Even the best actors can take a misstep every once in a while. The most immaculate of filmographies have a dud or two here and there. Other careers however, are not nearly so flawless. Some actors simply become notorious for starring in bad films. One bad decision can turn into two, and before you know it, a reputation begins to take shape. After a few years, an actor or actress becomes known for starring in subpar motion pictures, and this list highlights the most infamous among them.
Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars have plenty of talent, but somehow end up leading terrible films. Others might not be as fortunate in the acting department, but for whatever reason, find themselves cast in leading roles time and time again. Whatever the reason, the following dozen actors and actress have become infamous for their slew of disappointing filmmaking endeavors.
Here are the 12 Actors Who Can’t Stop Starring in Bad Movies.
12. Bruce Willis
Going to a Bruce Willis film can be a chancy moviegoing experience these days. You just never know which version of the action veteran you are going to get. In the last half decade alone, the 61-year-old action star has given fans a glimpse of career-highs (Looper and Moonrise Kingdom), as well as some cringe-worthy lows (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Rock the Kasbah, and A Good Day to Die Hard). The same actor who has treated us to some of the all-time most memorable films, such as Die Hard, The Sixth Sense, and Pulp Fiction, has also forced audiences to endure the likes of Perfect Stranger, The Whole 10 Yards, Color of Night, Breakfast of Champions, and countless other mediocre and worse movies.
If baseball and Hollywood movies were one and the same, Willis would be sporting a decent batting average, but the cinema is less forgiving. Even the best actors have a stinker or two on their résumé, but with the immense amount of talent that Bruce Willis possesses, we cannot help but feel that this actor strikes out more than he probably should.
11. Johnny Depp
The lovable Johnny Depp will probably always have a devoted following due to his charm and early successes in Hollywood – Ed Wood, Edward Scissorhands, Donnie Brasco, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and A Nightmare on Elm Street among others. That said, this actor has certainly put his fan base through a lot with his less than stellar roles. Some of his recent and more noteworthy missteps include: Mortdecai, Transcendence, The Lone Ranger, Dark Shadows, and the last couple of entries into the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Not to mention, with early consensus from Alice Through the Looking Glass claiming it to be another forgettable adaptation, it appears as though this three-time Academy Award nominated actor may have yet another dud on his hands.
In the defense of Johnny Depp however, he is one of Hollywood’s premiere risk takers. While there are a number of films on Depp’s filmography that are just simply terrible, some of the last few decades’ most memorable movies would not have been possible without him. His knack for portraying the bizarre with such earnestness is unmatched, and his talent level is through the roof. Risk might bring reward, but it also comes with its share of failure, and Depp’s list of subpar films is longer than it needs to be.
10. Adrien Brody
Adrien Brody is simply oozing with talent. This Oscar winner has had his acting abilities displayed for all to see on more than one occasion – The Pianist, Grand Budapest Hotel, and King Kong – and that is precisely why it hurts all the more that he continuously signs on for bad movies. American Heist, Dragon Blade, InAPPropriate Comedy, Back to 1942, High School, and Wrecked were all poorly received films starring the actor within the last five years alone. Luckily, outside of the 2015 action epic (the aforementioned Dragon Blade), these films failed to gain any traction at the box office with the vast majority only managing to garner fairly limited releases. Still, that does not change the fact that these are indeed regrettable role choices for the 43-year-old actor.
Fortunately enough for Brody, many of his roles have been in movies more outside the public consciousness, and thus he is still remembered for his better performances in quality films. A lack of wide releases has shielded him from large-scale criticism. That said, a quick glance across the actor’s recent films perhaps reveal that he has not been quite as selective as he should be when choosing roles.
9. Halle Berry
Yet another Oscar winner makes our list: Halle Berry. We all remember Berry’s turn as one of comics’ most iconic heroines – no, not Storm of the X-Men. Rather, we are referring to her turn in the infamous Razzie magnet, Catwoman. Still, one film alone does not earn a talented actress a spot on this list. Berry has since starred in numerous unremarkable and poorly received films: Gothika, Dark Tide, X-Men: The Last Stand, Movie 43, The Call, and New Years Eve.
Halle Berry is an incredibly talented actress, but she might not have the best discretion when it comes to deciding her various film roles. When Berry is on – Monster Ball, Frankie & Alice, and Their Eyes Were Watching God – we love tuning in, but when she is not, it’s just no fun for anyone involved. The talent is unquestioned, but for whatever reason, this actress cannot escape the stink of negatively reviewed films.
8. Ben Kingsley
Ben Kingsley is simply not an indicator of a film’s quality one way or another. Everything on the spectrum from Schindler’s List to The Love Guru is apparently fair game for this Best Actor winner. At the end of the day however, if you appear in as many movies as Ben Kingsley, you are bound to be represented in both great and terrible films, and that has certainly been the case for English actor. With 130 acting credits under his belt, it appears that the only problem Kingsley has it being unable able to say the word “no.” Prince of Persia, Spooky House, Knight of Cups, BloodRayne, and Thunderbirds are just a few of the actor’s more regrettable films.
Again, the question with Ben Kingsley is not his level of talent, as it has been proven time and time again, but rather his ability to discern between good and bad movies. While this Oscar winner has certainly appeared in a solid number of quality films over his long and prosperous career, it is astounding how many mediocre and even bad pictures he is credited with.
7. John Travolta
Sure, we remember the John Travolta who starred in Grease and Pulp Fiction, but what about the actor who appeared in the likes of Battlefield Earth, Be Cool, Old Dogs, Broken Arrow, and The Punisher? Surely those two extremes cannot portrayed be the same actor. Unfortunately enough, Travolta fans have suffered through some long droughts away from quality films in Hollywood. It is not clear as to why however, seeing as how, by all accounts, the talent appears to be there.
Again, this list is not here to claim these actors never appear in decent films, because that statement is certainly not true. What we are claiming however, is that these handful of stars have trouble staying away from more regrettable roles, and Travolta certainly falls into that classification. This seasoned veteran is still as charming as any in Hollywood, but that charm can tend to wear thin when tested against the likes of Perfect, Two of a Kind, and Lucky Numbers.
6. Steven Seagal
The damning evidence against Steven Seagal is the sheer number of direct-to-DVD movies to his credit. Direct-to-DVD is not necessarily a confirmation one way or another of a film’s caliber, but it’s never a great sign. Theatrical releases withstanding, Attack Force, Against the Dark, Black Dawn, Submerged, Half Past Dead, Fire Down Below, Executive Decision, On Deadly Ground, Exit Wounds, and The Foreigner all pretty much speak for themselves, and not in his defense.
Steven Seagal certainly has his fan base with a niche in B-level action movies. That being said, it does not change the fact that a majority of these films have been very poorly received, both critically and financially. Not to mention, fan scores for a number of his films signify that they are not universally loved by moviegoing audiences. Steven Seagal has never been accused of serving as a perennial Academy Award nominee – on the contrary, the actor has been nominated for four acting Razzies and has even endured two Worst Actor nominations from the panel over at the Stinker Awards – but nevertheless, this action star is leading the charge as an actor who cannot stop starring in bad films.
5. Kate Hudson
Having had a breakout performance in Cameron Crowe’s adventure comedy, Almost Famous, many inside the industry believed that Kate Hudson was Hollywood’s next big star. They were not necessarily wrong, seeing as how Hudson has managed to turn up in leading roles for numerous films each year since. Still, it should be noted that the vast majority of these movies have been panned critically. Mother’s Day, Rock the Kasbah, Bride Wars, Fool’s Gold, Nine, The Killer Inside Me, My Best Friend’s Girl, You, Me, and Dupree, and A Little Bit of Heaven are just a handful of her notable career missteps.
Hudson’s disturbing number of flops are so notoriously high in fact, that the she was voted twice (once in 2008 and once in 2012) as the Actress Most in Need of a New Agent by the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, and we cannot say that we entirely disagree. At this point, something needs to change, because it does not appear that this downward trend is bucking anytime soon.
4. Cuba Gooding Jr.
Much like Kate Hudson, Cuba Gooding Jr. is another actor who experienced early success but has since seen his career take a bit of a nosedive. After his Best Actor in a Supporting Role win for his portrayal of Rod Tidwell in the 1996 Best Picture nominee, Jerry Maguire, Cuba Gooding Jr. has since starred in more and more disappointing filmmaking efforts: Snow Dogs, Pearl Harbor, Rat Race, Boat Trip, Shadowboxer, Norbit, and Daddy Day Camp.
His role selections are so regrettable that the 48-year-old actor has the unique distinction of being nominated for multiple Razzies in the same year, not once, but twice. In 2004, Cuba Gooding Jr. was nominated for his roles in Boat Trip, The Fighting Temptations, and Radio, while he was nominated for both Norbit and Daddy Day Camp in 2008. With the actor’s successful run as O.J. Simpson on television’s The People vs O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, it appears as though Gooding Jr. is more than just a one-hit wonder, but it is certainly hard to ignore the track record of signing on for questionable movies time and time again.
3. Jenifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez had a successful run in quality films early on in her career as an actress, but she has since put a decent amount of distance between the current state of her career as an actress and those memorable roles. The Boy Next Door, Lila & Eve, Home, Parker, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and Ice Age: Continental Drift are just some of Lopez’s flubs from the last five years alone.
The actress/singer/fashion designer has been nominated for 10 Razzies since 2002. In fact, J. Lo was nominated for Worst Actress of the Decade at the 2010 Razzie Awards. Of course, we cannot discuss Jennifer Lopez’s worst films without at least mentioning the dumpster fire that was Gigli. Gigli was an absolute Razzie magnet, and is often regarded as one of the worst films ever made. The 46-year-old celebrity has seen much success in various aspects of her prosperous career, but by contrast, Jennifer Lopez has also experienced various disappointments in Hollywood movies since the turn of the century.
2. Adam Sandler
There is perhaps no actor who is more maligned for his recent films than Adam Sandler. Between Grown Ups, Grown Ups 2, Pixels, The Cobbler, and Jack and Jill, the Hollywood funnyman has seen his career take a downward turn over the past decade or so. That said, he manages to rake in cash at the box office each year, so perhaps the critical reviews are not hurting him as much as you may think (or hope).
Like Jennifer Lopez, Sandler has managed to attract countless Razzie nominations and wins for his roles in the following comedies: Happy Gilmore, Bulletproof, The Waterboy, Big Daddy, Little Nicky, Eight Crazy Nights, Mr. Deeds, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Just Go With It, Jack and Jill, That’s My Boy, Blended, The Cobbler, Pixels, and Grown Ups 2. Still, as easy a target this comedian has become over the years, it should be noted that he is in fact a good actor, showing his dramatic acting chops in 2002’s Punch Drunk Love, but if an almost 30-year-long career is any indication, it appears as though the 49-year-old actor has more of an interest in comedy than anything else.
1. Nicolas Cage
You had to know that Nicolas Cage would take the top spot, and with roles in numerous disappointments – Bangkok Dangerous, Next, Ghost Rider, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Knowing, G-Force, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Season of the Witch, and The Wicker Man – it is easy to see why. With a number of subpar films, usually comes a Razzie award or two. In fact, Cage has been nominated 10 times for the Worst Actor Razzie over the course of his almost four decade long career.
That being said, Cage has proven himself as a quality asset in films over the years as well. The Academy Award winning actor has been nominated for many prestigious awards over the course of his long and prosperous career, and yet he still manages to carve out time for a bad movie here and there. Nicolas Cage is simply an enigma. He is a great actor in the likes of Leaving Las Vegas and Adaptation, but is absolutely unwatchable in the likes of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and The Wicker Man. It is hard to say what exactly that defines this Hollywood actor, but we can confidently proclaim that Cage does indeed star in far too many bad movies.
Do you agree with our list? Who are some actors that you think star in too many bad films? Make sure to let us know what you all think in the comments section.