I had the idea to compile this list after a conversation a friend and I were having about actors cast in bad movies but still giving it their all and providing those films with performances that far exceed what should have been expected.
By “bad” movies, I don’t mean films that I personally deem as bad, as I like many of them, but I mean “bad” in the way that they were looked at critically at the time of their release or how the general public views them, whether or not they’re right or wrong. Often times, I disagree with the public consensus.
Anyway, this list isn’t something that should be quantified by ranking these performances. I just wanted to list out many that I thought were damn good in spite of the popular opinion about the movie’s overall quality.
With that, many of these are obviously going to be low-budget “genre” films. Some are also probably considered “exploitation” by various people. Then some are just goofy comedies or drama movies that probably actually were crap. Point being, I’m just looking at performances here and great ones exist in everything, regardless of genre, budget or a lack of surrounding talent.
So here we go!
-Raul Julia in Street Fighter
-Frank Langella in Masters of the Universe
-Michael Fassbender in Prometheus
-Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad & Birds of Prey
-Tim Roth in Planet of the Apes 2001.
-Josh Brolin in W & Jonah Hex
-Tobin Bell in the Saw sequels
-Eva Green in Dark Shadows
-Stephen Lang in a lot of his films
-Michael Parks in Tusk
-Viola Davis in a lot
-William Fichtner in Drive Angry & What’s The Worst That Could Happen
-Thomas Haden Church in Spider-Man 3
-Jasmine Guy in Harlem Nights
-Tim Curry in It
-Ben Affleck as Batman
-Bill Moseley in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
-Walter Matthau in Dennis the Menace
-R. Lee Ermey in Saving Silverman
-Jeremy Irons in Dungeons & Dragons
-Martin Landau in Ready to Rumble
-Octavia Spencer in a lot
-Matthew McConaughey in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 4
-Will Smith in Suicide Squad
-Henry Cavill as Superman
-Charles Dance in Last Action Hero
-Eddie Redmayne in Jupiter Ascending
-Alan Rickman in CBGB
-Christopher Lee in a lot
-The ENTIRE cast of the Hobbit trilogy
If there are some that you think I missed, please feel free to list and discuss in the comments.