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People Are Sharing “Bad” Movie Roles That Great Actors Took, And They Made Some Valid Points

Not every movie is Oscar-worthy.

We recently asked the members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what great actors took terrible roles. Here’s what they had to say:


Robert Downey Jr. as Dr. John Dolittle in Dolittle (2020)

Universal Pictures

“He gave one of the most entertaining performances as Iron Man for 11 years, so it’s mind-boggling that he would succeed that role with Dr. Dolittle. That accent was bizarre, and that movie was one of the worst movies of 2020.”



Every actor in Cats (2019)

Universal Pictures

“For me, it was the moment Sir Ian McKellen started lapping up milk. What kind of blackmail did someone have on these people to make them do this movie?”


“All of Cats. Literally, all of the actors in all of the roles. As a huge fan of the stage show, this was utter disappointment!!”



Jeremy Renner and Gabrielle Union as Ned and Rachael in Neo Ned (2005)

CodeBlack Entertainment / Vivendi Entertainment

Suggested by: logostones

In this romantic drama, Jeremy Renner played a young white supremacist while Gabrielle Union played a woman who believes she is the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler.


Robert De Niro as Lieutenant Colonel Richard “Dick” Kelly in Dirty Grandpa (2016)


“I love dumb, immature comedies…but this was painful to watch. De Niro’s done some good comedies, but Dirty Grandpa almost feels like a bad parody movie of a bad comedy.”



Sir Patrick Stewart as the poop emoji in The Emoji Movie (2017)

Sony Pictures Releasing


Emma Watson as Belle in Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

“I don’t care what people say, she’s an amazing actor and I really enjoyed the movie but IDK…her character could have been made better.”



Viola Davis as Aibileen Clark in The Help (2011)

Walt Disney Studios Motion PIctures

“She is an amazing actor, but that movie, ugh. I thought it would actually be about Black nannies in America rather than white people’s problems, again.”



Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in 50 Shades of Grey (2015)

Universal Pictures

“I know doing 50 Shades of Grey allowed Jamie Dornan to be able to do other movies that he really cared about, but man…those movies were so bad. But he is so good. Don’t watch FSOG, watch The Fall! He’s brilliant!”



Adam Sandler as Jack and Jill Sadelstein in Jack and Jill (2011)

Sony Pictures Releasing

“I don’t know what he was thinking making that movie. It was terrible.”



Al Pacino as himself in Jack and Jill (2011)

Sony Pictures Releasing

“Who knew it was so hard to play yourself and make it funny? He just didn’t fit in the movie. Although it was almost worth it for the Dunkaccino commercial at the end.”



Melissa McCarthy as Michelle Darnell in The Boss (2016)

Universal Pictures

“I love Melissa McCarthy. She’s incredibly talented and versatile, but The Boss is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t even finish it. Just woeful and also very boring.”



Ben Kingsley as Guru Tugginmypudha in The Love Guru (2019)

Paramount Pictures

“I will never understand how they got Ben Kingsley to be in The Love Guru. That movie was disgusting and just plain not funny. He’s one of the greatest living actors, so I have no idea if he just thought it would be a quick and fun way to make money or what.”



Natalie Portman as Isabel in Your Highness (2011)

Universal Pictures

“Natalie Portman felt really out of place in Your Highness. It’s a stoner comedy. She won the Best Actress Oscar for Black Swan a month and a half before that movie came out.”



Saoirse Ronan as Melanie Stryder / Wanderer a.k.a. Wanda in The Host (2013)

Open Road Films

“She’s such a phenomenal actress, but that’s by far the worst role I’ve ever seen her in. The movie was cringey and boring and just bad. She’s made far better choices since then, thank god.”



George Clooney as Bruce Wayne / Batman in Batman & Robin (1997)

Warner Bros. Pictures

“All of his other movies and TV shows were so good. He has even apologized for being in the worst Batman movie.”



Tilda Swinton as Dianna in Trainwreck (2015).

Universal Pictures

“Don’t get me wrong, I loved the movie, but after seeing Tilda play unique characters in movie after movie, it was jarring to see her as a stereotypical boss bitch with a spray tan and a pencil skirt.”



Kate Winslet as Jeanine Matthews in Divergent (2014).


“She is an incredible actress, but I was so disappointed to see her in such a role that didn’t show her great skills.”



And Penélope Cruz as Valentina Valencia in Zoolander 2 (2016)

Paramount Pictures

“She’s an amazing actress and has done some incredible movies, both in English and Spanish. She even has an Oscar! So it amazes me that she keeps agreeing to such questionable roles like the stereotypical hot woman trope.”


Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarify.

What are other “bad” movie roles by great actors? Let us know in the comments!

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