Films

When bad films happen to good actors

We've all done some pretty awful things for money. There was that humiliating summer job at Wimpy and then that bet which involved £10 and the ingestion of an entire mug of bin juice.

But our money-grabbing exploits have been kept relatively secret, unlike those poor actors. Whether under the influence of some drug we could never afford or just desperate to add another pool to their estate, they've often taken on films which deserve nothing but ridicule.

Here are 40 of the most shameful:

(Main image: All Star)

  • When bad films happen to good actors

    Robert De Niro

    Film: The Adventures Of Rocky & Bullwinkle

    Year: 2000

    Reason for shame: Playing the villain Fearless Leader against a moose and a squirrel, the Oscar-winning actor was reduced to doing a Travis Bickle impression in one, heart-crushing scene.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 1

    Al Pacino

    Film: Gigli

    Year: 2003

    Reason for shame: Even though it was just a cameo, even being seen near a poster of the Razzie-sweeping Bennifer opus is a reason to be embarrassed. It's officially the 88th worst reviewed film on IMDb. Quite a feat.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 2

    Morgan Freeman

    Film: Dreamcatcher

    Year: 2003

    Reason for shame: A film about aliens based on a book by Stephen King sounds like a safe option. Until you learn that the aliens are referred to as "s***-weasels" because of where they leave the human body. We no lie.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 3

    Christopher Walken

    Film: Envy

    Year: 2004

    Reason for shame: A comedy about a guy who invents a spray to remove dog feces. That's enough, right? At least he was in good/depressing company (Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Rachel Weisz).

  • When bad films happen to good actors 4

    Denzel Washington

    Film: Heart Condition

    Year: 1990

    Reason for shame: A buddy comedy between a racist detective and a dead lawyer who both share the same hooker girlfriend. Are you laughing yet?

  • When bad films happen to good actors 5

    Samuel L Jackson

    Film: Twisted

    Year: 2004

    Reason for shame: Boasting a 2% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this incomprehensible thriller sees a slutty Ashley Judd find all of her conquests turning up dead. Samuel L Jackson is her mentor and the killer. Non-spoiler as we saved you from watching it.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 6

    George Clooney

    Film: Batman & Robin

    Year: 1997

    Reason for shame: Do we even need to tell you? Chances are you might have repressed one of the worst ever superhero films but lines such as "Hey Freeze, the heat is on" will probably haunt you for almost as long as it will haunt Mr. Clooney.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 7

    Robert Duvall

    Film: Four Christmases

    Year: 2008

    Reason for shame: Playing Vince Vaughn's redneck father, his role was mercifully brief but, like the rest of the film, painfully unfunny. This guy was in The Godfather for Christ's sake.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 8

    Johnny Depp

    Film: The Astronaut's Wife

    Year: 1999

    Reason for shame: Playing the astronaut of the title, he goes into space and comes back with an alien inside of him. An alien who can't act.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 9

    Sigourney Weaver

    Film: Crazy On The Outside

    Year: 2010

    Reason for shame: Starring in Tim Allen's directorial debut was never going to be a wise choice but this extended sitcom managed to give the star of Alien her lowest moment. They must be really really good friends.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 10

    Anthony Hopkins

    Film: Bad Company

    Year: 2002

    Reason for shame: Teaming up with Chris Rock for this buddy comedy was never going to work. Especially when is character was called Gaylord Oakes. Oh, how we laughed...

  • When bad films happen to good actors 11

    Bruce Willis

    Film: Perfect Stranger

    Year: 2007

    Reason for shame: Attempting to make cybersex seem at all sexy, this thriller failed from the outset. Just try and watch him and Halle Berry sexy-IM each other without laughing. We dare you.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 12

    Julianne Moore

    Film: Next

    Year: 2007

    Reason for shame: It's a cheesy sci-fi thriller with a long-haired Nicolas Cage playing a magician who can see into the future. Made on the cheap, it still managed to be a complete flop.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 13

    Michael Caine

    Film: Jaws: The Revenge

    Year: 1987

    Reason for shame: Did you know that sharks were capable of picking on particular people and following them around the world just to torment them? Yeah well neither did anyone else (including sharks) until this turkey came out.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 14

    Ben Kingsley

    Film: The Love Guru

    Year: 2008

    Reason for shame: The Oscar-winning star of Gandhi played a character called Guru Tugginmypudha. No, we don't really get it either although in a film full of fart jokes, it doesn't really matter.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 15

    Susan Sarandon

    Film: Mr. Woodcock

    Year: 2007

    Reason for shame: A film so bad that even the stars discussed what a mistake it was while they filmed it, this comedy sold itself on a childish title and an even worse poster. Proof to the left...

  • When bad films happen to good actors 16

    Kevin Spacey

    Film: Fred Claus

    Year: 2007

    Reason for shame: Starring as an efficiency expert who has come to assess Santa's factory in the North Pole in a film where star Ludacris performs a song called Ludacrismas is never going to leave you content as a human being.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 17

    Bill Murray

    Film: Larger Than Life

    Year: 1996

    Reason for shame: Teaming up a comic actor with an animal can work wonders (Turner & Hooch, Turner & Hooch, Turner & Hooch) but when the animal is an elephant, it's a proposition that proved far less appealing. Bad luck Bill.

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  • When bad films happen to good actors 18

    Nicole Kidman

    Film: Just Go With It

    Year: 2011

    Reason for shame: The Oscar-winner slummed it as Jennifer Aniston's college nemesis who is married to the gay inventor of the iPod in this Adam Sandler comedy which is already one of the year's worst-reviewed movies.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 19

    Will Smith

    Film: Seven Pounds

    Year: 2008

    Reason for shame: A desperate bid for Oscar love, this strange drama saw Will Smith play a man who kills seven people in a traffic accident and makes amends by letting his jellyfish kill him in his bath so his organs can be used. Oh and it's not a comedy.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 20

    Judi Dench

    Movie: The Chronicles Of Riddick

    Year: 2004

    Reason for shame: The usually picky actress made a bizarre foray into sci-fi in this poorly received sequel. She played an envoy of the Elementals. Yeah, it doesn't make much more sense if you're watching the movie either.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 21

    Jon Voight

    Film: Anaconda

    Year: 1997

    Reason for shame: Voight played a Spanish snake hunter who spends the movie leering at Jennifer Lopez and getting swallowed whole by an Anaconda. If you need proof of why he shouldn't ever play Spanish, click here.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 22

    Richard Burton

    Film: Exorcist II: The Heretic

    Year: 1977

    Reason for shame: Despite being nominated for seven Oscars, Burton took the lead in a poorly received sequel that actually induced laughter during the premiere. Weirdly, he didn't receive any more nominations after the film was out...

  • When bad films happen to good actors 23

    Marlon Brando

    Film: The Island Of Dr. Moreau

    Year: 1996

    Reason for shame: A notoriously plagued production, coupled with the duelling egos of Brando and Val Kilmer turned this cautionary tale about genetics into a cautionary tale about making films in general.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 24

    Willem Dafoe

    Film: Body Of Evidence

    Year: 1993

    Reason for shame: After starring in Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July, surely being covered in hot wax by Madonna and having her sit on your face has got to be a bit of a shock.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 25

    Robert Downey Jr

    Film: The Shaggy Dog

    Year: 2006

    Reason for shame: Pre Iron Man comeback, Downey Jr woke up after one bender and found himself starring as an evil geneticist who winds up turning Tim Allen into a dog. Worst hangover ever.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 26

    Tommy Lee Jones

    Film: Man of the House

    Year: 2005

    Reason for shame: In this alleged comedy, Jones plays an FBI Agent who goes undercover as a cheerleading coach. The film was such a mess that no-one involved in the film could think of an ending until months after when the director shot a new one.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 27

    Liam Neeson

    Film: The Haunting

    Year: 1999

    Reason for shame: An astoundingly bad remake of the 60s classic, this replaced suspense and suggestion with CGI and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Not a great career move for a guy that starred in Schindler's List.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 28

    Gary Oldman

    Film: Tiptoes

    Year: 2003

    Reason for shame: Well, Gary Oldman plays Matthew McConaughey's dwarf brother, who teaches Kate Beckinsale about what being a dwarf is like as she may or may not be pregnant with one. The film tries to teach a message about dwarfs being just like us yet fails by hiring a normal-sized actor to play one.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 29

    Martin Sheen

    Film: Spawn

    Year: 1997

    Reason for shame: Joining The Shadow, Catwoman and Daredevil in the ranks of superhero films that only managed one outing, this poorly received comic book adaptation actually has a proposed sequel from its deluded creator that believes it will be for an older audience, "like the film The Departed". Ermm, good luck with that.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 30

    William H Macy

    Film: Wild Hogs

    Year: 2007

    Reason for shame: Now, we expect it from his co-stars (Tim Allen, John Travolta and Martin Lawrence) but the Oscar-nominated actor of Fargo should know better than starring in a film which managed a pitiful 14% on Rotten Tomatoes. A sequel was thankfully canned.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 31

    James Caan

    Film: Mickey Blue Eyes

    Year: 1999

    Reason for shame: A gangster comedy starring Hugh Grant was never going to be a winner. This laboured rom-com spoofed Caan's persona from The Godfather and only served to remind us how we'd rather be re-watching that for the 15th time.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 32

    Faye Dunaway

    Film: Dunston Checks In

    Year: 1996

    Reason for shame: Sharing the screen with an orangutan that's been trained as a jewel thief was never going to be a particularly gratifying experience. Especially for the star of Chinatown and Bonnie & Clyde.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 33

    Paul Giamatti

    Film: Lady In The Water

    Year: 2006

    Reason for shame: One of the most intolerable nails in writer/director M Night Shyamalan's coffin, this pretentious misfire reached its low-point when Shayamalan himself cameoed as a writer whose writing would change the world. Well, we're still waiting...

  • When bad films happen to good actors 34

    Philip Seymour Hoffman

    Film: My Boyfriend's Back

    Year: 1993

    Reason for shame: Pre-fame, Hoffman turned up in this bizarre comedy which followed a dead high schooler take his living girlfriend to the prom. The film also strangely starred Matthew Fox, Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 35

    John Malkovich

    Film: Jonah Hex

    Year: 2010

    Reason for shame: A violent graphic novel adaptation from the director of Horton Hears A Who! anyone? Apparently that was enough for Malkovich who signed up as the villain. Being John Malkovich can sometimes be pretty embarrassing.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 36

    Frances McDormand

    Film: Aeon Flux

    Year: 2005

    Reason for shame: The Oscar-nominated star of Fargo slummed it in this failed TV series adaptation which also embarrassed Oscar-winner Charlize Theron. If you need proof of why McDormand should feel shamed, click here.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 37

    Gene Hackman

    Film: Loose Cannons

    Year: 1990

    Reason for shame: Okay so it's a wacky buddy comedy but it revolves around a film that shows the last minutes of Hitler's life and how two cops have to track down a German officer who is killing anyone that's seen it. Oh and Hackman's partner is Dan Aykroyd who has multiple personality disorder and assumes characters like Popeye and Road Runner. Oh, brother...

  • When bad films happen to good actors 38

    Warren Beatty

    Film: Town & Country

    Year: 2001

    Reason for shame: One of the most financially disastrous films ever, this failed romantic comedy had a $90m budget but only raked in $10m. Beatty hasn't made a film since. Can't blame him really.

  • When bad films happen to good actors 39

    Laura Linney

    Film: Congo

    Year: 1995

    Reason for shame: Well her main co-star was a talking gorilla called Amy, who wasn't a CGI or a real animal but a puppet. Yeah, best forgotten about this one.

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