When it comes to acting, there is any number of greats out there who have dazzled the silver screen with their personas and character portrayals. However, every so often there are actors that ruin movies for us.
To make things worse they might have otherwise been great movies too had it not been for that one performance. There’s a tradition in Hollywood called the Golden Raspberry Awards (or the Razzie awards) that is a mock award show to give actors rewards for the worst performances ever. Some of the actors on this list are Razzie winners, even several time winners. Many have nominations, however, some aren’t even on the award show’s microscope.
No matter what there’s always that one movie that sticks out in our minds as being good if it weren’t for that one actor’s line or performance. The following 24 performances come from actors that ruin movies for us that may otherwise be good films were it not for their involvement.
1) Sean Connery – The Hunt For Red October: Ridiculous accents aside, this film is no doubt a great thriller ride for all. Based off of Tom Clancy’s novel, The Hunt For Red October was meant to be an action-packed thrill ride for the whole fam. However, Sean Connery’s very obvious Scottish accent makes it very hard to believe he’s a former Russian military general.
2) Arnold Schwarzenegger – Conan The Barbarian: Despite its flaws, Conan The Barbarian was shaping up to be a beautiful, action-packed fantasy about the famed swordsman. However, Schwarzenegger’s performance seemed mockish and fell short of serious, likely preventing the film from reaching blockbuster success despite its good performance at the box office.
3. Jesse Eisenberg – Batman VS Superman: Dawn of Justice: The timid star of the Social Network couldn’t quite fill the shoes necessary to bring the legendary DC comics villain Lex Luthor to life. His bothersome and irritating version of the character had both audiences and critics cringing. Perhaps this was his intention, however, it seemed like quite the thorn in the side of this film that didn’t quite do it justice.
4. Daniel Radcliffe – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Harry Potter star had one of the legendary roles of the last century and no doubt proved himself to audiences everywhere. However, there’s a particular set of scenes in the Prisoner of Azkaban, especially a scene outside of Hogsmeade where Harry vows to kill Sirius Black that had audiences cringing everywhere. The performance is hard to believe and it takes you out of the experience.
5) Jeff Bridges – Iron Man: The movie that started out the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe was no doubt revolutionary to comic book films everywhere. Bridges is not known for giving poor performances, however, his role in Iron Man is more along the lines of the dude, than it is the mogul CEO Obadiah Stane he’s attempting to play.
6) January Jones – X-Men First Class: Playing the infamous diamond-skinned mutant Emma Frost, January Jones’s portrayal of the character was less than remarkable. Known for her seducing, conniving, sassy behavior, Jones doesn’t portray any of this and instead delivers a performance that would make paint drying more exciting.
7) Ben Affleck – Pearl Harbor: This particularly large Michael Bay production is almost as ridiculous as Ben Affleck’s over the top emotional portrayal of Captain McCawley. The film itself did not bode that well for critics, but it’s hard to argue that perhaps it might have been better if it was cast differently from the start.
8) Keanu Reeves – Bram Stoker’s Dracula: Anyone who’s seen Francis Ford Coppola’s version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, you are immediately knocked out of the cinematic experience with Keanu Reeve’s staggeringly bad British accent (if you could call it that.) The accent is so bad, it easily ruined the entire movie. Don’t worry, Keanu, we still love you.
9) Cameron Diaz – Gangs of New York: Another contender for bad accents goes to Cameron Diaz in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York. Her Irish accent is a combination of English and sort of-Irish but we aren’t believing it. At the end of the day, we think Diaz should stick to comedic roles.
10. Mickey Rooney – Breakfast At Tiffany’s: Mickey Rooney’s blatantly racist portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi, Holly’s upstairs neighbor who is also Asian. White actors playing Asian characters comes across as shocking and immediately takes the audience out of the watching experience of a once classic film.
11) Hayden Christensen – Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones: We hate sand. It’s course, it’s gritty and it gets everywhere! This is just one of the many lines delivered by Hayden Christensen in the Star Wars series. Although part of the problem could be attributed to the written dialogue, Christensen’s performance adds fuel to this cinematic fire.
12) Sofia Coppola – The Godfather: Part III: Arguably one of the worst performances in the list, Sofia Coppola’s portrayal of Mary Corleone is tragically one that garnered a lot of bad press. She earned a Razzie award for her performance, and understandably, the Godfather Part III is the least favorite of the franchise.
13) Colin Farrell – Alexander: The historical epic that depicts the life of the man who conquered the world gained a great deal of attention at the box office for its epic scale and attention to detail. However, Farrell’s performance was less than legendary as the person whose shoes he was trying to fill.
14. Kevin Costner – Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves: Costner’s attempt at a Gaelic and or British accent is less than exemplary in this film. In fact, he hardly drops his American accent at all, confusing movie goers everywhere. He bravely did a nudity scene, however, this is beside the point.
15) Topher Grace – Predators: Highly anticipated as one of the newer sequels to come out of the Predator franchise, Predators stars a large cast of actors, including That 70s Show Topher Grace, whose portrayal of Edwin, a weasel of a man with a plan, came up lost in space. At least he got what was coming to him in the end!
16) Nicolas Cage – Ghost Rider: This list would not be complete without mentioning Nicolas Cage, whose over-the-top performances have left many speechless or laughing for years on end. However, his portrayal of Johnny Blaze in Marvel’s Ghost Rider, arguably canned this character from being green-lit for years to come.
17) Halle Berry – Gothika: The ridiculous performance in Catwoman, aside, the Oscar-winning actress’s performance in Gothika was also less than exemplary. The horror film based on a Japanese horror film did not perform as well as people had hoped, and Berry’s performance is likely to blame.
18) Johnny Depp – The Lone Ranger: Bringing Tonto to life in the 2013 remake of The Lone Ranger was likely a career misstep for the man. Despite backlash and controversy for a white man playing a First Nations character, Depp was welcomed into some circles of Native American communities. However, his performance was over-the-top and nonsensical, likely costing the film an otherwise fun family adventure.
19) Mike Myers – The Cat In The Hat: Mike Myers has been a comedic legend for years, however, his maniacal role in the film version of Dr. Seuss’s The Cat In The Hat, was ridiculous, creepy and disturbing. It didn’t seem to go quite as the filmmakers hoped, and the film ended up being a total flop.
20) Tom Cruise – War Of The Worlds: The Spielberg-directed film had all the makings and trappings of a great film in the making, however, Tom Cruise’s performance was lacking in feeling and seemed more gimmicky rather than memorable. At least it wasn’t quite as over-the-top as that interview with Oprah.
21) Kevin Costner – The Bodyguard: Costner’s performance in The Bodyguard was nothing short of unremarkable. From his rigid behavior to his cardboard-like personality, it’s hard to wonder why the film became so wildly popular. Whitney Houston saves the day with her amazing song, but we, unfortunately, cannot “always love” this performance by Costner.
22) John Travolta – Hairspray: The beloved stage musical written by Marc Shaiman brought to the big screen sought to put Travolta back in his musical shoes, but his singing voice paired with a bloated and retired portrayal of Tracy Turnblad’s mother Edna was a tough role to play for him. He certainly was no Harvey Fierstein who played the original Edna on Broadway.
23) Taylor Lautner – Abduction: The Twilight star and teen heartthrob Taylor Lautner won the hearts of Hollywood’s youth for his role in the Twilight franchise, however, his acting job in the thriller Abduction just wasn’t cutting it for Hollywood critics who were quick to argue that perhaps he was best suited to play a werewolf.
24) Kristen Stewart – Twilight: In the role that would start up her career, Stewart starring as Bella Swan is about as exciting as a stone sinking in water. Her motionless, expressionless demeanor had audiences scratching their heads for years. Thankfully, Stewart has come into her own over the years, showing us all that she had the skills all along.