Even Academy Award-Winning Actors Couldn’t Save These Films From Bombing

Winning an Academy Award is an achievement many actors strive to accomplish. Sadly, once some hit that milestone, their careers take a major turn, and they star in projects that wind up being awful.

From Judi Dench in the atrocious film adaptation of Cats to Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in The Bucket List, there’s more than one Oscar-winner that’s appeared in a lousy movie.

Robert De Niro In Dirty Grandpa

The film Dirty Grandpa is definitely a stain in Robert De Niro’s otherwise stellar resume. A two-time Academy Award-winning actor, De Niro took up the role of Zac Efron’s grandpa in the 2016 movie; a mistake.

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Lionsgate
Lionsgate

The film wound up earning a 10% on Rotten Tomatoes, and De Niro was even nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor.

Halle Berry In Catwoman

Taking on one of the most beloved anti-heroes in the DC universe should have been a sure thing for an Academy Award-winning actress like Halle Berry. Alas, even the Best Actress award for her performance in Monster’s Ball couldn’t save Catwoman.

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

In three years, Berry went from an Oscar winner to a Razzie winner, both for Best Actress.

Renée Zellweger In Case 39

Renée Zellweger’s future in the entertainment industry looked bright after winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Cold Mountain. Then, Case 39 happened.

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Paramount Vantage
Paramount Vantage

The film was beaten down by critics, with some saying the film could have easily cost Zellweger her career. Thankfully, the awful movie didn’t stop the actress, and she wound up winning an Oscar for Best Actress for the biopic Judy in 2020.

Jon Voight In Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2

Since his Academy Award-winning performance in Coming Home, Jon Voight’s career has been unpredictable at best. He’s been in some more great motion pictures and then goes and stars as a villain in films like Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2.

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Triumph Films
Triumph Films

The box office bomb is widely considered one of the worst films ever made and earned a Razzie nomination for Worst Picture.

Viola Davis And Jared Leto In Suicide Squad

Viola Davis is one of the few who has won the iconic “Triple Crown,” including an Academy Award. In 2016, she starred alongside fellow Oscar-winner Jared Leto in Suicide Squad, which did little to move either actor’s career along.

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

The highly-anticipated film was a major bust. Critic Richard Lawson even went as far as saying, “Suicide Squad is just bad. It’s ugly and boring, a toxic combination…”

Nicolas Cage In Season Of The Witch

It is no secret that Nicolas Cage has been his fair share of horrible movies. But Season of the Witch might just top his resume as the absolute worst. The Academy Award-winner played the role of Behmen von Bleibruck, a knight charged with bringing a supposed witch in and destroying her powers.

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Relativity Media Rogue
Relativity Media Rogue

It didn’t work out as planned. One critic didn’t hold back, saying, “Cage was the primary reason that this swords-and-sorcery romp is a colossal [sic] waste of time.” Cage was nominated for a Worst Actor Razzie Award.

Jack Nicholson And Morgan Freeman In The Bucket List

When a three-time Academy Award-winning actor, Jack Nicholson, gets together with another Oscar winner, Morgan Freeman, one would think the result would be unimaginable. Well, it was, but not for the right reasons.

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

Many critics, especially Roger Ebert, did not appreciate how The Bucket List illustrated cancer survivors, giving the film a one-star rating to go along with its 41% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Matthew McConaughey In The Dark Tower

Actor Matthew McConaughey made it a point to get out of his rom-com persona and be taken seriously as an actor. It worked, earning him an Academy Award for Best Actor for The Dallas Buyers Club.

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Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures

Sadly, it only took four years for fans to forget that little award since The Dark Tower was miserable and his performance as the villain was viewed as “terrible.”

Forest Whitaker In Battlefield Earth

In 2007, actor Forest Whitaker won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Last King of Scotland. That excellent display of his acting ability was then overshadowed by the horrible performance but on in Battlefield Earth.

Battlefield Earth
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

He might be an Oscar winner, but Whitaker will forever be connected with what is often considered one of the worst films ever made.

Sandra Bullock In All About Steve

Sandra Bullock is one of those rare actors who picked up her Razzie one night only to win an Academy Award for Best Actress for The Blind Side the following evening. The former award was for her performance in the film All About Steve.

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20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

With a solid 6% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film is one of the worst on the fan-favorite actress’s resume.

Julia Roberts In Mother’s Day

Julia Roberts has a long list of projects and accolades to her name, including an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Erin Brockovich. Sadly, she also has the film Mother’s Day on her resume, a film that wound up earning her a Golden Raspberry nomination for Worsts Actress.

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Open Road Films
Open Road Films

The film has a solid 8% on Rotten Tomatoes and was called “the cinematic equivalent of a last-minute gift that only underscores its embarrassing lack of effort.”

Roberto Benigni In Pinocchio

While the original Italian version of the 2002 film Pinocchio received mixed reviews, the English-Language dubbed version was dragged through the mud. While Roberto Benigni was coming off his 1999 Academy Award win for Life is Beautiful, there was nothing beautiful about the creepy film.

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Miramax International
Miramax International

One reviewer wrote, “Roberto Benigni misfires wildly with this adaptation of Pinocchio, and the result is an unfunny, poorly-made, creepy vanity project.” The film holds a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Marlon Brando In The Island of Dr. Moreau

Actor Marlon Brando is one of the lucky actors who actually has two Academy Awards to his name. Sadly, the prestigious awards didn’t save him from starring as a mad scientist in The Island of Dr. Moreau.

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New Line Cinema
New Line Cinema

With that one film, Brando went from being a two-time Oscar winner to the proud owner of a Razzie for Worst Actor.

Sir Anthony Hopkins In The Rite

Even two-time Academy Award-winning actor Sir Anthony Hopkins couldn’t keep the 2011 film The Rite from bombing. While Hopkins’s performance in the film was widely praised, the movie as a whole was not.

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New Line Cinema
New Line Cinema

Sitting with a 21% on Rotten Tomatoes, one reviewer wrote, “Anthony Hopkins is as excellent as ever, but he is no match for The Rite‘s dawdling pace and lack of chills.”

Jennifer Hudson And Dame Judi Dench In Cats

Actresses Jennifer Hudson and Dame Judi Dench are both Academy Award winners. But that title meant nothing when it came to the film adaptation of the Broadway play Cats. The film lost Universal an estimated $71-$114 million at the box office.

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Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

After numerous horrible reviews from critics, namely about the horrifying CGI cats, it has been branded as one of the worst films of all time and called “one of those once-in-a-blue-moon embarrassments that mar the résumés of great actors.”

Gwyneth Paltrow In Mortdecai

While Gwyneth Paltrow’s Academy Award win for Best Actress was in 1998, fans had high hopes for her career. Then, she starred as the wife of a shady art dealing aristocrat in Mortdecai.

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Lionsgate
Lionsgate

The film is definitely a rough spot on Paltrow’s resume, earning her a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress as well as the film garnering a 12% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Al Pacino In Jack And Jill

Adam Sandler did Al Pacino wrong when he wrapped Pacino into appearing as himself in Jack and Jill. The Academy Award-winning actor wound up winning a Razzie Award for his performance in what is considered one of the worst films of all time.

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Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures

It’s a far cry from his outstanding resume filled with top-notch mob films.

Whoopi Goldberg In Theodore Rex

Six years after winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Ghost, Whoopi Goldberg makes a questionable career choice. In 1996, she starred as police detective Katie Coltrane in Theodore Rex, a film exploring a futuristic world where humans and dinosaurs coexist and communicate.

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New Line Cinema
New Line Cinema

During an interview with Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, Goldberg spoke of the movie, saying, “Don’t ask me why I did it; I didn’t want to.” The film has a solid 0% on Rotten Tomatoes and went straight to video.

Hilary Swank In The Reaping

Hilary Swank starred as Katherine Winter in the 2007 supernatural horror film The Reaping. A very accomplished actress who has won two Academy Awards for Best Actress, Swank made a bit of a miscalculation when she signed on for the horror film.

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

The film just broke even at the box office and earned a solid 8% on Rotten Tomatoes for being “schlocky, spiritually shallow, and scare-free.”

Emma Stone In Aloha

The 2015 rom-com Aloha was surrounded by a lot of controversies upon its release, namely about Captain Allison Ng, played by Emma Stone. The actress actually publicly apologized for her character, someone who is supposed to be of Hawaiian and Asian ancestry (Stone is not).

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Soy Pictures Releasing
Soy Pictures Releasing

Stone made it up to her fans by taking on La La Land, a musical romance film that earned the actress an Academy Award for Best Actress.