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Home » 12 terrible performances in good films, from Hugh Grant to Jake Gyllenhaal

12 terrible performances in good films, from Hugh Grant to Jake Gyllenhaal

Mark Hamill in ‘Star Wars’, January Jones in ‘X-Males: First Class’ and Hugh Grant in ‘Love Truly’ (Disney/Shutterstock/Common)

It’s far simpler to be the saving grace of a nasty movie than the worst a part of an amazing one.

The latter not often is smart – certainly if a movie is firing on all cylinders and has a reliable director behind it, each aspect will work simply as effectively?

If solely it had been so easy. Whereas it’s uncommon, there are cases of superb movies being undone by a sole dangerous aspect. Typically it’s an accent gone awry, or a distracted actor, and even one thing so simple as a little bit of miscasting.

To shine a light-weight on this phenomenon, we’ve compiled 12 askew performances in nice movies, from the famously incongruous (Cameron Diaz in Gangs of New York), to decisions which might be extra controversial (Hugh Grant in Love Truly? Sure, actually!)

And whilst you’re right here, why not additionally pattern the inverse of this unusual incidence – good performances in in any other case horrible films…

Jake Gyllenhaal in Prisoners

Gyllenhaal is responsible of an excessive amount of performing in Denis Villeneuve’s dirty child-abduction thriller. Whereas the opposite A-listers that encompass him (together with Hugh Jackman and Viola Davis) bury themselves in grief and rage, Gyllenhaal appears to be in a unique movie solely. He’s all twitches and facial tics, injecting off-putting weirdness in a film that completely doesn’t want it.

January Jones in X-Males: First Class

The Mad Males star adopts a flat have an effect on for this in any other case nice franchise reboot. In equity to her, the character she’s taking part in – mutant henchwoman Emma Frost – is written as quippy arm sweet and completely nothing extra, however Jones appears painfully uninterested all the identical.

Mark Hamill in Star Wars

First, some caveats. A few of our biggest dwelling actors have been no match for George Lucas’s incapacity to jot down good dialogue, and Hamill received infinitely higher as an actor as he aged. In these first three Star Wars films, he’s additionally taking part in off Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, two of essentially the most charismatic actors in movie historical past. All that stated, he’s nonetheless not superb within the authentic 1977 Star Wars, taking part in Luke Skywalker like he’s a bratty 10-year-old. Which will have been the purpose, but it surely’s nonetheless irritating.

Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley in ‘Bend It Like Beckham' (Film Council/Lionsgate)

Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley in ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ (Movie Council/Lionsgate)

Keira Knightley in Bend It Like Beckham

Keira Knightley is to Bend It Like Beckham what Mark Hamill is to Star Wars: an actor who would blossom with age, however whose fresh-faced weaknesses are on full show of their first massive movie. Taking part in a younger footballer, Knightley is distractingly wood. She additionally agreed, admitting years later that she didn’t suppose she was superb in it.

Hugh Grant in Love Truly

Many might imagine Grant’s inclusion on this listing a travesty, each as a result of he’s Hugh Grant and/or as a result of Love Truly isn’t superb anyway – these persons are unsuitable. However the actor is an surprising weak hyperlink in an in any other case well-performed film. On paper, he ought to work because the British PM, however there’s a self-conscious, barely withdrawn high quality to his efficiency right here, as if he didn’t significantly need to be there. Even his memorable Downing Road dance sequence appears as if it’s been filmed at gunpoint.

Cameron Diaz in Gangs of New York

Sunny, glamorous (and now retired) Cameron Diaz was all the time being solid against-type, notably as John Cusack’s tragicomic, frizzy-haired spouse in Being John Malkovich. Each occasionally, although, against-type veered into “horribly miscast”. Take Gangs of New York, through which she performed an Irish pickpocket and the movie’s love curiosity for Leonardo DiCaprio. Even past the dangerous accent, Diaz is simply actually there so this Martin Scorsese epic might have one other A-list identify on its poster.

Ryan O’Neal in Barry Lyndon

There’s an argument to be made that O’Neal’s blank-faced miscasting right here is the purpose, or a uncommon occasion of a void on the centre of a film really working within the movie’s favour. However that is likely to be giving even the nice Stanley Kubrick a bit an excessive amount of credit score. Compelled to solid him after Robert Redford handed on the chance, Kubrick appears to color round O’Neal – that is an eye-wateringly attractive epic stuffed with wit and attraction, if hamstrung by its vacant lead.

John Travolta in The Skinny Purple Line

Even in a film that includes cameos from George Clooney, Woody Harrelson and John C Reilly, John Travolta is by some means too well-known for it. He solely has a couple of minutes on-screen, taking part in a navy basic, however he appears so out of step with the movie’s extra ethereal rhythms that it could’t assist however throw off the film.

Quentin Tarantino in Django Unchained

A persistent cameo participant in a lot of his films – and different folks’s – Tarantino is all the time a bit distracting, however his presence in Django Unchained takes the cake. He solely has a number of unlucky traces of dialogue – together with the regretful “Shut up, black!” – and likewise speaks in a horrid Australian accent. Fortunately, Jamie Foxx’s Django blows him up quickly after his arrival, saving us all within the course of.

Russell Crowe in ‘Les Miserables' (Universal Pictures)

Russell Crowe in ‘Les Miserables’ (Common Photos)

Russell Crowe in Les Misérables

Russell Crowe can’t sing, which doesn’t assist when he’s been solid in a movie adaptation of Les Mis. However he additionally appears uncomfortable within the movie, struggling to undertaking beneath a tiny blue hat. His dreadful singing recollects Pierce Brosnan in Mamma Mia! Besides the place Brosnan’s distinctive timbre added to that movie’s rinky-dink attraction, Crowe’s boorish growl appears misplaced right here, significantly when his co-stars are all on the prime of their sport.

Jared Leto in Blade Runner 2049

Buried within the Blade Runner sequel is Leto’s overcooked efficiency because the movie’s villain. He’s problematic partially as a result of movie’s script, which saddles him with hammy monologues and much too many alternatives to chew the surroundings, however Leto is mostly insufferable right here in any case. In essentially the most Jared Leto sentence possible, he additionally partially blinded himself to play the character, selecting to put on blurry contact lenses that diminished his sight. All that exhausting effort is seen on display screen, to the movie’s detriment.

Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Isn’t it annoying when an in any other case excellent film is infested with outrageous racism? Greater than only a doubtful efficiency wrecking issues, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is undermined by Mickey Rooney’s abhorrent caricature of an Asian individual that’s tragic even by 1961 requirements. Sporting pretend tan and a pair of buck enamel – together with tape to alter the form of his eyes – Rooney destroys the movie single-handed.