his sleeve in this film. 

6. Wayne Gale in Natural Born Killers (1994)

RDJ put on a heavy Australian accent and let’s loose in this film. Primarily known for the performances of its two leads, people tend to forget RDJ’s work in this film. He plays a media obsessed reporter who will stop at nothing to capture the carnage of serial killers. A zany performance clearly fueled by drugs and RDJ’s natural talent. 

7. Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes franchise 

One of the most iconic characters in all of media RDJ somehow manages to put his own spin on Sherlock Holmes. In multiple films RDJ has shown his ability to perform accents especially British, but here he comes up with a whole new accent as well as look for the character. His Sherlock Holmes is almost like Batman, a fun update on the character. RDJ brings a brutish physicality and quickness to Sherlock Holmes that has never existed in any version of the character. Just like Iron Man he was a perfect Holmes. RDJ won a golden globe for his efforts. 

8. Harry Lockhart in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Before Iron Man, this was the film that helped get RDJ’s career back on track. He is the perfect foil to Val Kilmer in this film. RDJ is hilarious here as a criminal turned actor turned private eye. He pulls off physical comedy, which he learned from his work on Chaplin, as well as witty comebacks which he would popularize as Iron Man. RDJ’s wit, sense of humor, and action hero chops make him perfect for this type of role. 

9. Tommy Larson in Home for the Holidays (1995)

One of The best movies made about Thanksgiving, RDJ steals the film in a supporting role as the dysfunctional brother to the main character. Jodie Foster allowed RDJ to improvise on the set of this film, which helped him regain his love for acting after becoming disillusioned with the craft a few years prior. RDJ was very high during the majority of filming and the result is a raw performance. 

10. Robert Merivel in Restoration (1995)

RDJ would star in two British productions in 1995 with Restoration and Richard III, but would have a lead role in Restoration. RDJ plays a young ambitious doctor corrupted by the debauchery of King Charles II court, but eventually gets to redeem himself. A different type of performance for RDJ he gets to dress up and put on a thick accent. The film won the Oscar for best art direction and costume design, but behind all the lavish costumes and sets RDJ gives a passionate performance. The film was a huge box office bomb and is never discussed today in RDJ’s filmography.