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The Worst Bruce Willis Movies According To Rotten Tomatoes

With a career that spans back to the early 1980s, Bruce Willis gets a lot of credit for important and memorable roles in movies like Die Hard and his charming run on the TV show Moonlighting. However, he's a rare acting commodity in that his name often brings a level of recognition and gravitas despite a wildly skewed ratio of success to failure. For every Pulp Fiction, there's a Hudson Hawk or Color of Night. In addition to a Golden Globe, Willis has two Razzies, further proving his ratio when it comes to filmmaking.

In other words, Willis has had a long and diverse career in show business. But even though he'll occasionally show up in a Looper or a Moonrise Kingdom, it seems that the longer he acts, the more and more he shows up in cinematic garbage. In fact, the man has quite a few bombs over on Rotten Tomatoes, from comedies starring A-listers to thrillers that no one has ever heard of. So today, we're digging through the bad reviews and stinky ratings to examine the worst Bruce Willis movies according to Rotten Tomatoes.

Fire with Fire lacks any sort of spark

Fire with Fire finds Bruce Willis as a supporting character who stays safely out of the action. But with its 7% critics' score on Rotten Tomatoes, the film feels particularly insulting as it has other big stars along for the ride ... none of whom seem to be trying their best.

This 2012 film sees Willis appear alongside Josh Duhamel, Vincent D'Onofrio, Rosario Dawson, and 50 Cent. However, the movie isn't remotely better for it. Produced by the rapper's company, it feels like a paint-by-numbers thriller designed by someone who has just enough interest and money to produce an action film without any real desire to elevate the genre.

Willis plays a detective after an Aryan crime boss (D'Onofrio) who threatens a firefighter (Duhamel) for testifying against him in a murder trial. The firefighter is placed in witness protection, only for his new life to be upended when — surprise, surprise — the crime boss gets loose. Fortunately, it turns out that the firefighter is also a secret action star who tracks down the crime boss and sets fire to the building he's in.

Willis' big moment comes when he pretends that he doesn't know the firefighter is responsible for all this mayhem. But sadly, everyone in Fire with Fire — including Willis himself — seems to be doing far less than they're capable of, despite the fact that they're all capable of so much more.

Rock the Kasbah shouldn't have focused on Bruce Willis

Unlike most of the films on this list, Rock the Kasbah doesn't advertise itself as a Bruce Willis movie. Instead, it's actually a Bill Murray comedy that's based on a true story, however loosely that might be. 

As for the plot, it follows a talent agent (Murray) who brings a client to Afghanistan for a USO tour, only to find to find himself with his pockets turned out and no one but a less-than-helpful mercenary (Willis) to listen to him vent. But while trying to get back home, he discovers a young Afghan woman (Leem Lubany) with a beautiful voice and immediately sees dollar signs, hoping to put her on Afghanistan's version of American Idol.

Unlike most films, the fact that this is based on a true story actually gets in the way. With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 7%, Rock the Kasbah was dinged by critics for focusing on Willis and Murray while being a true story about a woman overcoming the patriarchy with nothing but sheer talent. Sadly, the movie spends too much time on ham-fisted smarminess from its male leads, which might've been funny in a different context, but it seems downright cruel when placed against the backdrop of a war.

Despite its Rotten Tomatoes score, Extraction is kinda watchable

In 2015's Extraction, Willis delivers his lines in a style we'll call "dull monotone," the action scenes are predictable, and the plot itself does little beyond setting up a reason for bad guys to die. But even though it's been saddled with a 6% critics' score on Rotten Tomatoes, we have to give the film some props. Unlike other movies on this list that fail to achieve any level of campiness or laughable badness, Extraction knows exactly what it is.

For example, the film patches up Willis' apathetic performance by not bothering to waste time pretending he's there for anything but a cameo. The movie also knows its plot is light (a veteran CIA agent is kidnapped, forcing his son on a violent adventure to rescue his dad), and therefore, it doesn't spend a lot of time on setup before things start going boom. As The A.V. Club's Noel Murray put it, "Extraction's ... not, by any stretch of the imagination, 'good.' But at least it doesn't waste everybody's time."

Granted, this movie was never going to win any Oscars. But Extraction manages to save itself by remembering, through all its awfulness, that the minimum goal is to be watchable. While it's a low bar to hit, this Willis flick at least accomplishes that.

The Cold Light of Day features disappointing performances from Bruce Willis and Henry Cavill

Released in 2012, The Cold Light of Day suffers from a bad script and a bad performance from its lead, Henry Cavill. The film dropped just before the actor hit it big in 2013's Man of Steel, and you've got to wonder how he managed to get one of the most consequential roles of the decade based off this lackluster thriller.

Here, Willis plays Cavill's father, and the family goes on a boating adventure in Spain ... only for most of the clan to wind up kidnapped. This sets the father-son duo on a journey of battling assassins, chasing vague briefcases, and following a trail of twists and turns as they try to get their family back. But according to IndieWire's Drew Taylor, the movie suffers from Cavill's black hole of charisma that somehow dampens the likes of costar Sigourney Weaver. However, the issues go even further than that. 

The film is poorly written in a way that makes the audience hate the main characters from the get-go. Cavill and Willis' characters are driven by a desire to get their family back, but neither can convey that they actually like their families enough to risk life and limb for them. In fact, the movie doesn't even do a good job of establishing that they have the skills necessary to embark on this particular quest, so no wonder it "boasts" a 4% critics' score on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Whole Ten Yards isn't funny for even ten minutes

With its 4% critics' score on Rotten Tomatoes, this is the sequel to The Whole Nine Yards that no one asked for. Co-starring Matthew Perry, the franchise is essentially a practice in asking the question, "What if Chandler Bing got involved with mobsters?"

In the first movie, Willis plays an unstable former hitman who befriends his next-door neighbor, a neurotic dentist (Perry). In The Whole Ten Yards, Willis is struggling to live that retired life, meticulously cleaning his house and failing to excite his young, aspiring assassin wife (Amanda Peet). Things get even more complicated when a Mafia villain (Kevin Pollak) returns to make serious trouble.

The movie struggles to recapture the already improbable success of the first film, especially with Willis trying desperately to out-ham Perry. One of the film's biggest attempts at a laugh comes when the two get drunk, only to wake up the next morning in bed together. Did they have sex? Of course not. Does the movie make a lot of hay out of these two men worrying that they did? You betcha.

To his credit, Willis was still trying at this point in his career, but similar to Hudson Hawk, he was holding out hope that there's nothing funnier than a Jersey guy dunking on uptight nerds. Needless to say, Willis was wrong, and the end result is a movie that struggles to keep the audience invested for even one yard of its nonsense, let alone ten.

Vice is one of Bruce Willis' laziest movies

An exercise in biting the hand that feeds you, Vice sees Willis as the CEO of an adult theme park that allows its patrons to play out their wildest, most illegal, or violent fantasies in a safe environment populated by androids, ones with enough artificial intelligence to emote like humans when harmed. Picture Westworld, and your imagination will be exactly in the space it needs to be.

However, when a cop (Thomas Jane) gets it in his head that fake violence blurs real-life moral lines, Willis' CEO character becomes public enemy number one. Essentially, the plot of the movie is a not-so-subtle reference to violent movies and gaming culture, which it paints in an unflattering light. This is a bold move for Willis, who essentially lives and breathes in that exact space.

The problems don't end there. References to things like Westworld are far too easy to connect. Not all movies have to reinvent the wheel, especially low-budget sci-fi flicks, but that's not an excuse to simply not try. As critic Brian Tallerico put it, "Most people don't come to movies like Vice for complex visual storytelling, but that doesn't we mean we should excuse cheap sets, dull framing, and other signs of lazy filmmaking." No wonder the movie has a shocking critics' score of 4% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The actor phoned it in for 10 Minutes Gone

With a dismal 0% score on the Tomatometer, the 2019 mystery thriller 10 Minutes Gone is one of the worst movies that Bruce Willis has ever played in.

The star acts as a villain to Michael Chiklis' character, a bank robber whose latest job goes awry resulting in the death of his brother. Strangely, Chiklis wakes up in an alleyway with no recollection of how things went south. Willis plays violent crime boss named Lord Rex, who's uninterested in the memory loss and more interested in the loot he's owed.

In what's become a trademark of Willis' performance in his more recent years, critics dinged the actor for essentially phoning things in. He was lambasted for his choice of playing the crime lord as quiet and stoic, as it becomes clear as the film goes on that this "choice" is merely the apathy of a man who doesn't want to be on set. As Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter put it, "Wearing the same pained expression the actor adopts for most of these low-budget features, Willis seems to grimace through every scene only as long as necessary to collect a paycheck."

While you don't often find Willis in a villainous role, those who tuned in to 10 Minutes Gone learned quickly that, hero or villain, Willis was there physically and nothing more.

Bruce Willis tries too hard to be tough in Acts of Violence

A late addition to Willis' action resume, 2018's Acts of Violence – a film that has 0% on Rotten Tomatoes — sees the action star portray a detective who's on the trail of some human traffickers, only to be waylaid at every turn by police procedure and red tape. However, when the criminals kidnap the sister of three brothers with military training and a lot of time on their hands, Willis is able to nudge the vigilantes in the right direction to do what the law can't.

People's big complaint with Willis in this movie is that he simply doesn't get enough screen time. While he's not exactly billed as the star of the film, his incorporation in promotional materials rings a little hollow to those who actually watched the movie and discovered that he's just there to trick people into thinking it's one of his action romps. Instead, he's only onscreen for a little bit of time, and too much of it is spent convincing the audience that he is indeed a tough guy.

Perhaps Dennis Harvey of Variety put it best in his review, saying, "Willis' role is mostly a desk job. Still, he's given a couple of bookending, blatantly Dirty Harry moments to reassure us that [his character] is as badass as anyone here." But, come on, man. We know. You don't have to convince us.

Air Strike bombed hard on Rotten Tomatoes

Most of Willis' more recent films share a criticism that the actor's lethargic performances ultimately lead to poor reviews. While that's present in Air Strike, it's merely the tip of a very large, awful iceberg.

With its critics' score of 0%, Air Strike is an example of the actor hitching himself to the absolute wrong wagon. The film, which was reportedly one of the most expensive Chinese features ever shot, was marred by off-screen problems, delays, and a wide-ranging tax evasion scandal that led to the film's release getting canceled in China and significantly stripped down in the states.

The behind-the-scenes drama shows itself in the many cracks that appear in the finished product. The movie sees Willis playing a World War II colonel advising a group of Chinese pilots trying to fend off the Japanese invasion. However, due to title changes, runtime edits, and English-language dubbing, critics say the movie is so metaphorically propped up by duct tape and bubble gum that it's hard to see any nuance. Instead, it's just a ham-fisted ode to the Allied victory over the Japanese, and the story would be better served as a dramatic monologue about what historically happened rather than this dramatized, expensive mess.

While the movie's poor rating isn't necessarily Willis' fault, one has to take responsibility for the titles with their name on it. For other actors, this would be a rare misfire. For Willis, it's somewhat par for the course.

Hard Kill is a lousy thriller made quickly

A VOD action title with 0% on Rotten TomatoesHard Kill uses Bruce Willis as a springboard for a young group of would-be action stars hoping that a blessing from John McClane will set them on a similar road to stardom. 

It won't.

The movie sees Willis play an eccentric billionaire with a propensity for hiring mercenaries as personal protection. On one job, he's ambushed by an international terrorist (Sergio Rizzuto) who just so happens to have kidnapped his daughter (Lala Kent). The lady has developed an artificial intelligence MacGuffin that can either save the world or destroy it, and being a terrorist, the bad guy opts for the latter.

The movie marks Willis' third collaboration with director Matt Eskandari, and it's possible that the actor with one foot out the door has found his team. The entire movie screams of filmmakers whose paychecks are the carrot and creativity the stick. The Hollywood Reporter notes that the film was made in a measly ten days. While it's an impressive product for a less than two-week shoot, that doesn't make it a good movie.

Still, despite being a paint-by-numbers action flick, it proves that as recently as 2020, Willis is able to use his reputation as an action star to churn out quick-hit, B-movie thrillers that keep the lights on and the retirement cushy.

Precious Cargo has nothing valuable inside

Bruce Willis' involvement in 2016's Precious Cargo is about as perfunctory as it gets. Almost every review of the movie includes a joke insinuating that the actor showed up on set for two days, delivered his lines, and then walked off the set with as little gravitas as he brought to the role itself. No wonder it boasts a measly 0% on the Tomatometer.

As for the plot, Precious Cargo is really a vehicle for Claire Forlani and Mark-Paul Gosselaar. Forlani plays a thief who crosses Willis' crime boss character on a job that goes awry. As you might expect, Willis blames the person he hired for the job and tells her to pay the cost of the botched job ... while simultaneously trying to kill her. So, Forlani enlists the help of her ex-boyfriend (Gosselaar), and they manage to pull off a heist despite a handful of predictable twists getting in the way. For what it is, the movie has ambitions of being a wink to legendary action movies, as well as heist movies. Unfortunately, it stands on the shoulders of the wrong giants and adequately achieves neither genre.

The Prince is Bruce Willis' worst film on Rotten Tomatoes

With a shocking 0% critics' score and 23% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, The Prince sees Bruce Willis playing another crime boss. This time, he's out for revenge on a hitman (Jason Patric) who missed his shot and murdered Willis' wife, instead. When the hitman's daughter (Gia Mantegna) goes missing, Willis' character pulls every favor he has in the New Orleans underworld to prevent the hero's rescue mission. The film ends with a head-to-head battle between the hero and ... Willis' bodyguard (Rain).

Willis has long been capitalizing on a reputation as an action star without engaging in any action, and by the time this 2014 film came out, it was seriously starting to show. Here, he takes a back seat, walking out of frame during the film's climax so that actors who actually want to throw a stage punch can run through their video game-like moves before Willis quietly takes the stage again to deliver an apathetic ending monologue.

When someone like Sylvester Stallone appears in an action movie, he's old, but he's willing to live up to his reputation as a badass. Willis, on the other hand, seems content to appear and disappear with little regard to the genre or his continued merits within it.