12 Major Film Flops That Didn’t Deserve Their All-Star Casts
Great casts are hard to come by in the entertainment industry, which is why it always shocks us when a movie wastes an A-list group of actors on a flimsy screenplay or a half-baked plot. Unfortunately, bad films with impressive casts are more common than we’d like to admit, and we know we’re not the only ones who’ve left the theater disappointed after seeing a flop. To help you avoid any further cinematic letdown, we’ve rounded up 12 films that flushed their top-tier talent right down the toilet. Save yourself the two-hour torture session and skip these features.
Cover Photo: Warner Bros.
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'Batman and Robin' (1997)
All-Star Cast: George Clooney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chris O'Donnell, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone, Vivica A. Fox, and Elle Macpherson
This dumpster fire of a movie will forever be remembered as the worst thing that ever happened to the Batman franchise. Despite the stellar cast, the film felt more comedic than superheroic, and not in an entertaining way. The film was bloated with special effects and explosions but skimpy on character development, and the villains (Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy) were downright uninteresting. Let’s hope the memory of this film stays buried deep in the bowels of Gotham City.
'Gangster Squad' (2012)
All-Star Cast: Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi, and Nick Nolte
After his 2009 hit Zombieland, director Ruben Fleischer tried his hand at a period drama about the mob in Los Angeles circa 1949. Aesthetically, it was on point, but the characters were lifeless clichés, the dialogue was lame, and the body count was excessive. News flash: there is such a thing as too many Tommy guns.
'The Monuments Men' (2014)
All-Star Cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, and Cate Blanchett
In this WWII drama directed and co-written by Clooney, a group of art enthusiasts is led by an American army lieutenant through Germany to recapture artwork stolen by Nazis. That it’s based on a true story makes the film's premise enticing, but even this cast couldn’t muster enough enthusiasm to excite an audience about this charmless movie maimed by unnecessary voice-over.
'Rock of Ages' (2012)
All-Star Cast: Tom Cruise, Paul Giamatti, Julianne Hough, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Malin Akerman
Musicals are tough to pull off but this film, set in ‘80s era Los Angeles, tried and it was an aural and cinematic disaster. There was nothing original or novel about the rock-star-rises-to-fame plot penned by Justin Theroux and Chris D'Arienzo. Nobody cared about Cruise’s cocky, long-haired Stacee Jaxx and the movie was widely panned as unwatchable.
'Pearl Harbor' (2001)
All-Star Cast: Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Garner, Jon Voight, Cuba Gooding Jr.
While this could have – should have – been an iconic film about one of the most devastating days in American history, instead it devolved into a love triangle that garnered the threesome at its center a Worst Screen Couple nomination at the Razzies. The sap is thick, the historical context is almost non-existent, and the run time is a merciless three hours. We don’t want to watch anything for that long, much less senseless slaughter and melodramatic romance.
All-Star Cast: Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Emma Stone, Bill Murray, John Krasinski, and Alec Baldwin.
Cameron Crowe’s reputation preceded him (and this film) with hits like Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous. It was as if he could do no wrong. Then he did. Very wrong. This film, which follows a military contractor who is reunited with his old girlfriend in Hawaii completely bombed. No pretty leading ladies nor cut leading men nor Bill Murray’s humor could save it.
'Be Cool' (2005)
All-Star Cast: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Danny DeVito, Vince Vaughn, Cedric the Entertainer, Dwayne Johnson, Harvey Keitel, James Woods
In the godforsaken sequel of the wildly popular Get Shorty, Travolta returns as a loan shark who is now trying to break into the music industry. (The plot alone should have been a red flag to whoever financed this piece of shit.) Unfunny jokes about race and sexuality pepper the screenplay, which frequently references other films that you may or may not have seen. Oh, and Travolta and Thurman have a dance floor scene, an obvious ape of Pulp Fiction. All we can say is: how dare you?
Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
'This Is Where I Leave You' (2014)
All-Star Cast: Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Adam Driver, Jane Fonda, Rose Byrne, Connie Britton, Kathryn Hahn, Dax Shepherd, Corey Stoll
It’s hard to make a funeral funny, and this dramedy fails miserably. Based on the novel of the same name by Jonathan Tropper, the film follows a completely unlikable family in the aftermath of the patriarch’s death. The adult children are immature, the sentiments are shallow, and the whining is insufferable. Not even the talented actors with plenty of comedic experience under their belts can incite a belly laugh in this self-involved dirge.
'Vanilla Sky' (2001)
All-Star Cast: Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, and Kurt Russell
In yet another Cameron Crowe mishap and an unfortunate remake of the superb Spanish film Abre Los Ojos (in which Cruz also starred), something got lost in translation. Something like talent, plot, and coherence. What was originally a psychological mystery-thriller about a young man who seemed to have it all but suddenly finds himself literally faceless turned into sci-fi gobbledygook under Crowe’s direction. The film is chock full of surprises, but (spoiler alert), they’re the bad kind.
'Movie 43' (2013)
All-Star Cast: Hugh Jackman, Elizabeth Banks, Emma Stone, Halle Berry, Kate Winslet, Gerard Butler, Richard Gere, Naomi Watts, Anna Faris, Uma Thurman, Liev Schreiber, Chris Pratt, Kristen Bell, Johnny Knoxville, Dennis Quaid, Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Josh Duhamel, Kieran Culkin, and many, many more
Talk about too many cooks in the kitchen. This rom-com featured a dozen directors and a slew of big-name actors who somehow got duped into jumping in this cesspool of raunchy sketches that failed to provoke even one chuckle. Trust us when we say: don’t even try to watch this movie unless you want to lose faith in film forever.
'Valentine's Day' (2010)
All-Star Cast: Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Patrick Dempsey, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Queen Latifah, Shirley MacLaine, and Taylor Swift
More is not better, and there’s no better example of this in film than Garry Marshall's rom-com Valentine's Day. (He’s also responsible for the equally odious New Year’s Eve.) All the events in the movie take place on Feb. 14, and most involve cookie-cutter themes about love that we’ve seen onscreen before in better movies with more complex characters that actually makes us care about their lives. These narratives come and go so fast we can hardly get our bearings, much less invest in them. It’s the love story equivalent of a candy heart binge.
'The Big Wedding' (2013)
All-Star Cast: Robert DeNiro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams, Katherine Heigl, Ben Barnes, Amanda Seyfried, and Topher Grace
What do you get when four Academy Award-winning actors (DeNiro, Keaton, Sarandon, Williams) come together? An unwatchable comedy, apparently. The plot about divorced parents who pretend to be married at their son’s wedding is paper thin, so the rest of the film is filled with your standard sight gags and infantile jokes (vomiting, erections, virginity, inappropriate priest, etc.). There are no laughs here and no surprises, either…just a tedious march towards the predictable finale, not unlike walking down the aisle.