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50 Terrible Movies Featuring Great Actors

Loose Cannons (1990) Gene Hackman

The Terrible Film: A buddy comedy about a hardline cop teaming up with a detective with a multiple-personality disorder (played by Dan Akroyd) to find a long-lost Nazi sex tape featuring Adolf Hitler.

That... that is a plot of an actual film that got made.

The Great Actor: Two-time Oscar winner, five-time nominee, Hackman is a celebrated actor with a career spanning five decades, starring in The French Connection, The Conversation, Unforgiven and Superman among many more.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Hackman does his best here but ultimately ends up being a spectator while Akroyd does his comedy schtick, all of which is undermined by the film's terrible direction.

She-Devil (1989) Meryl Streep

The Terrible Film: Low-brow comedy about a dowdy woman - played by Roseanne Barr - who takes revenge when her husband begins an affair with a wealthy romance novelist.

The Great Actor: Three-time Oscar winner whom is synonymous with top quality acting and is widely considered to be the greatest living actress.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Streep's bitchy novelist might as well be a younger Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada , and in fact she actually received a Golden Globe nomination for the role, but the film remains a stupendously silly farce.

Going Overboard (1989) Billy Bob Thornton

The Terrible Film: Adam Sandler's film debut about a young, hopeful comedian getting his big break on a cruise ship. It's a comedy. Not that you'd realise.

The Great Actor: With two acting Oscar noms to his name (and one actual statue for his Sling Blade screenplay), Thornton is a well-regarded, high-profile character actor.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Thornton gets off pretty lightly in this laughter-free movie, having a small role in which he heckles Adam Sandler. Which, let's face it, is the best role you can have in such a film.

Man Trouble (1992) Jack Nicholson

The Terrible Film: A confused comedy thriller about a dog trainer who starts to fall in love with a woman who has hired his services to help with dog security she has bought in reaction to being targeted by a serial killer.

The Great Actor: Three-time Oscar winner (who has been nominated a further nine times too) famous for being a charismatic loose cannon on screen, but always turning in an unforgettable performance.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Viewers were reeled in with the promise of another collaboration between Nicholson and director Bob Rafelson, who had previously directed him in Five Easy Pieces, The King Of Marvin Gardens and The Postman Always Rings Twice , but they got a stinker of a rom-com with serious thriller aspirations.

Necromancy (1972) Orson Welles

The Terrible Film: A low-budget horror film that, even after an initial release and a subsequent, re-edited, reshot re-release under the title The Witching, still remains a poorly scripted piece of nonsense.

The Great Actor: Not just an incredible acting talent of his age, but a groundbreaking filmmaker, later referred to as “the ultimate auteur”.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: As with everything he did, Welles lends much-needed class to a film that really doesn’t deserve any.

Ishtar (1987) Dustin Hoffman

The Terrible Film: A comedy about two untalented lounge singers who travel to Morocco and end up in the middle of a CIA and rebellion standoff to overthrow the leader.

The film overran on its already huge budget and personal and professional clashes behind the scenes led to a troubled release.

The Great Actor: Winner of two Oscars, Hoffman is a renowned method actor famous for starring in Rain Man, Tootsie, The Graduate and lots more highly regarded films.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Despite a horrendously problematic production, both Hoffman and his co-star Warren Beatty have said that they like the final cut of the film, and it has indeed gained something of a cult following.

But then, when appearing on Late Show With David Letterman in 2010, he suggested that it was the only film of his career that he regrets.

Gigli (2003) Christopher Walken

The Terrible Film: Knives were already out for this film prior to release thanks to the high-profile relationship between stars Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez and, as it turns out, it was all entirely justified. The film bombed at the box office, was universally panned by critics and has been a cinematic punchline ever since.

The Great Actor: Won an Oscar for 1978’s The Deer Hunter and has enjoyed critical success ever since, becoming a household name – as well as a popular impression – in the process.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: In a film filled with disastrous dialogue and pitiful performances, Walken’s turn as Detective Stanley Jacobells actually turns out to be a highlight, with one critic claiming “Christopher Walken's scene is five minutes of salvation”.

BloodRayne (2005) Ben Kingsley

The Terrible Film: Uwe Boll-directed adaptation of the video game, which sees a half-human, half-vampire try to get revenge on her father, the vampire king. According to writer Guinevere Turner, Boll accepted her first draft of the script, made his own changes to it and then told his actors to just “take a crack at it”.

The Great Actor: In his 40-year career, Kinglsey has won a Grammy, a BAFTA and two Golden Globes, and he is best known for his Academy Award winning role as the lead in Gandhi.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Kingsley was nominated for a Worst Supporting Actor Razzie for his performance as the villainous vampire king in this film, turning in an unfortunate over-the-top baddie in an already woeful film.

Tiptoes (2003) Gary Oldman

The Terrible Film: Seemingly bad taste movie about normal-sized man Matthew McConaughey coming from a family of dwarves who falls in love with Kate Beckinsale. When she becomes pregnant, the couple worry that the baby may inherit the dwarfism gene. Co-star Peter Dinklage applauded the original cut of the film but said that the director was fired and the studio then recut the film into a “rom-com with dwarves”.

The Great Actor: Celebrated stage and screen actor with one Oscar nomination to his name, starring in a host of critically acclaimed films and always delivering a commanding screen presence.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Gary Oldman plays a dwarf in this film and, while his performance, and the director’s ability to convince us of his smaller stature, is commendable, with the film recut as a tacky comedy, his casting in the role just seems crass.

Critters 3 (1991) Leonardo DiCaprio

The Terrible Film: Awfully scripted low-budget sequel, which sees the small, furball alien monsters attack an LA tower block.

The Great Actor: Nominated for three Oscars, DiCaprio might be the most talented actor of his generation, providing powerhouse performances even in big-budget blockbusters.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: DiCaprio says it all: “I admit I've done a few lousy roles in the beginning of my career, like my role in Critters 3. But at that age, you'll do anything for attention!"