Keanu Reeves in Much Ado About Nothing
Big Hollywood adaptations of Shakespeare plays can be a real hit or miss, but 1993’s Much Ado About Nothing took theaters by storm with an all-star cast, including Denzel Washington, Emma Thompson and Michael Keaton. However, there was one well-known actor that stuck out like a sore thumb.
Keanu Reeves played the role of Don John, the evil brother of Don Pedro, and unfortunately for him, his performance was pretty much universally hated. His performance was so bad that he was even nominated for a Razzie award that year.
Sofia Coppola in The Godfather III
The third installment in the Godfather series is definitely not the best of the bunch, but considering how terrible some sequels and threequels end up being, it’s not a terrible movie. That is - if you ignore Sofia Coppola’s terrible acting in it.
Coppola (the daughter of director Francis Ford Coppola) played the role of Mary Corleone originally in the second film, but it’s her return in the third that people really hate. Critics have described her performance as “hopelessly amateurish” (The Washington Post) and said that she “comes close to wrecking the movie” (Time). Ultimately, Coppola ended her acting career because of the backlash from this performance.
Kate Capshaw in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was the second film in the series named after the intrepid explorer, and over time, it came to be regarded as one of the better entries. However, poor ole Willie Scott can’t catch a break.
Scott (portrayed by Kate Capshaw) was quickly identified as the most obnoxious and hated part of the film. While fans have started to come round to her unique brand of awfulness, even Capshaw herself has denounced the character.
Cameron Diaz in Gangs of New York
Gangs of New York is one of Martin Scorsese’s most acclaimed movies. Set in the 1800s, the film focuses on Irish immigrants in New York City. There was a blockbuster cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis, but one famous actress stuck out like a sore thumb.
Cameron Diaz was also included in the film and is widely considered to be the worst thing about it. Her terrible accent and lack of chemistry with DiCaprio are frequently cited as common reasons for her poor performance. These days, most people just quietly pretend like her role never existed.
Jake Gyllenhaal in Okja
Despite the fact that the movie is about a genetically modified pig, Netflix’s Okja has been subject some serious praise by critics and audiences. They seem to love just about everything in the film--except for Jake Gyllenhaal.
Gyllenhaal played zoologist Johnny Wilcox, who’s a bit of a…strange character. However, Gyllenhaal took the weirdness to a completely new and unwanted level. When everything was said and done, he came off more obnoxious than bizarre.
Chris Tucker in The Fifth Element
The Fifth Element is by no means a conventional movie. This sci-fi flick set in future New York features all sorts of strange sights and characters, and while audiences were okay with a little weirdness, there was one character that took things too far.
Chris Tucker is in the film playing Ruby Rhod, who is easily the loudest character out of this strange bunch. While some fans absolutely love his over-the-top energy, there are also plenty of people who say Tucker is the worst thing about the movie.
Katie Holmes in Batman Begins
You know that an actor didn’t do a good job when their character shows up in the sequel but they don’t. That’s exactly what happened to Katie Holmes after her performance in Batman Begins.
Holmes was cast as Batman’s love interest, Rachel Dawes, and her performance was heavily panned as flat and lifeless--even for a love interest character. She was replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal in the sequel, The Dark Knight.
Kristen Stewart in Snow White and the Huntsmen
Don’t worry--we’re not going to talk about Twilight. This is bad acting in GOOD movies, remember? While Kristen Stewart may not have impressed anyone in those films, she really dropped the ball when she starred as Snow White.
Snow White and the Huntsmen was a 2010 live-action version of the classic fairy tale, with Stewart as the titular princess. However, audiences were not won over by her performance. One reviewer, Andrew O'Hehir, even remarked that she sounded “rather too much like a standoffish American girl faking a posh accent.”
January Jones in X-Men: First Class
When the X-Men franchise gave itself a soft reboot with First Class, fans were generally approving of what they saw. The mix of familiar characters with major actors really worked--minus January Jones.
Jones, most famous for her work on Mad Men, portrayed Emma Frost in the film, and her performance was deemed dull and emotionless. No one is sure why such an accomplished actress was unable to excel in a simple role, but nevertheless, Frost has never made a reappearance in any future films.
Topher Grace in Spider Man 3
We’re not sure why comic actor Topher Grace thought he would thrive in a villainous role, but his performance as Venom in Spider-Man 3 definitively proved to the world that it was a bad idea.
Grace couldn’t quite nail the villainous vibe, and he often came off more as petulant than evil. Clearly, he should have stayed stuck in the '70s.
Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was not a cinematic masterpiece, but for the most part, it was a fun action film that people look back on fondly. Unfortunately, the actor in the title role ended up being the worst part about it.
Kevin Costner was cast as Robin Hood, and this was clearly the wrong choice. His acting was all over the place, and his fake British accent is truly something horrific to hear.
Bruce Willis in Oceans Twelve
It seems like it would be really hard to screw up a role where you’re playing yourself, but that’s exactly what Bruce Willis did when he made an appearance in Oceans Twelve.
Maybe Willis is truly a crazy person in his personal life--because that’s exactly how he was acting on camera when he was, ostensibly, playing himself. Needless to say, this was one performance that left fans scratching their heads.
Emma Watson in Beauty and the Beast
When Disney was casting their live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, they asked an important question, "who can we cast as Belle that’s famous enough to really put butts in seats?" And they knocked that right out of the park when they decided on Emma Watson.
Unfortunately, they didn’t ask an equally important question: can she sing? Turns out, no, she can’t. While she may have perfectly looked the part, her singing was auto-tuned to the point of absurdity, and it really showed when she was head to head with someone who could actually carry a tune.
Bee Vang in Gran Torino
Clint Eastwood has two bad habits as a director: only doing one take and casting non-actors in speaking roles. And these bad habits absolutely made themselves known in his 2008 drama, Gran Torino.
Many of the cast’s roles were filled by non-actors, but none bore the brunt more than poor Bee Vang. Vang played a teenager in the film, and while I’m sure he tried his best, his performance wildly oscillates between extreme overacting and underacting.
Dane DeHaan in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets was a 2017 sci-fi space film with a lot going for it. Unfortunately, one thing it didn’t have going for it was its lead actor, Dane DeHaan.
DeHaan was cast as the titular character, and unfortunately, most found his performance to be too dull and brooding. On top of that, the other lead, Cara Delevingne, was similarly criticized for her lifeless performance too. Bad acting is never good, but it’s definitely more embarrassing when you’re playing the title role.
Jodie Foster in Elysium
Jodie Foster has had plenty of amazing roles during her career, and it’s only natural that there be a few terrible performances thrown into the mix. And one of her worst is her portrayal of Jessica Delacourt in the sci-fi film Elysium.
Foster has proven herself to be a vocal magician with heavily accented roles in movies like Silence of the Lambs and Nell, but that accent magic just didn’t show up this time. While she attempted a faux-futuristic sound to her voice, it didn’t work and ended up just making her sound crazy and out of place.
Alex Pettyfer in Magic Mike
Magic Mike is a surprisingly deep and dramatic film, considering it stars Channing Tatum and host of other beautiful men as male strippers. But not every actor on set was contributing equally to its greatness.
Alex Pettyfer plays an up-and-coming stripper, but his performance just falls flat. Whether it was his limited movie experience when he was cast, or his on-set fights with star Channing Tatum, Pettyfer definitely didn’t give it his best in this movie.
Keanu Reeves in Dracula
Keanu Reeves is really an actor of extremes. When he plays a role, it’s either the best thing ever or something so bad we wish we could forget. Unfortunately, his role as Jonathan Harker in the '90s adaptation of Dracula fell into the latter category.
It’s clear to anyone watching that Reeves is trying but struggling to master the British accent. Unfortunately, he focused too much on it and not on any of the other things that could have turned this into a passable performance.
Natalie Portman in Thor
Natalie Portman didn’t win any fans over with her portrayal of love interest Jane Foster in Thor or its sequel. In this case, however, the bad performance could equally be blamed on Portman and the writing.
On paper, the character was not much to write home about, but it seems like Portman isn’t making things any better with her dull deliveries and lack of chemistry with Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth).
Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman
Scent of a Woman is a drama that stars Al Pacino as a blind man. However, Pacino’s acting made it seem more like he was on the set of Mister Magoo than a serious movie.
Despite his over-the-top antics, Pacino actually managed to win an Oscar for this role. However, people have speculated that this was a pity win from the Academy after Pacino had been passed over for his work in much more impressive roles.
Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter
Harry Potter might have turned him into a celebrity and a millionaire, but even Daniel Radcliffe admits that he’s not a fan of his acting in the early films, particularly the first one.
In an interview, he referred to some of his performances as “one-note” and “complacent.” I guess if anyone is allowed to say it, it’s him!
Nicolas Cage in Knowing
Nicolas Cage has had more than a few stinkers in his career, but one of the worst may be his role in the 2009 apocalyptic thriller, Knowing. It’s not his objectively worst performance, but this is potentially the best movie he’s ruined with bad acting.
Like his other poor performances, this one was ruined by Nicolas Cage just being a little too Nicolas Cagey--crazy eyes, intense line delivery and unintentional humor.
Johnny Depp in Alice in Wonderland
Johnny Depp should have been the perfect Mad Hatter for Disney’s live-action Alice in Wonderland. He definitely brought the crazy, weird energy he’s known for, but unfortunately for him, he’s probably too well-known for it now.
His performance contained all the kookiness and off-the-wall antics he’s known for, which is what made it just so unacceptably boring. If Depp wants to surprise his audience, he’s going to have to learn some new tricks.
Quentin Tarantino in Django Unchained
Quentin Tarantino has a habit of giving himself small roles in the movies he creates, and sometimes the results are better than others. But in the case of Django Unchained, the results were pretty terrible.
His short cameo in the film inexplicably involves him speaking with a really bad Australian accent. While it was true that some Australians were involved in the American Civil War, that realism was completely squandered by the fact that he just couldn’t get the accent right.
Sean Connery in The Hunt for Red October
If you’re not worried about realism, then Sean Connery’s role in The Hunt for Red October probably seems like another home run from this iconic actor. However, he really strains the concept of suspension of disbelief in this film.
Despite the fact that he’s playing a Russian character, Connery makes no attempt whatsoever to disguise his Scottish accent, much less attempt a Russian one. It’s silly fun, which would work a lot better if this film wasn’t a somber drama.
Hayden Christensen in Star Wars
Many Star Wars enthusiasts aren’t fans of the early 2000s prequel movies, but overall, they’re really not as bad as everyone makes them out to be--that is, unless we’re talking about Hayden Christensen’s role as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, which was truly something terrible.
Christensen began the role in the second movie of the trilogy and basically stunk up everything until the credits rolled on the third film. His line delivery was monotone and many people accused the soon-to-be dark lord more annoying than intimidating.
Jaden Smith in After Earth
Jaden Smith did not give a good performance in After Earth. That being said, he was a kid, so I’m going to place the blame on his costar and father, Will Smith. He had to see the kid floundering every day on set, so it seems kinda cruel sit by and just let it happen.
Smith lines are delivered without a hint of emotion or life, and on top of all that, he’s struggling with the unusual futuristic accent they gave him. It was definitely not his best work, but he’s gone on to do way worse' so hopefully, he brushes After Earth off.
Carey Elwes in Saw
Before the Saw series devolved into a gore fest, there was the original film--which, if you’re a horror fan, was pretty good. The premise was unusual and we hadn’t yet become desentized to the trademark violence of the franchise.
However, if there’s one dark spot in this spooky film it’s lead actor Carey Elwes. Despite the fact that Elwes has had a long, successful career full of roles much more challenging than this one, he completely floundered as Dr. Lawrence Gordon. It was an emotionless performance in a movie that is all about high emotion--namely, terror.
Orlando Bloom in Kingdom of Heaven
Kingdom of Heaven is a 2005 epic historical drama starring Orlando Bloom as a 12th-century crusader. And while many of the elements of the film were praised, Bloom’s acting wasn’t one of those elements.
Reviewers were quick to point out that Bloom’s acting wasn’t actively bad in the movie; it was merely the weakest link. But honestly, actively bad might have been preferable to mediocre.
Jennifer Lawrence in X-Men: Days of Future Past
There are too many X-Men movies in the world at this point, but fans and critics consider X-Men: Days of Future Past to be one of the better films in the series. That being said, they don’t have many nice things to say about Jennifer Lawrence and her role in the movie.
Lawrence portrayed Mystique, the blue-skinned shapeshifter, and audiences were not digging her performance. Fans couldn’t understand Mystique’s motivations for behaving the way she did, and they placed the blame on both the writing and Lawrence’s performance.