More Than Zero: The 5 Most Underrated Robert Downey Jr. Roles

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“Sherlock Holmes” is coming out this Christmas and I couldn’t be more psyched. The aughts started out shaky for the former teen star, with stints in jail and rehab, battling with cocaine addiction even while winning an Emmy for his performance on “Ally McBeal.” But in the past decade Downey’s turned his image from that of a Rob Lowe contemporary punchline to a bankable leading man, with action hits like “Iron Man” and his Academy Award-nominated performance (in blackface!) in “Tropic Thunder.” And if he was good-looking as a 20-something Brat Packer, he’s even more attractive as a dashing, buff 40-something, still with that hint of a mischievous smirk that made him such a compelling bad boy to begin with. He’s cocky, he’s arrogant, and he’s hot as hell: “Sherlock Holmes” promises to capitalize on this movie star’s best character traits.

But Downey is so much more than just a good leading man with a smarmy quip: He’s one of the most talented actors alive today, almost anti-method in the way that he doesn’t lose himself in a character but manages to make a character so intrinsically Downey-esque. Even at the height of his drug problems, RDJ managed to make even the crappiest films bearable with his mere presence. For example …

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