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Top 10 Bad Movies with Good Actors

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Tiffany Ezuma. Even A-list actors need to earn a paycheck. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the Top 10 Bad Movies with Good Actors. For this list, we’ve picked a bunch of bad movies that somehow attracted good actors to attach themselves to the project. We judged the movies based on critical reception and box office numbers, and we judged the actors based on past projects and their reputation for giving good performances. Special thanks to our users Jose Miguel Alvear Carrion, RamaZ, WatchDogsFan47, RAúl Millán M, Andrew A. Dennison, Nick Konjicija, john.tonderys, spiralwolf7299 and Justin Grech for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Tiffany Ezuma.

Top 10 Bad Movies with Good Actors


Even A-list actors need to earn a paycheck. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Bad Movies with Good Actors.

For this list, we’ve picked a bunch of bad movies that somehow attracted good actors to attach themselves to the project. We judged the movies based on critical reception and box office numbers, and we judged the actors based on past projects and their reputation for giving good performances.

#10: Al Pacino & Christopher Walken
“Gigli” (2003)

This movie may go down as one of the worst ever made. It seemed like a terrible excuse for real-life couple, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, to star in a movie together. If anything, it only worked to hurt the reputations of them, Pacino, and Walken. The laughable dialogue, a nonsensical plot, and indecipherable title led the movie to be yanked from theatrical release after only three weeks. Audiences stayed away from the film and it made a paltry $7.3 million despite its budget of $75.6 million.

#9: George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey, Ewan McGregor
“The Men Who Stare at Goats” (2009)

Based on a novel of the same name, the film boasted an all-star cast of Hollywood’s finest leading men and great character actors. Unfortunately for them, this movie didn’t offer enough depth for their skills. Met with mixed reviews, the film was meant to be of the dark humor variety. Instead, most of the humor fell flat and the film suffered from a lack of purpose while trying too hard to be smart. The one bright spot was Clooney’s performance, which rose above the lackluster film.

#8: Leonardo DiCaprio
“J. Edgar” (2011)

This was obviously a vehicle meant to earn DiCaprio an Oscar but it was the wrong choice on his part. Based on the life of the infamous FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, DiCaprio was actually hailed for his performance and the depth he brought to the character. Unfortunately for him, the story around him lacked focus, was confusing, and wasn’t exactly historically accurate. The production seemed haphazard and DiCaprio’s make-up was poorly done. Even he couldn’t elevate that many things working against him.

#7: John Travolta & Forest Whitaker
“Battlefield Earth” (2000)

Does anyone even remember this movie? The fact that it’s pretty forgettable may be the best thing about it. Starring Travolta and Whitaker, two critically acclaimed actors; the movie was an adaption of a novel by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. Travolta had to fight to get the film made, and it shows. The script was horrible, the story incomprehensible and filled with plot holes, and the production looked amateur. The film won seven Razzies that year, but somehow it did not kill either actor’s career.

#6: Daniel Day-Lewis
“Nine” (2009)

Based on a musical of the same name and the Federico Fellini film “8 ½,” this movie had big shoes to fill but failed miserably. Day-Lewis had a supporting cast that included many beautiful and talented actresses including Penelope Cruz, Sophia Loren, Marion Cotillard and Dame Judi Dench. But instead of feeling fresh and sexy like it was intended, the movie felt overly long and lacked a clear vision. Somehow, “Nine” fooled Hollywood and was nominated for four Oscars but luckily didn’t take home any wins.

#5: George Clooney & Matt Damon
“The Monuments Men” (2014)

This film was Clooney’s sixth directorial effort, in which he starred in alongside Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin and John Goodman. Instead of showing off his talents as an actor or director, the movie was forgettable almost immediately upon release. It’s tough to single out one actor as having given a particularly bad performance, but many characters seemed to lack motivation or believability. Clooney claimed that the majority of the story was historically accurate but some historians disagree. Whatever the case, the film was dead on arrival.

#4: Sean Penn
“All the Kings Men” (2006)

A political drama starring Hollywood A-listers like Sean Penn, Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins and Kate Winslet sounds like Oscar bait but this movie was the exact opposite. Director Steven Zaillian claimed to have adapted the film solely from the novel of the same name but many saw it as a lesser remake of the 1949 film, despite some of the changes in the plot. The movie lacked the sharpness a political thriller should have, and there were missed opportunities in creating parallels to modern politics.

#3: George Clooney
“Batman & Robin” (1997)

Arguably the worst movie in the Batman cannon, George Clooney was lucky he was already considered such a heartthrob or this could have irrevocably damaged his career. The movie was campy but not in a good way. There were too many snappy jokes with no substance, which made the story hard to care about. Clooney looked silly in the outfit, which was awfully designed and included visible nipples. “Batman & Robin” was so unsuccessful, it led Warner Bros. to cancel the follow-up film, “Batman Triumphant.” The series wasn’t resurrected until almost ten years later with “Batman Begins.”

#2: Robert De Niro & Al Pacino
“Righteous Kill” (2008)

It seems like De Niro may be playing a trick on audiences with some of the choices he’s been making later in his career. When people think of a De Niro film, they expect a gripping story, with an unmatched performance. “Righteous Kill” did not deliver. To add to the insult, Al Pacino was also in the film, which should have elevated the movie’s so-so plot. Instead, the two men seemed to be above the material they were given. The movie lacked suspense and held little mystery despite being advertised as a thriller.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, Robin Williams, etc.
“The Big Wedding” (2013)
- Hilary Swank, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, Halle Berry, etc.
“New Year’s Eve” (2011)
- Willem Dafoe & Julianne Moore
“Body of Evidence” (1993)
- Anthony Hopkins
“Bad Company” (2002)
- Warren Beatty
“Town & Country” (2001)

#1: Hugh Jackman, etc.
“Movie 43” (2013)

Talk about an over-bloated cast! This movie seemed to have every Hollywood heavy in it, including Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Emma Stone, and Kate Winslet. While it was hard to watch those actors in it, it was especially hard to see Hugh Jackman packing testicles on his neck, since he had earlier seen much critical acclaim and earned an Oscar nod. This movie was universally panned for its incoherent plot, lack of plausible characters, and reliance on gross-out humor. One critic praised the film as, “a masterpiece of tastelessness,” ouch!

Do you agree with our list? Which good actors were in the worst movies? For more can’t miss Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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