Random Thoughts: Fabulous actors, puzzling choices

Amanda Seyfried & Gary Oldman in RRH

This is another one of those posts that’s been sitting in my draft folder for ages. I actually started writing this back in December! But some of the comments on the Gary Oldman post questioning his decision to take on Red Riding Hood inspired me to finish this.

The Twilight-ish version of the classic fairy tale garnered a paltry 11% Tomatometer. Granted, a thespian of Gary’s caliber is certainly the least of the movie’s problems, but no matter how good an actor, he can’t possibly ‘rescue’ a movie from a terrible script, bad directing or inept acting from his co-stars. It kinda make you want to scream ‘do these actors actually read the script?!?’ But that is assuming that a ‘good’ script is the one and only reason an actor sign on for any role. Of course that’s not always the case, there are surely a bazillion other reasons (a dump truck full of cash being dropped on the actor’s backyard perhaps?) that are a much compelling deciding factor.

In any case, Mr. Oldman is hardly the only great actor who’ve made some puzzling role choices. I decided against making a top ten list as most likely I’d be excluding a bunch actors and/or projects that people deem more ‘worthy’ to be included. I’ll just list a few of them just to illustrate that even the best and most talented actors are not exempt from making bad movies. The higher they climb, the harder they fall, or so it seems. Some of their movies are so terrible they actually end up in the Worst Reviewed Movies list on RottenTomatoes. Here are just a few I can think of at the top of my head (the titles link to their RT.com pages):

  • Before Russell Crowe became critics’ darling, he was in a silly supernatural comedy Rough Magic. What’s more peculiar than the movie is the Aussie thespian’s involvement.
  • The multi-talented Ralph Fiennes was actually in a rom-com with J Lo called, get this, Maid in Manhattan. I saw this on TV once and cringed every time I saw Fiennes on screen. It didn’t help that he had no chemistry whatsoever with Lopez.
  • Even the recent Oscar winner Colin Firth made one of the worst rom-coms ever graced the big screen, The Accidental Husband. It’s no accident though that it also boast one of the worst movie posters of all time. (Sheesh, just look at those hands holding the bouquet, I mean I can’t imagine someone actually approved this going to press!)
  • Sean Connery in the Highlander sequel, which earns a big fat ZERO Tomatometer, yikes! Mr. Connery is known to turn down a bunch of roles, yet he accepted this one?? [shrugs]
  • Robert De Niro in …  well, he’s in quite a few stinkers in the last decade, just check out his RottenTomatoes profile page
  • And as long as we mention De Niro, Al Pacino’s been making poor role choices lately as well. In fact, they did it together in Righteous Kill, though it’s still got a [slightly] better score than 88 Minutes. Oh, did you know Mr. Pacino was also in Gigli?

Now, before you accuse me of listing only the male actors here, great actresses have also signed on to duds. Love Ranch, Helen Mirren’s movie directed by her own husband Taylor Hackford was poorly received. Bad title doesn’t usually translate to a bad movie, but it certainly does in the case of Because I Said So, starring Diane Keaton. Did someone yell those very words to her to take on the project?? Surely Mrs. Keaton, you deserve better!

I’m sure there are better examples than the ones I listed above, but anyway, it’s just meant to illustrate that even the best actors don’t make proper role choices. Even if any of these actors ends up being the only saving grace in it, one can’t deny the movie in question is a stinker. But hey, as long as they learn from it and don’t continue making the same mistake, I’d say we ought to cut them some slack. Who hasn’t made a single bad decision in the course of one’s career, right? Certainly we are guilty of it just the same. Besides, it’ll make us appreciate their good movies all the more and hope they’d help erase the bad ones from our memory.


Well, what do you think of the topic? Feel free to add to the list which actor(s) you think have made terrible or simply head-scratching role choices.

94 thoughts on “Random Thoughts: Fabulous actors, puzzling choices

  1. Every time I see that poster I crack up!! As you say that had to be signed off by someone, lets just hope they got the sack for it!!

    Bad films, with big pay cheques (hopefully) for me would be –

    Clooney, Batman and Robin (I mean nipples, come on!)
    Forest Whitaker, Battlefield Earth
    Christopher Walken, Balls of Fury

    Great Actors thinking of the cash (like they haven’t got enough)

    Great Post me lady

    C

    1. Yeah I know Custard, it’s an abominable isn’t it? Poor Colin, looks like his face and torso were taken from one of his red carpet photos and being photoshop-ed to fit this pic. We don’t even know where the heck he’s looking at!

      Yep, Clooney & his bat nipples will probably haunt him for life. I can understand actors who take bad roles when they’re just starting out, I mean people’s got to eat, but we’re talking about well-established ones who’ve made tons of moolah already.

      1. Jojo

        Well, why not combine a couple…?

        Connery and Ralph Fiennes starring in the Untouchables. Wow. Just so wrong. So terribly wrong.

            1. fairportfan

              A truly horrible film. Possibly the only worse desecration of a touchstone of my youth that i can think of is Frank Miller pissing on his “friend” Will Eisner’s grave with “The Spirit”.

  2. Isn’t it something Matt Damon and Ben Affleck talk about in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back: “You’re like a child. What’ve I been telling you? You gotta do the safe picture. Then you can do the art picture. But then sometimes you gotta do the payback picture because your friend says you owe him.”

    I think a lot of bad decisions by great actors are motivated by a big pay cheque, or maybe, as Affleck says, they owe a friend.

    What I’m wondering is how long it is before said actor can admit the film is rubbish. I’ve watched a few episodes of Inside the Actor’s Studio and often actors will talk about how much they hate some of their past work. Tom Hanks thinks Bonfire of the Vanities is a piece of crap but I don’t think he was saying that at the time.

    1. That’s an interesting quote and there’s perhaps a lot of truth to it. I don’t know about owing a friend though, if that’s the case, why can’t they just do a cameo or small part?

      As for admitting that their films are crap, I think it depends. If you do that too often it just comes off unprofessional and wishy-washy.

  3. Morgan Freeman is considered to be a great actor, but he’s bee in some stinkers .. I mean Bruce Almighty as God?! And that’s not even the bottom of the barrel.

    1. Steve

      I can’t remember his exact words, but Freeman (doing a junket for “Red”) has said that he doesn’t feel the priviledge of choosing his roles, but takes whatever is offered him: a job’s a job. Pacino said that he’s amazed by the money he’s offered to take those lousy roles.

      Which explains some of the poor choosings of some actors: Money. Some actors who for whatever reason don’t get those “good” offers and/or don’t get good choices because of typecasting, ethnicity or age, I can understand. But Freeman and a lot of male actors who make and have crazy millions can afford to be choosy (unless their finances demand they keep taking those millions despite)

      On the other hand, maybe they just enjoy the work, the quality of the role notwithstanding.

      1. I’m surprised Freeman feels that way as I’d think at the state of his career he could be choosy. I’m not surprised that some of these award-winning actors get offered tons of cash to do lousy roles, but as you said, they’ve made so much money that you’d think they could simply say no to terrible scripts. But who knows, perhaps no amount of $$$ is enough for some folks.

  4. I also hafta call out Connery for passing on The Matrix, but going for League of Extraordinary Gentlemen haha
    Great post!
    COuldn’t agree more that sometimes an actor can’t even make a movie work if it doesn’t work on some basic level to begin with

  5. oooh, I actually liked MAID IN MANHATTAN 🙂 🙂 Although I despise that fur wearing woman, J.Lo, I do usually love her romantic films, and she and Ralph were quite lovely and heart-warming in that film.
    I think our Gerry Berry has the biggest number of weird movie choices.

    1. PrairieGirl

      Hey Dezzy, thanks for being the first to confess, I might not have either if you hadn’t… I liked maid in Manhattan too! I think Fiennes was great in his role of the dashing, wealthy sophisticate who JLo thinks she can never have, but catches in the end.

      And our boy Rufus Sewell has had his share of stinkers, even though he was excellent in all of them. They are just a lower profile than some more famous bad movies because he’s not an A Lister… yet! 😉

      And we know Flixy hasn’t been shy about her disdain for GB’s bad movies.

      1. always here to make the first step, Becky 😉
        And Flixy, if you ask me, the point of romcoms actually is to be predictable, that’s why they are heartwarming – you know the good is coming in the end.

    2. Sorry Dezzy & Becky, it does have some sweet moments but overall it’s just dreadful. I mean it’s so predictable that every single scene you knew exactly what was gonna happen. J Lo was more bearable in Wedding Planner, still predictable but it has its charm. It was as if Ralph had to tone down his performance so much to meet his co-star, it was painful to watch.

      Oh yeah, Gerry does have his share of bad movies, and like Becky said, I’ve called those out. But he’s not in Gary Oldman’s caliber yet and he’s relatively new in the business (he’s only been acting for about a decade or so). Still, no excuse for those dreadful rom-coms though.

      Rufus is always good even in bad movies, but he needs to stop making flicks like Extreme Ops. It was in the Worst of the Worst list 😦

      1. PrairieGirl

        Oh, you are so right, Extreme Ops was horrible! Certainly not because of Rufus, but I’m sure he’d rather not be associated with any movies like that ever again.

  6. Ted S.

    I’m still laughing at The Accidental Husband poster, wow they just Photoshoped two arms and inserted in front of Uma’s photo. I guess when the movie is so bad, even the marketing people didn’t even care about the poster. Ha ha.

    I saw a movie called The Contract with John Cusak and Morgan Freeman. It was pretty bad and I kept thinking to myself, why did these two good actors agreed to star in this movie? The film wasn’t even released in theaters here in the states, it went directly to home video. Maybe the script was really good and they decided to star in it, the movie was very low budget so it wasn’t for the money. Unfortunately the actual film was awful.

    1. There are tons of terrible posters year after year but that one still takes the cake any day.

      Y’know you made a good point. Perhaps when they read the script it sounded great, but the finished product depends on how well the director execute it, and most of the time they have no control over that. But I think that isn’t the case for a majority of the time.

        1. Ahah, no you’re right, that is even lower Rich. That’s why I didn’t bother listing De Niro’s bad movies as there are so many in the last 2 decades. Before you know it, the number of his bad movies is gonna outweigh the good.

          1. thelordofhell

            The thing that makes me laugh (and cry) about Rocky And Bullwinkle is the fact that in interviews with the other cast members, they all say how they only took the parts because they got a chance to work with De Niro. It’s like hearing musicians say how cool it is to work with a Beatle when they’re playing in Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band.

  7. Yes, it could be money but also lack of drive and ambition. Look no further than Reese Witherspoon who has been content starring in one mediocre movie after another since winning an Oscar.

    1. good call!! and, of course, Nick Cage must always be on that list! He had some great films in the past, but has turned into the Jean Claude van Damme of the past 2 decades! 😀

      1. @ Scarlet – the JCVD of the past decade, ahah! Jean Claude might take offense to that, after all he did turn down Expendables because it um, lacks character development. And by golly he’s right!

      2. AndrewV

        While it doesn’t explain all of his poor career choices I suspect that for the last few years Nicolas Cage has been taking any job that comes his way so he could recover from some bad real estate investments and pay off his back taxes to the IRS.

        1. When I visited the UK a couple of years back, the tour guide showed us a condo in an expensive neighborhood that Cage owned. I immediately said, oh so that’s where all the money goes from those crappy movies!

      3. TM

        Cage’s career has made me go from “Gee, what’s an Academy Award winner doing in THIS crap?” to “Gee, how the hell did this guy ever win an Academy Award”

    2. That’s right Castor. Contentment is the enemy for anyone in any career, more so in acting. Just ’cause they’ve won awards, it doesn’t mean it’s time to stop challenging themselves. That’s why I admire actors like Christian Bale or Daniel Day-Lewis who seem to be in it for the work, not the fame/money/privileges, etc that comes w/ being an actor.

  8. 51% of Colin Firth’s career is questionable. He had a movie with Amanda Bynes. It’s so weird how he was relegated to the poor man’s Hugh Grant for the earlier part of the last decade and the transformation between that and becoming the guy who’s due an Oscar. Not saying he’s undeserving…

    1. Amanda Bynes?? Yikes! Which one is that?? Poor man’s Hugh Grant?? I’d think he’s the more regal and elegant one of the two. Well I think Colin’s made some brave choices in the last decade that really challenged him, so I’m glad he’s getting recognized for them.

  9. Interesting read! I have nothing to contribute here…but I ahve to say I enjoy the post.

    Maybe, when they read the script it sounds great but when it turns into a movie…it’s sucks. Just a thought.

    1. Thanks Nov. Yeah, I suppose that happens, but on a lot of these, even the basic premise is already bad. You’d think they can spot that when they read it the first time.

  10. Nice Post. I think Russell Crowe in ‘Robinhood’ and Tom Cruise in ‘Knight and Day’ are completely out of mind. Just waste the best actors performance by giving stupid roles. No use of it. Cheers 🙂

    1. I quite like Russell in RH but agree w/ you about Knight & Day. But then again I didn’t have a very high opinion on Tom to begin with so it just confirmed my dread. Thanks for the comment, Mani.

      1. Ariel

        I really liked RH as well. It was a well done and interesting prequel.

        Tom’s career is on the skids ever since he began spouting Scientology and jumping on couches. We’ll see if he can do well in the next Mission Impossible. Given that JJ Abrams is at the helm, there’s a good chance it might salvage what’s left of his waning career.

  11. Viking

    @rtm

    ‘@ Scarlet – the JCVD of the past decade, ahah! Jean Claude might take offense to that, after all he did turn down Expendables because it um, lacks character development. And by golly he’s right!’

    Jean Claude VanDamme didnt turn down the role because of lack of character development, it has been stated by him that he didnt take the role because he didnt want to be seen to get his ass kicked by Jet Li on screen, the part he was offered was the part taken by Dolph Lundgren. JCVD’s decision was purely egotistical and guaranteed if he were to have been scripted to win his fights he would have accepted

    1. Thanks for the JCVD info, Viking. So it really was a vanity reasoning for him not taking the role then, makes a lot more sense I guess.

  12. De Niro is probably the worst at it these days. The Focker sequels, Machete, and other countless movies that I wouldn’t touch with the ten foot pole.

    1. I know Red, it’s so sad isn’t it? That’s why I didn’t want to list ’em all as we could make a top ten list just from his resume alone.

  13. location plays a large part, surely.

    Couples Retreat (although I can’t really count many ‘good’ actors in its ranks) in Bora Bora and Big Bounce in Hawaii spring to mind.

    1. Yeah I suppose if said actor wants to be closer to family, that could be one reason in considering a role, but I don’t think it happens all that often. Hmmm, no I don’t think there’s any good actor in Couples Retreat, though Favreau is becoming a pretty darn good director though.

  14. Echo

    Ian McShane rocks, but he took a part in “Case 39” for some reason. Bad, bad, stupid movie (except for the scary bit with the stove). If you watch him talking about it in the DVD extras, he looks embarassed to even be there.
    Rene Zellweger was thrilled to be in it, which may just show she can’t judge scripts very well.

    1. Ariel

      Sadly, the last several years of her career show that you are quite likely right about Renee. Case 39 was probably a high point for her.

    2. @ Echo – Oh I had no idea McShane was in Case 39. Heh, but he’s in that Pirates sequel again, too.

      @ Ariel – Whatever happen to Renee?? I hope she gets good roles again in the near future.

  15. vadermccandless

    can anyone say Jon Voight in Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 aaaaaaaand the BRATZ movie?

    And of course, good old Cuba Gooding Jr. Is that guy even any good? Granted, he’s fun and energetic in Jerry Maguire, but it seems everything else he’s done is godawful.

    1. Charles

      I think Gooding Jr. is at the mercy of the material. In Jerry Maguire, he fit right in. In Rat Race, he fit right in.

    2. Baby Geniuses??! Oh boy, that’s gotta be one of the best example of a perplexing role choice.

      Cuba, oh Cuba… he really makes people think that Oscar was a fluke. Yes it was an Oscar-worthy performance but he’s come nowhere near that compelling again since then.

  16. Pingback: Hit List: April 5, 2011 | IMDb: All the Latest

  17. Linix

    Well it took a couple years for Bill Murray to admit about Garfield. And at least he gave an explanation. XD

  18. meeks

    I think @JoJo meant The Avengers.

    I’ll never fault any actor for a “bad” role every once in a while. It’s their job and there is certainly nothing wrong with making money doing it. They have lives and families to support, etc. Even if they are very successful the bills still need to be paid (and what is more responsible?). Anyone that says they have “sold out” because of a cheesy role they’ve chosen lives in a fantasy.

    1. That’s why I didn’t use the words ‘sold out’ and I even said to cut these actors some slack as all of us have likely made a few bad decisions in our career, too. But at the same time, any artist in any given industry ought to have some integrity in them.

  19. Here’re my additions to the list:

    1. David Thewlis in “The Island of Dr. Moreau”: sure Val and Marlon were in it, too, but Thewlis is a much better actor than Kilmer, and Brando was just a parody of himself at the time.

    2. Bob Hoskins in “Super Mario Brothers”, anyone?

    3. Raul Julia in “Street Fighter;” 2 lessons for actors here- stay away from video game movies, and be careful with your choices because you don’t want your obituary to have to mention this was your last film.

    4. Jeremy Irons in “Dungeons and Dragons.”

    5. Sigourney Weaver in “Heartbreakers.”

    6. You mentioned Diane Keaton, but don’t forget the likes of “Smother”, “Mama’s Boy”, and “Plan B”…

    7. And DeNiro in “15 Minutes”, “Righteous Kill”, “Hide and Seek”, “Showtime”, “Godsend”, and on, an on…

    For more movie geek lists like this, try the movie geeks at Videoport (best indie video store left in the world):
    http://videoportjones.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/the-worst-performance-in-an-otherwise-good-movie/

    1. kitschnette

      First I couldn’t believe it (“WTF?”), but then I almost felt physical pain watching Jeremy Irons in Dungeons and Dragons (“Why? Why?…”).
      And Raul Julia in “Street Fighter” (I just saw the trailer) is really something I couldn’t even bare to put my brain to work and try to understand. Too painful…

    2. Wow, I hadn’t heard about a lot of these, thanks for listing ’em. I was gonna put Jeremy Irons in that dragon movie, I also thought about Christian Bale doing Reigns of Fire, but to his credit, he was just starting out at the time so he probably couldn’t afford to be choosy. And I think he said the initial concepts looked very promising.

      Nice post there, I definitely agree with a few you listed.

        1. Right he did do Empire of the Sun over a decade before that as a young boy, but he took a long break after that and he wasn’t exactly a household name, if you will. I think when he accepted ‘Reign of Fire’ he didn’t get as many offers as he does now. Even to get the role of American Psycho he had to fight relentlessly for it, and nearly lost out to Leonardo who was a mega star after Titanic.

  20. Biff

    Lol – nice list and comments, rtm!

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Michael Caine yet, by his own admission he has been in some absolute howlers because his poor upbringing meant he couldn’t turn down a paycheck.

    Apart from the Irwin Allen stinkers ‘The Swarm’ and ‘Beyond the Poseidon Adventure’ his low point would have to be ‘Jaws: The Revenge’, a role he cheerfully admitted he took so he could get paid to spend time in the Bahamas.

    According to IMDB, the best bit is that he was too busy filming this to accept his academy award for ‘Hannah and Her Sisters’.

    1. Thanks Biff. Ah Mr. Caine, it takes a classy fella to be that honest. Wow, he didn’t even come down to take his Oscar? Now that’s a guy who takes his vacation seriously 😀

  21. somos

    Sir Ben Kingsley. That man has done some fantastic stuff; Schindler’s List, Gandhi, Shutter Island. He was hilarious beside Michael Caine in Without A Clue.
    But then he turns around and does Species, Prince of Persia, and Bloodrayne?! It…it just hurts.

    1. Caine and Kingsley together? I gotta check out Without A Clue! Ouch, those are terrible choices indeed. I thought I saw Species but couldn’t remember him in it, well the whole movie is pretty forgettable.

  22. Hugh Speaight

    Emmy Rossum in Dragonball Z, The Day After Tomorrow…she’s made a LOT of stinkers. Fire that agent, missy! Thank god she’s redeeming herself with Shameless.

    1. I made a post about Emmy a while ago wondering what’s happened to her. She’s so good in Phantom and must’ve gotten lots of offers after that but she made one bad choice after another. She’s still young though, so she might wise up later and do something good. Is Shameless a movie or TV show?

  23. Crawford Tillinghast

    Word has it that it was Christopher Lambert that talked Connery into coming back for H2.

    (And I will admit most of Sean’s bits in it are marginally more entertaining than the rest, but…well, yeah.)

    1. Darn that Lambert… how’s he talking Connery into doing a movie? Are they good friends?? Agree though that Connery is still watchable even in bad films, but then again I haven’t seen Highlander 2.

  24. William T.

    I don’t know your background or if you’ve had any real experience in the Entertainment Industry. However you write as if your are totally naive about how the world works and especially the Entertainment Industry. The “dump truck full of cash” comment is a clear indication of that. Here’s how the world works: People pay as LITTLE as possible for something they need or want.
    As to your “puzzlement”, Whoopi Goldberg answered this question about “role selection” for all time a while ago. She was being criticized for her selection of roles and the movies she was making. Her answer: (pardon, I may paraphrase a little, it has been a while since I heard her say this) “Those WERE the movies I was being OFFERED. It wasn’t like they were offering me “The Color Purple: II” and I turned it down saying: “Oh no, I don’t want to do that, I WANT to do this piece of s**t movie instead. If I wanted to WORK (and earn money), those were my choices.”
    I have heard Harrison Ford say, when asked if he regretted turning down any roles/movies that he was offered that had turned out to be huge successes: “NO. I didn’t understand the role, I didn’t understand the movie, and because of that, I didn’t know what, if anything I could bring to it.”
    Your views about the Entertainment Industry seem to come from some “Romantic” place at best. That’s NOT a “Bad” thing; it just makes it impossible to have a “real” conversation with you about this topic. It’s an Industry, and it’s called Show Business.

    1. Ariel

      I love what Whoopi said and surely true. It’s not like an actor would refuse a great role. Granted there are some that have turned down roles that went on to be Oscar winners like Richard Gere turned down Wall Street and then Douglas grabbed an oscar for it. But I think that’s when Harrison Ford’s comment comes into play.

      They take what they like from what they are offered particularly when they need the money or when the money offered is too good to pass up.

      RF said that he took Maid in Manhattan for the money… or was it ‘to pay the bills.’

      I think Nick Cage’s poor decisions began with wanting the money so he could take the more artistic endeavors but somewhere along the way that train went completely off the rails and now it’s about owning castles, which is just plain old crazy.

      1. @ Ariel, I always wonder if said actor regrets refusing a role that went on to become an Oscar-winning performance for another actor. But if they had a good reason why they turned it down then they shouldn’t regret it. In the case of Wall Street, I think it’s a role tailor-made for Douglas. I can’t even imagine Gere in that role.

        My ‘cut ’em some slack’ comment was directed to people like Fiennes. I mean, in the grand scheme of his stellar resume, one or two duds are totally excusable. Nic Cage on the other hand, I don’t even know if he can even be called ‘actor’ anymore, he’s more of a screen performer who were great once. I still like his older roles though, who knows maybe he’ll get fed up owning castles and would actually want an acting challenge to fulfill him 🙂

    2. @ William – No, I don’t have ‘real’ experience in the movie industry, but since when is that a requirement for a blogger?? I’m merely voicing something that’s kind of an ‘enigma’ and just put it out there as a point of discussion. It seems that my post hits a nerve, I’m sorry that you’re offended by it, but it’s not a personal attack on actors by any means. I presume you are in the industry? Perhaps you can shed some insight into it if you think that I’m in the dark about this topic?

      As to the Whoopi comment, I realize that being a woman of color she probably get less roles than caucasian actors, which is unfortunate. Yes some actors have to earn a living, but my post is directed more towards those who’ve been in the industry for a while and can actually afford to be choosy. Sure the more high quality pieces with great scripts might not pay as well as the crappy rom-com, but I’d like to think that their passion for the craft would win over that, at least a good portion of the time throughout an actor’s career.

      Does that mean an actor MUST make a good role choice every single time? No, and I stated that in my post, in general we ought to cut ’em some slack if it doesn’t become a pattern (hence this argument won’t apply to De Niro). Of course there are practical reasons an actor takes on this role over another, and yes one of them is as simple as to pay the bills, but the fact of the matter is they’re still ‘good actors in a questionable movie,’ which is what the main point of my post.

      I respect Harrison for having the integrity to refuse a role he doesn’t connect with or understand EVEN when he’s offered a large sum of money to do ’em (that dump truck full of $ was just a facetious remark, I’d think my readers have a bit sense of humor). Same with Connery with Gandalf role. I mean, he can practically print his own money had he accepted the role because he’s offered a percentage of the profits from the franchise, but the role didn’t appeal to him so he declined.

      I don’t know why you thing it’s impossible to have a real conversation with me on this topic or any topic for that matter?? I welcome any argument on my blog, people who’ve come here don’t always have to agree with EVERYTHING I say, after all it’s just one person’s opinion. But all I’m asking is a respectful discussion.

  25. jasonfarmer

    De Niro is the worst of the pack, he has been making garbage for the past 10+ years. The last good movie he was in was Casino, the last impressive performance he gave was in Cape Fear, and the last masterpiece he was involved with was Raging Bull. He’s definitely sold out, Russell Crowe has gone on record saying how much that guy has disappointed him.

    As for Colin Firth, I don’t know how he’s gotten the mark of prestige, ok he won an oscar but so has Adrien Brody and Jamie Foxx and we don’t act like these guys need to be turning in Brando Caliber performances every year.

    This list could be more extensive.

    1. Yup, the case w/ De Niro is a big mystery, isn’t it? I usually don’t like using the term ‘sold out’ but I’m afraid there’s no other word to describe/explain the path De Niro is treading on.

      I’m not attempting to post an extensive list, Jason, because no matter how ‘extensive’ I think it is, I’d always get complains that I exclude so and so. I only listed the people above as a sample to illustrate the point I’m trying to make, that good actors aren’t exempt from bad movies.

  26. godofsalt

    First person who came to my mind after reading the title was Leo DiCaprio. The guy has an impressive career after 2002 (catch me if you can) with all his movies being real good which gives the impression that he reads his scripts(or getting approached by Scorsese for a role has made decisions easier)well except Body of Lies. That movie was a waste of his and my time.

    1. Leo is a good example of good actors who are wise in his role choices. And yeah, if you’ve got a celebrated director who treat you like his own muse, that certainly makes the decision easier, very true. But even so, it’s not a guarantee the movie will always be first rate.

  27. hater

    Honestly, a pretty half-assed list. No wonder you had been sitting on this article for so long! It was the bare minimum of what you could have written about.

    1. I think you miss the part that I wasn’t exactly making a list post. The people I mention are just a small sampling to illustrate a point. As I responded previously, with a topic like this, no matter how exhaustive the list is, I’d still risk excluding a bunch more.

  28. Cameron

    I really don’t think it’s fair of you to include early works in an actor’s career in a list like this. Russell Crowe was hardly a star in 1995. I would think that actors would get a pass when they’re still struggling.

    1. You’ve got an excellent point there Cameron. I said below in the comments that actors who are still struggling get a pass because of monetary reasons and the fact that they need to build up their resumes.

      What I should’ve included in regards to Crowe’s work are Breaking Up and Heaven’s Burning (a bizarre flick that left me scratching me head afterwards), which he did in the same year as L.A. Confidential!

      No matter though, he’s made up for them time and time again since then.

  29. Logan

    You forgot Ben Kingsly in, well, roughly every third or fourth movie he appears in. Thunderbirds and Bloodrayne spring to mind but there are plenty more.

    1. Interestingly enough, I just saw Kingsley in ‘You Kill Me’ which is not exactly his best work [I’m being kind here], and there’s also The Love Guru! [face on palm]

  30. Huffy

    You do realize that these actors have families to feed, right? For all his talent Oldman isn’t exactly a bankable star. He isn’t like Brad Pitt or Matt Damon, who have the luxury of picking genuinely good movies when they go for “paycheck” roles. Same goes for Ralph Fiennes.
    De Niro on the other hand really has no excuse, though Stardust and Machete make up for some of it.

  31. Gaz

    Bad movies after winning an oscar?!?!

    the worst of the bunch surely has to be the resume of Cuba Gooding Jr since his oscar….. terrible terrible stuff.. Hero Wanted, Shadowboxer, Norbit, Daddy Day Camp, Fighting Temptations, BOAT TRIP

  32. Gaz

    The worst bunch of films after winning an oscar goes to Cuba Gooding Jr,

    Chill Factor,
    Rat Race
    Boat Trip
    Fighting Temptations
    Shadowboxer
    Hero Wanted
    Norbit
    Daddy Day Camp..

    :O(

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