50 Terrible Movies Featuring Great Actors

Embarrassing films on respectable CVs

Big Top Pee-Wee (1988) Benicio Del Toro

The Terrible Film: A sequel to Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure , which sees the manchild find a circus recently blown onto his farm, before deciding to put on his very own show. Could happen.

The Great Actor: Oscar winning star of such heavyweight fare as Traffic, 21 Grams and Che: Parts One and Two , as well as more mainstream successes like Snatch, Sin City and The Usual Suspects .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Benecio Del Toro plays Duke The Dog-Faced Boy, which has to be one of the more embarrassing film debuts in the history of cinema. Still, maybe he can count it towards ‘research’ for The Wolfman ?

Hush (1998) Jessica Lange

The Terrible Film: Essentially, this is a thriller about an over-protective mother who doesn’t want her son to move away with his pregnant girlfriend (played by Gwyneth Paltrow) and so begins bullying her to the point of physical assault. All while the son remains clueless.

The Great Actor: The winner of two Oscars, five Golden Globes and two Emmys, Lange is a hugely acclaimed actress and star of such films as Tootsie, Frances, Cape Fear and Big Fish .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: In a film riddled with stupendous script turns and cringeworthy clichés, Lange manages to at least add layers to her psychotic mother figure, making her seem at times sympathetic, even when she’s doing the most outrageously awful things.

My Boyfriends Back (1993) Philip Seymour Hoffman

The Terrible Film: Comedy horror about a teenage boy who returns from the dead and meets the love of his life Missy McCloud for date... despite being a zombie.

Basically Warm Bodies meets Weekend At Bernie’s .

The Great Actor: With an Oscar win to his name, as well as three noms and three Tony Award nominations, Hoffman is an actor that started his career playing oddball characters like in those in Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Almost Famous , before moving on to acclaimed dramatic leading roles like those in Doubt, The Master and Synecdoche, New York .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Hoffman plays the obnoxious sidekick to a young Matthew Fox in a film that is really only notable for featuring a bunch of A-listers in before-they-were-famous roles.

Dunston Checks In (1996) Faye Dunaway

The Terrible Film: A young boy befriends an orang-utan in a five star hotel, unaware that he is the trained accomplice of a jewel thief. Also starring George from Seinfeld , just to add an extra stamp of class.

The Great Actor: Oscar-winning star of Network, Bonnie And Clyde, The Thomas Crown Affair and Chinatown among so many others, as well as a bona fide classical Hollywood starlet.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: While the film picked up mostly negative reviews, they particularly focused on Dunaway’s unfortunately poor performance, which also earned her a Razzie nomination for Worst Supporting Actress.

Son Of The Mask (2005) Alan Cumming

The Terrible Film: Sequel to 1994’s hugely successful Jim Carrey vehicle The Mask , this time with Jamie Kennedy in the lead role as a cartoonist who ends up with a son “born of the mask”, and Alan Cumming as God of Mischief Loki.

The Great Actor: Respected stage and screen actor, appearing in acclaimed theatrical productions of Hamlet, Accidental Death Of An Anarchist and Cabaret . In addition to this, the actor has made star turns in X2, GoldenEye and many other films and TV shows.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Cumming ramps up his camp zaniness in this film and, while it’s no match for Jim Carrey’s original comedy stylings, at least he didn’t get as heavily criticised as Jamie Kennedy, who really bore the brunt of all the negative reviews.

Cyborg 2 (1993) Angelina Jolie

The Terrible Film: A lower budget sequel to Jean-Claude Van Damme’s original film, this was the movie debut of a young adult Angelina Jolie who stars as a cyborg designed to seduce her way into a rival manufacturer’s HQ before blowing it up, but things go wrong when she starts to develop feelings for one of the workers, who just happens to be a martial arts instructor.

The Great Actor: Oscar-winning actress that made her name with action adventure films like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Gone In 60 Seconds and Wanted , which she has tried to balance with more credible films like Girl, Interrupted and The Changeling .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Before she became the ultimate Hollywood power-couple A-lister, you’d think that a young Angelina Jolie would just be glad to star in a movie. Not so: “After I saw it, I went home and got sick”. Ah.

Town & Country (2001) Warren Beatty

The Terrible Film: This romantic comedy about a New York architect facing a mid-life crisis has the dubious distinction of being one of the biggest box office flops in cinematic history, losing the studio well over $100 million.

The Great Actor: Oscar winning Hollywood actor, screenwriter, producer and director, who has fifteen Academy Award nominations to his name. Famous for starring in Bonnie & Clyde, Heaven Can Wait, Reds, Shampoo and Dick Tracy .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: The film was so poorly received that many of the cast shied away from movies for quite some time, but none bore the brunt like star Beatty, who hasn’t appeared in a film since.

Cutting Class (1989) Brad Pitt

The Terrible Film: Pitt had his first major film role in this high school whodunit in which two young men are suspects in a serial killer case.

The Great Actor: The one-time eye-candy hunk pursued a career in acting with serious and alternative roles outside of the usual blockbuster fare and made a name for himself with films like Fight Club, Se7en, Interview With The Vampire and Snatch , earning himself four Oscar nominations in the process.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Pitt doesn’t embarrass himself in a film that is supposed to be good campy horror fun but ends up being mostly just dumb.

Parasite (1982) Demi Moore

The Terrible Film: Set in the far-swung futuristic landscape of *1992*, this B-movie sci-fi horror sees a scientist create a deadly new parasite that attaches to his stomach and causes him to be pursued – along with female friend Demi Moore – by an evil Government agent called a Merchant. Sure, this kind of thing was happening all the time 20 YEARS AGO.

The Great Actor: Acclaimed actress that has starred in many well-respected films such as A Few Good Men, Ghost, G.I. Jane and Indecent Proposal .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: It was Demi’s first major movie role and she essentially plays a faceless female in what is a paper-thin, uber-80s mess of bad horror tropes.

Private Resort (1985) Johnny Depp

The Terrible Film: A ‘comic teen sex romp’ starring Johnny Depp in his first lead role as a one of two young men on the prowl for girls at a posh Miami resort that get caught up in a jewel theft instead. Don’t worry though, there’s still gratuitous topless shots aplenty.

The Great Actor: Three-time Oscar nominee who is more famous for eschewing typically heavyweight roles in order to play eccentric characters such as those Jack Sparrow, Edward Scissorhands, Mad Hatter and Willy Wonka.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: It’s humourless, bawdy titillation and nothing more, but luckily Depp comes out of the film relatively unscathed, playing the slightly more cool one of the two horny teens.