14+ Actors Who Make The Worst Movies Watchable

mason.zimmer 5 Nov 2018

No matter how closely we follow reviews or how carefully we listen to our friends, we're gonna get stuck watching a bad movie at some point. Maybe somebody dragged us to the theater or maybe we've seen all the good stuff on Netflix, but it'll happen.

And when it does, our only hope is that somebody in the movie is having more fun than we are. We only keep watching in the hope that they come back, but at least they gave us something to hope for.

Some actors are a lot more likely to fill this role than others, and they deserve special attention for saving our viewing experience.

1. Tilda Swinton

YouTube | MongrelNevada08

Not only does she have talent for days, but she dives into each role head-first no matter what she's doing.

Because of that, she seems down for pretty much anything it takes to get into character. They can shave her head or give her weird teeth, but she's still gonna do her thing.

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2. Tom Hardy

GeekTyrant | Sony Pictures Entertainment

I'm gonna say it right now, Venom honestly wasn't that bad. However, if Tom Hardy hadn't been so good at making the relationship between Eddie Brock and the symbiote seem fun and at least kind of believable, I would probably have agreed with the critics more.

As it stands, I find myself cringing at these Venom reviews.

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3. Christopher Walken

YouTube | xinofirev

This wonderful man's indescribable charisma has saved more movies than other actors have even appeared in.

There's no reason to watch Gigli or The Country Bears, but you owe it to yourself to look up his scenes in both of them. Bonus points if there's a part where he gets to dance.

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4. Nicolas Cage

Gemr | Amber Signore

Here's a handy test to determine whether a Nicolas Cage movie will be watchable.

If the movie looks like it'll be good no matter who's in it, he's seriously invested in it and you'll be fine. If the movie looks bad, but he's either freaking out or having the time of his life in it, you'll probably be fine.

But if even the Cage man looks bored with it, stay far away.

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5. Samuel L. Jackson

YouTube | alkatmsu

I once saw a whole movie about snakes on a plane just to hear him say one line about how done he is with the situation.

The fact that I don't regret that is a testament to how much Samuel L. Jackson can carry a movie. As long as he gets to be anything besides stoic and boring in that movie.

That's why not even he could save the Star Wars prequels.

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6. Sam Rockwell

YouTube | Movieclips Trailers

Before he had an Oscar to his name, we knew Sam Rockwell as a man with the acting talent and boundless energy to make good movies better and crappy ones at least tolerable.

And as with Walken, a movie that gives Sam Rockwell a chance to dance can at least say it's having fun.

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7. Salma Hayek

YouTube | That One Guy

She's been saddled with her fair share of flops, but even in those, she approaches often thankless roles with a believable confidence and natural charisma.

A lot of mediocre scripts have been elevated by an actor's performances, and she's consistently part of the solution in that respect.

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8. Steve Buscemi

YouTube | Movieclips

He's a versatile actor who can adopt wildly different characters in projects with wildly different tones and make them all feel legitimate.

He also has a history of taking what could have been throwaway characters in Adam Sandler movies and making them funny and compelling at the same time. Whenever I was dragged to one of those, I could at least count on Steve Buscemi.

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9. J.K. Simmons

YouTube | Tambet

Not every actor can find a way to be hilarious, terrifying, and oddly touching all at once, but J.K. Simmons makes pulling that off look easy.

Even a total snorefest can liven up for a moment if he drops in to say something sarcastic, and a ridiculous farce can briefly snap back to reality thanks to him.

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10. Octavia Spencer

YouTube | John Maverick

She can lighten a dreary movie with her trademark sense of humor, but she also has the chops to make us invested in more serious subjects in a way that's thrilling and compelling.

Even if I don't care about anything else that's happening in something she's in, she makes it easy to care about her character.

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11. Bruce Campbell

YouTube | ultimate

As much fun as the Evil Dead movies are, they would have struggled to stand out from their shlocky, low-budget contemporaries without Bruce Campbell's roguish charm and impressive physical comedy.

I'm not quite die-hard enough to sit through obscure fare like The Man With The Screaming Brain, but it's not hard to see why fans would follow him to the ends of the Earth.

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12. Jason Statham

YouTube | Movieclips

His filmography is a classic case of "you can't save 'em all," but that doesn't take away from the truth that so many potentially bad films at least turned out OK by leaning on Jason Statham's unique blend of intensity and comedic timing.

Those Crank movies may have been a blast, but it's hard to picture them working with literally anyone else in the driver's seat.

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13. Alan Rickman

YouTube | Movieclips

There wasn't much to like about Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, but Alan Rickman's turn as the Sheriff of Nottingham was definitely an exception. When he told Robin he was going to cut his heart out with a spoon, he sounded like he meant it.

It doesn't hurt that his characters were often as done with everybody as the audience was when he was in a movie that didn't work.

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14. Cate Blanchett

YouTube | Movieclips

She's proven herself as a talented and driven actor no matter what she's in, but she deserves special recognition for making Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as fun as it could possibly be.

The fridge scene and the CGI and Shia Labeouf all had their part in making that sequel disappointing, but she probably got the closest to holding it up.

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15. Eva Green

YouTube | JoBlo Movie Clips

She can be delightful even in a complete mess if her character can have a big personality, because she knows exactly when and how to start chewing the scenery.

Her captivating energy and intense stares were the only things worth watching in 300: Rise of an Empire and they make actually decent movies like Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children that much better.

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16. Tom Hanks

YouTube | FanTrailer97

At this point, Tom Hanks has made himself so endearing that just the idea of him playing people like Walt Disney or Mr. Rogers is enough to earn an audience.

And although I'm in the minority for liking Cloud Atlas, I know I'm not the only one who dug how he handled himself in that.

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17. Shannon Purser

Netflix

Everyone wants Shannon Purser, aka Barb from Stranger Things, to excel in any and every role, really.

I'm always down to watch her grace the Netflix screen — even if it's a movie full of cringeworthy moments like Sierra Burgess Is a Loser. And she certainly is one of the better parts of Riverdale.

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18. Ryan Reynolds

Den of Geek

At some point, it became pretty clear that Ryan Reynolds is a Canadian treasure and can do no wrong.

Sadly, that happened after a certain comic-based movie (cough, Green Lantern, cough) was made, which we still watched anyway. Mostly in hopes that his charm and witty ways would make up for any drawbacks...but we didn't really get that redemption until Deadpool.

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19. Michael Fassbender

Vox

You can't watch 300 without getting amped up and you can't watch The Snowman without almost falling asleep.

I had faith, but IndieWire has some questions after a "year of flops." I'm not a critic, though, and the Fassbender is still the best part of The Snowman.

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20. Jake Gyllenhaal

YouTube | Disney UK

Sure, he has the acting chops, but there's not much in this world that will take my attention away from the new long locks on Jake — but the effort was there.

Jake is all about the action, which is enjoyable to watch, just not always. Well, it's enjoyable if you're watching it for him, because what the script lacks, he makes up for in dedication to training and stunts.

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21. Mila Kunis

The Movie My Life

Romantic comedies wouldn't be the same without Mila, and of course, there's always That '70s Show, but when she left this galaxy in Jupiter Ascending, things went a little downhill.

Not that there wasn't any romance. But we've loved Mila much more when she's playing something a little closer to earth. You know, less aliens and more Justin Timberlake.

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22. Anthony Hopkins

Screen Rant

I'll admit that I believe The Transformers movies should have seen a definitive ending a few movies back, but if there's any way to rope me back in, it's by throwing Anthony Hopkins into the mix.

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23. Chris Pine

YouTube | Dongeng Tidur

Chris Pine can certainly do wrong (This Means War, anyone?) but I'm still rooting for him when I see him in a trailer for a movie.

Unfortunately for him, Just My Luck was about the least lucky thing that's happened to his career. Luckily, not many people remember it, especially after we realized he could sing in Into The Woods.

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24. Saoirse Ronan

Joe

From the writer behind the Twilight franchise, it's not like The Host was going to be the most Oscar-worthy script, but Saoirse Ronan is (still) a star to watch and love, even if no one can quite remember how to say her name.

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