Top Robert Downey Jr. Movies
Born April 4th 1965, Robert John Downey Jr. is without a doubt one of the most popular actors right now. Very few have had comebacks as spectacular as his and even fewer were offered the chance to call themselves Charlie Chaplin, Tony Stark, a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude, or Sherlock Holmes. Actually scratch that, no other actors can claim such a feat.
With the release of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Robert Downey Jr. comes back to the big screen so I figured why not take a look at his past movies in order of their box office popularity in North America over the years. Me and myself pondered a good 2-3 minutes whether I should use unadjusted or adjusted for inflation numbers. The former won so here are the top Robert Downey Jr. movies of all time, adjusted for inflation.
10. The Shaggy Dog (2006) $74.2 million ($61.1 million unadjusted) – I really tried to get this film out of the top 10 but there was no way to do so. You know how even the best actors have that movie they try not to associate themselves with? Well Robert Downey Jr. has a few of those and this is one. As I look back The Shaggy Dog might not be as bad as some other children movies today but that’s not saying much. If you have an 8-year-old that loves dogs, they should like this movie.
9. Gothika (2003) $78.7 million ($59.7M) – A forgettable supernatural horror that stars Halle Berry and Penelope Cruz alongside Robert Downey Jr.. It’s not a bad movie but unless you’re a fan of the actors, director (Mathieu Kassovitz), or genre, I can’t recommend Gothika.
8. Natural Born Killers (1994) $95.7 million ($50.2M) – In this Oliver Stone thriller Robert Downey Jr. plays a selfish TV journalist with absolutely no morals. Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis lead as husband and wife serial killers Mickey Knox and Mallory Knox. Natural Born Killers is a brutal film that deserves your attention.
7. U.S. Marshals (1998) $97 million ($57.1M) – I don’t think I ever saw this one so I should probably add it to my queue (not Netflix). Anyway, besides Robert Downey Jr. this film also stars Tommy Lee Jones and Wesley Snipes. Ok, now I definitely have to see it.
6. Due Date (2010) $99.9 million ($100.5M) – What happens when you take The Hangover director Todd Phillips and make a road trip comedy with Robert Downey Jr. and Zack Galifianakis? Well, it was supposed to be one of the funniest movies of the year. What we got instead was an R-rated version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles, a funnier and better movie with a lot more heart. So I say watch that movie and then catch Due Date sometime later when you’re really bored.
5. Tropic Thunder (2008) $122.5 million ($110.5M) – This movie is definitely not for everyone but for those that can appreciate its share stupidity, Tropic Thunder is an instant classic that makes fun of Hollywood like few flicks dare. Arguably one of the most quotable comedies of the last decade, Tropic Thunder features an impressive cast lead by director/actor Ben Stiller. Robert Downey Jr. plays Australian method actor Kirk Lazarus playing a black sergeant named Lincoln Osiris. This part actually got Downey Jr. his second Oscar nomination (first was for Chaplin). Also extremely memorable in his smaller role is an almost unrecognizable Tom Cruise.
4. Back to School (1986) $195.7 million ($91.2M) – I vaguely remember this movie mostly thanks to the late Rodney Dangerfield. Like many before, this is your typical 80’s comedy and if I’m not mistaking, Robert Downey Jr. plays a college student here. If you happen to catch this, look forward to that.
3. Sherlock Holmes (2009) $213.8 million ($209M) – Besides the accent, there’s really nothing to complain about Robert Downey Jr.’s take on the popular Arthur Conan Doyle character. British director Guy Ritchie creates a decent adaptation here with his unique style making for a fun if flawed movie. Jude Law plays an equally great Dr. Watson to Downey’s Sherlock Holmes. Actually the bromance between the two characters is the best part of this film.
2. Iron Man 2 (2010) $312.8 million ($312.4M) – The sequel to the extremely satisfying 2008 original, Iron Man 2 builds on that movie but not necessarily in better ways. A lot of the charm is lost here and what we get instead is a good sequel to a spectacular movie that follows below.
1. Iron Man (2008) $352.9 million ($318.4M) – This is the role Robert Downey Jr. was born to play and director Jon Favreau knows it, using that to the fullest extent. Iron Man is the perfect summer blockbuster and one of the best superhero movies of all time. In a year when The Dark Knight got the most accolades, Iron Man offered the most entertainment, at least that’s my opinion.
At the end I have to mention a very special movie that didn’t make this top 10, Chaplin, the 1992 biopic. Based on the troubled and controversial life of actor Charlie Chaplin, this film deserves your time if only to see Robert Downey Jr. in probably his best role yet. Before playing Iron Man or Sherlock Holmes, Robert Downey Jr. was the man that became Charlie Chaplin for a movie 19 years ago.
What is your top Robert Downey Jr. movie?