10 Worst Performances In Sci-Fi Movie History

Representing humanity among the stars with some truly awful performances.

Rihanna Battleship
Universal Pictures

Science fiction isn't exactly a genre with its two feet planted firmly on the ground.

While this is exactly its appeal, its inherent outlandishness alone isn't enough to fill theatres. For that, sci-fi depends on solid performances from those charged with bringing their particular story to life, because if there's nothing humanising or relatable about what we're watching, we tend to lose interest pretty fast.

Yes, sci-fi is often about sleek, futuristic aesthetics or impressive CGI set pieces. But at its core, it's a genre that attempts to frame some of the larger existential questions in a setting a little farther from home, which only really works when you've got some top-tier acting to really sell the premise.

When good acting is absent, however, the whole movie suffers. It doesn't always matter how high-profile the issue is, either; actors in smaller roles can do just as much damage to a movie with bad acting as the top-billed stars can.

While bad acting doesn't necessarily ruin a movie, it's enough to leave a lasting impression that tarnishes a film's reputation, and so, naturally, it's worth compiling the worst offenders into a list.

10. Jodie Foster As Defense Secretary Jessica Delacourt - Elysium

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TriStar Pictures

Jodie Foster is by no means a bad actress. If you're ever in doubt, rewatch The Silence of the Lambs and you'll remember just what she's capable of.

But despite her two Academy Awards for Best Actress, Jodie Foster certainly isn't perfect.

There are a handful of questionable performances in her back catalogue, but none are as blatant as her role as Delacourt in 2013's Elysium.

Foster's character, Elysium's Defense Secretary, speaks with an accent so bizarre that it's hard to actually take note of what she's saying. If you haven't heard it, it sounds like an amalgamation of Danish and Australian accents, all while strutting around a space station with the most exaggerated swagger imaginable. The worst part is, the accent slips at several points throughout the movie, meaning that it's not even consistent in how terrible it is.

While Foster's performance might not have been the worst on this list, it's certainly noteworthy due to her remarkable ability having apparently disappeared.


Antisocial nerd that spends a lot of time stringing words together. Once tried unsuccessfully to tame a crow.