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Marvel Actors With The Most Rotten Movies Since The MCU Ranked

The Marvel Cinematic Universe boasts an impressive catalog of actors. With well over a dozen Oscar nominees and a handful of winners, the MCU's talent pool is rather remarkable. The powers-that-be at Marvel Studios also have an uncanny ability to hire new faces for their projects and subsequently launch them to superstardom — see Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston.

However, despite gaining notoriety because of the MCU, some of its actors have starred in some serious stinkers since joining the universe. This is the same for veteran actors and A-listers already popular before they began working with Marvel Studios. Sometimes an actor just picks a bad project, which is subsequently ripped to shreds on Rotten Tomatoes — and some of these actors pick quite a few.

We went through the Rotten Tomatoes scores of over 80 of the MCU's most significant actors to check out how many "rotten" movies they've starred in since their Marvel debut. Now, it might seem like those who joined way back in Phase 1 would have the most "rotten" flicks just because they've had more time to accrue crappy movies — but that's not the case at all. Case in point: OG Avengers Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, and Jeremy Renner weren't even close to landing on this list. While you will find some Phase 1 heavy hitters on here, there are plenty who didn't join the MCU until Phase 2. Some of those who did make it — hello, Oscar winners — will definitely surprise you.

14. Chris Hemsworth (7)

Okay, so we didn't promise an Avengers OG wasn't going to be on this list. If it were going to be one of the Avengers, you'd have to assume it would be Chris Hemsworth. The Australian stunner only had three credits under his belt before landing the role of Thor in the titular 2011 film. But since then, Hemsworth has starred in seven "rotten" movies, according to the aggregator site. None of those films are MCU projects (nope, not even "Thor: The Dark World"), leaving his work at Marvel Studios untarnished.

Hemsworth doesn't appear to be striving for critical acclaim in his film selections, so it's not too surprising he's racked up some duds. His list of "rotten" films includes "Snow White and the Huntsman" (49%), "Red Dawn" (15%), "Blackhat" (32%), "Vacation" (27%), "In the Heart of the Sea" (42%), "The Huntsman: Winter's War" (20%), and "Men in Black: International" (23%). There are zero surprises on that list, with "Red Dawn" being his worst of all time so far.

Since joining the MCU, Hemsworth's highest-rated film outside of it is "The Cabin in the Woods," with an impressive 92% rating. His two all-time highest are tied at 94%, being "Avengers: Endgame" and "Star Trek," which was his first credit ever two years before Marvel Studios came calling.

13. Sebastian Stan (7)

Sebastian Stan is another actor who is always involved with multiple projects, so it's not totally shocking to see him wind up here. Since joining the MCU as Bucky Barnes in 2011's "Captain America: The First Avenger," Stan has appeared in over 20 films. Those unfortunate enough to land on Rotten Tomatoes' bad side were "Gone" (12%), "The Apparition" (3%), "The Bronze" (36%), "I'm Not Here" (38%), "Endings, Beginnings" (45%), "Monday" (49%), and "The 355" (24%). The good news here is that Stan is batting well over .500 with nine movies outside the MCU that are rated "fresh" — five of which are "certified fresh." Not too shabby.

Before joining the MCU, Stan had four other "rotten" movies to his name while he was getting his feet wet in cinema. Despite all of his "rotten" movies being extremely rotten (yikes to that 3% rating of "The Apparition"), Stan finds himself in critically acclaimed films. Since joining the MCU, the actor has appeared in two Oscar-nominated films ("I, Tonya" and "The Martian") but has not yet received his own nod.

12. Clark Gregg (7)

If you haven't kept up with MCU sweetheart Clark Gregg outside of his superhero films and television work, you're probably unaware of his large catalog of movies. When we first met the mild-mannered S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson in "Iron Man," Gregg already had 19 film credits to his name. After joining the MCU, he starred in nine films outside of it, but critics were not kind to them. Gregg's "rotten" movies, which debuted after "Iron Man," include "Mr. Popper's Penguins" (47%), "The To Do List" (56%), "Brightest Star" (13%), "Labor Day" (35%), "Trust Me" (52%), "Very Good Girls" (19%), and "Spinning Man" (42%).

They might not be the most well-known movies around, but Gregg is working hard without those steady Marvel Studios checks coming in. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the actor has landed some roles in highly-praised and popular films like "Being the Ricardos," "(500) Days of Summer," and "Much Ado About Nothing."

11. Jon Favreau (8)

The very first MCU director, unfortunately, finds himself on this list. Jon Favreau not only directed "Iron Man" but starred in it as well. He is also the only actor in this group to have two movies with a 0% rating after joining the MCU — he won't be the last on this list with a goose egg, however. His eight total "rotten" films include "Four Christmases" (25%), "G-Force" (22%), "Couples Retreat" (10%), Brother's Justice (0%), "Zookeeper" (14%), "People Like Us" (53%), "Identity Thief" (19%), and "Term Life" (0%).

Most of Favreau's "certified fresh" films are MCU projects, with a select few outside of it like "The Wolf of Wall Street" (79%) and "Chef" (84%). Favreau's also had some "rotten" films which he helmed but didn't star in, including "Cowboys and Aliens" (44%) and "The Lion King" (52%). There may not be many more "rotten" movies coming his way acting-wise, as Favreau seems to mostly be focused on directing and producing films these days rather than starring in them.

10. Idris Elba (8)

Let's move on to another actor who joined the MCU in "Thor" —  this will become an unfortunate trend here. Idris Elba already had a solid footing in the acting world before the 2011 film, appearing in hits like "RocknRolla" and "American Gangster," to name a few. After entering the universe, it seemed like the actor couldn't be stopped when it came to taking roles. We might have mentioned Sebastian Stan staying busy, but Elba puts his Marvel Studios colleague to shame. Since 2011, he has appeared in (or voiced a character) in a whopping 27 films. With such a big total, there's bound to be some "rotten" scores in the bunch — and boy are there.

Elba's list of stinkers since joining the MCU are "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" (18%), "No Good Deed" (12%), "The Gunman" (16%), "Bastille Day" (48%), "A Hundred Streets" (41%), "The Dark Tower" (15%), "The Mountain Between Us" (39%) and "Cats" (19%). While his "rotten" films have some pretty awful scores, Elba still has some 90%-and-up scores to celebrate since joining the MCU. Just a select few include "The Suicide Squad," "Finding Dory," and "Beasts of No Nation."

9. Bobby Cannavale (9)

We've come to our first Phase 2 player, and he's from a film that came at the tail end of it. Bobby Cannavale starred as Jim Paxton in 2015's "Ant-Man." The soon-to-be stepfather of Scott Lang's (Paul Rudd) daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson), Jim was just a thorn in our hero's side. After the origin film, Cannavale did a lot of work in comedies, many of which were not appreciated by critics. With a staggering nine "rotten" movies to his name outside of the MCU, the actor isn't on the greatest of streaks. Six films are marked as "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes, two of which are animated films.

Those on Cannavale's "rotten" list are "Daddy's Home" (30%), "The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature" (14%), "Boundaries" (49%), "The Jesus Rolls" (20%), "Superintelligence" (31%), "Seriously Red" (43%), "Thunder Force" (21%), "Jolt" (40%), and "This is the Night" (14%). Despite landing in some seriously bad films since joining the MCU, Cannavale has appeared in some "certified fresh" ones as well, including "I, Tonya" (90%) and "The Irishman" (95%).

8. Jeff Bridges (9)

It's time to introduce our first Oscar winner to the mix. Jeff Bridges is a one-off MCU star but appeared in its very first film. Playing Obadiah Stane in the original "Iron Man," Bridges was two years from nabbing his Oscar for "Crazy Heart" but already had four nominations under his belt. While Bridges' last several films have high scores on Rotten Tomatoes — "Only the Brave" (87%), "Bad Times at the El Royale" (74%) — those just after "Iron Man" didn't fare so well.

Bridges' nine "rotten" films since his turn in the MCU are "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People" (36%), "The Open Road" (29%), "The Men Who Stare at Goats" (51%), "Tron: Legacy" (51%), "R.I.P.D." (12%), "The Giver" (35%), "Seventh Son" (12%), "The Only Living Boy in New York" (33%), and "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" (50%). Spread out in between all that nonsense are some truly remarkable films, including the aforementioned "Crazy Heart," as well as "Hell or High Water" and "True Grit." Bridges certainly knows how to pick a loser and a winner.

7. Djimon Hounsou (9)

Another actor who joined the MCU family in Phase 2 is the extremely talented Djimon Hounsou. The actor already had quite the catalog of films before starring as Korath in "Guardians of the Galaxy," with top-notch flicks like "Gladiator," "Amistad," "In America," and "Blood Diamond" on his resume. After joining the MCU, however, Hounsou's movie choices veered more toward mainstream blockbusters, which can tend to divide critics.

Hounsou has nine "rotten" films to his name since starring in "Guardians of the Galaxy." These include "Seventh Son" (12%), "The Vatican Tapes" (20%), "Air" (17%) "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" (31%), "The Legend of Tarzan" (35%), "Same Kind of Different As Me" (40%), "Serenity" (21%), "Charlie's Angels" (52%) and "The King's Man" (41%). The latter three films also came after Hounsou joined the DCEU, where he plays two different characters — King Ricou in "Aquaman" and the Wizard in "Shazam!"

6. Anthony Hopkins (10)

Speaking of Oscar winners – and very recent Oscar winners for that matter — may we introduce Anthony Hopkins to the ranks. The Phase 1 legend entered the MCU in 2011's "Thor" as Odin and appeared in both its sequels. Outside of those films, Hopkins has appeared in 16 films since joining the Marvel canon. Out of those 16, Hopkins has 10 movies rated "rotten." The lengthy list includes "360" (20%), "Red 2" (44%), "Kidnapping Mr. Heineken" (19%), "Go With Me" (20%), "Solace" (26%), "Misconduct" (7%), "Collide" (24%), "Transformers: The Last Knight" (15%), "Elyse" (43%), and "The Virtuoso" (19%).

Judging by those ratings, it looks like when Hopkins goes bad, he goes really bad. Those are some of the lowest numbers you'll see on this list when it comes to an actor's collective total of "rotten" film scores. That doesn't mean there weren't critically acclaimed films in between. Hopkins won a Best Actor Oscar in 2020 for "The Father," his second after taking home the gold statue for "The Silence of the Lambs" in 1992. It should also be noted that Hopkins was in a film rated 100%, a feat not often achieved by any actor. That honor goes to 2015's "The Dresser," which also starred Ian McKellen and Vanessa Kirby.

5. Dave Bautista (11)

Another Phase 2 cast member comes in the colossal form of Dave Bautista. After some truly horrible film choices prior to landing in the MCU, Bautista solidified himself as an actor to be taken seriously thanks to "Guardians of the Galaxy." The film marked his first "certified fresh" flick ever with an impressive 92%, but it wouldn't prevent him from appearing in critically panned films afterwards.

Since joining the MCU, Bautista has appeared in 11 "rotten" films. These include "L.A. Slasher" (0%), "Heist" (29%), "Marauders" (29%), "Kickboxer: Vengeance" (41%), "The Warrior's Gate" (50%), "Bushwick" (48%), "Hotel Artemis" (58%), "Escape Plan 2: Hades" (8%), "Escape Plan: The Extractors (25%), "Stuber" (42%), and "My Spy" (49%). Bautista is another member of the 0% club, but he's definitely in good company. Among all the "rotten" scores are some better films like "Dune," "Army of the Dead," and "Spectre," so we know it's not just Marvel that brings out the best in the former pro-wrestler.

4. Anthony Mackie (11)

When Anthony Mackie signed on to play Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," who knew he would own the shield one day? Who also knew that after joining the MCU, the actor would go on to star in 11 "rotten" movies? With 17 films outside of Marvel Studios, it's not the best average we've seen on the list. Mackie's bombs include "Black or White" (38%), "Playing it Cool" (14%), "Shelter" (46%), "Our Brand is Crisis" (37%), "Love the Coopers" (18%), "Triple 9" (54%), "Miss Bala" (21%), "Point Blank" (40%), "Seberg" (36%), "Outside the Wire" (37%), and "The Woman in the Window" (25%).

Mackie is another MCU star who keeps a lot on his plate at one time and also has balanced several television shows like "Altered Carbon" and "Black Mirror." It's no surprise he has such a large group of "rotten" movies on his resume as he's constantly taking on new projects. Don't let them distract you from some of his biggest hits of the last decade, though. Mackie boasts movies with impressive "certified fresh" ratings like "The Hate U Give," "Detroit," and "All the Way."

3. Michael Pena (11)

Luis might be one of the most lovable secondary characters in the MCU, thanks to a magnificent portrayal by Michael Peña. "Ant-Man" might have an impressive 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but that's not the trend with many Peña films. Since joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2015, the actor has been in 11 "rotten" movies (he was also in 13 before it). Those films include "The Vatican Tapes" (20%), "Collateral Beauty" (13%), "CHIPS" (19%), "The Lego Ninjago Movie" (19%), "My Little Pony: The Movie" (56%), "A Wrinkle in Time" (47%), "Extinction" (32%), "Jexi" (19%), "Fantasy Island" (8%), "Tom and Jerry" (31%), and "Moonfall" (38%).

With 11 out of 17 films rated "rotten," it hasn't been the best streak for Peña since hopping aboard the MCU express. It's rather surprising since he's certainly a great actor, proven in films like "The Martain," "Crash," and "Fury," to name a few. Currently on a four-movie streak of duds, however, we're hoping for another "certified fresh" flick in the very near future.

2. Terrence Howard (12)

Terrence Howard is a distant MCU memory, with his only appearance as James Rhodes/War Machine in the original "Iron Man." After being fired from "Iron Man 2," Howard was replaced with Don Cheadle, who has played the role ever since. Unfortunately for the original Rhodey, his movie selections after departing the MCU were less than stellar. Howard has 12 "rotten" films to his name since appearing in "Iron Man," a few of which include former mentions on this very list.

Howard's 12 clunkers are "Fighting" (39%), "The Ledge" (14%), "Winnie" (19%), "Red Tails" (40%), "The Company You Keep" (54%), "Movie 43" (4%), "Dead Man Down" (41%), "Lullaby" (30%), "Term Life (0%), "Cardboard Boxer" (38%), "Gully" (26%), and "Triumph" (40%). As with the rest of the talents here, Howard also has some films on his resume that received high praise. We cannot forget his work in "Prisoners" alongside fellow Marvel legend Hugh Jackman, and the "certified fresh" film "St. Vincent."

1. Samuel L. Jackson (25)

As if anyone else was going to land in the number one spot. Sure, there are busybodies like Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, but does anyone really hold a candle to Samuel L. Jackson? The man is a legend for the sheer amount of films he's been in and currently holds the record for the highest earner at the domestic box office (via The Numbers). He joined the MCU in "Iron Man," making an appearance in its post-credits scene to foreshadow "The Avengers."

Since his MCU debut, Jackson has appeared in a whopping 25 "rotten" films. The first seven just after "Iron Man" were all reviewed poorly, including "Jumper" (15%), "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" (18%), "Lakeview Terrace" (44%), "Soul Men" (45%), "The Spirit" (14%), "Gospel Hill" (33%), and "Astro Boy" (50%). Thankfully he had a streak of 10 "fresh" movies just after, but it wasn't long before the panned projects set in. Other "rotten" movies after Jackson joined the MCU include "Meeting Evil" (22%), "The Samaritan" (26%), "Zambezia" (25%), "Oldboy" (39%), "Reasonable Doubt" (22%), "RoboCop" (48%), "Kite" (0%), "Barely Lethal" (26%), "The Legend of Tarzan" (35%), "Cell" (11%), "xXx: Return of Xander Cage" (45%), "The Hitman's Bodyguard" (44%), "Life Itself" (13%), "Glass" (36%), "Shaft" (34%), "Death to 2020" (40%), "Spiral: From the Book of Saw" (37%), and "The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard" (26%).

It simply doesn't matter when you're Samuel L. Jackson. When you have films like "Pulp Fiction," "Unbreakable," and "Do the Right Thing" to your name, you can make whatever movies you want — inside or outside of the MCU.