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Added by Ryan P. on 30 Jun 2013 03:59
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The 25 Worst Movie Performances by Good Actors

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Richard in The Beach (2000)

It’d be impossible to name the greatest actors working today without mentioning Leonardo DiCaprio, but in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, his rep wasn’t so solid. There were undoubtedly moments of brilliance (What's Eating Gilbert Grape), but it was still possible that he was nothing more than a flash-in-the-pan heartthrob. And his performance in Danny Boyle’s The Beach had people believing this would be the unfortunate truth.

An adaptation of Alex Garland's novel, The Beach is about an American college student looking for new experiences in Southeast Asia. This leads him to a strange island that's far from paradise. Funnily enough, The Beach is a complete bore, which is hard to reconcile given how spastic DiCaprio is. At one point, his character is so wigged out, he imagines that he's in a video game. And it's one of the worst things in recent cinematic history.

DiCaprio's work was so bad, that it earned him a Razzie nomination. For a second, the direct-to-video graveyard yawned wide, ready to accept him.

Thankfully The Beach was the exception, not the rule. In '02, he made Gangs of New York, which established his relationship with Martin Scorsese. Together, they've done beautiful things.

Ryan P.'s rating:
Nicole Kidman as Carol Bennell in The Invasion (2007)

From start to finish, The Invasion is a complete mess. It was supposed to be a modern retelling of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but it was so poorly written and marketed that this didn't hit home with the public. Worst of all, the movie was a complete waste of two talented actors: Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. But it’s Kidman that stands out; her performance is single, dull note resounding for the film's 99 minutes.

Not given much to work with, Kidman sleepwalks through the movie. That this is the perfect complement to the actual energy of the film is telling. The whole project was such a misguided affair that it was partially re-shot by a different director after the studio grew nervous about the film. They had good reason.
Julia Roberts as The Evil Queen in Mirror, Mirror (2011)

Though her last few years have been filled with questionable career moves, Julia Roberts is a gifted actress. She has a charm that defies language. But lately, she's been fucking up. One such fuck-up: Her conspicuous performance in Mirror, Mirror.

In the retelling of Snow White, Roberts played the Evil Queen, which should've been an opportunity for her to really cut loose and ham it up. Unfortunately, Roberts played the character like the slightly meaner version of one of her rom-com characters.

Obviously this is a kid’s movie, so it’s not like she could go all Daniel Plainview, but fairy tales are infamous for their frightening villains. Roberts wasn't even the silly approximation of menace—she was a mannequin with a painted on sneer in a garish costume.
Colin Farrell as Bullseye in Daredevil (2003)

Playing a villain allows an actor to get a little theatrical, to chew a little scenery, dabble in Pacino but without blowing a neck vein. Should be great fun to do, and great fun to watch, especially in a comic book movie. But sometimes actors go so far overboard that they elicit unintentional laughter. And that’s exactly what happened when Colin Farrell took on the role of Marvel Comics’ Bullseye in 2003’s Daredevil.

Throwing all nuance and subtlety out the window, Farrell turned this terrifying comic book villain into a bald joke, complete with atrocious one-liners and over-the-top mannerisms. He flipped the switch from deadly to corny in seconds, and would often just scream “Bullseye” whenever he was at a loss of anything else to utter.

Farrell’s performance often gets overshadowed by the overall terribleness of the film at large, but rest assured, his Bullseye is a wannabe camp misfire that comic fans won’t soon forget. The shame of it all is that Farrell is more than capable of successfully playing the character in a sinister and serious way.
Average listal rating (2605 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Brad Pitt as Achilles in Troy (2004)

Brad Pitt's always been that rare combination of handsome and talented, so nothing felt wrong when he was cast as Achilles in Wolfgang Perterson’s Troy. He had the correct body and the necessary chops. So, what happened?

Most of the blame can rest with the script, which was loosely based on Homer's The Iliad. Trying to adapt one of the most well-known stories in all of literature is an impossible, thankless task, especially when you aren't willing to think creatively about adaptation. Troy lacked the poetry and epic feel of Homer’s work; it turns Achilles into a shell. And why does Brad Pitt make him speak with that weird, inconsistent accent?

Achilles is a source of awe and emotional resonance. Brad Pitt's Achilles is a wooden Ken doll with an odd speaking voice.
Ryan P.'s rating:
Average listal rating (573 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Jeremy Irons as Profion in Dungeons and Dragons (2000)

Before Battleship made a mockery of big screen adaptations of popular board games, Dungeons and Dragons hit theaters in 2000. Sci-Fi Channel original movies look like Citizen Kane in comparison. Of the film's many flaws, the most embarrassing is whatever it is that famed thespian Jeremy Irons does. Irons is a classically trained actor. He's done Shakespeare. Did all the years of intense training break something in him? Is this performance a practical joke?

He screams and shouts his way through the entire film, with facial expressions so contorted they'd seem right at home in a R. Crumb cartoon. He's understated and menacing in movies like Die Hard with a Vengeance and The Lion King, but Dungeons and Dragons is molten cheese with a side of clown ass.
Average listal rating (1748 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Will Smith as Tim Thomas in Seven Pounds (2008)

Will Smith is careful and has made precious few mistakes as he's ascended the Hollywood heap to become king. But no one can deny that Seven Pounds is anything but a complete train wreck from start to finish.

Smith plays a man with a plan to donate his vital organs to those people who he deems “worthy.” In other words, he's a morose creep with a messiah complex. Only the movie acts like he's a saint and expects you to shed many, many tears.

Audeinces expect Smith to turn in powerful performances that are both emotional and energetic, but things don’t coalesce here. Moments where the part calls for dramatic, Smith serves up as melodramatic. Did he think this would be an Oscar contender? We can only speculate.

In the end, we relished his eventual death by jellyfish. Seriously, it’s the most surreal movie death since Pizza the Hutt devoured himself in his limo.
Average listal rating (914 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
Ryan Gosling as Sergeant Jerry Wooters in Gangster Squad (2013)

He may have broke onto the scene with an adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks' novel, but Ryan Gosling has proven himself to be one of the most daring and creative actors in Hollywood. He's unafraid to turn himself into a monster (Blue Valentine), unafraid to alter his body (The Believer); he doesn't serve one clear image of himself. Unfortunately this year’s Gangster Squad was a huge miscalculation for the young actor.

Sporting a bizarre and shrill accent and a weirdly timid demeanor, Gosling uncharacteristically shrunk into this role. His chemistry with Emma Stone was nonexistent, and his trademark depth was traded in for a much broader style. But it was really his voice that made this role such a headscratcher. He whisper-squeaked his way through the movie to...what, exactly? No one knows.
Ryan P.'s rating:
Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side (2009)

Don't start with the Academy Award bullshit—did you even watch this movie? This is Oscar bait, pure and simple. You can sit down with a checklist and see why she won for playing a white savior just by reading the plot synopsis alone. But watch the movie and see for yourself.

The truth is, the performance does not have the power and raw emotion advertised. Perhaps all the attention she received for this role has made us jaded, but we still can’t understand the praise Bullock got for playing an overbearing mother figure to Michael Oher, who, by the way, is made out to be a gentle giant of the Of Mice and Men variety. C'mon, people.

She dyed her hair, affected a hammy accent, and acted like the suburban mother from hell. And we are supposed to applaude this?
Average listal rating (1318 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady (2011)

In The Iron Lady, Meryl Streep played conservative icon Margret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the UK from 1979 to 1990. In terms of technical execution, Streep really sinks her teeth in, letting that highfalutin breed of British accent scuttle off her tongue with extreme flourish. It feels deeply unnatural. But if there's one thing the Academy likes to do, it's nominate Streep and occasionally bless her with a trophy. With The Iron Lady, it felt like they were making up for all those missed opportunities.

Now, the Academy will have to make it up to Viola Davis and Rooney Mara by giving them Oscars for work that isn't their best. It's only fair.
Emma Thompson as Mrs. Lincoln in Beautiful Creatures (2013)

Looking to be the next Twilight, Beautiful Creatures sauntered into theaters with bloodless romance and little chemistry. Mission accomplished! Also, bravo for turning Emma Thompson, one of the best actresses alive, into a shit-show.

Standing in sharp contrast to the limp teen leads, Thompson writhes her way through movie, throttling the audience with CAMP. Yes, this is UNHINGED on a level YOU CANNOT FATHOM. KNEEL BEFORE EMMA AS SHE BLUDGEONS YOU WITH HAM.

That's what it's like.
Russell Crowe as Javert in Les Miserables (2012)

Like a drunk at a funeral, Russell Crowe walked into the very stately Tom Hooper-directed adaptation of Les Mis wanting to sing but not quite being able. Only, Crowe wasn't drunk (we assume). He just can't, you know, sing.

Which makes Hooper's decision to have his cast sing live and on sent and use those recordings for the final product seem a bit misguided. Because, you know, Rus can't sing. And when placed next to the likes of a singin'n'dancin' veteran like Hugh Jackman, it's all the more obvious

When he’s invested, Crowe is still one of the best actors out there. But that’s the thing, he’s a great actor; he's not a Broadway star. And with a role that depended on a booming voice, he just couldn’t make the transition.
Average listal rating (2308 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
13. Jim Carrey as Walter Paul Sparrow in The Number 23 (2007)

The premise of the paranoid crackpot thriller The Number 23 ain't half bad, as any paranoid can tell you, when you look for connections between random events, you can definitely find 'em. And so we have Jim Carrey obsessing over the number and its impact on his life.

As a leading man, Carrey is surprisingly flat, letting his hair do most of the crazy for him. If director Joel Schumacher wanted crazy hair to do the crazy in the movie, he should've hired Carrot Top.
Ryan P.'s rating:
12. Cate Blanchett as Irina Spalko in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

There is more than enough blame to go around when it comes to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but we'd be remiss to not mention Cate Blanchett as the villainous Irina Spalko. This Soviet baddie was an irritating caricature of the highest order. Her efficient communist haircut and thick accent left no room for subtlety as Spalko seemed like she should be chasing around a moose and squirrel, rather than showing up in an Indiana Jones flick.

It’s a shame that Blanchett and Spielberg decided to go so broad with the character, because she's more than capable of pulling off a menacing villain without resorting to cartoonish conventions.
11. Tommy Lee Jones as Two Face in Batman Forever (1995)

Leaving the brooding subtlety in the trailer, Tommy Lee Jones tackled the role of Two Face in Batman Forever with so much corn, we should call him a subsidized farm. With face smeared pink and framed decked out in a blinding suit, this schizophrenic villain was supposed to be the dark mirror image of Batman; however, Jones played him more like Daffy Duck on amphetamines, literally bouncing around the set. He made Jim Carrey look sedate in comparison. Do you understand how hard that is?
Average listal rating (1583 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 0
10. Al Pacino as Tom Dobb in Revolution (1985)

One of the first signs of trouble in Al Pacino's long career came in 1985, with the now-forgotten dud, Revolution. Reflect on this: Pacino plays a fur trapper who fucks around gets involved in the American Revolutionary War.

The combination of a poor script, sub-par directing, and an obviously unmotivated Pacino made for an acting exhibition that was so bad, it got him nominated for a Razzie. He strolls into the film like he's auditioning for a crap gangster picture, accent thick and sloppy. It's embarrasing.
Average listal rating (184 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0
9. Bela Lugosi as Ghoul Man in Plan 9 from Outer Space (1956)

Most of the entries on this list are fun shots at people who are essentially bulletproof. It's all jokez. But here is a case that's just tragic. Bela Lugosi was one of the most iconic actors in Hollywood simply for one role: Dracula. In the classic 1931 version of the movie, Lugosi completely embodied one of cinema’s first great villains, and his combination of horror and sophistication laid the groundwork for some of the best baddies to come.

Unfortunately his career wasn't so dignified, as later in life he found himself addicted to drugs and bordering on irrelevance. This led to a friendship with Z-movie director, Ed Wood, who planned on using Lugosi in a few projects. He filmed Lugosi doing various things, such as walking in an out of Tor Johnson’s home and spreading his cape like Dracula, but there was no script for direction for this footage.

After Lugosi died, Wood decided to re-purpose this footage into his new movie, Plan 9 From Outer Space. This gave the movie some “star power,” as Wood was struggling to get his films screened. It’s a sad fact of Lugosi’s last days, relegated to a posthumous cameo in a movie that's regarded as the worst ever made. And he never even had a choice.
Average listal rating (1017 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
8. Jodie Foster as Nell Kellty in Nell (1994)

It would be better for the world if we could destroy all copies of Nell, the story of a woman who's been living on her own and feral in the forests of North Carolina and the town doctor who tries to save her. Jodie Foster is Nell. Jodie foster growls and speaks in tongues. Jodie Foster is the cartoon Tasmanian Devil in a movie that's supposed to be a serious drama.

Cuba Gooding Jr. has Radio. Jodie Foster has Nell.
7. George Clooney as Batman/Bruce Wayne in Batman & Robin (1997)

The failures of Batman & Robin are well documented. Scores of comic book fans cannot make peace with this debacle. So, knowing full well that we are flogging a rotten horse carcass, we—again—submit George Clooney as Batman and Bruce Wayne as a crime against humanity.

Cinema is littered with attempts to bring Batman; and Clooney has the distinction of a performance so atrocious that it made the prospect of the 70+ Adam West slipping into a pair of gray tights sound appealing.

To play Bruce Wayne, George Clooney acts smug. To play Batman, George Clooney asks smug. He smiles in that small, tight way that made him famous on ER. It's a hurtful smile, because it lets you know that you aren't shit.

As an older man, Clooney has adjusted the smile so that it no longer hurts. But here, the damage is in full effect. He's a mask behind terrible one-liners like, “This is why Superman works alone” and, “Hey Freeze, the heat is on.”

George Clooney almost single handedly destroyed the big screen future of Batman—by using the Bat Credit Card.
6. Clint Eastwood as Pardner in Paint Your Wagon (1969)

Clint Eastwood made a name for himself in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s as Hollywood’s resident tough guy, but in 1969, he made a famous career blunder by starring in the western musical, Paint Your Wagon. Instead of playing his famous Man with No Name character, Eastwood took on the role of “Pardner,” who spends most of the film singing sappy love songs alone in the forest.

Russel Crowe clearly studied this performance for his role in Les Mis. In fact, both he and Clint may have drank together around an old jukebox as rigorous preparation.
Average listal rating (3289 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 0
5. Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka/The Mad Hatter in Charlie and the Charlie Factory (2005)/Alice in Wonderland (2010)

When Johnny Depp was in movies like Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood, he was demonstrating evolution, impressing both fans and critics alike. However, as the years went on and Depp’s star began to soar, he seemed to grow complacent with his roles, sticking close to his bread and butter. This led to him appearing in movies where he played "the eccentric lead," with the most infamous examples being Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. These movies and performances are interchangeable.

As Willy Wonka in Charlie, Depp is manic, colorful, and over-the-top. As the Mad Hatter in Alice, Depp is manic, colorful, and over-the-top.

If this is his future, we're very, very sad.
4. Forrest Whitaker as Ker in Battlefield Earth (2000)

Battlefield Earth, L. Ron Hubbard propaganda, doesn't get to have redeeming qualities. Chief among the offenses? The action. Take your pick: John Travolta, Barry Pepper, Forest Whitaker. We pick: Forest.

His performance is completely exaggerated, with a manic laugh ripped from the b-roll of a third-rate Scooby Doo rip-off. It's goofy and stilted, which is something like a physical handicap trying to have a laugh but it can't. Because it's not a person.
3. Dennis Hopper as King Koopa in Super Mario Bros. (1993)

Yes, it must be the money. Why else would Dennis Hopper have agreed to star as King Koopa in the ill-fated Super Mario Bros. adaptation? This was a project so obviously doomed to fail, only plentiful zeroes can explain his participation.

Hopper played Koopa with a zesty camp touch that was woefully two-dimensional and laughable. This is a man being crazy on auto-pilot, which is a little fascinating, but forgettable, ultimately. We've seen better villainy on the CW shows.
2. Robert De Niro as The Fearless Leader in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)

The Robert De Niro of old isn't the Robert De Niro we have now. A series of strange career choices turned this legendary talent into a fading star, with movies like Righteous Kill and the Fockers trilogy turning him into a goofy caricature. But none of those choices were as cringe-worthy as his turn as the Fearless Leader in The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle.

It’s hard to imagine that Travis Bickle himself would choose such a campy, irritating part to play, but this was no joke. We don’t know if the money was just too good to turn down, or if De Niro just had a passion for lame adaptations of great cartoons, but this movie hit theaters with a thud. De Niro is a horror, devoid of life and humor. He isn't a comic actor in this way. But only he doesn't know it.
Ryan P.'s rating:
1. Nicolas Cage as Edward Malus in The Wicker Man (2006)

Don't let this list-topping performance keep you from watching Neil LaBute's remake of The Wicker Man as a short collection of clips on YouTube. It's bad, but as clips, it's hilarious. But please, don't sit through the entire film.

Cage spends most of the movie screaming at the top of his lungs at pagan women (“How’d it get burned!?”); then physically assaulting them, often times unprovoked; dressing up in a cheap bear costume; and, of course, screaming his head off during the infamous bees scene. It's a sight to behold, especially because Cage being crazy can work. Wild at Heart is proof of this. But it only works when the film demands it, and The Wicker Man wants to be a straight-faced horror flick.

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