Talented actors in terrible films rated 0 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

Precious few actors, even the best of the best, go their entire career without making at least one dud. It's rare, however, to be an accomplished thespian who makes a film so bad that it can't even score one percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Here are some of the biggest names to score themselves a giant rotten goose egg—based on at least ten reviews, because a rating based on what two or three critics think means next to nothing—and make us all wonder what in the world they were thinking.

Bruce Willis - Precious Cargo

Even when the point of a Bruce Willis movie is "blow everything up," he typically does a fine job of presenting the guy who's about to blow everything up. Not so with Precious Cargo, his 2016 stab at a heist movie that ultimately steals nothing but 90 minutes of your life.

In Cargo, Willis plays a crime boss who's forcing another thief to steal an armored car for him. So the "Michelangelo of thieves," as they call Willis's pawn, is the "good guy." Want to cheer for a hero? Go visit your grandmother and give her a standing ovation, because there are none in this film. And while "all bad guys" can work, it most certainly doesn't here: the movie exists entirely to blow stuff up and show off sexy female skin, with nary a shred of soul or creativity behind any of it. Bruce was presumably paid handsomely for it, but it'd honestly have been preferable had he skipped it and made another blues album instead.

John Travolta and Sharon Stone - Life on the Line

2016's Life on the Line is one of those "dramatic family films with a dangerous profession as a backdrop" films, and it hits virtually every clichéd point like the screenwriter had a checklist. One of the linemen dies on the job, his brother (John Travolta) assumes guardianship of his daughter, she starts dating another lineman, Travolta doesn't like that and hates the lineman for it, then a big storm happens and everybody has to work together. It's very much, as one critic put it, "TV movie fare" disguised as a theater release.

What prompted Travolta and Sharon Stone (playing Travolta's brother's widow) to say yes to this film, when both are rich enough to retire and powerful enough to take on better roles, is beyond us. It might just be that both have suspect tastes in film. After all, Travolta did Battlefield Earth and Stone did Catwoman.

Steve Buscemi - The Ridiculous 6

So much has been said about Adam Sandler's Netflix debut, it's almost a non-shocker to hear that among the 34 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, The Ridiculous 6 couldn't even manage a single decent one. What may be surprising is that, once you get past Sandler and his band of merry men (one of whom, naturally, is Rob Schneider), you'll find actual acting talent in the bunch.

Steve Buscemi, of Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Fargo, and The Sopranos, makes a cameo appearance in Ridiculous 6 as a barber/dentist/doctor/veterinarian named Doc Griffin. We'd say his scene is the funniest part of the film, but that's like saying the best part of a root canal is seeing your best friend in the waiting room. Buscemi's filmography is chock-full of uncredited cameos in Sandler flicks. He probably should've done the same this time around.

Patrick Stewart - Christmas Eve

When you think of Patrick Stewart, you think Picard, or Professor X, or most anything else he's done that's pure quality. What you probably don't think of is a stinker like Christmas Evewhich, while theoretically a holiday-themed comedy, provides about as many laughs and cheer as Xavier did in Logan.

In the film, Stewart is one of 20 people riding in various New York City elevators on Christmas Eve when a cab driver veers off-road, his car doing a Grand Theft Auto-worthy leap through the air and crashing into a power grid that somehow shuts off the entire city. Yes, NYC has one power grid, because that's how you operate a megapolis. So now Stewart and friends are stuck in their elevators, where they all learn about the true spirit of Christmas together. A woman gives birth in her elevator, a boss reconciles with the guy he just laid off, strangers make beautiful music together, and god bless us every one.

A true Christmas miracle is that virtually nobody wasted their money on this film. Christmas Eve took in a whopping $91,302, meaning they probably made back less than they paid Stewart to use the bathroom in between takes.

Keanu Reeves - Generation Um…

If you're Keanu Reeves, and half your reputation is built on acting like a Generation X slacker who exclaims "whoa" at everything even halfway gnarly, why would you ever agree to a film with a title like Generation Um…? That's just a bogus career move.

2013's Um… doesn't appear to have much of a plot. Reeves is an NYC drifter, going nowhere in life. He somehow winds up bringing two party girls home on his birthday. He steals a camcorder, and then he films them doing and saying stuff. They mostly gab about life, the universe, and everything, only Keanu is Marvin the Paranoid Android, and he's the star. If you like movies that are light on plot but heavy on dialogue, you…still probably won't like this film. Not only does it offer nothing but melancholy (one critic called it "a slapped-together sub-mumblecore exercise that at times suggests a feature-length expansion of 2010′s 'Sad Keanu' meme)," but it doesn't help Reeves' reputation much at all. He's a fine actor, but people who see him as a guy who just stares won't have their minds changed at all with Um.

Elle Fanning and Nathan Lane - The Nutcracker In 3D

It isn't easy to adapt a timeless classic so poorly that not a single Rotten Tomatoes critic wants to endorse you. But The Nutcracker In 3D managed just such a feat, despite having Elle Fanning and Nathan Lane in the cast.

The original ballet's simple, child-friendly story gets a gritty, action/fantasy makeover, with the Mouse King's bad-yet-cute army of mice becoming a band of human-rat hybrids who look and march almost exactly like Nazis. What's more, they made the Nutcracker talk pre-transformation, via CGI "magic" that suggests the Land of Sweets is located right in the middle of the Uncanny Valley. As for the ballet, there isn't any. Yes, they made a Nutcracker adaptation without any ballet whatsoever, choosing instead to give us tons of CGI action and explosions.

Luckily, Elle Fanning moved on to better projects as she grew as an actress and a person. Lane, meanwhile, deserved better from the start. About the only good thing we can say about this movie is that Lane's costume proved he could make a killing as a professional Don King impersonator.

Kevin Spacey - Father of Invention

Kevin Spacey's work in films like American Beauty and shows like House of Cards has made him a national treasure. But anyone who stumbled on his 2011 film Father of Invention didn't find a treasure as much as a giant Let's Make A Deal Zonk.

In Father, Spacey plays an inventor whose combination ab-crunch machine/remote control results in thousands of people maiming their fingers. Somehow, this results not in a massive lawsuit, but with Spacey spending eight years in a maximum security prison (a fate far more suitable for his Cards character once justice catches up with him). Once he's out, nobody wants anything to do with him, all his new ideas have already been done, and his own daughter only gives him 30 days to find a job or she's kicking him out of her house. 

Of course, he eventually figures himself out, wins over his daughter, and finally rebuilds his life. But worse than the predictability of the film's progression is how one-note all the characters are. As Reuters noted, everyone's a cruel stereotype, with their awfulness enough to somehow make you root for the sleazy huckster who cost countless people their digits. Ultimately, though, nobody rooted for anyone, and Spacey retreated to Netflix to remind us that, garbage film or not, he's still Kevin Spacey.

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson - Surfer, Dude

Matthew McConaughey started his career playing a doofus stoner in Dazed and Confused, and since then has proven himself as a quality leading man. There's no reason to go back to the doofus well with something like 2008's Surfer, Dude, but here we are.

As you no doubt guessed, Surfer, Dude is about a dude who surfs, dude. He's been making good money surfing, but starts losing funds and sponsorships because he won't sell out to reality TV and virtual reality gaming. Also, thanks to a drought, the ocean isn't giving him any good waves to work with. You know you've stumbled across a riveting film when one of the major villains is "water." Harrelson plays his manager, a stoned-out hippie dude who at least has the good sense to seek money elsewhere, even if it's from The Man. Willie Nelson makes an appearance too, in case it wasn't crystal-clear that this is a stoner movie. And one nobody liked, at that.

As one critic put it, "It felt like we were watching a rough cut." And it does. The film looks grainy and roughshod, almost as if they rush-released it to capitalize on imaginary nostalgia for McConaughey acting like a man-child. This film might've worked in 1991, because at least then we wouldn't look at McConaughey riding waves and think, "wasn't that guy in Dallas Buyer's Club?"

Jon Voight - Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2

Why Jon Voight decided to sully his oeuvre with 2004's Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, we'll never know. Did he really need to pay his light bill that badly?

Geniuses 2 is the sequel to a film that's not mentioned in this article because it actually managed to score 2 percent on the Tomatometer. Vought plays an evildoer named Kane who keeps getting owned by a superhero baby named Kahuna. Kane tries to brainwash the world, but Kahuna stops him with the aid of some Baby Geniuses he turns into fellow baby superheroes. The Superbabies trick Kane into becoming a baby himself, and this saves the world. Even if the acting was great, a plot like this is automatic Zero Tomato fodder. But the acting actually isn't great (pretty much every critic agrees nobody involved appeared to care about their role, least of all Voight), and Superbabies would probably have a negative score if such a thing existed.

Voight must've loved the paycheck, because he kept returning for the sequels. Yes, despite Superbabies bombing massively, the studio made three ultra-low budget, supremely cheesy direct-to-DVD follow-ups, and Voight is in all of them. In one, they become detectives. In another, they visit Egypt. Finally, they go to space. Voight plays the bad guy throughout, only he's a different villain. The babies are geniuses, but their films' casting crew sure isn't.

Abe Vigoda - Jury Duty

Simply hearing that Pauly Shore's in it should be enough to convince you that 1995's Jury Duty is a terrible movie. Hearing that Abe Vigoda's slumming it in this film is just plain depressing on top of it.

In Duty, Shore plays Obnoxious Slacker #912 (he has less range than a foreclosed farm) who gets a jury duty notice and does a whole bunch of Pauly Shore things to extend the trial and live in his fancy juror hotel suite for as long as possible. Vigoda, meanwhile, plays the judge in the trial, who should probably be disbarred for allowing Shore to stay on the jury despite being blatantly obnoxious and disruptive. In any other courtroom, passing notes, falling asleep, and approaching the judge's bench at all (never mind during a private counsel session) would land Shore a dismissal at best, jail time for contempt of court at worst. Vigoda was probably too apathetic to care, and can you blame him?

Sean Connery - Highlander II: the Quickening

We're always told that "there can be only one" Highlander, and it's a shame that rule doesn't apply to the franchise as well. That way, we wouldn't have had to deal with 1991's Highlander II: The Quickening, which is only notable in that it somehow didn't cause Sean Connery to retire from acting forever.

In Quickening, basically everything about the end of the first Highlander was reversed. Connery died, but now he's back because time travel. Connor MacLeod lost his immortality, but then he beat up some intergalactic goons and now he lives forever again. The steps taken to get back to the status quo are confusing enough, but then the rest of the movie somehow gets more incomprehensible. As one reviewer wonderfully put it, "[The movie doesn't] ask us to suspend disbelief; [it] asks us to pretend we've all had weed-whacker lobotomies." That doesn't sound fun, and neither does this movie. That's why, whenever people talk Highlander, they happily assume Connery's dead and MacLeod will eventually die. It's less painful that way.

Gene Hackman - Loose Cannons

It's always good for a movie to know what it is. 1990's Loose Cannons doesn't even come close.

The movie's setup sounds like a political thriller: a guy running for German chancellor discovers there's video of him sleeping with Hitler and then assisting the Führer in his suicide, so he arranges for anyone who's watched the video to be killed. Gene Hackman and Dan Aykroyd are the cops assigned to investigate what's going on. That sounds pretty good, right? Except once we meet the cops, the whole things becomes a silly screwball comedy. Aykroyd's character has multiple personality disorder which, in this universe, means he starts acting like pop culture characters whenever his surroundings get too violent. Even in fiction, that should be grounds for automatic dismissal from any decent police force. And yes, that's the actual premise—a legitimately engrossing setup gets swept aside in favor of "Aykroyd can make funny voices, watch him make them."

Judging by the universally bad reviews (one critic called it "comedy as a form of torture"), nobody else liked the extreme tonal shift either. Hackman, for his part, usually looks like he'd rather be anywhere else than playing straight man to Aykroyd talking like the Cowardly Lion. We agree.

Burgess Meredith - Hot to Trot

Some movie premises just won't work, no matter what you do. 1988's Hot To Trot is one such film—it's a movie starring a talking horse and Bobcat Goldthwait, and you legitimately can't tell who's more annoying.

There's actually a plot to this movie, kind of. Goldthwait works in the family stock business with his evil stepfather. His late mother wills him Don, a horse who can talk, but apparently only to Goldthwait. Evil stepdad wants to buy out Goldthwait's share of the company, but Bobcat refuses. Finally, they enter a winner-take-all horse race, pitting Goldthwait's talking horse versus Evil Stepdad's entire stable of horses (this, naturally, includes a horse Don's got a thing for). Of course, Goldthwait is the jockey, despite having no jockey experience whatsoever. Also of course, he wins, because what's the point of a talking-horse movie if everyone watching leaves the theater with long faces?

For reasons known only to him, Burgess "The Penguin" Meredith agreed to appear in this film. You don't see him, however, because he's voicing a housefly. He's Goldthwait's father, see, reincarnated as a fly. Sad as that may be, it was probably less embarrassing for Meredith than actually appearing on camera.

Robert Downey Jr. - Johnny Be Good

Robert Downey Jr. must thank his lucky stars every day for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only did it revitalize his career and make him more money than he'll ever know what to do with, it allows people to focus on Tony Stark, and not whatever he was doing in 1988's Johnny Be Good.

Anthony Michael Hall stars as a high school football player who's being courted by every major college. His girlfriend wants him to come to her little state school with her. Eventually, he does just that, because he loves her more than football. And that's literally it. They might as well have made a movie about a kid who's told to eat his vegetables and, after 90 minutes, does.

Downey appears as Hall's buddy, a doofus who can't play football even though he's on the team, and who wants Hall to go big and take the best possible offer. In his scenes he's clearly the comic relief, doing things like scoring a touchdown by distracting the other team with the news that the head cheerleader isn't wearing underwear. We'll take "that man is playing Galaga" any day.

Meg Ryan - Amityville 3D

In 1983, moviegoers were blessed with another Amityville movie, entitled Amityville: The Demon or Amityville 3D, whichever you prefer. Either way, it wound up being a terrible sequel that didn't stack up to the scariness of the original Amityville film at all.

It's a basic Amityville setup: people move into the house, bad stuff happens. In this case, the protagonist's daughter drowns, a demon burns a paranormal investigator's face and takes him back to Hell with it, and then the house starts throwing random stuff all over the place, otherwise known as a scene set up to fulfill the "3D" part of the movie's title. Unlike the first two, this film doesn't even pretend to be based on actual events—in fact, it's not even technically a sequel, thanks to a lawsuit filed by the inhabitants of the actual Amityville home. Not like it matters, since the movie was a bomb. (One critic complained it was "no longer a haunted house movie at all, but simply a collection of crummy shock scenes with absolutely no shock.")

About the only worthwhile part of the film is Meg Ryan. She doesn't have a big role—she plays Lisa, one of Susan's friends who play Ouija with her and then drag her drowned body from the ocean. She's still probably the best part of the film, though don't expect a particularly pretty autograph if you mention it to her.