No film biography can capture or explain or add to the magic of Chaplin at his best, because these screen moments are perfect in themselves. But Chaplin, with dignity and some vitality, does what it can -- it holds up a light and points the way. [08 Jan 1993, p.D1]
For a brilliant approximation of the man himself, watch Downey in this film. This is a performance created out of equal parts talent, hard work and love. It's uncanny. [08 Jan 1993, p.3]
Chaplin is a mediocre movie that you can't take your eyes off. Your wandering mind is telling you one thing: This is a standard check-list biography, the kind of glossy whitewash that treats a man's accomplishments like so many vegetables from the produce aisle - toss 'em in, tick 'em off, and move on. But those riveted eyes are saying something else entirely - they're watching Robert Downey, Jr. with rapt attention, marvelling at his every move, pondering his every gesture.