Top 10 Bad Performances by Good Actors

phillysports
If you look through the filmography of some of the greatest actors to hit the big screen, you'd be able to find at least one performance where it seems like their gift was stolen from them. This is a list ranking truly awful performances by otherwise good actors.

The Top Ten

1 Mark Wahlberg - The Happening

Mark Wahlberg has proven himself to be a good actor for over 20 years now. But under the direction of M. Night Shyamalan, you swear it looks like he's never even acted before. In this movie, he sounds like a toddler learning how to speak. But you can't really blame him. With dialogue written this badly, MARLON BRANDO would struggle to give a good performance in this movie. With a script as poor as this accompanied with Shyamalan's poor direction, poor Wahlberg was left out to dry here. The result is one of the most unintentionally funny performances given in a movie. Case in point:

"What? No! " - phillysports

2 Russell Crowe - Les Miserables

Russell Crowe has starred in tons of critically acclaimed movies throughout his career. However, he's also starred in a large number of awful movies throughout his career. For every Gladiator, there's a Robin Hood. For every Beautiful Mind, there's a Good Year. Crowe is also not that good of a singer, as well. So in a movie where he's surrounded by talented vocalists and each one of the actors is forced to sing live on camera as opposed to being dubbed over later, he's going to stick out like a sore thumb. The result is an uncomfortably awkward performance with cringe-inducing singing and unintentional hilarity. "AND I'M JAVERT! " - phillysports

I'd rather watch the musical live. - Phillip873

Anne Hathaway was probably worse.

3 Will Smith - After Earth

Another Shyamalan-directed performance on this list, and this time not even the Fresh Prince is immune. Will Smith has built a reputation as one of the coolest and most charismatic actors to ever grace the big screen. However, in this movie, he's transformed into a dull block of wood. Playing a character who is forced to show as little emotion as possible, I think that ANY actor could have played this part. All you need is a monotone voice, a dead stare, and a lack of interest in anything that is going on. And based on the quality of After Earth, who could blame him? - phillysports

Correct me if I'm wrong, but while I haven't watched After Earth (I think it's best I don't waste time with a movie I already know people dislike), but I believe Will Smith's son Jaden Smith starred along with him in this movie. Granted, while Will Smith is a good actor in general and was cast in a role that doesn't fit him, Jaden was just too tryhard at being emotional that it makes you think he's trying too hard to be as good of an actor as his father. I would put Jaden Smith on the list, but considering I've never really heard any good performances by him as an actor, I wouldn't really put him on the list then. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

Old Will Smith is a good actor, modern Will Smith is a terrible actor. He has basically become the Spongebob Squarepants of actors. - 445956

4 Jeremy Irons - Dungeons and Dragons

Jeremy Irons is known for his theatrical style of acting in his career. Hell, he even started his career as a classically trained Shakespearean actor. I guess that's one way to make sense of this gloriously awful over-the-top performance in a film that's based off of a board game. There's more ham in Irons' performance here than in a Christmas dinner. Is it entertaining? Yes. Is it good acting? Definitely not. - phillysports

5 Tommy Lee Jones - Batman Forever

Tommy Lee Jones is known for playing tough characters with rough, stoic demeanors such as in the Men in Black series and in No Country for Old Men. Joel Schumacher directed a performance that was unlike any that Jones had given in his career before or since. And that's not a compliment. His over-the-top portrayal of Harvey Dent/Two-Face does not gel particularly well with me, like the movie as a whole. It's insane to believe that Jones in this movie and Aaron Eckhart in The Dark Knight are playing the exact same character. - phillysports

6 George Clooney - Batman & Robin

Another awful performance in a Batman movie, George Clooney thanks his stars every day that Christopher Nolan wiped away a lot of the pain that Batman & Robin left behind. Consistently cited as one of the worst films ever made, Batman & Robin takes reasonably good actors and makes complete fools of them. Nowhere is that more obvious than George Clooney. Clooney has done tons of good work as an actor and as a director over the years, but this performance is just embarrassing on all levels. From some of the cheesiest one-liners ever put in a movie, to his ridiculous suit, to the BAT CREDIT CARD, this was definitely a low pint in Clooney's successful film career. - phillysports

7 Brad Pitt - Troy

Brad Pitt is an actor that people seem to either love or hate. Some say he's a truly talented thespian who's capable of pulling of a variety of roles. Others write him off as an untalented hack who only gets work because of his looks. Personally, I believe that Pitt is a good actor. His performances is Fight Club, Inglourious Basterds, and Moneyball are just a few examples to back up this claim. In the case of Troy, however, it's clear that he was only cast because he looked the part of Achilles. Pitt tries his best in the film, but his accent seems to appear and disappear throughout the movie and some of his line readings like "You sack of wine! " are laughably bad. - phillysports

8 Kevin Spacey - Nine Lives

Kevin Spacey is revered by many as one of the greatest dramatic actors of the last 30 years. The Usual Suspects, House of Cards, American Beauty, Seven, and L.A. Confidential representing only some of his best work. It's amazing to believe that a movie with a relatively large budget, big-name stars, and a decent Hollywood director is as awful and as cheap-looking as this film is. Kevin Spacey is only on screen a third of the time during the film. The rest of the time, he's providing the voice of a poorly CGI'd cat, where you can tell that he doesn't care about this movie at all. Just like everybody else. - phillysports

9 Dennis Hopper - Super Mario Bros.

The trend of video game movies being awful is nothing new. And nowhere is that more apparent than in 1993's film adaptation of Super Mario Bros. Dennis Hopper, famous for his roles in Apocalypse Now and Easy Rider, portrays the movie's antagonist King Koopa. Similar to Jeremy Irons, Hopper gives an awful over-the-top performance in a movie that's just a disaster in every area. - phillysports

10 Robert De Niro - Dirty Grandpa

Robert De Niro is one of the greatest actors to ever live. His career is over 50 years long and contains roles in some of the most acclaimed films ever. The Godfather Part II, Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Mean Streets, The Deer Hunter, Brazil, Silver Linings Playbook, Heat, and A Bronx Tale to just name a handful. In recent years, De Niro has unfortunately been typecast to play grumpy old man characters. And nowhere is that more demeaning than in this low-brow, sorry excuse of a comedy. - phillysports

The Contenders

11 Annette Bening - Captain Marvel Annette Bening - Captain Marvel Annette Carol Bening is an American actress. She began her career on stage with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival company in 1980, and played Lady Macbeth in 1984 at the American Conservatory Theatre.

I cringed at her acting. She somehow managed to be worse than Brie Larson. - Tia-Harribel

12 David Thewlis - Wonder Woman
13 Eddie Redmayne - Jupiter Ascending Eddie Redmayne - Jupiter Ascending

(Balme Abrasax) Abnormal mix of melodramatic murmuring for the most part, but over-the-top screaming if else, when he is not murmuring. For example: (loudly) I CREATE LIFE! (pause, then quietly) And I destroy it…

14 Patrick Stewart - The Emoji Movie

Why does such a legendary actor accept the other to play a piece of crap? - 445956

15 Tom Cruise - The Mummy
16 Gary Oldman - Tiptoes
17 Samuel L. Jackson - The Spirit

He's so over the top in this film.

18 Christopher Lloyd - Foodfight!

WHY? - 445956

19 Bill Murray - Garfield
20 Jeff Bridges - R.I.P.D.
21 Marlon Brando - The Island of Dr. Moreau
22 Johnny Depp - Mortdecai
23 Al Pacino - Jack and Jill

Does this one even count? - Tia-Harribel

24 Ben Kingsley - Bloodrayne
25 Ethan Hawke - Getaway
26 Anthony Hopkins - Transformers: The Last Knight
27 Sean Penn - All the King's Men
28 Forest Whitaker - Battlefield Earth
29 Ed Harris - Milk Money
30 Rod Steiger - The Specialist
31 Bill Murray - Rock the Kasbah
32 Tom Hanks - The Bonfire of the Vanities
33 John C. Reilly - Holmes & Watson
34 Ralph Fiennes - The Avengers
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Top 10 Bad Performances In Good Films Top Cases of Bad Performances in Good Films Best Performances of "Bad" Actors Top Ten Actors So Bad They're Good Actors and Actresses Who Play Good and Bad Characters Really Well

List StatsCreated 14 Sep 2017
Updated 3 Jul 2019

34 listings
2 years, 83 days old

Top Remixes

1. Mark Wahlberg - The Happening
2. Russell Crowe - Les Miserables
3. Will Smith - After Earth
phillysports
1. Annette Bening - Captain Marvel
2. David Thewlis - Wonder Woman
3. Tommy Lee Jones - Batman Forever
Tia-Harribel

WRemix

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