10 Actors Who Gave Brilliant Performances in Terrible Movies

Every once in a while, you watch a terrible film with an actor that still shines in their role. I've seen it and was curious when I encountered the question, “What actor gave a brilliant performance in an otherwise lousy movie?” Here are the top-voted responses.

1. Jeremy Irons in Eragon

“Came here to say this. Jeremy Irons poured every ounce of his acting ability into those lines of his,” one claimed. “My God, there was a Dungeons and Dragons movie! I obliterated it from my mind,” another joked. Finally, a third said, “Jeremy Irons in Dungeons and Dragons was even better in an even worse movie. One of the worst book-to-movie adaptions ever. “

2. Christian Bale in Thor: Love and Thunder

“Christian Bale in the new Thor: Love and Thunder. His performance was amazing, but won't get the lot it deserves because it didn't match the movie,” suggested one. “Even the way he was in the fight scenes was great. Somehow he managed to be physically menacing and barely able to stand up simultaneously.”

3. Michael Chiklis in Fantastic Four

“Michael Chiklis in the Fantastic Four movies, the only actor I bought as their respective character and the only actor who seemed like they were having fun,” shared one. “Michael Chiklis seems massively underrated as an actor in general. I never quite understood why he didn't get more work,” another added.

4. Martin Freeman in the Hobbit

“Martin Freeman as Bilbo in The Hobbit. That movie wasn't horrible; it just wasn't on the level as Lord of the Rings,” suggested one. “Not bad movies, but yeah, he was the perfect Bilbo, and I can't imagine anyone else playing young Bilbo now,” another explained. 

5. Tommy Lee Jones in Under Seige

Under Siege was a mediocre movie starring Stephen Seagal, but Tommy Lee Jones put in a way better acting performance as the villain, compared to everybody else,” alleged one. You have to see it to believe it; I don't think Tommy enjoyed a role more than this. Honorable mention to Gary Busey as well,” another added. 

6. Morgan Freeman in The Dark Knight Trilogy

“Morgan Freeman has been in many not-so-great movies but has never turned in a bad performance,” replied one. “He made an excellent Lucious Fox for The Dark Knight trilogy, and I'm not sure anyone else could have played Red in Shawshank Redemption nearly as well,” a second stated. 

I'm sorry, but in what world are The Dark Knight trilogy and Shawshank Redemption considered terrible movies? Get it together, Reddit!

7. Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad

“Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad was epic as the first live-action Harley Quinn,” admitted one. “To be frank, the original Harley Quinn wasn't a psychotic criminal so much as Joker's glorified lackey,” a second shared. 

8. The Entire Cast of Pay It Forward

“Young Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt, and Kevin Spacey were all heavy hitters at the time. Nonetheless, I felt robbed of a great movie by the writing,” replied one. Another joked, “Oh, another person who has seen the movie Pay it Forward. That makes at least two of us.”

9. Alec Guinness in Star Wars

“I'm not saying Star Wars was terrible, not all of them anyways. But Alec Guinness's acting was an order of magnitude above everyone else's,” one stated. “He said the dialogue was awful, but the script kept him turning the pages. So fair on both fronts,” another shared. 

Popular Reading: 10 Significant Things Inaccurately Depicted in Movies and Television

10. Raul Julia in Street Fighter

“Going in to see the movie, I was sure Julia was the wrong choice. M. Bison needed to be a big burly, imposing dude. But, coming out after seeing it, we all agreed he was the only redeeming role in the fiasco,” a final user commented.

We hope you enjoyed this Reddit picks list of actors who performed terrifically in terrible movies.

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