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Top 10 Oscar Winners Who SUCKED in Other Movies

VO: Rebecca Brayton

Written by Joshua Schasny

Talented Oscar winning actors and actresses who went on to give performances in other movies that disappointed and in many cases were plain bad. WatchMojo presents the top 10 worst performances from Oscar winning actors. But what will take the top spot on our list, Nicholas Cage in The Wicker Man, Cuba Gooding Jr. in Snow Dogs, or Halle Berry in Catwoman? Watch to find out!

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Transcript
“And the Oscar most definitely does not go to…” Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Oscar-winning actors who sucked in other movies.

For this list, we’ll be looking at Academy Award-winning actors who gave a less-than-stellar performance either before or after they were honored with the coveted golden trophy. However, we’re only selecting actors and actresses who won Oscars in the acting categories. So, fans of Ben Affleck will be grateful to find out he’s dodged a bullet here, as he’s only won Oscars for writing and directing – not acting.

#10: Whoopi Goldberg as Katie Coltrane
“Theodore Rex” (1995)

Having won the Best Supporting Actress award for “Ghost” in 1991, Whoopi Goldberg was fresh off the success of “Sister Act 2” when she signed on to make this bizarre direct-to-video bomb about a cop who’s teamed up with an animatronic, talking dinosaur in the future. Possibly seeing its potential for disaster, Goldberg dropped out of the project after verbally agreeing to star in it. This led to a lawsuit that eventually forced her to hold up her end of the deal. The result was terrible acting even by kids’ movie standards; Goldberg’s uninspired performance clearly shows. Looking back on “Theodore Rex,” the comedienne had said it’s the only project she regrets and it’s also been reported that she never wanted to make it in the first place. Can you blame her?

#9: Jon Voight as Bill Biscane / Kane
“Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2” (2004)

Sometimes you look at a bad movie with good actors in it and mutter, “What were they thinking?” This is one of those cases. Generally considered one of the worst films of all time, this dud of a family comedy stars the legendary Jon Voight as a kidnapping media mogul who wants everyone to stay glued to their television sets as a form of mind control. The sequel to “Baby Geniuses” sees Voight deliver a performance full of hammy acting accompanied by a horrible Nazi-esque German accent, and tasteless jokes aplenty. It’s hard to believe this Oscar winner agreed to take part in a project like this.

#8: Natalie Portman as Padmé Amidala
“Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” (2005)

We may be able to chalk this one up to bad screenwriting. Although a worldwide success, George Lucas’ final installment in the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy is rife with terrible acting and melodramatic lines that would make even the angriest rancor laugh. Unfortunately, Natalie Portman isn’t safe from the criticism as Padmé Amidala, the secret star-crossed wife of Anakin Skywalker. Despite Portman’s best efforts to bring as much depth and emotion to her character as possible, the clunky dialogue and her over-the-top emotional reactions make for a performance that falls short of glory - though she genuinely does look like she’s trying her absolute best to work with what she was given. Thankfully, Portman redeemed herself five years later with a career-defining performance in “Black Swan.”

#7: Al Pacino as Himself
“Jack and Jill” (2011)

Sometimes playing yourself is not the best way to go. Already a household name in the art of “yell acting,” Al Pacino took on the role of…well, Al Pacino in this disastrous comedy co-produced, co-written and starring Adam Sandler. Sounding more like a Pacino imitation being done by Adam Sandler, the Oscar winner outrageously overacts his trademark traits in an uncomfortably awkward performance as himself. Critics’ opinions were split on whether Pacino’s performance was a genuine act of parody or a downright joke that was taken too seriously. Meanwhile, most critics bashed the film as a whole and it won in every category it was nominated for at the anti-Oscars, known as the Golden Raspberry Awards.

#6: Christoph Waltz as Benjamin Chudnofsky
“The Green Hornet” (2011)

After wooing the world and winning a Best Supporting Actor award for his breakthrough role in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds,” Christoph Waltz became a heavily sought-after star in North America. Known for his despicable charm and creepy but serious characterizations, this Austrian-German star landed the role of antagonist Benjamin Chudnofsky in Michel Gondry’s underwhelming 2011 action-comedy. While still maintaining his sinister but silly persona, critics found Waltz’s performance to be dimension-less and unfitting for what was supposed to be an action adventure comedy, and that it paled in comparison to his Oscar-winning role. Fortunately, Waltz was able to win back some fans when he returned to work with Tarantino on “Django Unchained,” and won his second Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

#5: Forest Whitaker as Ker
“Battlefield Earth” (2000)

Years before he won the Best Actor award for his terrifying portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, Forest Whitaker was cast in the shipwreck of a sci-fi project known as “Battlefield Earth.” Universally panned by critics and audiences alike, Whitaker’s performance is one of many in the film to be recognized as awful, and this despite the fact that he’d already proved himself to be a talented actor. With plenty of overacting, banter that was likened to an Abbott and Costello routine despite its intended seriousness, and various instances that elicited unintentional laughter, the sci-fi action film led even the most open-minded moviegoers to scratch their heads in confusion when trying to figure out why the respected thespian would agree to such a role.

#4: Robert De Niro as Fearless Leader
“The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle” (2000)

We are “talkin’ to you,” Bobby. Have you ever watched a movie and thought: “He or she must have only done this for the money”? This is probably what moviegoers were thinking when they watched this awful big screen adaptation of the classic cartoon. Among an already star-studded cast, two-time Oscar-winner Robert De Niro took on the role of the film’s main antagonist. Featuring cheap throwbacks to his earlier, more respectable roles, De Niro gives us a perplexing performance that caused the public to shudder. Although he gave another cringe-worthy performance in 2016 with “Dirty Grandpa,” we’re still wondering if De Niro was merely looking for a paycheck when he made “Rocky and Bullwinkle.”

#3: Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Dr. Theodore ‘Ted’ Brooks
“Snow Dogs” (2002)

We showed him the money, and it didn’t pay off. After scoring a Best Supporting Actor win for “Jerry Maguire,” Cuba Gooding Jr.’s path to stardom seemed to be set in stone. However, a series of lackluster post-Oscar roles caused him to fade into obscurity for a while. One of the most noteworthy duds he starred in was the Disney family film “Snow Dogs.” With a cast that also includes badly partially animated dogs and fellow Oscar-winner James Coburn, the film’s cheap laughs and shallow script make for an embarrassing entry on Gooding’s resume.

#2: Nicolas Cage as Edward Malus
“The Wicker Man” (2006)

Even if you haven’t seen this movie, you probably still know some of the lines. This 2006 remake of a horror cult classic sees Nicolas Cage at his most melodramatic in what is supposed to be a scary film. Phoning in his performance with his trademark overacting and silliness, Cage’s role in the 2006 version of “The Wicker Man” has spawned endless memes involving bees getting in our eyes. Coming about ten years after he won an Oscar for his captivating role as a self-destructive alcoholic in “Leaving Las Vegas,” this unintentionally hilarious performance has, to a certain extent, overshadowed at least some of Cage’s body of work ever since.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable (or in this case, dishonorable) mentions:
- Gwyneth Paltrow as Johanna Mortdecai
“Mortdecai” (2015)

- Eddie Redmayne as Balem Abrasax
“Jupiter Ascending” (2015)

- Adrien Brody as Flirty Harry
“InAPPropriate Comedy” (2013)


#1: Halle Berry as Patience Phillips / Catwoman
“Catwoman” (2004)

It was just what her career needed. Okay, not really. After winning an Oscar for a brave role in 2001’s “Monster’s Ball,” Halle Berry was cast in the lackluster “Catwoman” film. Focused more on sexiness than actual plot development, the superhero film was panned by critics and audiences alike for its poor screenwriting, lack of in-depth characters, and weak acting. Ever since its release, “Catwoman” has been labeled as one of the worst films ever made and it was even nominated for multiple Razzie Awards. Among those nominations was a Worst Actress nod for Berry herself. In a show of humble tactfulness, Halle Berry – Oscar in hand – accepted the award and gave a great thank-you speech. Hey, at least she had a sense of humor about it.
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