Hollywood is a movie-making machine and we wouldn’t have it any other way because honestly, what else would we do with our spare time? There’s nothing quite like hunkering down to watch the latest releases…but sometimes even movies with star-studded casts leave us disappointed.
These are the finest actors of our time, but despite their talent, these movies blew the big one. Join us as we take a look at cinema flops that boasted big names in the acting line-up.
Tom Hanks – The Ladykillers (2004)
Tom Hanks is one of the biggest stars of today and has worked tirelessly since the ’80s to build his Hollywood reputation, but even Hanks isn’t immune to the odd flop. When 2004’s The Ladykillers premiered, it split audiences down the middle.
Critics weren’t overly impressed by the period comedy. The Village Voice wasn’t nice about it, stating, “There’s the mind-numbing oompah rhythm of every gag telegraphed and every joke pounded into the ground.” The Coen brothers remake was based on the 1955 movie that did considerably better. Luckily for Tom, it didn’t damage his career in the slightest.
Anne Hathaway – One Day (2011)
Anne Hathaway rose to prominence as the frizzy-haired Princess of Genovia in The Princess Diaries. Since then, Hathaway has had roles in some major films, from The Devil Wears Prada to Les Miserables. However, 2011’s One Day could’ve put an end to her future prospects.
The adaptation of Nicholas Spark’s novel wasn’t well received by critics, who gave it a 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. “By the time this flat, excruciatingly predictable film reaches its drawn-out, melodramatic (and unintentionally comedic) ending, we’ve not only stopped caring about Emma and Dexter, we’re actively rooting against them,” said the San Diego Union-Tribune in their scathing write-up.
Jennifer Lawrence – Passengers (2016)
Jennifer Lawrence is undoubtedly Hollywood hot property, having done more major movies in her 28 years than some actors do in their whole lives. From The Hunger Games to Silver Linings Playbook, Jen has enjoyed incredible success – and some lows, too. Her 2016 sci-fi movie Passengers pitted Lawrence against Chris Pratt, but it didn’t go down well.
Cinema audiences were impressed with the overall look on the big screen, but critics couldn’t get beyond the lackluster core of the movie. Dallas Morning News called it “Disappointing at best, problematic at worst,” and the overall critic score was a pitiful 30%. Lawrence also starred in 2017’s Mother! which didn’t do much better.
Matt Damon – The Great Wall (2017)
Matt Damon has been around so long that it’s difficult to remember what life was like before him. He’s given us lots of great movies along the way, from Dogma to The Talented Mr. Ripley, but as of late Damon is seriously struggling to get back on top.
2017 saw Matt star in one of the oddest movies we’ve seen, The Great Wall. The plot focuses around lizard-type monsters that attack the Great Wall of China as Damon helps to fend them off. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 35%, saying, “It is neither as exciting nor as entertainingly bonkers as one might hope.”
Ben Affleck – Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Just like his Boston buddy Matt Damon, Ben Affleck seems to have lost his mojo in the last few years. His portrayal of Batman has received mixed reviews since his first outing, but none more so than 2016’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. The movie as a whole was a disappointment for fans.
Critics couldn’t get over the dark and drab offering. “A movie that beats you into submission and makes you wonder if the sun will ever come out again,” read The New Republic’s review. It can’t get much worse than that, can it? Needless to say, fans are eager for Affleck to pass the Bat torch on.
Mila Kunis – Jupiter Ascending (2015)
Mila Kunis has come a long way since she played Jackie on That ’70s Show alongside her now-husband Ashton Kutcher. After an impressive turn in Black Swan audiences were looking forward to getting to see another side to Kunis, but it’s never quite materialized. For all intents and purposes, 2015’s Jupiter Ascending should’ve hit some of the right notes but it never quite got there.
Kunis starred opposite some other big names in the Wachowski movie, including Eddie Redmayne and Channing Tatum, but the big budget didn’t get the big reviews. The New Yorker said it was without taste and imagination.
Tom Hardy – This Means War (2012)
Tom Hardy can do no wrong in the eyes of most, with critics calling him the “only saving grace” of the recent Venom movie. While he is undeniably one of the finest British actors of the moment, Tom has been in some real cinematic stinkers. This Means War received an overall critic score of 25%.
Hardy stars opposite Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine in the action flick that pits two jilted lovers against each other. Despite a stellar cast, it didn’t get stellar reviews. “Yet another case of Hollywood execs trying way too hard to give the audience what they think it wants,” said Time Out.
Michael Keaton – Jack Frost (1998)
Michael Keaton is a versatile actor that can lend his hand to almost anything, from Batman to Beetlejuice. In 1998, he was even a dead father reincarnated as a snowman in the seasonal movie Jack Frost. While youngsters lapped the story up, adults were less swayed by the movie.
Some compared it to a Hallmark holiday special, while others, like the Houston Chronicle, belittled the poorly-delivered message. “Its sentiment is rote, its truths are culled from a trip down the aisles of a greeting card shop,” they said. The movie was box office flop, taking only $34.5 million against an $85 million budget.
Micheal Fassbender – Assassin’s Creed (2016)
Irish rogue Michael Fassbender stuns in Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, so we know that he is capable of greatness. Unfortunately for him, he still had to make some money between the two movies and agreed to be part of Assassin’s Creed, the movie based on the popular video game franchise.
The movie was not well-liked by fans or by critics, who believed that it did the games a dire disservice. Slate didn’t hold back in their review: “I suppose you could say the film made me slightly more likely to play one of the games, but only because I’d do just about anything before I saw this movie again.”
Scarlett Johansson – The Perfect Score (2004)
Scarlett Johansson has been in a fair few blockbusters in her time, but 2004’s The Perfect Score wasn’t her finest hour. The teen-comedy heist movie directed by Brian Robbins boasted the likes of Chris Evans and Erika Christensen too, but it still flopped.
Any teen movie produced by MTV isn’t going to win Oscars, but this one was particularly bad. “Kids facing the SAT in real life may appreciate this movie, if only because it’ll make them feel so much smarter than these characters,” wrote the Seattle Times. The overall score for this teen-flop was 17%. Hardly surprising, really.
Chris Pine – Just My Luck (2005)
Chris Pine makes a good Captain Kirk in the Star Trek movies, but back in 2005 he was starring opposite Lindsay Lohan in one of her insufferable teen romps. Just My Luck was so terrible that even Lohan is ashamed of it. Purposely tailored to the pre-teen market, it centers on a flimsy story about true love and luck.
Needless to say, critics thought it should’ve been stopped before it was started, with Richard Roeper calling it "A real piece of junk." It didn’t fair better elsewhere, gaining a pitiful 14% across the board. Thankfully, Lindsay seems to have stopped making teen movies these days.
Helen Mirren – Collateral Beauty (2016)
It’s difficult to picture Helen Mirren in any role that doesn’t suit her down to a T – after all, she’s on-par with Judi Dench. But being made a dame doesn’t mean that you’re always in great movies – 2016’s Collateral Beauty was proof of that.
Also starring Will Smith and an impressive ensemble cast, the release of the movie was highly anticipated, but as you’ve probably guessed, it was panned by the critics who gave it scathing reviews. “Somewhere in a forest, a maple tree wants all its sap back,” wrote US Weekly. Despite that, the movie made a tidy profit.
Will Smith – After Earth (2013)
Will Smith went from being the Fresh Prince to Hollywood royalty in the drop of a hat, and it’s not difficult to see why. He’s done some epic movies, such as The Pursuit of Happyness and Men in Black. As with all megastars though, it’s not all been rave reviews and roses.
2013 saw Smith act alongside his son, Jaden, in a stylish sci-fi adventure that could’ve been great. Unfortunately, the story was boring and lacked enough excitement to get critics to praise it. “The movie takes off from a concept as basic as a video game, and it sticks to that concept, without surprise,” said Entertainment Weekly.
Michelle Williams – Deception (2008)
Dawson’s Creek alum Michelle Williams has done quite well for herself in supporting roles, but has yet to really prove herself as a leading lady. 2008’s Deception made big promises as Williams starred alongside Ewan Mcgregor and Hugh Jackman, but the erotic thriller wasn’t enough to sway audiences.
The critics panned it from the offset, with only 14% giving positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes offers this consensus: "A middling, predictable potboiler with mediocre dialogue and ludicrous plot twists." It took $17 million at the box office, making it a flop, averaging $1,155 per theater – hardly an impressive statistic. Luckily for Williams, her career didn’t slow down.
Halle Berry – Catwoman (2004)
Halle Berry took a huge risk stepping into Michelle Pfieffer’s feline shoes with 2004’s Catwoman, and it didn’t pay off. The Oscar-winning actress definitely signed up for the cash rather than the acting kudos – something she readily admitted years later.
Rotten Tomatoes was kinder about Berry’s performance than most, stating, “Halle Berry is the lone bright spot, but even she can’t save this laughable action thriller.” Famed critic Roger Ebert has the movie on his most-hated list, blaming the filmmakers for wasting Berry’s talents and giving her a movie that could actually work. Instead, he said it was geared to capitalize on the actress’s sex appeal and not much else.
Alicia Vikander – Tulip Fever (2017)
Alicia Vikander gained widespread recognition for her role as Kitty in Anna Karenina, going on to have roles in big movies like Ex Machina and Testament of Youth. The actress tied the knot with Michael Fassbender in 2017, the same year that she starred in Tulip Fever.
The movie encountered its fair share of problems, with the release date delayed several times. Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers gave the movie 1 star out of 4, saying, “This movie was shot in 2014 but is only hitting theaters now after years of recutting, retooling and release-date shuffling, it should’ve been allowed to die on the vine.”
Saoirse Ronan – The Host (2013)
This 24-year-old actress is a force to be reckoned with in the business, having already starred in some top-notch movies. Saoirse Ronan has done well for herself, but 2013’s The Host did her dirty.
The movie was based on Stephenie Meyer’s novel of the same name but didn’t impress audiences as much as her Twilight Saga adaptations. With only 8% of critics giving it any praise at all, the movie was slated across the board. “A brazen combination of unoriginal science-fiction themes, young-adult pandering and bottom-line calculation,” spat The New Yorker. IGN’s Roth Cornet called it “unintentionally laughable and frustratingly absurd.”
Reese Witherspoon – Hot Pursuit (2015)
Reese Witherspoon is the undisputed queen of lighthearted movies, but Hot Pursuit fell short. Reese paired up with Modern Family‘s Sofia Vergara for the comedy-crime caper, but it left audiences with a sour taste in their mouths.
“Shrill and unfunny, Hot Pursuit bungles what should have been an easy opportunity to show Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara’s likable odd-couple chemistry,” reads the consensus on Rotten Tomatoes. The pair could’ve made something great, but instead fell flat. Thanks to the big-name cast it still made a decent amount at the box office, coming second to Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Christopher Walken – Gigli (2003)
Christopher Walken is a Hollywood legend thanks to his unique style and ability to play the hard-faced gangster. While no one is denying he’s incredibly talented, 2003’s Gigli left critics wondering if he should consider throwing in the towel.
J-Lo and Ben Affleck capitalized on their real-life romance with this release that is now widely recognized as one of the worst movies of all time. Unfortunately, the movie starred some incredible names like Al Pacino and Walken, who were dragged down with the sinking ship. Richard Roeper called the film “a disaster” citing it as “one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.”
Morgan Freeman – Just Getting Started (2017)
It’s difficult to imagine Morgan Freeman in a movie that isn’t great — the man has played God for goodness sake — but every star gets a little dim at times. Just Getting Started had the potential for comic genius, with Tommy Lee Jones there to offer his straight-faced wit, but it failed miserably.
“A thoroughly unfunny misfire,” said Rotten Tomatoes. “It manages the incredible feat of wasting more than a century of combined acting experience from its three talented leads.” As for box office stats, the movie was the 21st worst opening movie of all time — not quite the accolade filmmakers wanted.