These 10 bad actors in good movies caught some lucky breaks. They may have even temporarily convinced us that they were good actors. We can only be fooled for so long, though, before we catch on.
- Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix.” Keanu Reeves is at his best when playing a dumb, clueless lump of a human being. It’s what made him endearing in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and it’s also what made him believably bemused in “The Matrix.” When he kept looking the same level of confused during the two sequels, though, it betrayed the fact that it’s really the only look he has.
- Adam Sandler in “Punch-Drunk Love." Whether or not you find the man funny, it’s hard to argue that Adam Sandler is a master thespian. In “Punch-Drunk Love,” however, he toned down the constant mugging for the camera and the crazy voices and silly faces, and the result was his best performance to date. Sandler fans expecting a wacky romantic comedy were no doubt deeply disappointed when they watched this good movie, but fans of good cinema enjoyed this anomaly in Sandler’s career.
- Jim Carrey in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” Another comedian playing a more serious role and getting away with it, Carrey would then go on to fail in another serious role in the ridiculous “The Number 23.” The lesson learned? A good director can make a bad actor look good, but a bad director can make a bad actor look much, much worse.
- Halle Berry in “Monster’s Ball.” With her role in “Monster’s Ball,” Halle Berry tricked people into thinking she was talented. She even won an Academy Award for Best Actress. Then she did “Catwoman.” Oops. Turns out she was just a bad actress in a good movie, and the Academy got confused there for a moment.
- Marlon Wayans in “Requiem for a Dream.” He’s a Wayans brother. Need we say more? That made it all the more surprising that he was so good in the mind-numbingly depressing “Requiem for a Dream.” Unfortunately, he then went back to being a Wayans brother, and a bad actor, afterward.
- Katie Holmes in “Batman Begins.” Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” reinvigorated the superhero movie genre and set the stage for its even better sequel, “The Dark Knight.” There were some fantastic actors in the movie, too, like Gary Oldman as future police commissioner Jim Gordon and Michael Caine as Alfred the butler. Then there was Katie Holmes as the love interest. Yawn. Shouldn't love interests be, you know, interesting?
- Lindsay Lohan in “A Prairie Home Companion.” This movie was director Robert Altman’s last, and it may not have been his best but it was still far, far too good a movie for someone as talentless and depressing as Lindsay Lohan. She was a perfect example of a bad actress in an otherwise good movie.
- Mike Meyers in “Inglourious Basterds.” Every time another "Austin Powers" sequel gets made, an angel is brutally sodomized. Mike Meyers doesn’t seem to have much else going on, though. Perhaps it was pity that moved Quentin Tarantino to give him a bit part in his tribute to pulp war movies. At least it was only a bit part.
- Heather Graham in “Boogie Nights.” Heather Graham is adorable, but if she had to act to save her life, she would most definitely end up in a body bag. She may be a bad actress, but “Boogie Nights” was still a good movie, and we got to see her breasts in it. Win!
- Josh Hartnett in “Sin City.” For a while, he was in quite a few bad movies. Then he was in a good movie, but he was still a bad actor. That movie was “Sin City,” and that bad actor was Josh Hartnett. Rest assured, he has now disappeared back into the wilderness of bad cinema.
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