Skip to main content

50 Terrible Movies Featuring Great Actors

Car 54, Where Are You? (1994) Jeremy Piven

The Terrible Film: Based on a TV show that ran from 1961 to 1963, this comedy focuses on a mismatched cop partnership trying to work together to protect a witness from the mob.

Cue silly slapstick and a host of Razzie noms.

The Great Actor: Best known for playing Ari Gold on TV’s Entourage , for which he won a Golden Globe and three Emmy Awards.

Before this, however, he is probably best remembered as being John Cusack’s best mate in a bunch of films, such as Grosse Point Blank and Serendipity .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Piven plays the citizen at the centre of the film here but it is an utterly thankless role.

Luckily it didn't tarnish an already successful start to his career with a regular role in The Larry Sanders Show .

Skatetown, U.S.A. (1979) Patrick Swayze

The Terrible Film: Rollerskating disco movie starring Swayze as a young skater competing for a prize of $1000 and a moped.

The film consists of many long comedy skits and slapstick scenes, including one prank played with itching powder.

Oh, our sides.

The Great Actor: The object of many a woman’s affections after appearing as the romantic lead in the likes of Dirty Dancing and Ghost . He also became the focus of male respect thanks to macho roles in Road House, Red Dawn and Point Break .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: The film went by relatively unnoticed but Swayze did at least garner some praise for this – his movie debut – with many critics commending him for his screen presence.

In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007) Burt Reynolds

The Terrible Film: A Uwe Boll directed fantasy adventure film starring Jason Statham as a man trying to rescue his kidnapped wife and avenge his son’s death at the hands of a race of animal warriors known as the Krugs.

With cheap sets, awful dialogue and shoddy performances all round, the film delivers everything you’d expect from Uwe Boll.

The Great Actor: Oscar-nominated legendary actor and star of Deliverance, Smokey And The Bandit and Boogie Nights . Also constantly in competition with Tom Selleck to be the owner of the world’s most famous moustache.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: In a film where everyone is woefully miscast, Reynolds actually comes off as one of the worst unfortunately.

Playing ruthless Krug leader King Konreid, Reynolds ends up just looking annoyed that he’s in the film.

And we can’t blame him.

Ed (1996) Jim Caviezel

The Terrible Film: Matt LeBlanc star vehicle in which a baseball pitcher teams up with a talented ball-playing chimpanzee. Seriously. This passes for a film pitch.

The Great Actor: Intense, brooding actor who became a household name when he was cast in the lead the role of The Passion Of The Christ . He has also enjoyed critical success in numerous other films, as well as paranoia TV show Person Of Interest .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Caviezel only gets a few short scenes in this dire family film, but he still does admirably. He certainly comes off better than LeBlanc. And the chimp.

Return To Horror High (1987) George Clooney

The Terrible Film: A comedy slasher flick about a serial killer targeting a movie crew filming at an abandoned school where previous murders took place. It’s groan-inducing B-movie horror at its most generic.

The Great Actor: Oscar-winning actor with far too much suave sophistication than any one man should be allowed to have. Star of high-profile blockbusters like Ocean’s Eleven and (sadly) Batman And Robin , as well as more credible fare like Up In the air, The Descendants and this year’s Gravity .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: You have to forgive the well-coiffeured Clooney here seeing as it was his movie debut, but it’s still sad that he doesn’t even get a decent death scene.

You just see him pushed up against a door window with blood down his face until he sinks out of frame. Shame – he really could have made a better impression with something more juicy.

The Shaggy Dog (2006) Robert Downey Jr

The Terrible Film: Tim Allen stars as a man struggling to lead a normal life despite occasionally turning into a sheepdog.

It’s basically 90s kids TV show Woof! But with a tragic twist in that the boy who occasionally turned into a dog has grown up to become Tim Allen.

The Great Actor: Twice Oscar-nommed actor whose recent choices have seen him become one of the greatest box office draws in the likes of Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes, thanks to an effortlessly cool on-screen charisma.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: With his comeback still in its infancy, Downey Jr played a villainous role in this Disney family entertainment flick. He still remains entirely watchable, but it’s a bad career decision to appear in this movie whichever way you slice it.

The Big Bounce (2004) Morgan Freeman

The Terrible Film: Based on the book by Elmore Leonard, this film stars Owen Wilson as a small-time con artist who goes up against a corrupt millionaire.

The Great Actor: Oscar-winning actor who currently owns all of the gravitas in Hollywood, having starred in the likes of The Shawshank Redemption, Se7en and Driving Miss Daisy .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Freeman is on autopilot here, in what is supposed to be a piece of fluff entertainment, but ultimately becomes a meandering mess. Still, you can’t blame Freeman for choosing a project shot on location in Hawaii.

Body Of Evidence (1993) Julianne Moore

The Terrible Film: Erotic thriller starring Madonna, which was universally panned thanks mostly to the singer’s dire acting.

The Great Actor: Four-time Oscar nominee and well-respected actress starring in such films as Magnolia, Boogie Nights, The Big Lebowski, The Hours, The End Of The Affair and Far From Heaven .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Sadly, all of Moore's key scenes amount to little more than soft-core porn.

Satisfaction (1988) Liam Neeson

The Terrible Film: A squeaky-clean, sickeningly sweet teen drama about a singer trying to make it big with her band Mystery and, in the process, falling in love with bar owner Martin, played by...

The Great Actor: Character actor who gained major recognition with Schindler’s List , for which he earned himself a Best Actor Oscar nom, and has since become a mentor figure in blockbuster films like Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and Batman Begins , as well as reinventing himself as something of an action star with Taken .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: It’s a big part for the then unknown actor (co-starring with a then-also-unknown Julia Roberts), with his first leading role just two years away in Sam Raimi’s Darkman .

Even so, this will be a film that Neeson will want to forget.

Glitter (2001) Terrence Howard

The Terrible Film: Mariah Carey stars in this rags-to-riches tale about a young nighclub singer in the '80s dreaming of fame and fortune.

The film quickly descends into clichés and dumbed-down storytelling for kids, resulting in a one of the worst mainstream films ever made and one that was universally panned by everyone.

The Great Actor: Oscar-nominated for Best Actor for his role in Hustle & Flow , Howard has recently appeared in several awards-worthy films, including Crash, Prisoners, The Butler, Red Tails and On The Road .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Howard gives a somewhat cheesy performance as a clichéd record-producer-cum-gangster, but it is still a cut above everything else going on in this film.