5 Really Bad Movies Saved By Charismatic Actors

Why do bad things happen to good people? In retrospection, why do bad movies happen to good actors? Taste, especially in music, books and movies, is vehemently subjective, but there will always be certain productions that make us stare in awe and ask ourselves – “What was that excellent actor thinking?” Below, you will find a list composed of five movies that were nearly terrible, but kept us in front of the screens through the sheer power of their charismatic actors.

#1 Robert Downey Jr. in “Iron Man 3”

When “Iron Man” first hit theaters in 2008, nobody had any real expectations for it. Save for the unexpected success of Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” trilogy, there was no real impact of superhero movies. Needless to say, “Iron Man” completely smashed it, paving the way for the Marvel cinematic universe we know today.

Unfortunately, “Iron Man 3” is one of the less inspired MCU products, as far as quality goes. It definitely cashed in plenty of profit, but it’s safe to say that Robert Downey Jr. carried the whole movie on his shoulders. It was riddled with clichés, plot holes and question marks, but we managed to overcome most of these because, among his many other accomplishments, Downey was born to play Tony Stark and stands in the #1 spot for our charismatic actors.

#2 Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”

When we first heard about a movie franchise that would be based off a Disneyland ride, most of us were, sort of understandably, skeptic. Needless to say, the series turned out to be a tremendous success, perhaps save for one installment. The fourth movie in the series, “On Stranger Tides,” is often forgotten altogether.

Thankfully, though, its saving point was Johnny Depp’s iconic performance as Captain Jack Sparrow, whose charisma essentially represented the salt and pepper of the franchise. We’re sure that, if he tried really hard, his performance as one of the top charismatic actors could breathe life into even the most terrible movies of recent history.

#3 Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada”

Funny enough, the first name to pop into your head when you think of this movie is not the protagonist. Some people have forgotten Anne Hathaway was in it altogether. A movie constructed on a foundation of stereotypes and plot-lines we’ve heard a thousand times before, its spice was Meryl Streep’s memorable performance. It’s pretty difficult to root for the oppressed protagonist in those conditions when every scene of Streep’s part was the only thing that kept us watching.

#4 Liam Neeson in “Taken”

Liam Neeson has made a name for himself for his ability to carry out roles designed for suspense-filled thrillers. From the “Taken” franchise to movies like “The Grey,” they all gained nothing but benefits from this casting choice. This is just another film that he carried on his shoulders, hard enough that it actually got sequels.

When you really think about it, there is nothing about “Taken” that we haven’t seen before. The actors did not perform excellently, there were numerous unforgivable plot holes, and, at times, matters of pure implausibility. Not to mention the stereotype of “dumb Americans in Europe” which ends with them in grave trouble every single time due to “cultural differences.”  But do we remember the iconic “I will find you, and I will kill you” line? We sure do, just as we will always remember not to mess with Liam Neeson.

#5 Jim Carrey in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

The Dr. Seuss inspired film was cheesy, over the top, predictable and bizarre – not necessarily in a good way. Considered by critics to be a definite leap backward from the original cartoon, it was Jim Carrey’s performance as the Grinch that made the movie slightly more bearable. In fact, it’s highly likely that no one else would have remembered the flick without Carrey’s involvement and unique imprint bringing us to the end of our list of movies saved by charismatic actors.


What movies do think were saved by the actors? Would you choose one of these to add to your list?




Mike Jones
Mike Jones
Mike Jones is a Boston University graduate, with an MS in Mass Communication. He is now a full-time writer, passionate about everything related to entertainment and pop-culture.