The Collectress Picks 5: Robert Downey, Jr. Films

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Robert Downey, Jr. and his wife welcomed a new baby girl this week, and, well, it gives me an excuse to celebrate one of my favorite actors. Incidentally, RDJ is also one of the five people on the planet that I would legitimately fangirl over–swooning, high-pitched screaming, the whole nine yards.

So here are my top 5 RDJ films. Well, excluding Iron Man or any of the MCU franchise. Why? Well, because RDJ is Tony Stark, and that’s just an obvious choice, isn’t it? If you don’t love RDJ as Tony Stark, well…

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So without any ado whatsoever…

Soapdish (1991)

This was my first RDJ film, and gosh, how I loved the skeezy David Seton Barnes. The film is a delightful spoof on daytime dramas (aka soap operas), and RDJ plays the producer of The Sun Also Sets, a fictional drama with an “aging” lead actress who doesn’t want to give up her time in the spotlight. As a recovered addict of Days of Our LivesSoapdish (and RDJ) appeared at a very appropriate time in my life, and really, RDJ in glasses. I was done for. 

Richard III (1995)

Didn’t know that RDJ did Shakespeare? It’s true. He played “Rivers” opposite the great Shakespearean actor Sir Ian McKellan–and a slew of other impressive actors such as Annette Bening and Dame Maggie Smith. It’s a small part compared to the blockbuster roles we’re now used to seeing RDJ occupying, but even if you’re no fan of Shakespeare, this one is worth watching because 1) Sir Ian McKellan adapted the script to fit a 1930s setting and 2) any collaboration between McKellan and RDJ is worth watching (also check out Restoration).

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Favorite RDJ film, hands down. Val Kilmer and RDJ have great onscreen chemistry, and I don’t think any other buddy cop flick has ever made me laugh so hard.

Tropic Thunder (2008)

This is one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen, and RDJ absolutely deserved the Best Supporting Actor nom for his role as Kirk Lazarus, an actor who’s a little too dedicated to his craft.

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The Judge (2014)

I saw this film a few weeks ago, and…wow. RDJ plays a hotshot lawyer who goes back to his small hometown for his mother’s funeral, and ends up staying when his father, the local judge, is accused of murder. I’m a sucker for dysfunctional family drama films but this film moved me to tears during the final act. Actually, if I’m being honest, I downright bawled. This film touched my heart and taught me one very important thing: when Robert Downey, Jr. cries, so do I.

Some Honourable Mentions

  • If you haven’t seen Gothika, the 2003 horror film starring Halle Berry and RDJ, go get your hands on it and watch it (I’d turn all the lights on first.) Also featuring RDJ in glasses (I have a thing, okay?)
  • Good Night and Good Luck. I feel like trying to synopsize this one would do it injustice, so all I’ll say is: 1950s Communist witch hunt set in a newsroom.
  • Charlie Bartlett because RDJ as a high school principal.

In retrospect, I think I should have just thrown up a list of RDJ’s entire filmography and called it a day.

-The Collectress

Have a favourite RDJ film? Let’s tweet. @dearcollectress