With 'Iron Man 3' on the way we take stock of his best work
7. "Iron Man"
The year: 2008
The role: Billionaire Tony Stark/Superhero Iron Man
The reason it's on the list: Downey is suiting up as Iron Man for the fourth time in "Iron Man 3" (and, counting "The Incredible Hulk," the fifth time as Tony Stark). Some might scoff at including his characterization on this list but the fact is it's a landmark moment for the actor, a major corner turned, and the full embodiment of all the charisma he's capable of unleashing. It may even ultimately be the role that defines him, however odd that may be to imagine, given the wealth of more nuanced work he's offered. But it pegged him as a superstar and those are rare indeed.
- Kristopher Tapley