10 Great Blockbusters Held Back By A Terrible Lead Performance

Even huge budgets and special effects aren't enough to cover up some terrible acting.

Star Wars Anakin Skywalker Hayden Christensen

Just like nobody sets out to make a bad movie on purpose, no actor in their right mind would sign on to a project with the express intention of being terrible at their job, but it still happens nonetheless.

Not everybody gets to be as remarkably consistent as a Daniel Day-Lewis or a Christian Bale, and there can be a number of factors that contribute to a dismal performance. Sometimes the actor in question just never feels like the right fit for the role, there could be disagreements behind the scenes or even the necessity to fill a contractual obligation despite having little to no interest in the material.

Bad acting has sank far too many movies to mention, but it doesn't always have to be the deciding factor between success or failure. Plenty of great movies have featured either woefully miscast stars, talents exposed for being out of their depth or people that can never seem to get to grips with the script, but have still somehow managed to get results in spite of the shortcomings from the person with their name above the title.

10. Ryan Reynolds - Safe House

Star Wars Anakin Skywalker Hayden Christensen
Universal Pictures

Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds are two of the most consistently watchable and charismatic actors in the business, so the prospect of seeing the two sharing the screen in the sort of star-powered two-hander with a decent budget that Hollywood rarely tends to make anymore initially made Safe House a hugely exciting prospect.

While Denzel is on typically great form as criminal mastermind Tobin Frost, Reynolds lets the side down with a disappointingly flat turn as rookie agent Matt Weston, with his performance as bland and formulaic as his character's backstory as he finds himself being easily overpowered by the sheer wattage of his adversary's star power.

It seemed as though Reynolds was under instructions to deliver the most derivative version of his established screen persona as possible as the cookie-cutter 'untested agent out of his depth and forced to improvise' archetype. Ultimately, this hurt the quality of the final product as his fellow A-lister easily stole the show without coming close to capitalizing on the potential chemistry between them.


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