He followed this with roles in a series of films that did not perform well commercially, with the exception of the romance Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016).
This changed in 2018 when Kapoor portrayed Sanjay Dutt in Rajkumar Hirani's biopic Sanju, one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time, for which he won another Filmfare Award for Best Actor.
Kapoor is the recipient of several awards, including six Filmfare Awards.
He subsequently assisted Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the film Black (2005) and made his acting debut with Bhansali's tragic romance Saawariya (2007), a critical and commercial failure.
Kapoor rose to prominence in 2009 with his performances in the coming-of-age film Wake Up Sid, the romantic comedy Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, and the drama Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year.
Kapoor has been vocal about how his parent's troubled marriage affected him as a child: "Sometimes the fights would get really bad.
I would be sitting on the steps, my head between my knees, till five or six in the morning, waiting for them to stop".
His most widely seen film in this period came with the political drama Raajneeti (2010).
The romantic drama Rockstar (2011), in which he played a troubled musician, and the comedy-drama Barfi!
At the 55th Filmfare Awards, Kapoor was awarded the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for his performances in all three of his 2009 releases, and he also received two Best Actor nominations at the ceremony for Wake Up Sid and Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani.
Prakash Jha's big-budget ensemble political drama Raajneeti was Kapoor's first release of 2010.
The film was his first commercial success, in which his role was that of a womaniser who is romantically involved with three women, played by Bipasha Basu, Minissha Lamba, and Deepika Padukone, at different stages of his life. In Dharma Productions's Wake Up Sid, a coming of age film from director Ayan Mukerji, Kapoor portrayed Siddharth "Sid" Mehra, a rich, lazy teenager whose life undergoes a series of changes after interacting with an ambitious journalist (played by Konkana Sen Sharma).
When Mukerji narrated the then-untitled script of the film to him, Kapoor came up with the title himself.
Rajeev Masand noted that Kapoor "struggles with a badly-defined role" and NDTV's Anupama Chopra concluded: "Ranbir tries hard to salvage the film, dropping his shirt several times but even his lovingly shot chest can’t save the film." Following an item number in the children's film Chillar Party (2011), Kapoor took on the role of Janardhan "Jordan" Jakhar in Imtiaz Ali's Rockstar, a drama that follows the journey of an aspiring musician from a humble background to international stardom.