It's fair to say that we all saw our fair share of truly bad movies in 2017. From The Book of Henry and The Bye Bye Man to Fifty Shades Darker and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, there were plenty of films that failed to work on any level and fully justified the hate they got.
But there was another subset of bad movies out there that weren't entirely irredeemably. Despite all of their flaws – of which there were many – they did offer a brief glimmer of hope in the shape of a standout performance from one of their stars.
They say that a good performance can make or break a movie and while it’s fair to say that these star turns didn’t exactly grant their movies immunity from flopping at the box office, they certainly made watching these movies more bearable.
It just so happens that the context made those performances seem all the more tragic, since there's no way they would have been seen as many times as they deserved. And frankly, how easy is it to enjoy a good meal in a pigsty?
May all your future films be less terrible, guys...
10. Shia LaBeouf – Man Down
Starring Shia LaBeouf as a PTSD-stricken US Marine who
returns home from a tour of duty in Afghanistan only to find his hometown
ravaged by some sort of apocalypse and his wife and son missing, director Dito
Montiel’s latest effort Man Down attempts to offer thoughtful commentary about
the traumas soldiers face both on the battlefield and back home through its
blending of a smorgasbord of genres including war film, family drama, sci-fi dystopia
and psychological study.
But like a poor man’s Jacob’s Ladder, Montiel goes about it rather cack-handedly focusing more on genre-bending and a multitude of muddled narratives than providing any meaningful messages about combat-induced PTSD and ending with a supposed twist that anyone with a few IQ points could see coming a mile off.
LaBeouf – who is prone to making some rather dubious career choices as Man Down shows – does the best he can despite the movie’s many flaws, giving a committed and emotional performance as his character’s mental state gradually deteriorates. Unfortunately, the rest of the film doesn’t do his fine acting any justice