It happens to the best of them. Distinguished actors and actresses in Hollywood can often find themselves in downright terrible movies and roles. Unfortunately, they’re pretty impossible to forget. Despite all of the other amazing performances on their resume, it’s these clunkers and misfires from the likes of beloved stars like Kate Winslet and Ryan Gosling that tend to stand out. We’ve picked 15 of the absolute worst roles by some of the best actors and actresses of our time.
Al Pacino in Jack and Jill (2011)
Honestly, we could do an entire separate list of Pacino’s worst roles, but did any of the Oscar-winning actor’s terrible movies feature the star playing himself while rapping about Dunkin’ Donuts and seducing Adam Sandler in drag? We didn’t think so.
Sandra Bullock in All About Steve (2009)
Giving credit where it’s due, Bullock was a good sport about just how bad All About Steve was. (The Oscar-winning actress even went so far as to accept her Razzie for her performance.) But that still doesn’t take away from how god-awful her work was as a deranged, manic crossword puzzle writer who falls for/stalks Bradley Cooper.
No matter the role, Bullock knows how to kill an acceptance speech. Watch her steal the show (at make out with Meryl Streep at the 2010 Critics Choice Awards.
Jennifer Lawrence in House at the End of the Street (2012)
Lawrence is so much better than this low-level horror thriller, and you can tell while watching that even she knows it.
Kate Winslet in Labor Day (2013)
It’s not entirely her fault, really. Jason Reitman’s Labor Day was a gooey, ridiculous drama — in which an emotionally shattered single mother (Winslet) falls in love with her pie-baking captor (Josh Brolin) — that was rightfully torn apart by critics. Still, not even the usually-reliable Winslet could salvage this thing.
Ryan Gosling in Only God Forgives (2013)
Ryan Gosling is no stranger to playing the strong, silent type (see: Drive, The Place Beyond the Pines) but there’s a fine line between that and being totally dull. His work in 2013’s ultra-violent and unbearably ridiculous Only God Forgives was so off we’re not sure anyone could forgive him for it.
Robert De Niro in The Adventures in Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000)
Much like Pacino, De Niro is one of the all-time greats we’ve had to watch seemingly give up on their once-established careers to cash in and star in utter garbage. That was never more apparent or appalling then when De Niro appeared in The Adventures in Rocky & Bullwinkle. Yeah, we’re talkin’ to you.
Russell Crowe in Les Misérables (2012)
Can you hear the people sing? If one of those people is Russell Crowe, then we are very sorry to hear that because the Oscar-winner’s work as Inspector Javert was as strained as his voice. An emotionless, unintentionally comic take on one of theater’s all-time great villains.
Angelina Jolie in Alexander (2004)
It’s hard to decide what’s more ridiculous: the fact that Jolie played Colin Farrell’s mother in Oliver Stone’s epic misfire (she is only 14 months his senior) or how over-the-top and oddly seductive she played Queen Olympias. And, seriously, what the hell was that accent?
Denzel Washington in The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)
John Travolta may have gone for scenery-chewing in this utterly pointless remake, while Washington opted for the totally-phoning-it-in route.
Julia Roberts in Mary Reilly (1996)
The Oscar-winning actress’s career has more than its fair share of total duds (Mirror Mirror, anyone?) but none seemed as stiff or out of place than when she tried—and failed— to pull off period drama with the disastrous Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde romance thriller (yes, all of those things) Mary Reilly.
Brad Pitt in Meet Joe Black (1998)
If you’ve ever imagined that the devil not only looks like Brad Pitt, but is also one who enjoys peanut butter with childlike wonderment and mostly stares vacantly for excruciatingly looooong periods of time, then sure, this performance is spot-on.
Meryl Streep in August: Osage County (2013)
Don’t let that Oscar nomination for this role fool you: this is one of the great Meryl Streep’s most embarrassing performances. As the pill-popping matriarch of the screwy Weston family, the Greatest Actress in History doesn’t just chew the scenery, she inhales and devours the already-inane, messy, and downright unwatchable adaptation.
George Clooney in Batman & Robin (1997)
George Clooney wasn’t just bad as the Caped Crusader, he almost single-handedly killed off the Batman franchise for good.
Halle Berry in Catwoman (2004)
Like Bullock, Berry graciously accepted her Razzie for her disastrous performance (here, as the campy Catwoman), but that still doesn’t take away from the fact that this is one of the worst superhero movies ever. Like, Batman & Robin bad.
Johnny Depp in The Tourist (2010)
Sure, Johnny Depp has been hiding any trace of himself or a decent performances under layers upon layers of makeup and scarves over the past few years, but we’d still take that any day over this boring slog of a performance as an American caught up in whirlwind international romance (despite having no chemistry with his leading lady Jolie) in this dumbfounding, uh, comedy?
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]