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29 voters

Popular Actors Who Make Mostly Bad Movies

April 14, 2020 198 votes 29 voters15 items

List RulesVote up the actors who have bombed on screen but you like anyways. Films available on streaming-only services (Netflix, Amazon) are eligible for consideration, but TV movies on over-the-air and cable channels like NBC, HBO, or Lifetime are not.

We all have our favorites; actors who we follow breathlessly on the gossip sites that pop up in beloved movies and TV shows. Most movie stars have a laundry list of popular and/or critically acclaimed projects on their resume, yet there is also a subsection of Hollywood actors (many of whom got their start on popular TV series) that have long-lasting, fruitful careers without actually being in very many good movies. There are some working actors who always make bad movies. Today, we salute those heroes who might have a hard time choosing scripts but aren't any less adored by their fans. 

  • Leighton Meester
    Photo: The Roommate / Screen Gems

    Most Recognizable Role: Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl

    Highest Rated Film (Via Rotten Tomatoes): Life Partners [67%]

    Lowest Rated Film (Via Rotten Tomatoes): Remember the Daze [0%]

    Notable Flops: Country Strong, That's My Boy, Going the Distance

    Debatable Exceptions: The Roommate

    As is the case for countless TV stars, Leighton Meester has struggled to work her way into quality motion pictures. Low-budget college thriller The Roommate was a profitable film in 2011, but it didn't launch her into box office stardom or art house respect. Instead, she put a significant amount of time and energy into a music career that's also stalled in the last few years. Maybe she can find her way into the new Gossip Girl reboot.

    • Age: 29
    • Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
    11
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    Does this actor have bad taste?
  • Kevin James
    Photo: Paul Blart: Mall Cop / Sony Pictures Releasing

    Most Recognizable Role: Doug Heffernan on The King of Queens

    Highest Rated Film (Via Rotten Tomatoes): Monster House [75%]

    Lowest Rated Film (Via Rotten Tomatoes): True Memoirs of an International Assassin [0%]

    Notable Flops: Zookeeper, Here Comes the Boom, Pixels

    Debatable Exceptions: Hitch

    For a minute there, Kevin James was one of the biggest comedy stars in the movies, thanks to the box office success of the Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Grown-Ups films. Unfortunately for Kevin, those movies were universally lambasted by critics and ever since the failure of Pixels in 2015, James has spent more time on his TV career via the CBS series Kevin Can Wait.

    • Age: 55
    • Birthplace: Mineola, New York, United States of America
    11
    5
    Does this actor have bad taste?
  • Jai Courtney
    Photo: Terminator: Genisys / Paramount Pictures

    Most Recognizable Role: Captain Boomerang in Suicide Squad

    Highest Rated Film (Via Rotten Tomatoes): Buffaloed [77%]

    Lowest Rated Film (Via Rotten Tomatoes): I, Frankenstein [5%]

    Notable Flops: Terminator Genisys, A Good Day to Die Hard, Man Down

    Debatable Exceptions: Jack Reacher

    Jai Courtney isn't a household name, but he did steal the show in his scenes in Suicide Squad (which sits at an abysmal 27% on Rotten Tomatoes). But he's also known for failing to reboot two major franchises: Die Hard (as John McClaine's son) and Terminator (as Kyle Reese). On the bright side, Courtney is in the sequel to Suicide Squad.

    • Age: 34
    • Birthplace: Cherrybrook, Australia
    5
    1
    Does this actor have bad taste?
  • Alicia Silverstone
    Photo: Batman & Robin / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Most Recognizable Role: Cher Horowitz in Clueless

    Highest Rated Film (Via Rotten Tomatoes): Clueless [80%]

    Lowest Rated Film (Via Rotten Tomatoes): True Crime [0%]

    Notable Flops: Excess Baggage, The Babysitter, Batman & Robin

    Debatable Exceptions: Blast from the Past

    Of all the actors on this list, Alicia Silverstone might have reached the highest of creative heights, starring in the legitimate classic comedy Clueless. Other than that, though, her filmography is littered with forgettable straight-to-video schlock and mega-wattage failures like Batman & Robin. The only other starring role that's remembered fondly is romantic comedy Blast from the Past, in which she worked opposite Brendan Fraser. 

    • Age: 39
    • Birthplace: San Francisco, California, USA
    8
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    Does this actor have bad taste?