While many of us are still more easily swayed by a talented director or a juicy subject matter, many are still easily swayed by star power. That familiarity of a well-known actor up on screen proving to be a key reason why some films fly and others don't.
But a great cast does not always a great movie make. We've assembled a list of the most impressive casts heading up the most disappointing movies. The rules? Each film needs at least five great actors and a Rotten Tomatoes rating of under 50%. Consider this a warning.
(Images: All Star)
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Laurence Fishburne, William H Macy, Martin Sheen, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Elijah Wood, Harry Belafonte and Shia LaBeouf
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 46%
The story of Robert F Kennedy's assassination is an undeniably fascinating tale. Yet, director Emilio Estevez (yes, really) chose to tell it via the fictionalised accounts of a large ensemble cast of characters, all of whom were defined by just one characteristic: interminable dullness. And this is despite the impressive credentials of the cast, which was ultimately a little bit too large and star-studded to provide any depth.
What the critics said: "It makes you wish you were watching a biopic of Robert Kennedy instead" Independent on Sunday
9. Rules of Engagement
Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Tommy Lee Jones, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce and Philip Baker Hall
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 36%
Despite coming from legendary director William Friedkin (The French Connection) and Oscar-winning screenwriter Stephen Gaghan (Traffic), this legal thriller never really reached the heights it should have. Denying us the on-screen drama we'd hoped from the awards-friendly cast (seven Oscar nominations and two wins between them), it was surprisingly stale and also labelled "probably the most racist film ever made against Arabs by Hollywood" by The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Which is never a good thing.
What the critics said: "A broad and obvious approach to ambiguous material that's virtually all plot mechanics with little nuance or characterization" Variety
8. Running With Scissors
Starring: Annette Bening, Alex Baldwin, Brian Cox, Evan Rachel Wood, Jill Clayburgh, Joseph Fiennes, Patrick Wilson and Gwyneth Paltrow
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 30%
This one seemed to have a lot going for it. Based on an acclaimed novel, centred around the Oscar-friendly staple of the dysfunctional family, a true story, that cast...but it didn't really take off. Admittedly, Annette Bening scored herself a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy but in a category that's previously features Angelina Jolie in The Tourist, it's faint praise. In adapting a novel that was already far-fetched, the film drifted into screechy theatrics.
What the critics said: "Maybe all this really happened, but I didn't believe a second of it as portrayed" Chicago Reader
Starring: Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston and Mia Wasikowska
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 21%
Another example of a fascinating historical figure getting a disappointingly pedestrian big screen treatment in this failed attempt to tell the story of Amelia Earhart. In what was a rather plain attempt to score another Oscar, Hilary Swank found herself at the centre of a commercial and critical flop. We still wait patiently for another more finely tuned Earhart biopic.
What the critics said: "Hilary Swank is forced to deliver dialogue that sounds as if it was written in Chinese and then translated into English by a computer" The Times
Starring: Bill Nighy, Penelope Cruz, Zach Galifianakis, Steve Buscemi, Nicolas Cage and Sam Rockwell
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 21%
In what the actors involved would surely refer to as "a movie my kids can finally watch", Jerry Bruckheimer decided that a 3D adventure about talking guinea pigs would be a surefire winner. To be fair to him, the box office was strong and the film doubled its budget worldwide. But the reviews were scathing and only the actors providing voices were able to hide. Not so fast, Nighy.
What the critics said: "G-Force is an aggressively stupid entry in the family-adventure genre from Jerry Bruckheimer" - Washington Post
5. Valentine's Day
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Emma Roberts, Kathy Bates, Shirley MacLaine and Anne Hathaway
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 18%
After He's Just Not That Into You proved to be commercially successful and an easy way for A-Listers to do a small amount of work yet get handsome rewards, Valentine's Day became a no-brainer. Coincidentally, it also had no brains. Squandering a huge cast, it was patronisingly aimed at a seemingly undemanding female audience and depressingly scored a record-breaking opening weekend for a romantic comedy. New Year's Eve soon followed, with diminishing returns...
What the critics said: "It's got a cold, shiny cash register right where its heart should be" Time Out
Starring: Colin Farrell, Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie, Christopher Plummer, Rosario Dawson and Jared Leto
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 16%
Choosing to tell the story of a fascinating historical figure with the help of an A-List cast, it seemed as if Oliver Stone was onto a surefire winner with Alexander. Except that he really really wasn't. The film was loathed and despite two different cuts released on DVD (with one more still to come), no one's mind was remotely changed.
What the critics said: "Not just a bad movie but a bad movie of truly epic proportions" Toronto Star
3. Jonah Hex
Starring: Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Michael Fassbender, Michael Shannon and Aidan Quinn
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 12%
Hoping to create yet another successful DC Comics adaptation, Warner Bros figured that dark western Jonah Hex would be a smart cinematic move. But following in the footsteps of Wild Wild West and proving to be another cautionary tale pre-Cowboys & Aliens, the final film showed that blockbuster westerns just don't work. It flopped at the box office and with critics, making it a rare turkey for Michael Fassbender.
What the critics said: "Director Jimmy Hayward fails to establish a viable reason for this movie to exist" Rolling Stone
2. All The King's Men
Starring: Sean Penn, Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins, Kate Winslet, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Clarkson and James Gandolfini
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 11%
Before its release, this 40s-set political drama was seen to be a major awards contender, due largely to its impressive cast (four Oscars and 15 nominations between them). But after being pushed back a year, the rumour mill started. After it premiered at Toronto, reviews were universally negative and the film bombed at the box office with just a $9 million from a $55 million budget.
What the critics said: "Overstuffed and fatally miscast, All the King's Men never comes to life" Variety
1. Movie 43
Starring: Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman, Richard Gere, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone, Halle Berry, Chloe Grace Moretz, Uma Thurman, Liev Schreiber, Justin Long, Terrence Howard and Dennis Quaid
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 4%
If you need just one example of how stuffing a bad film with A-Listers doesn't stop it from still being a bad film, then here it is. The poster boasted of "the biggest cast ever assembled" yet most of them actively avoided doing any publicity for the critically loathed comedy. Richard Gere tried to pull out while Colin Farrell managed to successfully remove himself from the project. Also worth noting that Julianne Moore starred in an excised sketch. So shame on her too.
What the critics said: "Deadly dull, unfunny, offensive, and stultifyingly clumsy" New Yorker