Although insightful, it mostly focuses on the controversial aspects of Chaplin's life, ending up doing him a disservice, instead of providing an interesting and accurate biopic. You're better off seeing "Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin". Downey Jr. is terrific though.
Not as amazing as I was always lead to believe, but Chaplin's not bad either. Downey's performance pretty much makes the movie. The Hopkins "narration" was as distracting as the makeup Downey wore by the end of the movie, but the hotel editing montage was beautiful. If nothing else this movie really got me in the mood to watch Chaplin's work again.
And here I was thinking watching Robert Downey Jr. perform a variety of classic Charlie Chaplin bits would hold my attention for two and a half hours. Nope. An inflated biopic that rushes through much of the ingenious moments of Chaplin's stellar career to make way for awkward melodrama.
Serviceable biopic, though with a life as eventful as Chaplin's, it's hard to fit it all into a feature film, which makes for some awkward shifts in time that the framing device only sometimes alleviates. Robert Downey Jr. effectively disappears into the role, and he's backed by a strong supporting cast. A few powerful moments, but overall muddled and somewhat whitewashed. Great score by John Barry.
Downey's performance is stellar, possibly the best of the '90s by an American, but we learn so very little about Chaplin himself, who is interesting to Attenborough apparently only as a buggerer of dangerously young tail (though why that is doesn't seem to spark the director's curiosity either).
Would have loved to see more of Aykroyd as Sennet, Kline as Fairbanks, Lane as Goddard, and the filmmaking process in the early days of Hollywoodland. Downey Jr. is excellent in technically recreating Chaplin's physicality and touching as we see the tears that this clown hid with a smile.