Happy Birthday, Robert Downey Jr.! Our Favorite RDJ Performances

KC Frankenburger

Read Time 2 minutes

Celebrate Robert Downey Jr. on his birthday this year.
Celebrate Robert Downey Jr. on his birthday this year.

Robert Downey Jr. has had one hell of a career, from your classic high school bully in Weird Science, to everybody’s favorite detective in Sherlock Holmes. This has all culminated in him becoming the de facto face of the Marvel Universe.

Today, Robert Downey Jr. will turn 54 years young, and we are here to celebrate him with some of our favorite RDJ performances.

Iron Man
Type: Science-Fiction, Action & Adventure
Release Date: 2008
Director: Jon Favreau
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges
Rating: 93% RT, 7.9/10 IMDb

This list would be remiss if it didn’t include the one role that made Downey Hollywood royalty. Tony Stark probably resembles Downey’s actual personality more than any other role he’s played. And that only makes him all the more fun to watch.

Chaplin
Type: Biography
Release Date: 1992
Director: Richard Attenborough
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Geraldine Chaplin, Paul Rhys
Rating: 60% RT, 7.6/10 IMDb

In this 1992 biopic, Robert Downey Jr. channeled the late great Charlie Chaplin, and earned critical accolades for his performance. If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing this film, you undoubtedly will agree that this is one of Downey’s finest roles to date.

The Judge
Type: Crime, Drama
Release Date: 2014
Director: David Dobkin
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga
Rating: 48%, 7.4/10 IMDb

In this 2014 drama, Downey had the honor of acting alongside Hollywood legend Robert Duvall, and the two were both absolutely convincing and compelling as a father-son duo at odds with one another.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Type: Crime, Comedy
Release Date: 2005
Director: Shane Black
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan
Rating: 85% RT, 7.6/10 IMDb

In this unforgettable crime caper, Downey portrays a thief who mistakenly wanders into an audition and lands himself smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation.

Due Date
Type: Drama, Comedy
Release Date: 2010
Director: Todd Phillips
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan
Rating: 40% RT, 6.5/10 IMDb

While not exactly a critical darling, Due Date (starring Robert Downey Jr. and the hilarious Zach Galifianakis) is still a heck of a lot of fun. When a father-to-be and an actor find themselves on an unexpected cross-country road trip, the two waylaid travelers are in for a comical and terrifying journey.

Wonder Boys
Type: Drama, Comedy
Release Date: 2000
Director: Curtis Hanson
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire
Rating: 82% RT, 7.4/10 IMDb

Based on the novel of the same name, Wonder Boys is the story of two writers who find themselves spending a misadventurous weekend together. While Downey only plays the supporting role here, it is certainly a memorable one.

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
Type: Crime, Drama
Release Date: 2006
Director: Dito Montiel
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Shia LeBeouf, Channing Tatum
Rating: 76% RT, 7/10 IMDb

While this small film has been largely forgotten, it really gave Robert, and his younger counterpart Shia LaBeouf, a lot to chew on. Downey stars as a grown-up Dito Montiel, who returns home to Queens to care for his ailing father, bringing up memories long-forgotten.

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