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40 Worst Acting Performances of All Time

Colin Farrell – Alexander

Alexander the Great was a famous historical figure, so Hollywood naturally had to make a movie out of him. Unfortunately, Colin Farrell botched the portrayal with an Irish accent. We know he’s Irish, but we’ve seen other films where he was able to stifle it.

The film only gets worse with Angelina Jolie’s Olympias. She also had issues with the accent, but at least she tried to put on something accurate. Overall, Alexander was a mess.

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Kristen Stewart – Twilight

It isn’t like Kristen Stewart has always been a horrible actress. Her performance in Panic Room was pretty good, but her role in Twilight leaves the audience as slacked jawed as she looked throughout the series.

She consistently overacted in each film but still managed to be the most boring character, which says a lot when you’re talking about Twilight. We're tired of seeing her mouth hanging open.

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Kevin Costner – Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

When Robin Hood first released, it was a theater hit for some critics and audiences. Thankfully, others realized it for what it was – humorless. Now, the film is over 25 years old, and a lot of the scenes cross the line and are just plain terrible.

While the worst culprit has to be the rape scene between Maid Marian and the Sheriff, the single worst performance is Kevin Costner as Robin Hood. He didn’t even attempt a British accent, but still touted “This is British courage!” in the film. He claimed he “ran out of time” perfecting his accent, but we have our doubts.

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Elizabeth Berkley – Showgirls

Showgirls will forever be one of the worst movies ever made, and Elizabeth Berkley has a lot to do with that. She overacted as much as she possibly could. It's honestly hard to watch the movie without laughing.

In one scene, she snatches a drink from a tray, stabs it with a straw like it owed her money, and violently jerked catsup onto her fries. Following that, her friend asks her where she’s from. Berkley then tosses her fries and cries “Different places!” Yikes.

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Russell Crowe – Les Miserables

Russell Crowe isn’t necessarily a bad actor, but his singing and acting in Les Miserables was a pain on the ears. He isn’t a great singer. Sure, he’s better than some, but that doesn’t mean he was a great choice.

The entire musical opted to have the actors and actresses sing every part, including dialogue, so it was essential to find someone that sings well rather than a famous name. Russel Crowe didn't fill that need. There was a scene where he jumped off a bridge to kill himself. Apparently he did that scene so many times that it took all day to get the right take. I think that was a punishment from the director. 

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Keanu Reeves – Bram Stoker's Dracula

People will pay good money to see Keanu Reeves kick butt as John Wick, not so much when it comes to dramatic roles. Little do audiences know, Keanu Reeves wants perfection in his acting.

While his acting is occasionally good, it can lead to issues with roles like Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Reeves attempted to put on a British accent, but it came out stuffy and forced. It distracted audiences so much that they forgot Dracula’s wig looks like a butt. That's pretty bad.

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Nicolas Cage – The Wicker Man

Nicolas Cage has been making some pretty bad movies recently, but none touch his performance in Wicker Man. It’s so ridiculous that it’s become an internet sensation. One bad section people focus on is the scene where he screams “NOT THE BEES!”.

That scene is great, but our favorite worst scene is him pointing his gun at people, stealing a bike, screaming at people, kicking in doors, and punching people. Not just one person, not two, but three women – one of which he hits while in a bear costume.

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George Clooney – Batman and Robin

A lot of things went wrong in Batman and Robin. We know that George Clooney is a good actor, but that wasn’t what we saw in this film. Instead, he was incredibly wooden and failed to deliver lines in a way that gave his character some emotional depth.

Even Clooney apologized for his part in the movie, but it’s still one of the worst acting jobs we’ve seen to date. Honestly, the whole movie seems like one big product placement advertisement, so Clooney probably didn't have much to work with. 

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Arnold Schwarzenegger – Batman and Robin

Speaking of Batman and Robin, Arnold isn’t going to get out of this one either. Maybe if the film had a different director, Arnold could have done well. I'm going to put a big maybe on that one since he's not a particularly amazing actor, in general.

What we got in Batman and Robin was cartoony and made a ridiculous number of puns. Most actors would have told the director and writers to cut the crap, but nope. Mr. Freeze relied on the “comedic” script and slapstick comedy. 

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Hayden Christensen – Star Wars: Episode II

I'm firmly in the camp that the Star Wars prequels were ruined by the script and directing. Hayden Christensen can act – just watch Jumper and Shattered Glass. That proves he's got skill, but in this one? Ugh. It's painful, okay?

In Star Wars, he was forced to discuss sand…and no one wanted to hear it. Yes, sand is coarse and irritating. We ALL know that, Anakin. The line delivery is unspeakably bad, and it’s hard to believe the two were really connecting during most scenes. I could go a whole lifetime without seeing that scene again.

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Mark Wahlberg – The Happening

To Mark’s defense, he did hate a lot of what happened in The Happening. With that being said, he could have done something about the horrific line delivery. There’s a particular scene where his group stays with this old woman, and she wakes up in the middle of the night and sees him.

She suspects they’re going to try and murder her in her sleep. Wahlberg shakes his head and goes “Noooo!” but his line delivery makes you think he’s 100% going to do it, or he’s just trying to appease her. Mark, come on. You can act surprised for literally a second. 

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John Travolta – Battlefield Earth

Battlefield Earth was a failure before it even began. After all, the source material was written by the founder of Scientology, and that was why John Travolta wanted to make it. He's apparently a huge Scientologist, much to some fans' dismay.

The main villain is, of course, John Travolta. He spends much of the film in a bar. At least when he’s drunk, his lousy acting comes off as booze sloppy. Most actors and actresses in that movie deserve a spot on this list, but Travolta was by far the worst. 

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Johnny Depp – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The first sin of this movie was remaking Willy Wonka. That was never going to go well. The second problem was pitting anyone against the legendary Gene Wilder. Depp was never going to measure up, and that's just the fact of the matter. 

While Wilder brought a gravitas to the role, Johnny Depp in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was anything but. His character was supposed to be “quirky” but all we saw was “cringy.” Let Hollywood take this as a huge lesson: never remake a Wilder classic. 

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Darren Ewing – Troll 2

Troll 2 was a hilariously bad movie, but nothing in the film was more memorable than Darren Ewing’s performance. If that name doesn’t sound familiar, it’s because he hasn’t done much of anything since this film.

There’s a scene where a girl is being eaten by the trolls and Arnold, played by Darren, looks up and says, “They’re eating her! And then they’re going to eat me! Oh, my Goooooooooooooood.” His inflection was as flat as a table, and it quickly became one of the funniest scenes in any movie.

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Tommy Wiseau – The Room

No other actor is as bad as Tommy Wiseau. It doesn’t matter what he’s in – he’s horrible. The Room perfectly showcases his “talent.” Ignoring the horrible sound dubbing, Wiseau delivers his lines like he’s attempting to win an Oscar for the most dramatic scene moment, but he’s just talking to himself on a rooftop.

Then there's the “Oh. Hi, Mark” scene. Do yourself a favor and watch it. Actually, watch the whole movie because it’s a riot. The movie is so awful that a spoof with James Franco became a huge hit. That's when you know your movie is nothing more than golden trash.  

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Halle Berry – Catwoman

Halle Berry also earned a Golden Raspberry for her atrocious acting in Catwoman. She accepted the award graciously because even she knew how badly she’d done.

I do have to admit that her performance is another example of a horrible script and an even worse directing job. We know she can act, but you wouldn’t guess after seeing this film. The puns, the forced cat behavior, and the licking were all too much for one movie.

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Tobey Maguire - Spider-Man

Tobey Maguire gets a lot of hate for his role in the Spider-Man movies. Tobey Maguire can be a good actor, as you can tell from his roles in highly-rated films like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Seabiscuit, and The Cider House Rules.

The role of Spider-Man wasn’t a good fit for Maguire’s acting style, and it ended up being flat and one-dimensional. Fans felt like the movie was nothing more than a cheesy parody after the sub-par acting.

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Quentin Tarantino – Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino loves to cameo in his movies. Generally, it’s not gone over too well. While Pulp Fiction was horrible, I'm going to say that his performance in Django Unchained was so much worse.

The cameo made zero sense. He wasn't there for a good reason. If anything, he was just there to spout racial slurs while sporting an absurd Aussie accent that was completely unnecessary. It’s literally one of the few bad things about his films.

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Rihanna – Battleship

Battleship wasn’t a good movie. The whole movie was awful, but Rihanna’s role was unnecessarily terrible. Like many other big-star cameos, it was an obvious money-grab. Rihanna’s sassy attitude stuck out like a sore thumb.

Then, there were the lines that she delivered so badly that the audience nearly fell asleep. Were we supposed to be scared when the crew investigated the alien, and she told her “story”?  Yeah, better luck next time Rhi-Rhi. 

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Mickey Rooney – Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Mickey Rooney is one of the biggest actors of Hollywood’s “Golden Age.” I'm not going to deny that much. Now that that’s out of the way, we can talk about how his role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of the most racist things ever seen in a movie of this caliber.

He played a Japanese Mr. Yunioshi, who was portrayed in an exaggerated manner. Most people compared it to a caricature of an Asian-American, which we think is spot on. This wasn't one of those things that were a "product of their time." Nah. It was bad even then.

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Mariah Carey – Glitter

It's well known that Mariah is a diva, so we're not surprised this movie was a trainwreck. We're guessing that her debut was the director's nightmare. Mariah's acting in Glitter was so horrible that she got a Golden Raspberry award for Worst actress – a not-so-sought-after honor.

To be honest, it was a huge shame considering she reappeared in films eight years later in Precious, where we saw that she could actually act. How could she mess up Glitter so bad??

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Britney Spears – Crossroads

Whether you want to admit it or not, Britney Spears is a pretty great singer. There's a reason she dominated the charts in her younger years. However, America quickly realized that that’s where her talent ends thanks to Crossroads.

This film tried to capitalize on the fact she was incredibly famous by creating this coming-of-age film. To this day, we’re left watching her horrible acting, which is made more apparent by her costars (one of which is Zoe Saldana). 

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Shaquille O’Neal – Kazaam

Okay, so Kazaam is easily one of the worst movies ever released, and I'm not saying that lightly. Shaq showed in the late ‘90s that he was pretty good at one thing: basketball. As bad as his rap is, the songs can at least be funny.

I can’t say the same about this movie. It’s just plain awful. The acting is super flat, even when he’s pretending to be angry. Now, it's a huge joke that he ever appeared in the movie. He wants it buried, but we're not gonna let that happen. Sorry, Shaq. 

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Katie Holmes – Batman Begins

Batman Begins had several fantastic actors, so Katie Holmes was going to have a tough time living up to their standards. The unfortunate thing is that she portrayed Rachel Dawes so incredibly flat that we were floored.

Holmes came off as completely emotionless and made us wonder if she’d gotten tips from Kristen Stewart. By the next film, we were glad to hear that she’d backed out of the series.

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Sofia Coppola – The Godfather Part III

Sofia Coppola is notoriously the worst character in The Godfather. The girl proved that acting wasn’t in her blood by delivering a deadpan performance when she was supposed to make us an emotional wreck.

The film was still fairly well-received, but her performance was slammed by nearly everyone that considered themselves a movie critic. Sofia clearly didn't get the Coppola acting skills...

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Jennifer Lopez – Gigli

Jennifer Lopez isn’t the best actor in the world – she’s far from it. Unfortunately, that was showcased perfectly in Gigli. It currently sits at a 6% Rotten Tomatoes rating, and that’s mostly thanks to Lopez’s acting.

In fact, there was one scene in particular where she tried to sexualize Thanksgiving dinner, and it left audiences disgusted. “It’s turkey time. Gobble, gobble.” Please don’t.

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Leonardo DiCaprio - The Beach

We all know Leonardo DiCaprio is a great actor. Fans everywhere were constantly complaining about how he hadn’t yet won his well-deserved Oscar. DiCaprio’s role as Richard in the 2000 film The Beach wasn't so great.

Not only was the plot boring and uninspired, but DiCaprio’s acting was also erratic and didn’t make any sense for the pace of the movie. The performance was so bad that fans nominated him for a Razzie award. 

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Colin Farrell - Daredevil

Critics and fans both hated the 2003 film version of Daredevil, starring Ben Affleck. The writing, acting, and production quality of this movie was terrible all around, but Colin Farrell’s performance was particularly cringe-worthy.

Farrell can be a good actor, as you can see in other flicks like The Minority Report, True Detective, and The Lobster. Unfortunately, Farrell was way too over-the-top and corny with his performance as Bullseye, the villain in Daredevil

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Michael Jordan - Space Jam

The 1996 film Space Jam had everything going for it and was, overall, a huge success. With an all-star cast, including famous Looney Tunes characters, an $80 million budget, and the benefit of appealing to both adult and child audiences, how could it not be?

The only thing that makes this iconic film anything less than the best is Michael Jordan’s acting. The famous basketball player should have saved his talent for the sports world because he was almost entirely expressionless for the whole movie. Every line he delivered fell flat and was only saved by the comedic relief of Bill Murray.

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Renee Zellweger - Cold Mountain

Renee Zellweger did end up winning an Oscar for her performance in the 2003 film Cold Mountain despite a few terrible moments in the movie. This Civil War tearjerker had Zellweger playing a mysterious drifter who was abandoned by her father. Her acting was very dramatic and sometimes excessive, but she was playing a character that demanded that type of energy.

What put Zellweger on this list of bad performances is for one of her monologues in the film. After her character’s father shows up suddenly after deserting her, Zellweger delivers the most awkward, confusing speeches ever seen on film and compares the war to a rainy day.

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Dick Van Dyke - Mary Poppins

Dick Van Dyke is peerless when it comes to acting ability, but even this iconic star had a few flubs along the way. Case in point: Mary Poppins. Van Dyke's cockney British “accent” was so bad that people are still joking about it to this day. 

Even today, Dick Van Dyke came out and apologized for his "atrocious cockney accent." It took a little more than half a century, but better late than never, right? When UK people make fun of him and ask where he's from, Van Dyke responds, "a little shire in the north where most of the people were from Ohio."

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Cameron Diaz - Gangs of New York

Cameron Diaz may be a superstar, but she didn’t have the acting chops to keep up with the rest of the all-star cast in Gangs of New York. Couple that with the fact that she had absolutely zero chemistry on screen with Leonardo DiCaprio, and you’re left with one of the worst acting performances of all time. 

The movie itself turned out to be utterly amazing, but I can't imagine how much more work DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis had to put in. Thanks to them, the movie ended up being phenomenal. 

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Kathy Bates - The Day the Earth Stood Still

Kathy Bates is another actor that usually makes the movie. She's such a great actor, but this one? The mark was hit by someone, but I'm guessing that wasn't Bates' fault. The character itself was very poorly written, and there wasn't much she could do with it. 

That begs the question: why sign a big-name actor that surely cost a pretty penny, and then proceed to have her bark orders? You could have a nobody do that. It wasn't her best moment and was certainly a waste of her true talent. 

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Marlon Brando - Guys and Dolls

If Marlon Brando in a bright, upbeat musical sounds like a bad idea, that’s because it was. That isn't the Brando we all knew and loved. He struggled with the singing required for such a performance. In fact, Brando admitted as much himself.

As if that weren't enough, there was apparently some serious drama between Brando and Frank Sinatra on set. It’s no surprise his performance was lackluster. 

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Michael Caine - The Hand

Not many know about Michael Caine's earlier movies, and The Hand plays a big part in that. It was an '80s horror film about an artist's severed hand as it goes on a killing spree. What I don't get is why Michael Caine didn't immediately say no to this project. 

The premise is so silly that critics couldn't take Caine's role seriously no matter how hard he tried. Even now, the movie has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 11%. At least Caine's career picked up later to show off what he can really do. 

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Faye Dunaway - Mommie Dearest

Even fans of Mommie Dearest have to admit that Faye Dunaway’s portrayal of Joan Crawford was over the top. Honestly, that’s putting it lightly! Even Dunaway herself has reservations about appearing in the film.

For her campy antics onscreen, the actress “won” a Razzie Award for Worst Actress. It wasn't her first Razzie, but she learned her lesson after this one. She worked hard not to earn a third one during her lifetime. Poor Dunaway. 

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Tom Hanks - The Ladykillers

Tom Hanks can do no wrong--until he does. Critics were quick to point out that his character was weirdly written (which wasn’t his fault), but even Hanks himself wasn’t able to escape their judgment entirely.

According to Roger Ebert, Hanks, “seems to be channeling Tennessee Williams, Edgar Allan Poe and Vincent Price.” The Ladykillers was just an odd movie to watch overall, in all honesty. 

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Meryl Streep - She-Devil

By the end of the '80s, Streep had become a household name thanks to her hit performances in dramas like Sophie’s Choice. Even today, she's one of the best actresses out there. However, things did not go so well for the actress when she tried to branch out into comedy.

She-Devil wasn't that great. Actually, it was awful. Critics panned her performance as boring and middle of the road, which is even worse than giving a bad performance. 

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Natalie Portman - Star Wars

Natalie Portman is an amazing actress, and it seems like she could do any genre. That's what makes her role in Star Wars so weird. Portman’s character, Queen Amidala, was supposed to be a strong, self-possessed woman. 

For whatever reason, Amidala came off as robotic and dry. Critics weren’t impressed. Considering the number of performances that were stifled in these prequels, I'm going to say that this is the director or writer's fault. Here's looking at you, Lucas. 

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Jared Leto - Suicide Squad

Jared Leto is a weird guy; like really weird. I'm not sure why they decided to cast him as the Clown Prince in the first place, but here we are. Leto decided to pay homage to the actors who portrayed the Joker before him, like Heath Ledger and Cesar Romero.

However, he added too many elements to the mix, and we ended up with a Joker in Suicide Squad that was too broad and all over the place. Plus, he seemed like he'd been dipping into a drug stash. What's up with that?

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