What makes a great movie? There are a number of obvious factors, from tight plotting and rounded characterisation through to effective, dramatic direction, and of course good solid performances from the actors involved. Sometimes though, a truly terrible performance slips through the net and makes it to the final cut of an otherwise great movie. Sometimes it's because the actor in question has a certain star appeal which lands them the part, only for the director to discover they're completely inappropriate for the role but can't do anything about it. Sometimes they're just plain bad actors who, for one reason or another (for instance, as we'll see, being the director of the movie) managed to get the role in spite of their painfully obvious unsuitability. Here are ten great movies featuring performances which can best be described as pretty damn awful.
10. Ice Cube - Three Kings
David O. Russell's satirical war movie surprised many at the time of its release with its sharp observations on the absurdity of the Gulf War in the early 90s (it was made before the full-on invasion in 2003), with a raft of excellent performances, particularly a commanding turn from George Clooney as Major Archie Gates, the Special Forces soldier who goes off-mission to hunt down stolen gold bullion. Unfortunately, no amount of witty scriptwriting and clever banter was enough to elevate Ice Cube's leaden performance as Staff Sergeant Chief Elgin. Cube has never been known as the most complex of performers (putting it diplomatically, to say the least) and his one-tone angry and annoyed approach to his character in Three Kings seems to stand out as amateurish when compared to the rest of the cast. Still, it doesn't really diminish from the overall effect of the film - Three Kings is still a solid anti-war-cum-heist movie well worth your time.