4. Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Director: Guy Ritchie
Leave it to Guy Ritchie to make a Sherlock Holmes action comedy. And leave it to RDJ to portray that vision of Arthur Conan Doyle’s super sleuth so brilliantly. This isn’t the Sherlock Holmes you know from the books. This is an extremely Ritchie-fied version of the great detective with brilliant visuals and slow-mo action featuring Holmes’ brilliant deductive brain.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s modern day version may be more popular, but this one is still pretty damn fun. RDJ won a Golden Globe for his troubles, so at least he got credit there.
3. Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder (2009)
Director: Ben Stiller
Tropic Thunder is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever watched. Period. I’ve seen it God knows how many times and it still leaves me gasping for air, due to extreme laughter. The movie was packed with comedy stars like Ben Stiller and Jack Black, with great performances from Brandon T Jackson and Matthew McCounaghey, a little Tom Cruise role that induced bouts of laughter.
But once again, it was Robert Downey Jr, who plays the dude playing a dude disguised as another dude. RDJ’s performance should definitely be considered as one of the top comedic performances of the century, or at the very least, that decade. Words cannot express how much I love that movie. In fact, I think I might watch it again. RDJ got an Oscar nomination for his splendid performance, but lost out to Heath Ledger’s Joker. Not a bad one to lose out to.
Where to Watch: Netflix
2. Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin (1992)
Director: Richard Attenborough
RDJ gives an eerily uncanny performance of the silent screen legend. He even looks almost like Chaplin himself. Chaplin deals with a more sorrowful period of Chaplin’s life, like his failed romances and his mother’s descent into madness. While this Richard Attenborough-directed movie doesn’t delve too deeply into the life of Charlie Chaplin, Downey’s portrayal of the legend, his demeanour and his mannerisms are nothing short of perfect.
RDJ earned his first Oscar nomination for Chaplin. This near-perfect performance stands as an age-defining performance during the 1990s. In other circumstances, this would’ve been a dead ringer for top spot. But there’s one more.
1. Tony Stark/Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo
Was there ever any doubt? Robert Downey Jr has acted in several MCU films as the eccentric genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist Tony Stark, but his best came in Avengers: Endgame. I know it’s been a couple of months since the movie’s been out, but for the sake of not spoiling it for those of you who STILL (seriously, come on.) haven’t seen the movie, I’m not going to spoil it.
But what I can say is this. To have such an influence on a character that’s been around for decades in comic book literature, that the writers themselves base the source material’s version on your portrayal is the highest form of praise. Of all the performances RDJ has given, this one struck me right in the heart and left me crying my way out of the theater. It may sound a little far-fetched, but to hell with it. RDJ’s name better be there on the Best Actor Oscar nominations. That’s the very least I could ask for.
By Aditya Sarma
Recommended: Marvel Movies List 2019, 2020 | Upcoming MCU Movies