The movie industry provides a great deal of variety for fans of many tastes. It is difficult to say a film is downright terrible, considering that it's a matter of opinion or preference, but a few movies have managed to change the rules. Some flicks are so disliked by the vast majority of fans and critics that you have to view it as a bad movie. One trend among the terrible films hitting theaters is that many of the same actors appear in the worst movies. There’s always a mix of impressive content and disappointment with each actor’s career, given the amount of roles, but a few names have more strikes against them.
Quite a few actors will take bad movies solely for the money. You can’t begrudge someone for wanting to make as much money as possible in their field of work, but they have to knowingly sacrifice their artistic pride to appear in a guaranteed stinker. A select few of the actors actually think these movies are entertaining and risk their reputations by taking the chance on their misguided vision. We’ll look at some of the biggest names in show business that have seen their credibility go down the drain when it comes to their selections in the acting world. These are the top fifteen actors that have become notorious for starring in bad movies.
15 Rob Schneider
One glimpse of Rob Schneider is all you need to guarantee a movie will be terrible. The lack of comedic talent doesn’t prevent Schneider from getting work in Hollywood due to his ability to buddy up with more successful names. Adam Sandler has made Schneider one of his sidekicks in the legendary terrible movies to give him consistent acting roles far beyond what he deserves. The films that starred Schneider go down in the record books among the biggest disgraces in cinematic history.
If you were able to enjoy Schneider’s work in The Animal, The Benchwarmers or Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, you are a special form of human. The majority of viewers to have the misfortune of watching Schneider’s library know just how atrocious his movies are. A tougher task would be searching for a good film in the resume of Schneider. The career of Rob Schneider perfectly summarizes an actor that will always be synonymous with trash movies.
14 Owen Wilson
The inconsistent career of Owen Wilson has its fair share of charming hits, but definitely will be remembered for having many more terrible films. Wilson has solid comedic timing and enough talent to deliver good content more frequently, but he’s the classic case of an actor going for “money grab” roles. Most of us would do the same as getting paid millions to make bad movies is a good gig. However, it gives the entertainment world ammunition against Wilson.
Some of the putrid movies starring Wilson were Shanghai Noon, Drillbit Taylor and You, Me and Dupree. All films provided disastrous results that made you wonder if Wilson had any talent at all. Better roles in Zoolander and Wedding Crashers gave us enough evidence to find his strengths, but Wilson rarely selects compelling characters or entertaining flicks. Wilson currently has a legacy of being associated with horrible content and he has quite a long road ahead of him if he wants to change that.
13 David Arquette
Remember the 90s? If so, you will recall David Arquette being a moderately popular actor appearing in various movies on a consistent basis. Arquette didn’t excel in any facet of the acting game, but still found great success in the business. Most the starring roles were absolute bombs that did poorly in the box office and ruined the evening of anyone giving his films a chance. Eight Legged Freaks, See Spot Run and 3000 Miles to Graceland gave an insight into the career of Arquette.
We can’t forget the horrible wrestling film Ready to Rumble, which will always live on in infamy. Arquette at least ended up winning the WCW World Champion thanks to that gig so maybe it wasn’t all that bad. You’ll struggle to find him a relevant film these days due to the industry catching up to his lack of talent and realizing the poor resume will hurt the perception of any project he works on.
12 Mike Myers
Mike Myers is a wizard at starring in films that connect with you during your most juvenile state. Most of us in the late 20s/early 30s age range enjoyed his work in Wayne’s World and the Austin Powers series, but they are a bit difficult to watch back today. Myers absolutely has the knack to pull off an entertaining role now and then, but he mostly uses his skills to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
Myers has had the displeasure of being nominated for the “Worst Actor of the Year” Award via the Razzies multiple times in The Cat in the Hat and The Love Guru. The latter took home the award and all, but ended any respectability Myers had as a lead actor. Myers is hard to find today after stepping out of the public spotlight by avoiding more embarrassing roles to further damage his legacy in Hollywood following his success on SNL.
11 Taylor Lautner
The success of the Twilight franchise made stars out of the young actors leading the films, but it hurt them in the long run. A series aimed towards teenagers will result in big money, but the artistic pride isn’t usually associated with it. Twilight delivered huge success, but most people look at it as movie garbage in the long run. It shows as Taylor Lautner has failed to gain any credible roles since that chapter of his career ended.
Lautner continues to take roles in terrible movies like Abduction, Valentine’s Day and Grown Ups 2. The teenagers that were infatuated with Lautner have grown up and his value has taken a dramatic hit thanks to the string of bad movies. Unless there’s a Twilight reunion series coming up, it is feasible that Lautner will fail to get consistent work with most of us already forgetting his existence. Lautner is definitely going down with the ship of his weak resume and a lack of worthwhile films.
10 Tyler Perry
The horrible directing, writing and producing work would put Tyler Perry at #1 on the list if those aspects factored in, but he still holds his own in terms of terrible acting gigs. Perry has casted himself in various movies he’s become associated with making. The putrid Madea series features Perry dressing in drag in eight films. Enough people watch the series to continue it, but the majority of fans and critics view it among the worst in the box office.
Something that is more shocking that Perry appearing in bad movies of his own creation is getting acting roles in actual movies. Studios have hired him in recent films Alex Cross and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Both movies were as weak as you would expect from a film casting Tyler Perry in a starring role. The sad part is Perry will continue to make and appear in a slew of embarrassing films with no shame in improving his work.
9 Vince Vaughn
Vince Vaughn has appeared in a couple of good films, but the majority of his fame came from being in a slate of stinkers. The comedic talent of Vaughn is hit or miss with many choosing to miss any movie he stars in. A very popular film to use in the argument for Vaughn being notorious for a horrible library is Psycho. The remake of the horror classic featured Vaughn playing Norman Bates and humiliating himself with an atrocious performance.
Vaughn transitioned from bombing in horror films to doing the same in the comedy world for the remainder of his career. Fred Claus, Couples Retreat, The Dilemma and The Internship all stand out among the worst comedies of their respective years. Vaughn is paid very well for his lackluster work and shows no sense of having creative pride from his roles, so it likely doesn’t bother him. Don’t expect him to change his reputation anytime soon and it may as well be set in stone.
8 Russell Brand
Things started out great for comic Russell Brand in the movie world with a lead role in the highly entertaining and successful Forgetting Sarah Marshall film. Many would proclaim Brand as the most memorable character in that film and it extended to him reprising the role of Aldous Snow once again in Get Him to the Greek. The follow-up film didn’t deliver the same charm and relying on Brand with less star power around him exposed everyone involved.
Brand’s movie career went downhill, as he cared more about pushing his real life persona on talk show interviews rather than focusing on the roles he chose. The bad movies of Hop, Rock of Ages and Bedtime Stories all harmed Brand’s momentum and completely changed his career trajectory. There’s a very realistic chance we’ll never see Brand in another good movie and his legacy will be for a shocking decline following Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
7 Channing Tatum
The good looks and charm of Channing Tatum have made him one of the hottest commodities in Hollywood, but he’s just not very talented. Tatum’s greatest success comes in films like Magic Mike, which viewers aren’t watching for a compelling story or impeccable acting, or in comedies like 22 Jump Street playing off other comedic stars. The career of Tatum has become notorious for a slew of terrible films piling up on the dark side of his legacy.
Fighting, G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra and Dear John all provided different acting roles, but each managed to disappoint anyone buying a ticket in support of Tatum. Last year’s disaster of Jupiter Ascending earned Tatum a Razzies nomination for Worst Actor of the Year that he has a good chance of winning. The charming personality of Tatum makes you want to root for him, but the movies he chooses to appear in are a disaster for the most part.
6 Dane Cook
Dane Cook was the “it” comedian for a few years in the early 2000s, with his stand-up comedy making him a star during the MySpace era of technology. The new age helped Cook become a leading man in Hollywood romantic comedies, but just about every film he starred in was a complete disaster. Romantic comedies are a tough genre, but you’d assume Cook would be able to get one solid lead role after many tries.
Employee of the Month, Good Luck Chuck and My Best Friend’s Girl all were embarrassments to the art of cinema and helped kill the reputation Cook gained as the hot new comedian. Cook’s acting career became nearly non-existent after the horrible results of his starring roles. The comic focused more on building back up his stand-up career and rarely appears in films these days. Unfortunately, the historical legacy of Dane Cook will be notorious for his leading roles in many bad movies.
5 Ashton Kutcher
Another actor that made a career off of big paydays for terrible romantic comedies was Ashton Kutcher. Not everyone believes in karma, but Kutcher must have been the most kind-spirited entity in past life to earn the dream existence he holds today. Kutcher is extremely wealthy, has dated numerous of the best looking women on the planet and gets consistent work acting in Hollywood all despite having minimal talent. The career of Ashton is full of disappointments, busts and a poor legacy.
Guess Who, My Boss’s Daughter and What Happens in Vegas all stand out among the horrible rom-coms featuring Kutcher in a leading role as the face of the film. The early career lead role in Dude, Where’s My Car? helped us realize just how terrible of a resume Kutcher would deliver in his career. Kutcher’s wealth has afforded him the opportunity to pick and choose his roles. You’ll find him in weak television series these days, but we will always remember him for the various box office flops.
4 Nicolas Cage
The thirty plus year acting career of Nicolas Cage is bound to see a mix of ups and downs considering the length of time in the industry. While he does have a nice list of movies to argue for him, the negatives far outweigh it and change the perception of his career. Cage has starred a barrage of horrible movies that are way more associated with him. The changing of the millennium saw him trade in his respect as a celebrated actor for bigger pay days in trash movies.
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Ghost Rider, The Wicker Man and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice are just the leaders of the worst Cage movies. It has been years since Cage was featured in a hit film loved by critics and fans alike. The career of a once beloved actor has become notorious for bad selections and a lack of pride. Cage actually turned down playing the lead character in The Wrestler, a role that would land Mickey Rourke an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.
3 Marlon Wayans
Marlon Wayans appearing in a movie trailer guarantees you an atrocious film hitting theaters near you. The Wayans brothers were once beloved in the 90s, but Marlon has done his best to make you forget about any positive memories. The youngest member of the Wayans brothers has become known for comedic spoofs of other hit films and they are all abysmal. A Haunted House and Fifty Shades of Black are just the latest in the long list of terrible movies starring him.
Wayans’ movies have always lacked in creativity and relied on lazy laughs. Senseless, White Chicks and Little Man delivered three bombs that taught you what would happen if Marlon Wayans was in the starring role of a movie. Even when stepping outside of the comedy genre, Wayans was still known for bad flicks as seen in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. The story of Marlon is one of yet another actor just going for any cash grab roles that he can get while still in his prime as a comedic actor.
2 Kevin James
The rise of Kevin James in the movie world signified that the entertainment world will never be a respectable business. James followed his successful television career as the star of King of Queens by getting many leading roles in highly budgeted films and all of them absolutely sucked. A film starring James guarantees nothing thought provoking or compelling will happen, unless you’re fascinated by uncreative fat jokes and lazy writing.
James being the face of the Paul Blart: Mall Cop franchise and one of the stars of Grown Ups tells you everything you need to know about his movie career. James is the Scottie Pippen to Adam Sandler’s Michael Jordan - if Pippen and Jordan were disgraces to their field. Both terrible actors starred together in Pixels and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry to cement their awful legacies together. James has received three Worst Actor or Worst Supporting Actor Razzie nominations and that number will continue to grow as his career goes on.
1 Adam Sandler
The aforementioned career of Kevin James gave a tease for the top choice, but now you officially know it is indeed Adam Sandler. Society was more accepting of Sandler’s comedy style in the 90s with hits like Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy and Billy Madison making him a household name. Things changed when the world started to mature, but Sandler refused to leave the party. Every movie starring or being made by Sandler’s company is guaranteed to be a humiliating experience for any paying customer.
You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Jack & Jill, That’s My Boy and Pixels can make any list breaking down the worst films in cinematic history. Sandler believes in an outdated concept of comedy, but his past name value allows him to continue making these unwatchable projects. The reliance of insensitive racial jokes, slapstick comedy and stale tropes provide the formula used by Sandler to create horrible films for him and his friends to continue to crap on the sanctity of the movie industry.