Top 10 Downey perfs?

Posted by · 6:50 pm · September 16th, 2008

Robert Downy Jr. in Natural Born KillersOur friend John Campea over at The Movie Blog recently posted a list of the top 10 performances Robert Downey Jr. has given us over his roller-coaster career.  A nice idea for a post given the career resurgence Downy is enjoying this year, and perhaps one more portrayal will be taken into consideration in a few months when “The Soloist” drops.

Anyway, John’s list got my wheels turning to say the least.  I object with plenty of it, from choice of performances to the ranking order, but a few of the omissions really sting.

So I figured I’d just toss up my own list (keeping in mind I haven’t yet seen “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints”):

1. “Natural Born Killers”
2. “Chaplin”
3. “Less Than Zero”
4. “Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus”
5. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”
6. “Two Girls and a Guy”
7. “Iron Man”
8. “Zodiac”
9. “Tropic Thunder”
10. “Restoration”

What say you?

→ 21 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

21 responses so far

  • 1 9-16-2008 at 7:31 pm

    The Z said...

    “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is the tits.

    -What do you do for a living?
    -I’m retired. I invented dice when I was a kid.

    -Yeah, a talking monkey. Came here from the future, ugly sucker, only says “ficus”.

    -I peed on the corpse. Can they do an ID from that?

    -I was glad you had a gun in there. For a second, I actually thought you could do that, like it was some big gay thing.

    Too many…

    If you haven’t seen this movie go to the video store (or your netflix account) and get it right now. Right now. Go on, get the hell out of here.

  • 2 9-17-2008 at 12:25 am

    BurmaShave said...

    Wayne Gale is a hoot but is hardly his best performance. He and Tommy Lee Jones were just the ones who went the most outlandish and because the film was such a cartoon it worked. I agree with everything else on your list though I’d maybe put RESTORATION higher. I’d just bump NBK off altogether, maybe replace it with HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, not a great film, but he’s great in it.

  • 3 9-17-2008 at 12:56 am

    BBats said...

    What about Short Cuts. Wearing plaid shorts and a grey sports coat…classic.

  • 4 9-17-2008 at 1:29 am

    The InSneider said...

    I agree that NBK is his best performance. Downey’s an absolute animal in it. The one I think John unfairly left off was Two Girls and a Guy. He works very well with Toback.

  • 5 9-17-2008 at 2:44 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Guilty confession time… I really loved him in “Only You.” The film itself was negligible fluff (albeit with VERY pretty scenery) but I thought he and Marisa Tomei had such great chemistry that they alone prevented it from blowing away.

    Glad to see “Fur” on your list. One of Kidman’s most interesting turns, too.

  • 6 9-17-2008 at 2:45 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    “Zodiac” would quite comfortably be my number one, by the way.

  • 7 9-17-2008 at 3:13 am

    J said...

    I grew up on Chances Are and still love it. Probably the first Downey movie I have ever seen.

  • 8 9-17-2008 at 3:45 am

    orr said...

    totaly ONE NIGHT STAND…

  • 9 9-17-2008 at 4:19 am

    Nigel said...

    His performance in “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is one of my all-time favourites from any actor.

    I only just realised the other day how few of his films I’ve actually seen. Must do something about that…

  • 10 9-17-2008 at 4:27 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    I haven’t seen as much from that list from the older films, but I did see Chaplin and he was amazing in that. As for the rest, he’s been great in anything from Kiss Kiss on. Zodiac in particular.

  • 11 9-17-2008 at 5:41 am

    John Foote said...

    High time he got some credit as one of the, if not THE (along with Sean Penn) greatest actor of his generation — so few actors take risks, the great one always do, and each time I see Downey I know for a fact I am going to see something different than anything he has ever done before.

  • 12 9-17-2008 at 8:54 am

    Sean said...

    I’ll probably catch hell for this one….but what about Charlie Bartlett? Small film, small role. But it was what turned me on to Robert Downey Jr. After this movie, I watched him in his old and new stuff renting video after video. CB is not his best but I’m a fan of Downey because of it.

  • 13 9-17-2008 at 10:04 am

    Rob Scheer said...

    Charlie Bartlett — a movie that came out in February 2008 — is what turned you on to Robert Downey Jr.?

  • 14 9-17-2008 at 10:23 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Rob: To be fair — and of course, I am not exactly sure how old Sean is — but there are a lot of younger readers out there. We all start somewhere.

    For me, actually, I think it was actually “Air America.”

  • 15 9-17-2008 at 10:23 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    And yeah, I used the word “actually” twice, because I’m an amazing writer.

  • 16 9-17-2008 at 11:04 am

    Ivan said...

    1/Iron Man
    2/Less than Zero
    5/kiss Kiss Bang Bang
    6/One Night Stand
    7/Natural Born Killers
    8/Wonder Boys
    9/Short Cuts
    10/The Singing Detective

  • 17 9-17-2008 at 11:06 am

    J.J. said...

    “Kiss Kiss” *is* the tits. But you left off “Heart & Souls.” Seriously. RDJr. even knows how to adrenalize a melodrama.

  • 18 9-17-2008 at 2:50 pm

    Sean said...

    I know I know it came out recently but I just never saw Downey Jr. In anything before that. Sure I’ve seen back to school but most people don’t even recognize him in the already bit part. But, like I said, I then went back in his career. (Through the awe inspiring invention of NetFlix) and saw other movies of his. Not that whole list but alot of them. I gotta give the top billing to Chaplin.

  • 19 9-17-2008 at 7:37 pm

    Rob Scheer said...

    Didn’t mean to insult, Sean, I just found it hard to believe.

    my ten:

    1. Home for the Holidays
    2. Tropic Thunder
    3. Natural Born Killers
    4. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
    5. Wonder Boys
    6. Less Than Zero
    7. A Scanner Darkly
    8. Two Girls and a Guy
    9. The Singing Detective
    10. Heart and Souls

  • 20 9-17-2008 at 7:38 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Oh Shit! Two Girls and a Guy would DEFINITELY be on my list. I have no idea why I missed it. Amending immediately.

  • 21 9-18-2008 at 6:04 pm

    Kit Stolz said...

    Glad to see “Natural Born Killers” at the top of that list. Most of the movie I would prefer to forget, but not Downey. His sleazy Aussie journalist could not possibly have been better.