29 of the worst movies your favorite actors have been in

Meghan Cook
emoji movie maya rudolph
"The Emoji Movie" was ripped apart by critics, even though it had a star-studded cast. Sony Pictures Anamation/Columbia Pictures and Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Insider rounded up 29 actors and their lowest-rated films as ranked by critics on Rotten Tomatoes. 

  • Meryl Streep's lowest-rated film is the drama "Lions for Lambs" (2017) and Emma Stone's is "Movie 43" (2013). 

  • Actors like Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, and Mark Ruffalo have been in movies with a 0% critic score. 

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

It seems inevitable that even the most successful actors will be in a few films that aren't well-received by critics. 

Read on to see the worst films 29 popular actors have appeared in, according to critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Note: All scores were current on the date of publication and are subject to change

Adam Driver was Walter Lyle in "J. Edgar" (2011).

Adam Driver in J. Edgar
Adam Driver in "J. Edgar." Malpaso Company

Critic score: 43%

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in "J. Edgar," a dramatic retelling of the life of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover from the Palmer Raids of 1919 to his death in 1972. 

Adam Driver played Walter Lyle in this movie, which was his feature-film debut. 

The drama received mixed to overtly negative reviews from critics for its misguided approach to Hoover's legacy. 

"This muddled melodrama adds up to a missed opportunity," Dan Stewart wrote for Little White Lies

Ryan Gosling played a disturbed patient in "Stay" (2005).

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Ryan Gosling in "Stay." 20th Century Fox

Critic score: 27%

In the suspense thriller "Stay," a psychologist (Ewan McGregor) and his sessions with a patient (Ryan Gosling) intensify when his patient's disturbing premonitions appear to come true. 

Some critics found the psychological drama to be muddled and incoherent, despite the talented cast at its helm. 

"Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, and Ryan Gosling all lower their box office merit with this unbaked psychological thriller about a suicidal man taunting his eccentric psychologist after surviving a horrible car accident," wrote film critic Cole Smithey in his review.

Meryl Streep was a journalist in "Lions for Lambs" (2007).

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Meryl Streep in "Lions for Lambs." MGM Distribution Co.

Critic score: 27%

Robert Redford's political drama "Lions for Lambs" follows the ties between a troop of soldiers in Afghanistan, a college professor, a presidential candidate, and journalist Janine Roth (Meryl Streep). 

Though the film ranked higher with audiences, critics found the movie to be poorly paced and heavy-handed. 

TV Guide critic Ken Fox wrote, "In the end, it all remains a dramatically inert set of talking points, and not even the high-caliber cast can make much more out of it."

In "Aloha" (2015), Rachel McAdams played Tracy Woodside.

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Bradley Cooper and Rachel McAdams in "Aloha." Columbia Pictures

Critic score: 20%

In the romantic comedy "Aloha," defense worker Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper) gets stationed in Hawaii, where he bridges new connections with his ex-girlfriend, Tracy Woodside (Rachel McAdams), and a young pilot (Emma Stone). 

Critics had few kind words for "Aloha," especially when it came to its noticeable white-washing, mixed messaging, and disconnected characters. 

Flick Filosopher critic MaryAnn Johanson called it "a mess of a romantic dramedy full of colonialistic offensiveness, forced quirkiness, implausible emotion, and oblivious masculine self-centeredness." 

Emily Blunt appeared as an evil queen in "The Huntsman: Winter's War" (2016).

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Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron in "The Huntsman: Winter's War." IMDb/Universal Pictures

Critic score: 19%

In the sequel to the fantasy film "Snow White and the Huntsman" (2012), Emily Blunt played Freya, the evil ice queen who begins raising an evil army of individuals who are trained to never fall in love. 

Reviewers of the film shared their distaste for its bloated script and thin characters. 

"Freya is given the barest veil of a backstory while Ravenna just oozes ribbons of black bile (literally) for her own evil reasons. These women may be strong but they are never deep," wrote critic Kate Taylor for the Globe and Mail.

Rashida Jones appeared as Debbie in "Cop Out" (2010).

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Rashida Jones in "Cop Out." Warner Bros.

Critic score: 19%

In the buddy-cop comedy "Cop Out," no-nonsense NYPD detective Jimmy (Bruce Willis) and his partner, Paul (Tracy Morgan), team up on a rogue mission to retrieve a priceless baseball card. 

Rashida Jones had a supporting role in the film as Paul's wife, Debbie. 

With director Kevin Smith helming the picture, critics felt like the filmmaker intended to make a sharper action flick. But the cast and crew couldn't rise above a poorly written script. 

"It looks as though everyone in the film had a better time making it than the audience has watching it," John J. Puccio wrote for Movie Metropolis

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson played a devoted lifeguard in "Baywatch" (2017).

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Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron in "Baywatch." Paramount

Critic score: 17%

In the big-screen adaptation of the television series, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson starred as Mitch Buchannon, a lifeguard who feels threatened by the beach's newest recruit Matt Brody, played by Zac Efron.

Though they have different approaches to their job, the two have to work together as a team when they uncover a criminal operation. 

The majority of critics found the comedy to be crude and absurd.

As Pay or Wait critic Sharronda Williams wrote, "The cast looks amazing in this film, but there is only so much saving that Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron's abs can do."

In "The Lazarus Effect" (2015), Donald Glover played Niko.

"The Lazarus Effect"
Donald Glover in "The Lazarus Effect." Blumhouse productions

Critic score: 16%

Fringe scientists Frank (Mark Duplass) and Zoe (Olivia Wilde) are on the verge of solidifying a death cure when their university suddenly pulls funding and confiscates their research. 

Donald Glover had a supporting role in the film as Niko, a friend and lab assistant. 

Critics felt that, despite a smattering of jump scares, "The Lazarus Effect" failed to add up to a convincing drama or truly effective horror.

Vulture critic Bilge Ebiri called "The Lazarus Effect" a "grimy, dopey, confused thriller that wastes a very likable cast."

Tessa Thompson played Scarlet in "When a Stranger Calls" (2006).

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Camilla Belle in "When a Stranger Calls." Screen Gems Entertainment

Critic score: 9%

A remake of the 1979 horror film of the same name, "When a Stranger Calls" follows highschooler Jill Johnson (Camilla Belle) as she takes on a babysitting gig for the weekend, only to be terrorized by an anonymous caller. 

Tessa Thomspon had a supporting role in the movie as Jill's friend, Scarlet. 

Critics said "When a Stranger Calls" lacked the tension and chilling atmosphere necessary for a gory horror film. 

"The film is not quite suspense-free, but almost," Anita Gates wrote in her review for the New York Times. "When finding a dead body underwater isn't scary, something is very wrong."

Paul Rudd starred as Tommy Doyle in "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers" (1995).

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Paul Rudd in "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers." Dimensions Films

Critic score: 9%

The sixth "Halloween" sequel centers on Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd), a man intent on ending the "curse" associated with the Myers family after he becomes the guardian of Michael Myers' estranged niece. 

Critics feared that this "Halloween" sequel was evidence that the franchise had strayed too far from its critically acclaimed roots. 

"Just too strange, too outlandish, and too convoluted to be frightening, serving as a constant reminder of just how far away we are from the world created by John Carpenter," Matthew Lucas wrote in his review for From the Front Row

Charlize Theron played a relief-aid worker in "The Last Face" (2017).

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Charlize Theron in "The Last Face." Saban Film

Critic Score: 8%

In the global drama "The Last Face," Charlize Theron stars alongside Javier Bardem as relief-aid workers in Liberia who aim to help the region while struggling to keep their own personal relationships alive. 

Many film critics found the picture to be misguided in its execution.

"'The Last Face' is the worst kind of good-intentioned noble failure, one that muddles its message because it tries too hard to tell it," wrote critic Gary M. Kramer for Salon.

Maya Rudolph voiced Smiler in "The Emoji Movie" (2017).

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Maya Rudolph voiced Smiler in "The Emoji Movie". Sony Pictures Animation/Columbia Pictures

Critic score: 7% 

In "The Emoji Movie," Maya Rudolph joined a host of other A-list actors like Patrick Stewart, Sofía Vergara, James Corden, and Anna Faris when she voiced one of the many colorful characters in the animated comedy. 

Critics praised the cast of the movie but found value in little else, drawing comparisons to more ambitious features like "Wreck-It Ralph" that succeeded where it failed. 

"'The Emoji Movie' is not just a critical flop, but also a metaphor for a Hollywood that is struggling to find the line between branding that audiences love and branding that audiences resent," wrote Atlantic critic Megan Garber in 2017. 

 

Idris Elba played Detective Winn in "Prom Night" (2008).

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Idris Elba played a detective in "Prom Night." Screen Gems

Critic score: 7%

A remake of the 1980 original, "Prom Night" finds Donna Keppel (Brittany Snow) and her friends gearing up for the biggest night of the year. But excitement turns to fear as a serial killer starts to pick them off one by one. 

Idris Elba appeared in the film as Detective Winn, a local police officer who tries to solve the murders. 

Riddled with clichés and predictable plot points, the slasher flick "Prom Night" was torn limb from limb in critics' reviews. 

Globe and Mail critic Jason Anderson called it "a bland, timid and thoroughly un-thrilling teen thriller." 

Zooey Deschanel was Ronnie in "Rock the Kasbah" (2015).

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Zooey Deschanel and Bill Murray in "Rock the Kasbah." Open Road Films

Critic score: 7%

In "Rock the Kasbah," washed-up music manager Richie Lanz (Bill Murray) finds himself stranded in Kabul with his last client, Ronnie (Zooey Deschanel), until he sets his sights on a talented Pashtun teenager named Salima Khan (Leem Lubany). 

Positive reviews for "Rock the Kasbah" were few and far between, as critics cited a lack of humor and heart. 

"Barry Levinson's film, loosely inspired by the true story of reality TV show Afghan Star, comes at its subject matter from entirely the wrong direction," Geoffrey Macnab wrote for The Independent.

Will Smith had a brief appearance in "Student of the Year 2" (2019).

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Will Smith made a cameo in "Student of the Year 2." Dharma Productions

Critic score: 6%

Starring Jai Hemant "Tiger" Shroff, Tara Sutaria, and Ananya Panday, the Bollywood comedy follows college student Shroff as he competes with bullies in the arena of track and field.

Will Smith had a small cameo in the film, joining in on a Bollywood-style dance with the stars of the movie. 

Although "Student of the Year 2" earned some praise for its sprawling set pieces, critics roasted it for its shallow characters and thin plotting.

As critic Devesh Sharma wrote for Filmfare, "While the basic formula is on point, it's the ingredients that needed better handling. The writing could have been more consistent. The characters are unevenly fleshed out."

Brad Pitt played a detective in "Cool World" (1992).

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Brad Pitt in "Cool World." Paramount Pictures

Critic Score: 6% 

In "Cool World," cartoonist Jack Deebs (Gabriel Byrne) falls into an animated world and encounters one of his creations, a seductress named Holli Would, who wants to be human.

Soon real-world detective Frank Harris (Brad Pitt) finds himself entangled in the odd-ball animated plot. 

Critics likened the film to a "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" (1988) knock-off, calling the plot and performances flat. 

"After the painstaking technical bravado of 'Roger Rabbit,' it's no longer possible to get away with scenes in which a cartoon has obviously just been pasted onto an actor's wooden movements," Owen Gleiberman wrote for Entertainment Weekly.

In "Gigli" (2003), Jennifer Lopez starred as Ricki.

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Jennifer Lopez in "Gigli." Columbia Pictures

Critic score: 6%

In the romantic comedy "Gigli," low-level hitman Larry Gigli (Ben Affleck) is paired up with aspiring gangster Ricki (Jennifer Lopez) for a routine kidnapping that shortly gets out of hand. 

Critics said that "Gigli" suffered from a nonsensical plot and a confounding lack of on-screen chemistry between Lopez and Affleck, who were dating at the time. 

"This misguided romantic comedy goes wrong so often and in such profoundly lunkheaded ways that to say it stinks would be bordering on polite understatement," Leah Rozen wrote for People magazine.

John Cho appeared as Brian Bender in "Get a Job" (2016).

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John Cho in "Get A Job." CBS Films

Critic score: 5%

When Roger Davis (Bryan Cranston) and his son, Will (Miles Teller), are both let go from their jobs in the same year, the father-son duo struggle in their respective job searches. 

John Cho had a small role in the film as Brian Bender, Will's former boss. 

After "Get a Job" sat in post-production development for years, critics were less than impressed when it finally hit theaters. 

"[It's a] crass and painfully unfunny satirical comedy shot four years ago," New York Post critic Lou Lumenick wrote. "It's finally receiving a token theatrical release concurrent with being dumped into the video-on-demand sludge pile."

Emma Stone appeared in "Movie 43" (2013) as Veronica.

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Emma Stone in "Movie 43." Relativity Media

Critic score: 5%

In the no-holds-barred sketch-comedy film "Movie 43," various characters live out absurd scenarios from first dates gone awry to superhero spoofs. 

Emma Stone appeared in the comedy as Veronica, a grocery-store clerk's ex-girlfriend. 

Critics had a seemingly unending stream of negative reviews for "Movie 43," calling it crass, offensive, humorless, and often nonsensical. 

"A cameo parade of stars, some of whom have no obvious gift for comedy, try their hardest, but the laughs just aren't there," Peter Bradshaw wrote in his review for the Guardian

Dev Patel brought Zuko to life in "The Last Airbender" (2010).

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Dev Patel in "The Last Airbender." Paramount Pictures

Critic score: 5%

In the live-action version of the animated series, "The Last Airbender" details the journey of young Aang (Noah Ringer) and his newfound friends, Katara (Nicola Peltz) and Sokka (Jackson Rathbone), as they attempt to restore balance to the four nations of Water, Earth, Fire, and Air. 

Dev Patel had a pivotal role in the film as Zuko, a banished prince from the Fire Nation. 

Overall, critics agreed that M. Night Shyamalan's adaptation of the beloved animated series failed to translate the humor, intensity, and carefully crafted storytelling of the original show. 

"'The Last Airbender' is not just a flop, it's a big-budget flop, and it's a throwback to that grand old genre, the movie that's so bad that it's bad," wrote film critic Jay Stone

Amy Adams was a love interest in "Serving Sara" (2002).

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Amy Adams in "Serving Sara." Paramount Pictures

Critic score: 4%

In "Serving Sara," attornney Joe (Matthew Perry) and Sara (Elizabeth Hurley) work together to come out on top during dramatic divorce proceeding against Sara's husband (Bruce Campbell).

Amy Adams had a supporting role as Kate, the woman Sara's husband plans to leave her for. 

Most critics found the film to be surprisingly humorless for a self-professed comedy.

As critic Chris Kaltenbach wrote for the Baltimore Sun, "This movie doesn't play; it just lies there, waiting to be kicked around by anyone unfortunate enough to have shelled out good money to see it."

Diego Luna starred as Ray in "Flatliners" (2017).

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Diego Luna in "Flatliners." Columbia Pictures

Critic score: 4%

In a remake of the 1990 film of the same name, "Flatliners" finds a group of medical students flirting with death as they use a heart-stopping experiment to get a glimpse of the other side.

Diego Luna starred as Ray, a colleague who insists that they stop before it's too late. 

By failing to add anything memorable to the original story, "Flatliners" was widely viewed as an unnecessary remake that missed the mark by a mile. 

"The low-aiming remake feels like just another generic horror flick," Rafer Guzman wrote for Newsday.

Lucy Liu voiced one of three princesses in "Mulan II" (2003).

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Lucy Liu voiced Mei, one of three princesses that Mulan is sworn to protect. Disney

Critic score: 0%

In the sequel to the beloved Disney animated feature "Mulan," Lucy Liu lent her voice as Mei, one of three princesses that Mulan is sworn to protect.

Audiences gave the film a more generous rating, but critics felt it fell short of the original's charm. 

"The whole script feels tossed together as an afterthought, as though somebody was given just one night to tie a wedding, some princesses, and a few songs together, and they kept writing even after they ran out of ideas," wrote film reviewer David Cornelius in 2005.

Robert Downey Jr. played a football player in "Johnny Be Good" (1988).

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Michael Hall and Robert Downey Jr. in "Johnny Be Good." Orion Pictures

Critic score: 0%

In the 1980s sports comedy "Johnny Be Good," Robert Downey Jr. starred alongside Anthony Michael Hall and Uma Thurman as Hall's best friend, Leo Wiggins.

The film centered on Hall as varsity football player Johnny Walker, an athlete who is sought after by the best colleges in the nation. 

Critic Roger Ebert penned one of the many scathing reviews of the film, writing, "The screenplay for this movie bears every sign of being a first draft - a quick and dirty one ... the people who made this movie should be ashamed of themselves."

Samuel L. Jackson trained a young vigilante in "Kite" (2014).

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Samuel Jackson in "Kite." Videovision Entertainment

Critic score: 0%

Based on an anime, the action film "Kite" follows the death of a young teenager's parents and her subsequent entry into the world of vigilante justice. Samuel L. Jackson played Lieutenant Karl Aker, a friend of the young teen's late father.

Some reviewers called the movie tasteless with diminishing returns. 

"[Director] Ziman pretends to be empowering his young heroine by putting a gun in her hand and tough words in her mouth," wrote New York Daily News critic Elizabeth Weitzman. "But there's something deeply discomforting about his camera's fetishistic leering."

In the horror flick "The Dentist" (1996), Mark Ruffalo had a small role as Steve Landers.

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Mark Ruffalo in "The Dentist." Trimark

Critic score: 0%

"The Dentist" is a twisted horror-comedy about a dentist named Alan Feinstone (Corbin Bernsen) who takes a more psychopathic approach to dentistry after he realizes that his wife (Linda Hoffman) had an affair. 

Mark Ruffalo appeared in the film as Steve Landers, a man who stumbles across Feinstone's killing spree. 

Reviewers left theaters saying that "The Dentist" was about as enjoyable as a root canal. 

Film critic Scott Weinberg called it an "icky slasher featuring some horrifying dental techniques."

Zoe Saldana played an estranged daughter in "Constellation" (2005).

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Zoe Saldana in "Constellation." Codeblack Films, Shoreline Entertainment

Critic score: 0%

In the family drama "Constellation," an estranged family with a painful history reunites in the deep South when one of their relatives passes away.

Zoe Saldana starred in the film alongside castmates Gabrielle Union and Billy Dee Williams. 

Critics panned the film for its lackluster story structure and limp script, though they praised the acting performances.  

"Featuring a stalwart cast and some delicately wrought moments, the film is unable to overcome its soap opera scenario and clunky pacing," wrote Kevin Crust for the Los Angeles Times

Denzel Washington played Napoleon Stone in "Heart Condition" (1990).

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Denzel Washington in "Heart Condtion." New Line Cinema

Critic score: 0%

In the comedy "Heart Condition," vice detective Jack Moony (Bob Hoskins) receives a heart transplant from recently murdered lawyer Napoleon Stone (Denzel Washington). But Jack soon realizes that Napoleon's soul can't rest until his killer is caught. 

Described as both cheesy and disturbing in equal measure, "Heart Condition" seemed to exploit Washington's talents as a formidable lead for the sake of a woefully misguided comedy.

Film critic Daniel Barnes wrote that "Heart Condition" was rejected by audiences and critics alike "due to a chaotic tone, insipid comedy beats, and clunky action scenes set to slap-bass and scat-singing."

Keanu Reeves was a meditative boyfriend in "Generation Um…" (2013).

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Keanu Reeves (left) in "Generation Um..." Phase 4 Films

Critic score: 0%

In the R-rated drama "Generation Um…," Keanu Reeves stars as John, a New Yorker who spends the night dredging up past memories and secrets with his two girlfriends, played by Bojana Novakovic and Adelaide Clemens. 

Reception for the film was poor, with critics calling it listless and devoid of insight. 

"Director Mark L. Mann seems to be searching for the meaning in aimlessness, and in lowered expectations. But too often the narrative left me feeling the titular 'um,'" wrote New York Post critic Sara Stewart.

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