With 'Iron Man 3' on the way we take stock of his best work
5. "Less Than Zero"
The year: 1987
The role: Disaffected teen addict Julian Wells
The reason it's on the list: Downey surprised everyone in this Bret Easton Ellis adaptation with his dark depiction of a troubled youth amid the general Brat Pack shenanigans of the mid-80s. The unfortunate note is how his character in the film would later be paralleled by real-life woes, but what he captured in that moment was the promise of a truly great actor. Five years later he'd have an Oscar nomination, well on his way to being one of the best performers of his generation.
- Kristopher Tapley