Actors whose careers ended, properly forever
There is no shortage of Hollywood stars who don’t shine quite as brightly as they used to. After setting the height of their careers, it must’ve been hard for these standouts to live up to the expectations. It’s interesting to think just how many former Hollywood actors had shifted from A-list to B-list. So without further ado, here are some actors whose entire careers took a turn for the worse.
Cuba Gooding Jr.
Including his iconic role in Jerry Maguire and Men of Honor, Cuba Gooding Jr. has some great movies under his belt. But his days as a leading man are apparently long over. He has participated up in a good amount of movies in recent years. For examples are the well-received Selma, and in 2016, playing O.J. Simpson in the first season of the famous American Crime Story. But is the Juice a strong enough role to help him get his fame back on the A-list?
Adam Sandler began his career with a few funny movies, and we were all laughing. Flicks such as Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and just about everything up to Anger Management were all comedy goal. Sandler was also great in a couple serious movies such as Reign Over Me and Punch Drunk Love. But once he released You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, his career starting to turn bad. He then began to releasing bad movie after bad movie, including Jack and Jill, That’s My Boy, and The Cobbler. Though the numbers on his direct-to-Netflix movie The Ridiculous Six appeared to be healthy, Sandler’s roles keep getting bad reviews.
Early on in his career, Eddie Murphy was one of the funniest actors ever on screen. His standup was very hilarious, and his movies were generally well-received. But that was a very long time ago, what about now? His last movie that worth the watch was Shrek, and before that, his last good project was Life opposite Martin Lawrence(1999). His 2012 movie A Thousand Words holds a Metascore of only 26/100. Oh, how the mighty have fallen!
We can pretty much blame the fall of Mel Gibson to his epic meltdown in 2010. They filled a list of credits after that infamous episode with embarrassing projects, unfitting for a former leading man. For examples: Blood Father, The Expendables 3, Machete Kills, Get the Gringo, The Beaver, and Edge of Darkness. His last really good starring role was his movie in 2002s, Signs. And so we come to the conclusion that the less work of director M. Night Shyamalan, the better.
From 1988’s Bull Durham all the way up through 2003’s Mystic River, Tim Robbins was a household name. He had some really great movies in between that time. For examples are The Shawshank Redemption, Nothing to Lose, and Jacob’s Ladder. But it’s been a long while since Robbins ever headline in a movie, let alone offer up a noteworthy performance.
Catherine Zeta-Jones was once a very high profile leading lady in the late 1990s and early 2000s. That is after starring in such great works as Entrapment, Chicago, Ocean’s Twelve, and High Fidelity. Her success continued with The Legend of Zorro (2005) and No Reservations (2007). But the movies that followed, including The Rebound and Rock of Ages, are widely considered to be parodies.
Oh, Hilary Swank, what happened to you? Her breakout performance in Million Dollar Baby showed that she’s capable of holding her own in a leading role. And she indeed followed it up with a stellar performance in Freedom Writers. The movie’s story was about a young teacher who inspires her class of at-risk students. Since her success with her 2007’s movie, P.S. I Love You, she hasn’t starred in anything worth mention. Have you ever heard of You’re Not You or The Homesman? Don’t worry because no one else has either.
Macaulay Culkin is a prime example of a successful child star who couldn’t let it go as an adult. As a kid, he’s in a ton of great movies, including Uncle Buck and his most famous film, Home Alone. In 1991, Culkin starred in the movie My Girl, but things started going downhill for him around 1994. That’s when he’s a part of the poorly received animated movie The Pagemaster with Christopher Lloyd. Following that bomb, Culkin starred in Richie Rich, which also miserably bad. And that was the last big movie we’d see from the kid, though he was in numerous episodes of Robot Chicken.
Say what you want about Nicolas Cage now, but he had tons of great movies earlier on in his career. Gems like It Could Happen to You and Raising Arizona showed everyone just what the young actor could do. Cage was at his best between 1996’s The Rock and 2005’s Lord of War, with many great movies in between. Con Air was an impressive performance, Face/Off opposite John Travolta was excellent despite being completely insane.
Also, his starring roles as Charlie and Donald Kaufman in Adaptation remain one of Cage’s most memorable and perfect performances. But things started to go downhill for Cage with 2006’s The Wicker Man, then next is the dismal Ghost Rider. Cinematic abominations such as Dying of the Light, Knowing, and Left Behind make we think that this guy’s not Cage.
Mike Myers has more than a few classic comedies under his belt, likes Austin Powers, Wayne’s World, and Shrek. But, he hasn’t been in a successful feature ever since Shrek the Third came out in 2007. He did, however, release The Love Guru, which was a miserable and most un-funny comedy of all time.
Kevin Costner once had an incredible career that included classics such as Dances with Wolves, The Bodyguard, and Field of Dreams. But his career started to turn bad right around the time The New Daughter came out in 2009. Costner had a role in The Company Men, and later starred in the admittedly above average TV series, Hatfields & McCoys. but after playing Superman’s father in Man of Steel, he starred in an NFL draft-based movie titled Draft Day that received bad reviews. And then a flick titled Black or White, which no one ever recognizes.
John Travolta has a resume filled with some of the greatest movies ever, including Grease, Pulp Fiction, and Face/Off. But unfortunately, he also has a ton of duds mixed in there, including Wild Hogs, Battlefield Earth, and Be Cool. But not good for Travolta that his bad movies outweigh the good by a long shot. Dragged down by flops such as Old Dogs, Savages, and The Forger, and that’s enough to break Danny Zuko’s heart.
Cameron Diaz career’s greatest part took place from 1998 to 2002, when she starred in smashes. Movies like There’s Something About Mary, Being John Malkovich, and Shrek, the list go on. Then she shows up in some questionable R-rated comedies, including Bad Teacher and Sex Tape opposite Jason Segel. In 2014, she also starred in the Annie reboot, which was bad, thus reregistered her status as a Hollywood B-lister.
A former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan has seen his career dwindle into oblivion. After starring in The Matador in 2005, he led a list of movies that no one seemed to care about. He was in Mamma Mia!, sure, but other than that, from 2006 through 2013, none of his films were memorable. Brosnan did better in 2014 when he surprised audiences with one of the year’s best action movies, The November Man. But that role must have been a fluke, because the poorly made projects resumed very soon after.
Right around the time of Pearl Harbor, which is the movie that Josh Hartnett takes responsibility for the next leading man in Hollywood. It was 2001 and the current comic book movie craze was about to get better with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. Hartnett told Details that they offered him the roles of Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man, now that is some big offer. But he turned them all down out of general anxiety over his fame as well as fear of being typecast.
He retreated back home to Minnesota and took some rest, returning with some hits like Sin City and 30 Days of Night. Then a long list of duds such as I Come with the Rain and Bunraku. (Is that last one a movie name or a secret menu item at a Pho shop?) Anyway, Hartnett may have finally found his way back to high status with the hit series, Penny Dreadful on Showtime. Let’s just hope he doesn’t get freaked out and go hiding in the frigid Midwest or somewhere else again.
Dean Cain’s four-year run as Superman on Lois & Clark was maybe the anomaly in an otherwise unremarkable Hollywood career. But says that would be ignoring his other smash TV hits like The Division and Clubhouse. Okay, maybe those were not good enough examples, but he’s clearly one of the kings of the TV movies. Examples are Gentle Ben, Gentle Ben 2: Black Gold, The Dog Who Saved Christmas, and that Scott Peterson flick. No, still not feeling it at all? How about Max Havoc: Ring of Fire, or the sequel to the action classic, Max Havoc: Curse of the Dragon? Wait, he didn’t even play in Max Havoc? This is getting bad. You’ve noticed our sarcasm by now, right? Good, because there are five or more The Dog Who Saved [Something] movies. Let’s move on.
After the most hated Episodes 1-3, the Star Wars prequels, Hayden Christensen was aware of how audiences felt about him. He told the Los Angeles Times that he guess he felt like he had this great thing in ‘Star Wars’. Those’re things that provided him a career, but it all kind of felt a little too handed to him. Which sound more like “Everyone hated me and had no idea why I got hired for this.” So he pulled out a Hartnett and ghosted Hollywood for about five years. His last notable movie was Jumper, which, at the time of this writing, sits at a whopping 16% on Rotten Tomatoes. Christensen’s comeback movies after his hiatus: American Heist, Outcast, and 90 Minutes in Heaven clock in at 14%, 5%, and 24%. Stay retired, it would be better that way, my young padawan.
After winning an Academy Award for Girl, Angelina Jolie broke a barrier by becoming a bona fide female in action movies. Such as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. But there’s some bad one in between like Life or Something Like It, Sky Captain and World of Tomorrow, and Alexander. Especially Oliver Stone’s 2004 epic Alexander about the Macedonian ruler. Which CinemaBlend categorized as on par with the worst movies of the year.
She continued doing questionable films in between voiceover work for Kung Fu Panda franchise with Salt, Wanted, and The Tourist. Then, in 2011, she took a big turn behind the camera. Her directorial debut In The Land of Blood and Honey, and her sophomore effort, Unbroken, were both very well received. But she ran out of idea with By the Sea, The Wrap called it “aggressively humorless” with “yawns aplenty”. So whether Jolie decides to continue on the directing and acting track or not is unknown. There’s also a high chance that, at this point, she only works in Hollywood to pay the bills anyway. Her diplomatic work as Special Envoy for The UN Refugee Agency is a pursuit that is very selfless. With that, she could star in Gigli 2-10 and still come out looking like a better human being than most of us.
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro’s resume has been unpredictable since he steps away from the gravitas game and goes for lighter fare. It’s probably due to the success of Analyze This, Robert thought he could operate outside gritty police and mob stories. Unfortunately, that thought of him led to The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, Showtime, Analyze That, and Little Fockers. And since he was happy making bad comedies, why not mix some action movies that should have been straight-to-DVD releases? There was Righteous Kill, Killer Elite, and Killing Season, which all sound more like B-movies than a two-time Oscar winner.
He is also a star of The Godfather: Part II, a movie that arguably defined a genre. He even co-starred with rapper 50 Cent three times, three times! Which is a fact you could use to explode people’s head if you used a time machine back to 1990. Imagine telling someone back then that Jimmy from Goodfellas will be acting alongside 50 Cent In 22 years later. In case you don’t know, 50 Cent is a rapper who is famous for a song called “Magic Stick“.
If we’re ever saying Shia LaBeouf’s career “took a bad turn”. Then you know we’re saying that with the full awareness that he was behind the wheel, steering it towards Crazytown. Very fast. In fact, it was LaBeouf trash-talking that same movie which started his rapid ostracization from Hollywood. While he was promoting Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps in Cannes. LaBeouf talked about how he “dropping the ball” on the Indiana Jones franchise. He also ridiculed the writing and directing of the film done by Steven Spielberg. Not exactly the guy you would want to piss off in Hollywood. LaBeouf went on to finish his Transformers run, then plunged headfirst into weird independent projects. Things such as Charlie Countryman and Nymphomaniac rumored that he had actual sex on camera. Even if false, it pretty much guarantees that he will never make blockbuster movies based on children’s toys ever again.
To his credit, LaBeouf seems to have chosen his career path with his own mind. telling the Los Angeles Times that there’s this coming-of-age thing that’s happening inside him. He’s come from family-fare, pop-culture, Steven Spielberg-safe, made-for-a-generalized-populace [projects]. And that he has these yearnings to do different things. You do you, Shia. We’ll probably just wait for more to see whatever that is until it’s free on cable.
It wasn’t until the mid-2000s, after Live Free or Die Hard, that we noticed something was up with Bruce Willis. He started making boring performances in action movies such as Surrogates, Setup, Catch .44, and The Cold Light of Day. In fact, it seems like every year or so he does one highly recognizable movie. Movies like RED or The Expendables with two or three totally unknown titles peppered among them. He’s quietly starred in movies like Fire with Fire, The Prince, and Rock the Kasbah. While the public thought he was making films like G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Does he have tax problems or maybe just an insanely expensive lifestyle that keeps him working around the clock? Who knows, but he’s got a movie co-starring Christensen coming out in 2017, so he’s far from done making average hits.
Throughout the ’80s, Mickey Rourke carved out a niche for himself as a dark, yet sexually attractive icon in films. For examples is 9 ½ Weeks and Angel Heart. But his alleged drug use and erratic behavior earned a very bad reputation. So bad that made Alan Parker to even said that it’s a nightmare working with Mickey. Mickey is very dangerous on the set because you never know what he is going to do, Alan said. In 1991, a few rocky years after his turbulent work with Parker, Rourke quit acting to go back to boxing.
Interviewed by The Telegraph, Rourke said he only lasted eight fights before doctors warned about neurological problems if he continued. So he returned to Hollywood, where he essentially languished in obscurity for about 14 years. Robert Rodriguez then gave him a role in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and a role in Sin City. A few years later, Rourke headlined the critically praised The Wrestler and finally found the redemption he’d been waiting for. Sure, we could mention the Iron Man 2 or Java Heat, but why ruin a rare and nice moment? Let’s just keep going.
Because Halle Berry won the Academy Award for best actress in 2002 for her role in Monster’s Ball. She actually made history by being the first African American woman to earn that distinction. She was also playing Storm in the X-Men, which was amazingly successful and predecessor to a new age in blockbusters. Then Catwoman suddenly happened. Not only was the movie bad, but she won a Razzie for worst actress, two years after her groundbreaking Oscar.
Berry took it in stride, even went to the Razzies and accepting the award with her Oscar trophy in tow. But it indeed was a definite turning point in her career that she has yet to reverse. Frankie & Alice didn’t meet its expectation, and then there was New Year’s Eve, director Garry Marshall’s annual holiday-themed. Ensemble cast regurgitation that’s already worked its way down to Mother’s Day, because what better background for a rom-com, right? And let’s not forget Cloud Atlas, the perplexing time and space-jumping sci-fi epic which she works with Tom Hanks. You know what? Let’s go ahead and forget all that. We’re sure Berry wishes that she could.
Paul Giamatti became famous in 1997 after starring as Kenny “Pig Vomit” Rushton, Howard Stern’s boss in Private Parts. He would star in many other hits such as Sideways, Cinderella Man, and the critically-acclaimed HBO miniseries, John Adams. But John Adams aired in 2008, and since then it’s been luck depending for Giamatti. Mostly unlucky.
Has anyone ever heard or seen The Hawk is Dying, Ironclad, or Cosmopolis? Critics have, and gave the highest of those three an embarrassing score of 58/100. And what about Rock of Ages, the musical that’s so bad even Tom Cruise couldn’t help it. And we’re talking about a guy so bankable they’ve chosen to reboot The Mummy on his back. Anyway, Giamatti seems to at least be on the growth after a clear low point with The Amazing Spider-Man 2. In which he played Aleksei Sytsevich, aka Rhino, in a performance so hacky, Sony has to cancel the whole franchise. Okay, we admit there may have been other factors in that hell of a decision. Fortunately, Giamatti is currently one of the leads in the smash hit Billions on Showtime, good for him.
There was a time when Steven Seagal was very synonymous with action. That time was from 1988-1997 when he staring Above the Law, Hard to Kill, Under Siege, and Executive Decision. Since then he’s been cranking out many movies a year, including four in 2005, and a whopping eight in 2016. Unfortunately, quantity does not equal quality, and most of these flicks didn’t qualify enough to saw a theater release. It’s not hard to see why with movie titles such as Today You Die and Gutshot Straight. Seagal has also become something of a viral passion with his martial arts training sessions in Russia. Clearly no longer in prime physical condition, he still goes through some hilarious propaganda changes. Check out the video about him in Russia. We promise it will be way more entertaining than anything he’s doing in front of a movie camera these days.
After Jerry Maguire, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Chicago, and Cold Mountain are Renee Zellweger. She proved that she was not only a Hollywood “It Girl,” but one with some serious acting chops as well. That’s why it’s odd that following Cinderella Man in 2005, she did a string of under-performers. For example are Miss Potter, Leatherheads, and New in Town. Shortly after this run of bad films, the purse-lipped actress took a self-imposed hiatus.
She told Vogue that she got sick of the sound of her own voice. So she went away for a while. When she came back, the internet lost its collective mind over the fact that her face looked kinda different. Which is normally called aging, duh! But Zellweger had a powerful silencer up her sleeve. She prepared her return on the long-awaited third installment of her popular Bridget Jones franchise. The inevitable success of this was bound to muffle any nonsense talk about eye lifts and cheek injections. In response to the ridiculous speculation about her face, she then released a statement to Marie-Claire. In which she said that she’s glad folks think she looks different because that is what she wants. She’s living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and she’s thrilled that perhaps it shows. Get it, girl.