35+ Worst Acting Performances of All Time

35+ Worst Acting Performances of All Time

Most people would agree that when they go to the movies, they want to be able to enjoy the film. However, that’s not always the case. In many films, the acting is so terrible that it’s difficult to focus on the film and the plot. The main character will either be overacting or underacting, and it’s difficult to know what the director was going for. Some people enjoy a good bad movie because it’s always fun to see how bad a movie can get. Here’s a list of such films that include some of the worst performances ever.

John Travolta – Battlefield Earth

Usually, Travolta has this cool and suave attitude about him in every movie he acts in but this one was just a massive disaster. There was probably nothing the actor could have done to save the film.

John Travolta – Battlefield Earth

The actor had produced the film and had acted in it too. He portrays an alien villain and it’s not convincing. The film is considered to be one of the worst films ever made.

Colin Farrell — Alexander

Farrell is known to deliver epic performances but he misses in this particular film. The actor, himself, wasn’t happy with his performance. Most of the lines are delivered with little or no emotion at all.

Colin Farrell- Alexander

He even expressed his feelings about wanting to give the role another try. But we think, once was bad enough! What good could come out of it now?

Marlon Brando – Guys and Dolls

This movie was released in 1985 and it featured Frank Sinatra, as well. During that time, Sinatra was at the peak of his career and had little tolerance for Brando’s acting skills.

Marlon Brando – Guys and Dolls

In fact, he had also complained about how badly he had done in the film. However, it seemed that Brando was overacting, intentionally, to irritate Sinatra. His singing skills in front of the maestro didn’t help either.

Eddie Murphy – The Adventures of Pluto Nash

It’s hard to imagine that a comic genius like Eddie Murphy could go wrong with the roles he chose. But it happened and the movie was a disaster. Murphy, himself, was not convinced with his own performance.

Eddie Murphy – The Adventures of Pluto Nash

You should consider watching any other film of Murphy’s but not this one. You won’t be missing anything by not watching this film.

Hayden Christensen – Episode II: Attack of the Clones

If you have all the time in the world and are looking to waste it away, then you should consider watching Hayden Christensen in this movie. It’s not ideal, far from it actually.

Hayden Christensen – Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Sure, taking on a role as legendary as Anakin Skywalker at the mere age of 19 was no easy task but it was convincing to no one.

Kristen Stewart – Twilight

Stewart gave such a lifeless performance in her role as Bella Swan that people thought this would be the last film she ever acted in. She just looked so bored during the entire film.

Kristen Stewart – Twilight

Naturally, the audience got bored too. We wouldn’t be surprised if audiences had decided to walk out of the film. Ironically, this was her most famous role.

George Clooney – Batman & Robin

There was a lot of apologizing going around after this film was made. Clooney knew instantly that this movie was far from perfect, so very far.

George Clooney – Batman & Robin

He was apologizing to his fans, the DC fans, and even Adam West, who was the original Batman on TV. So, give this movie a miss. Clooney is embarrassed enough about it so why bother with it anyway?

Kathy Bates – The Day the Earth Stood Still

If you thought a Keanu Reeves movie can do no wrong then you’ve clearly not seen the film, The Day the Earth Stood Still. Sure, the film didn’t tank but it wasn’t worth devoting a few hours of your life to, either.

Kathy Bates – The Day the Earth Stood Still

Oscar-winning actress Kathy Bates was in it, too, and was the Secretary of State, based on Hillary Clinton. But that did little to save the film.

Gwyneth Paltrow – View From the Top

Paltrow is famously remembered for her role as Pepper Potts in the Marvel movies. And how amazing she was in them all! But something went terribly wrong in this film – Paltrow just didn’t deliver.

Gwyneth Paltrow – View From the Top

Despite having a marvelous cast with the likes of Mark Ruffalo, Christina Applegate, and Rob Lowe, the movie just didn’t make it. The view from the top is usually great but in this case, the view was far from great.

Russell Crowe – Les Misérables

You might think, Russell and on this list? Really? Yes, really! He’s on it! Chalk it up to bad casting but Russell Crowe was definitely not meant for this role.

Russell Crowe – Les Misérables

One of the main reasons is that this movie is a musical and he cannot sing. Need we even bother to say more? Let’s just say, the audience was left feeling trés miserable.

Mike Myers – The Love Guru

Who could’ve thought that a movie that has a cast like Ben Kingsley, Justin Timberlake, and Jessica Alba would flop? This Mike Myers movie felt like a waste of his talent.

Mike Myers – The Love Guru

The man is capable of so much! So, if you have not seen the film, you’re not missing much. There are better Myers films that you can watch.

Shaquille O’Neal – Kazaam

It feels like this movie was released in another era. And that is because it was! Shaq was probably the biggest genie anyone has ever seen.

Shaquille O’Neal – Kazaam

As endearing as he is, his acting in this movie was, how do we say… not great. We love you, Shaq, but not so much in this movie. We didn’t mind his cameo in Grown Ups though.

Johnny Depp – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Depp has played characters that have gone on to become legendary. For instance, you cannot imagine anyone else playing characters like Captain Jack Sparrow, Edward Scissorhands, and Sweeney Todd, among others.

Johnny Depp – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

So, when he played Charlie in this Roald Dahl classic, people were perplexed. It was not Johnny Depp-level acting. There was a lot of overacting and it felt like the actor was not comfortable playing this character.

Katie Holmes – Batman Begins

Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy continues to set a benchmark for all other Batman movies. In fact, most people may agree that Christian bale was probably the best Batman to date.

Katie Holmes – Batman Begins

Unfortunately, Katie had no chemistry with the actor and just didn’t fit into the role of Rachel very well. She had to be replaced eventually by Maggie Gyllenhaal, who went on to do a fabulous job.

Rihanna – Battleship

This was the first time Rihanna was acting in a movie and she looked rather cool. We agree that she’s a fantastic singer but her acting is far from perfect.

Rihanna – Battleship

We think that this film played on her star power for attaining more viewers, rather than giving the role to an actor who is actually proficient at it.

Kevin Costner – Robin Hood Prince of Thieves

There was hardly anything right with this movie. The writing was terrible, the cast was less than competent and the storytelling was abysmal. There was no way Costner could single-handedly carry this film on his shoulders and save it, too.

Kevin Costner – Robin Hood Prince of Thieves

Furthermore, it seemed like the actor was also rather chill about his role. How do we know? Well, his British accent barely sounded like one. Unpolished!

Dick Van Dyke – Mary Poppins

Dyke was infamous for his Cockney accent in the film. He was so terrible at it that he eventually had to apologize for it. At the age of 91, he was accepting a BAFTA award and during his acceptance speech, he said something really sweet.

Dick Van Dyke – Mary Poppins

He said, “I appreciate this opportunity to apologize to the members of BAFTA for inflicting on them the most atrocious Cockney accent in the history of cinema.” How adorable is that?

Robert Pattinson – The Batman

For the majority of the film, Robert Pattinson had a deadpan expression on his face. Some reviews about the film even said that the best he did was in his suit and when his face was completely covered.

Robert Pattinson – The Batman

We think that the very reason he was cast for this role was that he has already played a vampire bat before and has a pale look that goes well with Batman’s character.

Nicolas Cage – The Wicker Man

Have you watched the film? Did you find it unwatchable? It’s a mystery if Cage even tried to deliver a good enough performance, he simply goes around on a rampage while dressed as a bear.

Nicolas Cage – The Wicker Man

His acting was extremely exaggerated and over the top and none of the scenes in the movie will ever convince anyone to watch that movie again. It was definitely one of his worst performances.

Keanu Reeves – Bram Stoker’s Dracula

There is just one question that comes to mind when you see Keanu Reeves cast as Dracula – Why? Everyone will agree that his acting skills are not legendary. So, clearly, his movie had a bad case of wrong casting.

Keanu Reeves – Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Getting into the sensibilities of goths is just not his forte. There are many other actors, who would be perfect for this role, for instance, Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, or even Matthew McConaughey.

Tom Hanks – The Ladykillers

The one thing you can applaud Hanks for is stepping out of his comfort zone. But people are so used to seeing him in adorable characters like Forest Gump or Woody, that it’s hard to imagine him doing something sinister and crazy.

Tom Hanks – The Ladykillers

He’s the main crook in this funny and dark film and it left audiences feeling rather uncomfortable. Maybe if we give it time… Nope!

Mariah Carey – Glitter

Several singers have tried to dabble in acting and have not had the best results. Mariah Carey, for instance, is another singer who tried her hand at films and few people were impressed.

Mariah Carey – Glitter

She barely had any lines in the film, the music was the saving grace. It’s hard to imagine this film ever being made without it.

Tobey Maguire – Spider-Man 3

People loved Tobey Maguire when he played Peter Parker in the first two films. But the third time around, people were not buying it. Tobey was always associated with being a loveable character but his dark side wasn’t well received.

Tobey Maguire – Spider-Man 3

The acting was cringe-worthy and a little creepy. People were laughing at the performance for all the wrong reasons, making this his worst performance yet.

Sylvester Stallone – Backtrace

This is one actor who’s known to have received the highest number of Worst Actor Razzies. Out of the 14 nominations, he has won this award five times. How about that!

Sylvester Stallone – Backtrace

Sylvester Stallone’s dialogue delivery in this film was quite painful for anyone to watch. The movie sold very few tickets and was available on video pretty soon.

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Beach

This was the first film DiCaprio had taken on after being part of the magnum opus Titanic. There were many expectations, of course, but the result of this adventure-romance film was a letdown.

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Beach

The Beach would have to be Leo’s worst performance as he went on to give some legendary performances thereon. The Wolf of Wall Street/em>, The Great Gatsby, Catch Me if You Can, and The Aviator to name a few.

Halle Berry – Catwoman

If you were to pick one of the worst superhero films, it would, hands down, be Catwoman. Halle Berry was made to act in this terribly written script and she looked a little uncomfortable in the role.

Halle Berry – Catwoman

During an interview, she even mentioned not being convinced by the story. All she did was follow the directions of her job but the movie tanked anyway.

Tommy Wiseau – The Room

No actor wants to come across as funny, unintentionally. This is also true for directors and writers. Unfortunately for Tommy Wiseau, his movie The Room was deemed the ‘Worst Film Ever’ by the critics.

Tommy Wiseau – The Room

He had written, directed, produced, and even starred in the film. However, this movie is now evolving into a cult movie. Guess this film has aged better than most!

Quentin Tarantino – Django Unchained

The genius of Quentin Tarantino is best seen in his films — but always behind the lens, never in front of it. Do you see where we’re going with this? The audience was less than happy to see him in front of the camera.

Quentin Tarantino – Django Unchained

His cameo in this film had an annoying accent, which sounded nothing like an Australian version of a cowboy. Then again, who really knows what that accent really sounds like?

Jennifer Lopez – Gigli

This movie was probably the worst performance by JLo, even though she is a fantastic actress. The lead pair were falling in love with each other in real life but they couldn’t convince the audience of it on screen.

Jennifer Lopez – Gigli

The chemistry was laughable, which is an ironic statement. It didn’t help that the script was badly written, either. There was very little that even the actors could do about it.

Mickey Rooney – Breakfast at Tiffany’s

There are some movies where actors do terribly and the movie fails. That movie is then forgotten forever. Sadly for Rooney, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of the most memorable movies of the time and no one was impressed with his acting.

Mickey Rooney – Breakfast at Tiffany’s

His accent was abysmal and his comedic timing was over the top. 40 years later, the actor finally confessed that if he was offered the role of I.Y. Yunioshi once more, he would never do it.

Jake Gyllenhaal – Southpaw

Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Billy “The Great” Hope, the reigning light heavyweight boxing champion of the world. It all sounds so cool but the character is more cliché than you can imagine.

Jake Gyllenhaal – Southpaw

For someone who can deliver powerful performances, the writing for this film was quite poor. This was probably the worst acting performance Gyllenhaal has shown in his career.

Britney Spears – Crossroads

Since the late 1990s, Britney Spears has been a household name. Her catchy songs and suggestive dance moves made her an icon in the pop culture world. No wonder people thought that casting her in a movie would be a good idea!

Britney Spears – Crossroads

Was it a good idea? No! Do we still like watching it? Maybe. Is Britney still awesome? Always! But maybe, she should just stick to singing and doing cameos, like the one she did in How I Met Your Mother.

Meryl Streep – She-Devil

Streep has proven her abilities as an actor, she has a range that most actors can only hope for. Yet, her filmography hasn’t been a perfect one.

Meryl Streep – She-Devil

Sure, she was amazing in Mamma Mia, The Devil Wears Prada, It’s Complicated and even her most recent one on Netflix titled Don’t Look Up. Watch them all, just not this one. Just… don’t.

Michael Shannon – The Shape of Water

Shannon is a brilliant actor and it seems almost unfair that he’s on this list. However, there are times when even the best actors give really terrible performances. This is one such case for Shannon.

Michael Shannon – The Shape of Water

When you watch the film, you’ll notice that he tried every bit to give the best performance but it was a miss. And it hit really… really far away from the proverbial bull’s-eye.

Arnold Schwarzenegger – Batman & Robin

When can you say that a movie is so bad that it’s good? This is one of those movies! Arnold Schwarzenegger had the corniest lines we’ve ever heard a movie villain say on screen.

Arnold Schwarzenegger – Batman & Robin

Sure, his acting abilities have never been top-notch and everyone knows that, but the lines in the script didn’t help much either. The audience laughed and laughed! However, this Terminator got a contract to the tune of $25 million. Who’s laughing now?

Colin Farrell – Daredevil

What was he even thinking? Or was he even thinking? In the movie, he retains his accent but even then, he manages to ruin it. This movie came out a year before the disastrous Alexander.

Colin Farrell – Daredevil

It looks like the actor was going through a bad stint. Fortunately, things turned for the better and we got to see him in interesting roles like Miami Vice, The Lobster, and Horrible Bosses.

Cameron Diaz – Gangs of New York

Leonardo DiCaprio was in this movie, too, and he was amazing in it. Cameron Diaz, on the other hand, faded into the background. It was perhaps her worst acting performance ever.

Cameron Diaz – Gangs of New York

The actress herself was not satisfied with her own performance in the film. She even mentioned that, if given a chance, she would redo the film so that she could do a better job.

Michael Jordan – Space Jam

Is this Michael Jordon’s worst performance? Yes! Totally! To be fair, he’s not an actor but an athlete. While he’s a superstar on the court, he’s the opposite on the big screen.

Michael Jordan – Space Jam

However, this fact didn’t bother the moviegoers much or the movie’s sales. Jordon’s stardom was much stronger than his inability to act.

Elizabeth Berkley – Showgirls

This became a cult movie but at the time of its release, it was a complete disaster. After working on this film, Berkley didn’t get many movies offers for years.

Elizabeth Berkley – Showgirls

The director of the film, Paul Verhoeven, took responsibility for this and said that it was entirely his fault that Berkley’s acting was over-the-top, and that he pushed her to act that way. Unfortunately, the damage was already done.

Sofia Coppola – Godfather III

Critics came down hard on Sofia for her role as the Godfather’s daughter. Winona Ryder was set to play this role but she was unable to do so due to a health problem at the last minute.

Sofia Coppola – Godfather III

As there was no other option left and little time on his hands, Director Francis Ford Coppola gave the role to his daughter, Sofia. She had almost no time to rehearse and so, the end result of that was landing on this list of worst acting performances.

Natalie Portman – Star Wars

Playing Queen Padmé Amidala in this movie franchise was no small task but a huge responsibility. It was too big a role and the force just refused to be with her.

Natalie Portman – Star Wars

The sweet actress felt bad about disappointing her audience. Later, in an interview, she clarified how hard it was to execute the role and that the process was frustrating.

Jim Carrey – The Number 23

Most millennials who love watching movies can vouch for Jim Carrey and his extraordinary performances over the last few decades. But, something went terribly wrong with The Number 23.

Jim Carrey – The Number 23

He has done serious films before and he did them beautifully. Case in point – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Truman Show. Unfortunately, this one was a miss… a big one.

Julia Roberts – Mirror Mirror

She will always be the woman with a heart of gold from Pretty Woman for us. It’s nearly impossible for Julia Roberts to be anything like an evil queen, and her performance in this film is proof of that.

Julia Roberts – Mirror Mirror

Every line she delivers is comical and barely menacing, unlike in the original story. This role wasn’t meant for her and was a big mistake. Big. Huge. Instead, it could’ve been a parody film because we all know what amazing comedic timing Roberts has.

Mark Wahlberg – The Happening

For an actor who’s capable of earning an Oscar nomination, it’s shocking to see him feature on this list of the worst acting of all time. But, if you watch the film, then you’ll know why he’s here.

Mark Wahlberg – The Happening

Several media have called this movie a wreck. One of the news outlets even called his character dumb, whiny, self-pitying, and indecisive. So, let’s just give this movie a skip, shall we?

Dev Patel – The Last Airbender

The anime with the same name was pretty popular. Therefore, it was a natural assumption that doing a remake of this with a live-action film would be a huge success. It wasn’t. Patel played Prince Zuko, a fire bender.

Dev Patel – The Last Airbender

While we absolutely loved him in Slumdog Millionaire, this movie saw Dev Patel overacting in every scene. The low-quality CGI did little to support the actor. Was this a directorial mistake? Who knows!