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Why These Famous Actors Haven't Had A Hit Movie In Years

They were once some of the most bankable men in Hollywood, but now these 10 actors can barely turn a profit on the big screen. How did their stars fall so dramatically? From bad movie choices to personal fiascos, here's the painful truth.

Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage's career rut goes back for years: his last major release to earn much in the way of box-office returns or critical acclaim was Adaptation in 2002. Sure, his filmography has added a few bright spots in recent years—among them indies like Bad Lieutenant and Joe—but those movies did little to soothe the sting of bombs like Next and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

How exactly did Cage go from Oscar-winning actor to box office poison? The work speaks for itself. Over the last 15 years or so, Cage has signed on for one bad movie after the next, to the point where audiences and studios can't take him seriously anymore. If a movie has "Nicolas Cage" in the credits, there's about a 95 percent chance it'll be unintentionally hilarious.

Which is sad, really. Given all the great work he delivered early in his career, you'd like to think he still has one more critical and commercial success up his sleeve. But then you take a look at his IMDb page and you realize things look as dire as, well, a Nicolas Cage movie.

Al Pacino

Much like Cage, Pacino hasn't had an unqualified hit in almost two decades. In fact, his last truly great performance was on the small screen, in HBO's miniseries Angels in America. Has he simply been aged out of Hollywood? Or has he stopped caring? In all honesty, it might be a little bit of both. How else can you explain why the star of The Godfather took a part in an Adam Sandler movie?

If he's lucky, Pacino will do what his buddy Robert De Niro did when he teamed up with David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook and Joy: remind audiences that he can still pick a solid script when he wants to. Seriously, if De Niro can bounce back from Little Fockers, surely Pacino can find success after Jack and Jill.

Steven Seagal

You know it's a bad sign when the four most popular movies on your IMDb page came out more than 20 years ago. But such is the life of action star Steven Seagal, whose career has been stuck in direct-to-video limbo since his early '90s heyday. Like many action stars before and after him, Seagal spent much of his time in the spotlight starring in movies that, even at their best, were never regarded as anything more than mind-numbing diversions—and as he aged out of the action-hero demographic, neither studios nor audiences trusted him to carry a picture with his acting.

Of course, Steven Seagal the Celebrity may have something to do with it, as well. He's been targeted by a number of lawsuits over the years, some of which claimed he sexually harassed women. He's also friends with Russian president Vladimir Putin, which...yeah. That about sums it all up.

Eddie Murphy

Ten years ago, Eddie Murphy came this close to winning an Oscar for Dreamgirls. Ten years later, the Academy is probably thankful it dodged a bullet. The reason: Murphy botched his long-awaited comeback by starring in a string of God-awful movies that may have driven the last nail in the coffin of a career that already desperately needed a comeback. Norbit? Meet Dave? A Thousand Words? It's no wonder he hasn't made a movie in four years.

Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler is sort of like the comedy version of Nicolas Cage. His last good movie (Punch-Drunk Love? Maybe?) was almost 15 years ago and he's been on auto-pilot ever since. Year after year, Sandler seems more interested in recycling his Billy Madison persona for a quick buck rather than attempting something unexpected or genuinely creative.

Even his four-picture deal with Netflix has turned out to be a bust. What initially seemed like a potentially inspired decision ended up giving audiences The Ridiculous 6 and The Do-Over. At this point, it's safe to assume the final two films in the deal will be even worse.

Johnny Depp

Arguably the last time anybody truly took Johnny Depp seriously on the big screen was in 2007's Sweeney Todd. Since then, he's completed his sad journey from critically beloved Hollywood outsider to one of the film industry's most overpaid stars. Don't believe us? Try sitting through The Lone Ranger.

How did such Depp's once-adventurous career plummet into such a rut? It's possible he's still coasting on the financial windfall from 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean, which made him an even bigger global superstar and earned him the first of his three Oscar nominations; how else can you explain why Hollywood is releasing a fifth Pirates movie next year?

Whatever the case, we hope Depp does a complete 180 soon. Because the only thing worse than The Lone Ranger is Mortdecai. And Transcendence. And...yeah. You get the idea.

John Travolta

John Travolta's last legitimately good movie might have been 1998's Primary Colors—maybe A General's Daughter if we're feeling kind. That was a long time ago. But then again, it sort of fits in with Travolta's career, which has been up and down since the '70s. Lest we forget: Pulp Fiction was considered a comeback performance in '94.

But Travolta's, uh, interesting celebrity persona may be affecting his rut, as well. He famously mispronounced Idina Menzel's name at the 2014 Oscars, which was still fresh on people's minds while watching his already-weird performance in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Maybe it's time to give Quentin Tarantino a call.

Gerard Butler

Has Gerard Butler ever actually made a good movie? Perhaps not. But he was still a pretty likable action star for awhile, enough to enliven movies like 300. Sadly, at the peak of his fame, Hollywood tried to turn Butler into a romantic lead, which only resulted in a bunch of bad movies and killed the career momentum he's still trying to regain today. Seriously, you're gonna put the dude from 300 in a movie with Jennifer Aniston?

Mike Myers

Mike Myers was a comedy-movie staple for years, thanks to his work in Wayne's World, Austin Powers and the Shrek franchise. And then he went and made The Love Guru. The movie was so hated by critics and audiences that Myers hasn't appeared on the big screen since. Sure, it's possible that he's just taking a break and counting his millions of dollars; he's reportedly worth $175 million. But let's be honest: if we made The Love Guru, we'd probably want to go into hiding too.

Mel Gibson

At one point, Mel Gibson had made so many consistent hits and won so many Oscars that he seemed destined to be ranked among all-time Hollywood legends like Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando and Al Pacino. But a couple of years after he hit paydirt with The Passion of the Christ, he went on an anti-Semitic tirade in front of police—just the first in a series of surprising public embarrassments that includes a messy split from his ex and a falling out with his stepmother. He's atoned with a handful of indie projects released to various degrees of critical acclaim, but his years as a box-office draw are probably over.