For many, Robert Downey Jr. is known best for his portrayal of Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having played Iron Man eleven times (twelve if you include Avengers: Endgame) since suiting up for Iron Man in 2008. What some newer RBJ fans might not realize is the New York City native has quite the impressive filmography outside of the Marvel universe. From starring alongside Keanu Reeves in A A Scanner Darkly to playing the foolish yet funny Harry Lockhart in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Downey Jr. is much more than just Iron Man.
Here are 12 nest non-Marvel Rober Downey Jr., ranked. Enjoy!
12. U.S. Marshals (1998)
Synopsis: An airplane bearing gruff U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) crashes in the wilderness. On board the same flight is Mark Sheridan (Wesley Snipes), a federal prisoner accused of double murder, who escapes during the ensuing chaos but not before rescuing several people from the wreckage. Gerard is ordered to hunt down the fugitive along with State Department agent John Royce (Robert Downey Jr.), and the two pursue Sheridan relentlessly, despite growing doubts about his guilt.
Cast: Wesley Snipes, Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Downey Jr., Joe Pantoliano, Daniel Roebuck, Tom Wood, and LaTanya Richardson
Director: Stuart Baird
11. A Scanner Darkly (2006)
Synopsis: In the near future, as America virtually loses the war on drugs, Robert Arctor, a narcotics cop in Orange County, Calif., becomes an addict when he goes under cover. He is wooing Donna, a dealer, to ferret out her supplier. At the same time, he receives orders to spy on his housemates, one of whom is suspected of being Donna’s biggest customer.
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder, Steven Soderbergh, and George Clooney
Director: Richard Linklater
10. Natural Born Killers (1994)
Synopsis: Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis are two young, attractive serial killers who become tabloid-TV darlings, thanks to a sensationalistic press led by Robert Downey Jr. The press reports the pair as they go on a 52-person killing spree. A controversial look at the way the media portrays criminals.
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey Jr., Tommy Lee Jones, and Tom Sizemore
Director: Oliver Stone
9. Richard III (1995)
Synopsis: A murderous lust for the British throne sees Richard III (Ian McKellen) descend into madness. Though the setting is transposed to the 1930s, England is torn by civil war, split between the rivaling houses of York and Lancaster. Richard aspires to a fascist dictatorship, but must first remove the obstacles to his ascension — among them his brother, his nephews and his brother’s wife (Annette Bening). When the Duke of Buckingham (Jim Broadbent) deserts him, Richard’s plans are compromised.
Cast: Ian McKellen, Annette Bening, Jim Broadbent, Robert Downey Jr., Nigel Hawthorne, Kristin Scott Thomas, Maggie Smith, John Wood, and Dominic West
Director: Richard Loncraine
8. Weird Science (1985)
Synopsis: Teen misfits Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) design their ideal woman on a computer, and a freak electrical accident brings her to life in the form of the lovely, superhuman Lisa (Kelly LeBrock). She outfits Gary and Wyatt in cool clothes, surprises them with a Porsche and helps them stand up to jerks Ian (Robert Downey Jr.) and Max (Robert Rusler). But, all the while, the boys must hide Lisa’s existence from Chet (Bill Paxton), Wyatt’s nightmare of a big brother.
Cast: Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Bill Paxton, Robert Downey Jr., Robert Rusler, and Kelly LeBrock
Director: John Hughes
7. Back to School (1986)
Synopsis: Self-made millionaire Thorton Mellon (Rodney Dangerfield) decides to enroll in college to help his son adjust to life at school and on the diving team. Hilarity ensues.
Cast: Rodney Dangerfield, Keith Gordon, Robert Downey Jr., Sally Kellerman, Burt Young, Terry Farrell, William Zabka, Ned Beatty, Sam Kinison, and Paxton Whitehead
Director: Alan Metter
6. Tropic Thunder (2008)
Synopsis: While shooting a war film, the director attempts to liven up proceedings by dropping the principle actors into the middle of a real jungle, claiming he is going to capture their performance with hidden cameras. The hapless group including drug-addled comedy star Jeff Portnoy and po-faced method man Kirk Lazarus are completely unaware when a series of unfortunate events leads them into the middle of a real war zone.
Cast: Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., Jay Baruchel, Nick Nolte, Steve Coogan, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Brandon T. Jackson, and Tom Cruise
Director: Ben Stiller
5. Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Synopsis: When a string of brutal murders terrorizes London, it doesn’t take long for legendary detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his crime-solving partner, Dr. Watson (Jude Law), to find the killer, Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong). A devotee of the dark arts, Blackwood has a bigger scheme in mind, and his execution plays right into his plans. The game is afoot when Blackwood seems to rise from the grave, plunging Holmes and Watson into the world of the occult and strange technologies.
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, and Eddie Marsan
Director: Guy Ritchie
4. Zodiac (2007)
Synopsis: In the late 1960s and 1970s, fear grips the city of San Francisco as a serial killer called Zodiac stalks its residents. Investigators (Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards) and reporters (Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr.) become obsessed with learning the killer’s identity and bringing him to justice. Meanwhile, Zodiac claims victim after victim and taunts the authorities with cryptic messages, cyphers and menacing phone calls.
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Edwards, Brian Cox, Elias Koteas, Donal Logue, John Carroll Lynch, Dermot Mulroney, and Chloë Sevigny
Director: David Fincher
3. Chaplin (1992)
Synopsis: Re-creation of the life of comic genius Charlie Chaplin, from his humble beginnings in south London through his early days in British vaudeville, his silent movie career in America and his late masterpieces. His turbulent personal life saw four marriages and an enforced exile from the US – though he returned to receive an honorary Oscar in 1972.
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Dan Aykroyd, Penelope Ann Miller, and Kevin Kline
Director: Richard Attenborough
2. Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)
Synopsis: When Senator Joseph McCarthy begins his foolhardy campaign to root out Communists in America, CBS News impresario Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) dedicates himself to exposing the atrocities being committed by McCarthy’s Senate “investigation.” Murrow is supported by a news team that includes long-time friend and producer Fred Friendly (George Clooney). The CBS team does its best to point out the senator’s lies and excesses, despite pressure from CBS’ corporate sponsors to desist.
Cast: David Strathairn, Patricia Clarkson, George Clooney, Jeff Daniels, Robert Downey Jr., and Frank Langella
Director: George Clooney
1. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Synopsis: Two-bit crook Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) stumbles into an audition for a mystery film while on the run from the cops. Winning the part, he lands in Hollywood, where he’s flung into a tangled, murderous conspiracy with his childhood sweetheart, Harmony Lane (Michelle Monaghan), and hard-boiled private eye Perry van Shrike (Val Kilmer). This deadpan, affectionate parody of film noir tropes is named for film critic Pauline Kael’s influential 1968 collection of film reviews and essays.
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan, and Corbin Bernsen
Director: Shane Black