Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Great movie, shame about that actor

dowell-hugh-grant-afb5173.jpg
don-cheadle.jpg

This is not a list of terrible actors. Several of the people on this list have done exceptional work...in other films. This is instead a list of actors who have, either through poor direction, self-indulgence or inexperience, absolutely stunk up an otherwise wonderful film.

Of course, some of them are just horrible in just about anything they've ever been in.

____________________________________________________________

Quentin Tarantino - Pulp Fiction

This entry could also have been Django Unchained, in which Tarantino was cruelly indulged in his belief that he could do an Australian accent. While far from the only director to cameo in his own movies, Tarantino shows perhaps the greatest drop-off in talent when stepping from behind the camera to in front of it. In Pulp Fiction, Tarantino plays Jimmie, a friend of Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) who helps out when Jules and Vincent (John Travolta) accidentally shoot their passenger in the face, and for several minutes completely derails one of the greatest films of the 90s by being completely unconvincing as a human being.

____________________________________________________________

Timothy Spall - The King's Speech

He's only in a couple of scenes but they're memorable for all the wrong reasons. Spall is playing Winston Churchill to Colin Firth's King George VI, but he goes for absurd caricature, snuffling and grunting like he's based his performance on Napoleon, the fascist pig from Animal Farm. We've seen documentary footage of Winston Churchill so we all know how he actually spoke. It seems Spall did not.

____________________________________________________________

Katie Holmes - Batman Begins

Poor Katie has been deemed the low point of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, but the fact she's completely wrong as Rachel Dawes isn't entirely her fault. She's not good in the role but why did anyone ever think a 27-year-old best known for a show about teenage moping would be right for a strident assistant district attorney? It was an uphill battle and one Holmes was never likely to win.

____________________________________________________________

January Jones - X-Men: First Class

Honestly, she seems like she didn't even know the camera was on.

____________________________________________________________

Daryl Hannah - Wall Street

Daryl Hannah's acting has improved dramatically as she's got older. Look at her in Kill Bill. She's so furiously committed as Elle Driver that she was, frankly, robbed of an Oscar nomination. That fierceness was nowhere to be seen in one of her earliest roles, in Oliver Stone's Wall Street. As Charlie Sheen's girlfriend she's as empty and ornamental as everything else in his shallow yuppy life.

____________________________________________________________

Don Cheadle - Ocean's Eleven

The horror of Cheadle's performance comes down to one thing: that abysmal cockney accent. Cheadle is a terrific actor but by choosing, for no good reason, to perform the role with an accent he absolutely could not do he dragged the viewer out of the film. You weren't listening to anything he was actually saying but wondering why he was saying it in that bizarre voice. It was pure self-indulgence.

____________________________________________________________

Andie Macdowell - Four Weddings And A Funeral

Macdowell has made the line, "Is it raining? I hadn't noticed" one of the most famous from Richard Curtis' comedy classic, but not in the way intended. She delivers it, as she does with all her other lines, with all the passion and charisma of the speaking clock. Hugh Grant deserves a lot more credit for the amount of heavy lifting he had to do to make this rom-com fly.

____________________________________________________________

Mickey Rooney - Breakfast At Tiffany's

It's debatable whether this is a terrible performance or just horrendous direction? If Mickey Rooney is asked to play Holly Golightly's neighbour as an appallingly racist Japanese caricature and then he commits to that completely, is that his fault or the fault of director Blake Edwards? Whoever's fault it is, this is one of the worst casting decisions in cinema history.

____________________________________________________________

Drew Barrymore - Donnie Darko

Drew Barrymore can be so charming, and yet she's so blank in Richard Kelly's first film, a movie that sadly turned out to be a fluke for the director. Playing the title character's English teacher she strains so hard to invest every line with meaning and importance that it's almost comical. Her production company, Flower Films, produced the movie so maybe nobody wanted to tell the boss to reign it in a bit?

____________________________________________________________

Keanu Reeves - Much Ado About Nothing

OK, it's not a great movie but in a very successful film version of one of Shakespeare's best plays, populated by a cast weighed down by acting awards, Keanu Reeves sticks out like a sore thumb. Reeves is very well suited to one thing and that's playing blank characters. In The Matrix or Bill and Ted, playing someone perpetually handsomely confused, he's just what's required. Asking him to tackle Shakespearean language is just mean to everyone, including him.

____________________________________________________________

(Images: AllStar, Rex)

Related

elizabethtown.jpg

Great soundtrack, shame about the movie

28 weeks later.jpg

Great scene, shame about the rest of the film

all-the-kings-men-pic.jpg

Great cast, shame about the movie

sucker-punch.jpg

Great trailer, shame about the movie

dvd-art-hero.jpg

Great movie, shame about the DVD cover

goodmoviesbadposters.jpg

Nice poster, shame about the film

Comments

More

Did Indiana Jones & The Crystal Skull predict the Trump presidency?

Mind. Blown.

by Dave Fawbert
13 Jan 2017

The 7 best titles new to UK Netflix this week

13 Jan 2017

Top 10 Scariest Stephen King Scenes

13 Jan 2017

Home Alone with digitally added blood is truly disturbing

Kevin was an utter psychopath

by Dave Fawbert
13 Jan 2017

There's a new trailer for that insane Russian superhero movie

Yes of course there's a giant bear with a machine gun

by Dave Fawbert
12 Jan 2017

Andrew Garfield: "I have had amazing experiences with mushrooms"

The actor talks fame, mind altering substances and the time his mate kissed Taylor Swift's ear

11 Jan 2017

Haunting first trailer for film loosely based on the Aurora shooting

Powerful stuff

11 Jan 2017

Randy Quaid writes furious open letter to Meryl Streep

The Independence Day (and others) have some stuff to say

11 Jan 2017

Ryan Reynolds and Andrew Garfield made out at the Golden Globes

We always said Spiderman and Deadpool had chemistry

09 Jan 2017

La La Land and Night Manager win big at the Golden Globes 2017

No messing, here's what you need to know

09 Jan 2017