9 of the Best Acting Performances in Bad Movies
Sometimes bad movies happen to good actors. Whether it’s that the director’s vision somehow didn’t translate to the screen, the writing just wasn’t there, or the picture was ruined by someone else’s awful performance, even the greatest of thespians sometimes find themselves in a project that they wish they hadn’t taken on.
Here are 9 actors who, despite the rest of the movie flopping, gave some pretty decent performances.
Andrew Garfield in Spiderman
Toby Maguire barely had the Spidey suit off before there was already talk of a reboot of the Marvel superhero franchise Spiderman. In his place they cast the slightly younger and more relevant Andrew Garfield who is actually a pretty talented guy; his BAFTA winning performance in the dark drama Boy A (2007) made us fall in love with his sad puppy dog eyes and incredible depth, but all that wasted on the two dimensional role of Peter Parker in 2012’s The Amazing Spiderman.
Alongside an equally stellar performance by Emma Stone, Garfield gave it his all but unfortunately the movie was about as good as you’d expect a reboot of a reboot to be.
Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis in The Help
With all the talk surrounding the #OscarsSoWhite debate, one only needs to look back a few years to 2012 when The Help was nominated to begin to understand some of the issues surrounding race in Hollywood. On the surface, The Help, which tells the story of a group of women fighting against southern segregation in the 1960s, might seem progressive — and it did provide some excellent roles for actresses of color, including Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis.
However, as some critics pointed out, it relies on the same tired narrative we’ve seen a hundred times in movies like Amistad, The Blind Side, and Crash that puts white characters at the center of what should be a black story. In this case, Emma Stone is the noble white hero who bravely rejects the racist status quo, while Spencer and Davis are relegated to supporting roles and encouraged to simply overcome racism by improving their self-esteem and their attitudes.
Despite the outdated perspective the film may have been told from, we will admit that Octavia Spencer’s Oscar win for her role as the fiery maid Minny Jackson was very well deserved.
Alan Rickman in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves
We wonder what was going through the late great Alan Rickman’s mind on the set of Robin Hood Prince of Thieves as he tried to squeeze some emotion out of brick wall-like Kevin Costner. With his flat American accent and uninspiring lack of chemistry with his co-stars, Costner is by the worst thing about this dreary 1991 action adventure, with Christian Slater’s phoned in performance being a close second.
But not even they could bring down the indomitable Alan Rickman, who kept this stinker afloat with his role as the Sheriff of Nottingham. Roger Ebert called the film “murky” and “unfocused” but praised Rickman for being entertaining, but called his performance “inappropriate” because the rest of the film was so terrible. Ouch.