Top 10 Movies That Made You Love Hated Actors

Written by Nick Spake Actors know better than most that reputations are gained in inches and lost in yards, but for a moment these hated and in some cases awful actors were redeemed with these fantastic performances. WatchMojo presents the top 10 most hated actors who had one good performance! But which actor will take the top spot on our list? Will it be Ben Affleck in The Town, Adam Sandler for his dramatic turn in Punch Drunk Love, or John Travolta's career saving performance in Pulp Fiction? Watch to find out!
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Just when you thought an actor couldn’t possibly get any worse, they go and make a movie like this… and totally redeem themselves! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movies That Made You Love Hated Actors.

For this list, we’re taking a look at movies that, if only for a brief moment, had you loving a performer that’s dealt with an iffy reputation over the years.

#10: Tyler Perry
“Gone Girl” (2014)

Whenever Tyler Perry comes out with another “Madea” movie, critics can’t help but collectively cringe. While not everyone is a fan of his most iconic character, Perry can actually be a very charming, versatile actor. Nowhere is this more apparent than in David Fincher’s adaptation of “Gone Girl.” Perry took everyone by surprise with his portrayal of Tanner Bolt, a smooth attorney that defends a man accused of murdering his wife. He’s not only charismatic and likable in the part, but also brings some refreshing humor to a grim story. Although it’s only a supporting role, Perry steals every scene he’s in, leaving audiences wanting more.

#9: Anne Hathaway
“The Dark Knight Rises” (2012)

It’s possible for a person to be too perfect, and Anne Hathaway is often considered living proof of that. The haters finally warmed up to the actress, though, with her performance as Selina Kyle in “The Dark Knight Rises.” Crafty, slick, and manipulative, Hathaway certainly captures the Princess of Plunder’s spirit. At the same time, she brings a modern sensibility to the character, sharing a believable bond with Batman and revealing that she has more in common with Bruce Wayne than meets the eye. The result is perhaps the most human and three-dimensional portrayal of Catwoman to date, at least on the big screen.

#8: Colin Farrell
“In Bruges” (2008)

Between drug addiction and a sex tape scandal, this Irish actor has faced his fair share of negative press. His Razzie-nominated work in 2004’s “Alexander” didn’t help his image either. However, Farrell had a comeback in 2008 thanks to his Golden Globe winning performance in this dark comedy. As hitman Ray, Farrell delivers some of the funniest one-liners you’ll ever hear. What’s more, he brings great depth to a multi-layered character struggling to live with his mistakes. Despite Ray’s many drawbacks, Farrell molds him into a sympathetic and even relatable individual. He’s the kind of guy you’d like to get a drink with. Of course you wouldn’t want to go sightseeing with him.

#7: Sharon Stone
“Casino” (1995)

Sharon Stone stood out as one of the sexiest stars of the 90s, but she wasn’t exactly known for her acting chops. On the heels of multiple Razzie nominations, Stone gave the performance of her career in this Martin Scorsese picture. Stone shines as Ginger McKenna, a former prostitute who marries a gambling handicapper. Although she’s surrounded by wealth and luxury, Ginger is addicted to alcohol, drugs, and unhealthy romantic partners. A human train wreck, Ginger digs herself deeper and deeper until she meets an inevitable fate. Bringing a genuine sense of tragedy to the role, Stone took home a Golden Globe for her electrifying performance and even scored her first Oscar nomination.

#6: Hayden Christensen
“Shattered Glass” (2003)

Anakin Skywalker might’ve seemed like the role of a lifetime, but it sadly made Hayden Christensen one of the most infamous actors in Hollywood. Before he was delivering painful monologues about sand, Christensen demonstrated real potential as an actor. His leading work in “Shattered Glass” remains one of his best performances. As Stephen Glass, Christensen plays a young journalist who’s unable to back up one of his stories. Glass is either a naïve reporter that made an error or a pathological liar that doesn’t know when to give up, and Christensen keeps the audience guessing and engaged every step of the way.

#5: Kristen Stewart
“Clouds of Sils Maria” (2014)

Since Bella Swan is one of the most hated characters in popular culture, it’s easy to hate the actress who portrays her. When given strong material, however, Kristen Stewart can hit it out of the park. Her performances in “Adventureland” and especially “Clouds of Sils Maria” are clear evidence of that. Stewart plays Valentine, the personal assistant of a veteran actress. While rehearsing for a play, Valentine develops a closer relationship with her boss. There are moments in the film where little is seemingly happening on the surface, but a lot is happening underneath. The same can be said about Stewart’s understated performance, which made her the first American actress to win a César Award.

#4: Channing Tatum
“21 Jump Street” (2012)

Based on some of his earlier screen roles, Channing Tatum seemed like just another pretty boy with no real acting talent. But through his comedic turn in “21 Jump Street,” this heartthrob proved the haters wrong. As Greg Jenko, Tatum plays a somewhat dim police officer that peaked during high school. And it appears Jenko might get to relive his former glory upon going undercover as a high school student. He quickly finds, however, that teenagers have drastically changed. Tatum is nothing short of hilarious in the role, scoring one huge laugh after another. He’s also a wonderful comedic foil for co-star Jonah Hill, amounting to one of the best buddy cop movies of recent years.

#3: Adam Sandler
“Punch-Drunk Love” (2002)

While Adam Sandler has made some funny movies, he’s also made a lot that were complete misfires. As such, nobody ever expected Sandler to land a leading role in a film from acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson. Yet, Anderson saw something in Sandler that nobody else did, resulting in a truly magnificent performance. Barry Egan is a nice guy on the surface, but is full of rage and insecurities. Although that sounds like every character Sandler plays, he brings a surprising amount of passion and complexity to the role. Much like Sandler’s character in “Funny People,” Barry is a flawed man that we oddly root for and even come to love.

#2: Ben Affleck
“The Town” (2010)

After several critical and commercial flops, most notably “Gigli,” Ben Affleck’s career appeared beyond repair. Against all the odds, he rebounded in 2007 with his feature-length directorial debut, “Gone Baby Gone.” For his follow-up directorial outing, “The Town,” Affleck got back in front of the camera and delivered one of his best performances. Affleck stars as Doug MacRay, a criminal that’s motivated to turn his life around after falling in love with one of his hostages. Of course this proves easier said than done, and Affleck makes for a compelling leading man with significant range. While even greater things were on the horizon for Affleck, this performance officially confirmed that he was back on track.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Chris Tucker
“Silver Linings Playbook” (2012)

- Marlon Wayans
“Requiem for a Dream” (2000)

#1: John Travolta
“Pulp Fiction” (1994)

Throughout the 1980s, John Travolta starred in bomb after bomb. Although the Razzies nominated him for Worst Actor of the Decade, the 90s offered a new beginning for Travolta, who returned to superstardom with his performance as Vincent Vega. Cool and confident, Vincent didn’t feel like a traditional movie hitman; he felt like a casual guy that just so happened to be a contract killer. Part of the character’s charm stems from Quentin Tarantino’s screenplay, but it has even more to do with Travolta’s endearing portrayal. This comeback performance even earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Travolta’s career has had its ups and downs since then, but he’ll always have the Royale with Cheese.
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