Oct 312013

Robert Downey Jr

How many Hollywood stars do we hear about getting into drug and alcohol problems and they never recover. Robert Downey Jr not only recovered but his career has gone off into the stratosphere.

I asked my friend, Ed, who has been a very loyal reader and commenter since my blog launched to pick a Top 10 that he would like to see me post. So, here ya go! I first remember Robert Downey Jr in Weird Science and I was shocked to recollect just how many movies he has done. So, there was no shortage of movies to choose from for this list.

He made some good ones here and there, the drug and alcohol eight year interruption and now the superhero genre has now taken him to Hollywood’s hottest actor for past few years. The +1 is the one that just couldn’t make the Top 10 and I’m stating these as my favorite movies not that they are neccessarily his best. Thank you to Google Images, IMDB, Wikipedia and You Tube for assistance and here is My Top 10 +1 Favorite Robert Downey Jr Movies.

+1 Zodiac (2007)

Question – What happened in real life because of this film?

One thing to know is that Robert Graysmith and Paul Avery were not favorite friends in real life. I remember learning about the horrible killings as I was a 10 year old youngster in school and on the news in 1970’s and specifically the Modesto incident. It was an absolutely frightening series of crimes that remain unsolved to this day. And the best cryptographers were unable to deciphers his clues. The producers hired a top private investigator to track down the real-life Zodiac survivor, Mike Mageau. Downey Jr’s resemblence to Avery was uncanny.  Regardless, it resides on the fringe of  My Top 10 +1 Favorite Robert Downey Jr Movies.

– The Zodiac case was reopened.

Robert Downey, Jr. – Paul Avery
Jake Gyllenhaal – Robert Graysmith
Mark Ruffalo – SFPD Inspector David Toschi
Anthony Edwards – SFPD Inspector William Armstrong
Brian Cox – Melvin Belli
John Carroll Lynch – Arthur Leigh Allen
Richmond Arquette – Zodiac 1/Zodiac 2
Bob Stephenson – Zodiac 3
John Lacy – Zodiac 4
Ed Setrakian – Al Hyman
Chloë Sevigny – Melanie Graysmith
Elias Koteas – Sgt. Jack Mulanax
Dermot Mulroney – Captain Marty Lee
Donal Logue – Ken Narlow
John Getz – Templeton Peck
Director – David Fincher

10 Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Question – Val Kilmer refused to do what during the entire production?

I actually almost missed this until I came across a movie preview of it by accident back eight years ago. Having Downey Jr and Kilmer sharing screen time, it looked funny and well, it did not disappoint. They bounce off each other perfectly throughout this entire top  movie. The character of Harmony (not quite a 10 in my book) added a perfect blend to make this crime-comedy a must watch.

Answer – As a sign of support to Robert Downey Jr.’s recovery from alcohol and drugs, he refused to drink.

Robert Downey, Jr. – Harold “Harry” Lockhart
Val Kilmer – “Gay” Perry van Shrike
Michelle Monaghan – Harmony Faith Lane
Corbin Bernsen – Harlan Dexter
Rockmond Dunbar – Mustard
Dash Mihok – Mr. Frying Pan
Shannyn Sossamon – The Pink-Haired Girl
Angela Lindvall – Flicka
Ali Hillis – Marleah
Larry Miller – Dabney Shaw
Director – Shane Black 

9 Natural Born Killers (1994)

Question – What happened to Tom Sizemore during filming?

What an amazing cast and finds Downey Jr in a journalist role (as a prelude 13 years later in Zodiac) in what was an incredibly controversial film with of the murder, sex and rape factors. This was a very disturbing and horribly violent movie but the character of Wayne Gale kept me engaged the entire time in his pursuit of this top story.

Answer – Juliette Lewis actually broke his nose when she slammed Scagnetti’s face into the wall.

Robert Downey, Jr. – Wayne Gale
Woody Harrelson – Mickey Knox
Juliette Lewis – Mallory Wilson Knox
Tom Sizemore – Detective Jack Scagnetti
Tommy Lee Jones – Warden Dwight McClusky
Rodney Dangerfield – Ed Wilson
Edie McClurg – Mrs. Wilson
Sean Stone – Kevin Wilson
Russell Means – Navajo man
Director – Oliver Stone

8 Air America (1990)

Question – What was the motto of ‘Air America’?

I saw this movie when it came out in the theater and it immediately hit home with me as far as the flying goes. It was right at this time that my Dad would never be able to fly again because of his Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis. The film has some awesome comedy and my favorite is the interaction between Downey Jr and Gibson.

Answer – “Anything. Anywhere. Anytime.”

Robert Downey, Jr. – Billy Covington
Mel Gibson – Gene Ryack
Nancy Travis – Corinne Landreaux
Ken Jenkins – Major Donald Lemond
David Marshall Grant – Robert Diehl
Lane Smith – Senator Davenport
Art LaFleur – Jack Neely
Michael Dudikoff – General Lee
Ned Eisenberg – Nick Pirelli
Marshall Bell – Q.V.
Director – Roger Spottiswoode

7 Iron Man 3 (2013)

Question – What is familiar about the ring on the Mandarin’s right pinkie?

Jon Favreau stepped back after directing and acting in the first two films to only play his Happy Hogan role and I felt there was a difference downward. By far my favorite parts of the entire movie were the interactions between Tony and Harley. I was unsure how to feel that the destruction of the Iron Man suits seem to bring closure to the trilogy. Sad because of how much I love these top movies or relieved because it seemed that maybe it was time despite being my favorites.

Answer – It is the same one Raza wears in the first Iron Man film.

Robert Downey, Jr. – Tony Stark / Iron Man
Gwyneth Paltrow – Virginia “Pepper” Potts
Don Cheadle – Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes/Iron Patriot
Guy Pearce – Aldrich Killian
Rebecca Hall – Dr. Maya Hansen
Stephanie Szostak – Ellen Brandt
James Badge Dale – Eric Savin
Jon Favreau – Happy Hogan
Ben Kingsley – Trevor Slattery/Mandarin
Ty Simpkins – Harley Keener
Director – Shane Black

6 Heart and Souls (1993)

Question – Who is the guest comedian at The Purple Onion?

This is by far the best feel good film of Downey Jr’s I’ve ever watched. There are so many funny parts starting with Milo Peck getting the young Thomas in trouble as a young boy. Then 25 years later many events resume and seeing all of the ghosts run away from the Rottweiler had me howling laughing.  It is easily here on My Top 10 +1 Favorite Robert Downey Jr Movies list.

Answer – That is Bob Newhart, played by his real life son, Robert William Newhart. It is his only movie credit to date.

Robert Downey, Jr. — Thomas Reilly
Charles Grodin — Harrison Winslow
Alfre Woodard — Penny Washington
Kyra Sedgwick — Julia
Tom Sizemore — Milo Peck
David Paymer — Hal the Bus Driver
Elisabeth Shue — Anne
Bill Calvert — Frank Reilly
Lisa Lucas — Eva Reilly
Eric Lloyd – Thomas Reilly (age 7)
Richard Portnow – Max Marco
B. B. King – Himself
Director – Ron Underwood

5 Sherlock Holmes –Game of Shadows (2011)

Question – The chess game between Holmes and Moriarty was based on what?

Here is where a sequel absolutely matched the first movie. Holmes’ incredible wit and humor to Watson’s feet being more grounded and I had to pay keen attention to every single second. Because if you blink you’ll miss something without a doubt. I loved the bulldog!

Answer -The real top match between Bent Larsen & Tigran Petrosian in 1966 in Santa Monica. The game had a Queen sacrifice and discovered checkmate to win the game. The opening moves are slightly different and the colors have been reversed though.

Robert Downey, Jr. – Sherlock Holmes
Jude Law – Dr. John Watson
Noomi Rapace – Madame Simza Heron
Jared Harris – Professor James Moriarty
Stephen Fry – Mycroft Holmes
Kelly Reilly – Mary Watson (née Morstan)
Rachel McAdams – Irene Adler
Eddie Marsan – Inspector Lestrade
Geraldine James – Mrs. Hudson
Paul Anderson – Sebastian Moran
Director – Guy Ritchie

4 Iron Man 2 (2010)

Question – Here’s a what-if that will make you groan that it didn’t happen. Who was considered for the role of Justin Hammer?

This movie will forever carry a special memory for me in the early segment of Iron Man jumping out of the plane to AC/DC’s ‘Shoot To Thrill’. It is one of my top alltime favorite rock songs and carries another special memory for me that I will post on soon. At first I had no clue that was Micky Rourke – wow. I loved the gadgets the most out of the trilogy especially with the suitcase suit he stepped into. Of course the introduction of Nastasha Romanoff (a most definite 10 in my book) sent me over the edge and was my favorite.

Answer – Al Pacino

Robert Downey, Jr. – Tony Stark / Iron Man
Gwyneth Paltrow – Virginia ‘Pepper’ Potts
Don Cheadle – Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes
Scarlett Johansson – Natalie Rushman / Natasha Romanoff
Sam Rockwell – Justin Hammer
Mickey Rourke – Ivan Vanko
Samuel L. Jackson – Nick Fury
Director – Jon Favreau

3 Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Question – What did Robert Maillet accidentally do?

I have a notorious habit of hearing about a film and saying, “Naaaa, that doesn’t interest me…” often to my buddies. But, 90% of the time when they highly recommend I watch a movie they are right. They absolutely nailed this one as I became a top Sherlock Holmes movie fan instantly. The playback/debrief at the end I didn’t expect and was fascinated over and over by it.

Answer – He knocked out Robert Downey Jr while filming a fight scene.

Robert Downey, Jr. – Sherlock Holmes
Jude Law – Dr. John Watson
Mark Strong – Lord Henry Blackwood
Rachel McAdams – Irene Adler
Kelly Reilly – Mary Morstan
Eddie Marsan – Inspector Lestrade
Hans Matheson – Lord Coward
Geraldine James – Mrs Hudson
James Fox – Sir Thomas Rotheram
Robert Maillet – Dredger
William Hope – American Ambassador Standish
Director – Guy Ritchie

2 The Avengers (2012)

Question – Where did the food come from that Robert Downey Jr eats during the movie?

I was excited beyond belief for The Avengers movie to come out and was so bummed I had to go to work that afternoon. I just wanted to discuss the movie for hours on end with my favorite buddies who I went with. Obviously, there was a entire cast of stars but Tony Stark/Iron Man was by far the lead throughout and did an amazing job. Ironically, Mark Ruffalo was probably the cherry on this sundae to make this movie the all time smash success it is. Lastly, Joss Whedon is a genious and for anyone liking anything remotely in this realm of movie genre should follow his work.

Answer – He kept food hidden all over the lab set and apparently nobody could find where it was, so they just let him continue doing it. In this top movie, that’s his actual food he’s offering and when he was eating, it wasn’t scripted. He was just hungry.

Robert Downey, Jr. – Tony Stark/Iron Man
Chris Evans – Steve Rogers/Captain America
Mark Ruffalo – Dr. Bruce Banner/Hulk
Chris Hemsworth – Thor
Scarlett Johansson – Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
Jeremy Renner – Clint Barton/Hawkeye
Tom Hiddleston – Loki
Clark Gregg – Phil Coulson
Cobie Smulders – Maria Hill
Stellan Skarsgård – Dr. Erik Selvig
Samuel L. Jackson – Nick Fury
Director – Joss Whedon 

1 Iron Man (2008)

Question – We noticed how athletic and strong Tony Stark was but just how fit was he?

There was never a question this would be on top of My Top 10 +1 Favorite Robert Downey Jr Movies list. My superhero-watching buddies had pestered me for the longest time to try some of these films. First, they had me watch The Incredible Hulk with Edward Norton, Jr, who while I’m a fan of, I was even more aloof to seeing any other superhero movie afterwards. Then I saw this film and I was so instantly hooked and addicted to a movie genre like no other and I’ve never looked back since. Stark’s evolution from riches to rags to riches of the heart and soul was done perfectly by him. His interaction with Yinsen as they built the very first suit was my favorite part!

Answer – According to Terrence Howard, he and Robert Downey Jr. competed physically on the set: “I’m 40-50 pounds heavier than him, so I’m lifting and I push up about 225 and knocked it out ten times. Robert wanted to go about 235, and he did it, so I push it up to about 245… Robert and his competitive ass almost tore my shoulder trying to keep up with him!”

Robert Downey Jr. – Tony Stark/Iron Man
Terrence Howard – Lt. Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes
Jeff Bridges – Obadiah Stane
Gwyneth Paltrow – Pepper Potts
Shaun Toub – Yinsen
Faran Tahir – Raza
Paul Bettany – voice of J.A.R.V.I.S.
Leslie Bibb – Christine Everhart
Director – Jon Favreau

What is your favorite Robert Downey Jr movie?

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Mike Vogler

I have been told (many times) that I really need to write a book about my life. The past 40+ years have been an exciting ride, and these days I find myself with a great many passions. However, I feel that this website is a much more personal way with which to share my musings, stories, commentary, and (of course) my greatest love... my Golden Retriever, Phoenix.

  45 Responses to “My Top 10 +1 Favorite Robert Downey Jr Movies”

  1. I’ve never followed his career and that was driven home to me while reading your post because I’ve only seen 1 movie – Hearts and Souls, which I really like. Hmmm…. I haven’t seen it in years and all good movies should be viewed multiple times. I’ll have to watch for it among the movie channels and record it. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Well here’s some great irony, Patti. Heart and Souls was the movie that my friend Ed (who I wrote this post for) mentioned as a foundation to get started! So, you’re not alone my dear friend! 🙂

  2. Took me longer than normal to read this post. First 10 minutes were spent drooling over the photo you put at the top. Bad boy, yes, dreamy, yes, good actor, yes…I’m sold. I loved him in Only You with Marisa Tomei. Cheesy romantic comedy but I love it anyways. Chances Are and Soapdish were also enjoyable to me. Yes, I’m a sap. LOVE his Sherlock and i also LOVE Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, both are fabulous! (And I have a slight crush on Benedict). Iron Man has also been good, he makes a great superhero. I am jealous of Gwyneth Paltrow playing Pepper Potts.

    • Jenn, I soooo debated on Only You specifically because of Marisa Tomei! I’m a sap too btw. I want to watch the Sherlock movies again soon someday. I’m jealous of Paltrow as well ha ha! 🙂

  3. Which of us wouldn’t love to be Tony? The wit, the suit, the lifestyle and Pepper. Now I find out he had snacks all over the set? I think I have a new hero.

    Love the way you set this up. Not your typical top-10 movies list. Well played!

    • No kidding on who wouldn’t want to be Tony! I loved that part I found about the food on the set, Eli! Great to hear from you 🙂

  4. I am probably the only person in this world who has never watched an Iron Man movie!
    As punishment, my next 3 days weekend I am grounding myself and watching all 3!
    I have never seen any of these movies. WTF,Tony?!!!!

  5. All I can say is Robert is absolutely adorable. My favorite roles are his Sherlock Holmes roles!! YES!!

    but…not quite as adorable as Phoenix, my big red cuddly dog. Xxxxx

    KISSsssssss from MN.

    • The Sherlock Holmes movies rock, Kim! We always love hearing from you and sending you kisses back from Reno our dear friend 🙂

  6. Ohhhhh,

    will you feature Meryl Streep sometimes? Xx

    • I take any and all requests from loyal readers (you) and that there is enough material to do a Top 10. So now, everyone stand by…two weeks…you got it Kim 🙂

    • That’s way more clever than I was exnpctieg. Thanks!

  7. Holy cow, this is a very thorough list! I was surprised by how many I haven’t seen! I’m a huge fan of RDJ, I think he’s amazing. Love him as Sherlock Holmes and Iron Man – he does such a stellar job! I adore how you added behind the scenes tidbits! Genius.

    gotta go read more of your posts…..you’re awesomesauce….

    • Thank you so much, Beth! Your comment rocks! I put a lot of time and research into these but I’m never sure how much folks read them vs just looking at the lists. And that’s ok. Awesomesauce?! I like it!! 🙂

  8. I was shocked to see that I have not seen any of these movies – I think the last Robert Downey Jr. movie I saw was Chances Are back in 1989. Funny, I thought I had seen him more recently. I guess I’ll have to check out a few on your list!

  9. I’m a big fan of Robert Downey Jr, Mike. I’ve seen of Iron Man movies in the movie and I always lol when he says his epic jokes.

  10. I’m such a fan of Robert Downey Jr and with all the Ironman movies he’s made, it almost made me forget about his other movies. I love him as Sherlock Holmes too. It’s great to see a happy ending to his career after everything he has gone through. Thanks for this!

    • I totally agree with you, Mary. I love feel good stories of a person turning their life around. And wow, did he ever! I’m a huge fan and he is positively amazing in his movies the past 5 years! 🙂

  11. The only movies I saw in this list are Heart and Soul (LOVE this movie), the Iron Man and the first Sherlock Homes. I didn’t even know that there was a second one! I loved him in Iron Man! Thanks for another great and interesting post.

    • Thank you for checking it out, Rita! Heart and Souls was awesome and ironically one that so many have seen! You’ll have to check out the second Sherlock Holmes movie when you have time sometime. Totally as good as the first one 🙂

  12. I’m a huge Robert Downey Jr. fan and really enjoyed this post. In fact, I’ve seen every movie mentioned and loved them all. His portrayal of Sherlock Holmes is especially quirky and wonderful. Cheers!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Debbie! He’s just continued to evolve into such a wonderfully entertaining actor. And that quirky part of him is what really nails it in my opinion 🙂

  13. I’ve had a thing for Robert Downey Jr. since I was a kid when Less Than Zero came out. He’s versatile as an actor and not to shabby on the eyes either. What’s most inspiring his how he came back from the brink of utter despair.

    • Ah, great call on Less Than Zero, Jeri! His comeback is such an awesome story and he’s stayed on the right path ever since. I have a thing for him as Iron Man ha ha! 🙂

  14. I’m not a huge fan, but I really liked him in Natural Born Killers. I was glad he had a second chance at his career with Iron Man and onwards.

    • Natural Born Killers was really good, Freya. And so were Harrelson and Lewis to really bring that movie together despite the controversy 🙂

  15. I thought i had seen more of his films but i realise leaving out the sherlock and iron man movies might need catching up (only seen the 1st of each series) Heart and Soul is one of my favourite older movies – saw it so many times!

    • I’m getting such a kick out of the comments and how many people always mention Heart and Souls, Deb! I’m soooo glad I included it. Hopefully you can catch some of the other movies in the series 🙂

  16. Ahh, okay don’t judge me, but…

    I’ve never seen any of these films! Awful, I know!!! Reading through the descriptions though, I think Sherlock Holmes might be most up my ally, so I will definitely be Netflixing this one!;-) Thanks for the recommendations!

    • No judgment passed here at all, Jess! If Sherlock Holmes perks your interest I say definitely give it a try! 🙂

  17. Mike, this post has particular meaning for me because in one of my past lives I worked as an alcohol/drug counselor. In the recovery world, relapse is the norm. It’s much more common than staying clean and sober. So, Robert Downey Jr.’s story is impressive.

    At the same time, his story isn’t necessarily “over”. He possibly may relapse again within his lifetime. Substance addiction is a vicious disease, and one of its ‘weapons’ is environments in which steady use of alcohol and drugs is the norm. For that reason, my favorite part of your post is the news of Val Kilmer’s not drinking at all during the production of “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” to show support for his colleague. That’s beautiful.

    Thanks for another good post.

    • Very insightful comment and thank you, Alison! I hope he can keep his sober life on track. And that he continues to surround himself with those that support his one day at time life that he has forever now 🙂

  18. My son would have say the iron man movies. He LOVES iron man. Not sure how he became his favorite super hero though.

    • Your son has excellent taste, Krystle! I’m obviously a huge fan of the Iron Man trilogy and the Sherlock Holmes duo a close second 🙂

  19. I still haven’t seen the “Iron Man” movies (gasp)! Your top 10 +1 lists always remind me of all of the movie-watching I need to catch up on!

    • Ha, ha well hopefully you get a chance to see Iron Man, Dana! Especially start out with the first one then you can decide whether to see the others. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to catch some movies but it’s hard with not enough time in the day, isn’t it? 🙂

  20. He will always be the guy in Tropic Thunder to me.

    • Ah, that was a very funny movie right as his Iron Man rise to stardom was just taking off! And directed by Ben Stiller. Good call, Hugh 🙂

  21. I love Robert! you got some great movies listed there!~

    • Thank you, Hilary! I was so surprised once I dove into this post as to many movies he has done! 🙂

  22. What is interesting to me is that most of the movies I’ve seen with Robert Downey Jr. are the three Iron Man movies, the Avengers, and both Sherlock Holmes movies.

    While I like those movies my favorite is still Heart and Souls. I especially enjoy when he is possessed by Harrison and sings the National Anthem at the B.B. King concert and when Penny and Julia take over in the board room and he has all that attitude and sass going on.

    The remainder of his films I’ve seen are from his early career…Weird Science and Back to School.

    • Ed, there is a classic You Tube video of him and Kelly LeBrock in Weird Science. I’ve seen all the superhero movies too and he is fantastic. The board room scene in Heart and Souls is hysterically funny! 🙂

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