Saved by The Actor: 10 Brilliant Acting Performances in Terrible Movies

You know how they say one rotten apple can spoil the bunch? What’s the opposite of that?

Most critics and fans agree that these movies are absolute rubbish, but that didn’t stop one actor from delivering scene-stealing performance after scene-stealing performance.

1. Al Pacino, Jack and Jill (2003)

Jack and Jill
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment.

One of Adam Sandler’s worst-rated films (which is quite the limbo bar to creep under), Jack and Jill features Al Pacino as…Al Pacino. If there is any saving grace to a cross-dressing Adam Sandler dominating the screen, it is Pacino, who constitutes a fresh of breath air in an otherwise over-the-top, laugh-deprived “comedy.”

2. Charlize Theron, Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

Snow White
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

While critics were not kind to the Kristin Stewart-led Snow White and the Huntsman, Charlize Theron brought her usual intensity to the role of Ravenna, the “Evil Queen” hell-bent on seeing Snow White’s demise.

3. Jake Gyllenhaal, Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)

Velvet Buzzsaw
Photo Credit: Netflix.

Described as a “thriller about the contemporary art scene in Los Angeles”, Velvet Buzzsaw was always going to be a boom-or-bust film. While Gyllenhaal’s turn as art critic Morf Vandewalt is worth viewers’ time and attention, the movie as a whole was critically lashed.

4. Andrew Garfield, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Amazing Spider Man
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing.

While The Amazing Spider-Man 2 failed to deliver the charm or compelling villains that its predecessor did, lead actor Andrew Garfield continue to solidify his reputation as a bona-fide leading man in his second go-round as Peter Parker.

5. Ryan Reynolds, Blade 3 (2004)

Blade 3
Photo Credit: New Line Cinema.

Blade 3 translates in vampire speak to “money grab.” Wesley Snipes was arguably mailing it in, the film was an unmitigated critical disaster, but Ryan Reynolds was still in the midst of his come-up. With his trademark dry wit and facial hair like you’ve never seen before, Reynolds stole the largely forgettable show.

6. Idris Elba, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Hobbs and Shaw
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

Every actor on this list brings the heat in every performance they deliver, embracing the “no roles off” mentality. So, even though Idris Elba almost certainly knew that Hobbs & Shaw was not going to take home any Oscars, he stole the show as genetically-enhanced villain Brixton.

7. Chris Pratt, Jurassic World: Dominion (2022)

Jurassic Park
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

It’s easy to argue that the Jurassic World series has reached dominion-ishing returns with its third installment, but Chris Pratt remains thoroughly committed to the bit as Owen Grady.

8. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Batman & Robin (1997)

Batman Robin
Photo Credit: Warner Brothers.

In the rare film that is able to achieve a sub-4 IMdB rating, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s role as Mr. Freeze remains legendary. In a film full of major stars let down by a brutal script, Schwarzenegger salvages the most entertainment value.

9. Ewan McGregor, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)

Star Wars
Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Perhaps no film in the modern era has failed to live up to expectations like Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. While some blame lies with the success of the original Star Wars films, there is no denying that this movie missed the mark in several respects. Ewan McGregor’s role as Obi-Wan Kenobi, however, was not one of this movie’s shortcomings.

10. Eddie Redmayne, Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Jupiter Ascending
Photo Credit: Warner Brothers.

Reddit user Unique-Artichoke7596 writes that, despite Jupiter Ascending being a tough watch, Eddie Redmayne “was told it was a space opera and he went for it” as Balem Abrasax.


This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

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