When you think of great acting performances, you tend to think of great movies. For instance, Sidney Poitier in Lilies of the Field, Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice, and Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood spring to mind.
However, now and again, a bad movie has an excellent acting performance. One internet user has asked their peers for the “Best performances trapped in terrible movies,” and these are some of the best answers.
1. Raúl Juliá in Street Fighter (1994)
The original poster gives Raúl Juliá’s performance as General M. Bison in Street Fighter as an example, but that hasn’t stopped several other users from saying it as well. In his last theatrical appearance before his untimely death, Juliá was terrific.
He was far too professional to give this movie anything other than his best despite it being atrocious. Seeing the performances of people like Kylie Minogue and Damian Chapa in the same film was almost comical.
2. Frank Langella in Masters of the Universe (1987)
Masters of the Universe was a terrible movie, with Dolph Lundgren playing a terrible He-Man. The whole thing was a drab adaptation of a colorful cartoon and toy line. However, Frank Langella portrayed Skeletor brilliantly.
A couple of moviegoers suggest Langella’s Skeletor performance, and rightly so. Langella has expressed how much he enjoyed playing the iconic villain and worked hard to make the role as exciting as possible.
3. Alan Rickman in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves isn’t as bad as most of the movies on this list, but it’s not good. Some of its stars are, however, woefully miscast. The late Alan Rickman isn’t one of them because he plays a fantastic Sheriff of Nottingham.
One user gives Rickman’s performance as an answer, and many others agree. He won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, which was well deserved.
4. Florence Pugh in Don’t Worry Darling (2022)
As one user points out, Florence Pugh shines in everything she does. That was no different in Don’t Worry Darling, an otherwise poor movie for which she received widespread critical praise.
In response, another poster says putting her opposite Harry Styles was a terrible idea. She’s so good, and he’s so poor that having them as scene partners throughout the film is unflattering for him.
5. Christian Bale in Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
Several Marvel fans give Christian Bale in Thor: Love and Thunder as their answer. Bale portrayed Gorr, the God Butcher, the movie’s main villain, and he gave it his all. The film itself, however, was very underwhelming.
One user who hadn’t realized Bale was in the movie says they might even watch Thor: Love and Thunder now that they’ve learned he’s in it, although they’ve heard it’s poor.
6. Ana de Armas in Blonde (2022)
Many cinephiles say Ana de Armas in Blonde as their answer. One of those users concedes that she wasn’t a particularly great Marilyn Monroe, but it was still a brilliant standalone acting performance in a reasonably poor movie.
That sentiment is echoed by critics, as de Armas received several nominations for major awards for her performance, perhaps most notably for the Academy Award for Best Actress.
7. Michael Fassbender in Prometheus (2012)
Prometheus splits opinion, so this might be a controversial inclusion, but one user suggests Michael Fassbender’s performance as the android David fits the bill for this list.
Several others who think Prometheus is a terrible film comment in agreement. One says Fassbender’s performance almost makes them want to finish watching the movie, while another says they selectively block everything but David from their memory.
8. Meshach Taylor in Mannequin (1987)
Mannequin is a quintessentially cheesy 1980s movie and a guilty pleasure for many people. However, there’s no denying it’s not very good. Kim Cattrall is likable in it, but she’s not great. One critic says Meshach Taylor’s excellent performance in the film is suitable for this discussion.
Another user, excited about being reminded that Mannequin exists, says that the late Taylor was always a joy to watch.
9. Delroy Lindo in The Core (2003)
The Core is a pretty terrible disaster film that’s essentially a B-movie. It has a decent cast that includes Stanley Tucci, Hilary Swank, Richard Jenkins, and Alfre Woodard. However, as one user says, only one actor stands out.
Delroy Lindo gives a proper acting performance while everyone else is hamming it up in a big way. Someone’s reply says he looks happy in the film, as though he’s also enjoying himself.
10. Denzel Washington in Virtuosity (1995)
Denzel Washington is a great actor with nine nominations for acting at the Academy Awards, winning two. He’s usually in good movies. Virtuosity, however, is not a good movie. He remains brilliant, though.
One user who has put Washington’s performance in the film forward as an answer in this discussion says it’s a testament to his talent that he could carry such a garbage flick.
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