Even with the best actors and actresses all-star cast productions often fall into the habit of using the star factor to cover a loosely put together story line. We’re not saying that all well-casted films have fallen into this pattern, but to put high-profile actors in lackluster films, then present them as successful movies that will resonate with viewers is ridiculous.
Amazingly not all these movies were even complete flops. Some have still even received critical acclaim and were not too shabby at the box office, either. But most granted turned out to be major flops because they simply didn’t live up to the hype. Check out which star-studded films turned out to actually be, huge let-downs…
16. Valentine’s Day
Starring: Jennifer Garner, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Héctor Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Swift, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts, and Carter Jenkins.
While there are a few good chuckles here and there and it’s exciting to see so many famous faces all at once. It feels more like a messy collage of random, short scenes and storylines that hardly interconnect, or at times even make sense. And since there’s barely enough screen-time for the characters to show us what they’re made of, most of them come off as shallow and one-dimensional. It’s no wonder why this film only scored 18 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, despite its laundry-list of famous names attached to it.
15. The Monuments Men
George Clooney, who directed the film, and starred in it along with his pals, tried to turn it into a mainstream blockbuster hit. Which is not something that out well for it. Rather than sticking to the book it was based on (which details the history of the Momuments Men trying to track down and return art treasures that were stolen by Nazis), it was turned into more of a who’s who of Hollywood.
Brooke Corso said: “This is a movie that never quite realized what it was supposed to be doing. Its humorous scenes almost seemed guilty, as if they should have been more serious. The more intense scenes were either cut off too early, poorly placed in the plot structure or weakened in tone by the narration. Such indecision of tone, irregular pacing and uneven chemistry detracted from the very focus of the story: the art itself.”
14. Gangster Squad
With such a phenomenal line up of cast and a genre that we all know and love, we thought we were in for something really special. In the end however it was a movie full of short scenes strung together with not much substance at all. A Rotten Tomatoes‘ Critics Consensus reads: “Though it’s stylish and features a talented cast, Gangster Squad suffers from lackluster writing, underdeveloped characters, and an excessive amount of violence.” We couldn’t agree more, especially since some of the dialogue was downright painful to watch. And the saddest part is that this film had so much potential.
13. Rock of Ages
This movie is a messy one. It seems like the director has been hasty or that actors did not care enough. In any case it is up to the director to get the vision that they want, and this movie just doesn’t stack up. And it’s not for a lack on talent either. The characters are kind of shallow, the love story is more than corny, and the musical numbers were sometimes awkward to watch. Then there’s the weird casting of Tom Cruise (Tom Cruise, of all people!) to portray a famous rock musician, yeah, not believing it. Some might say that the soundtrack makes up for these shortcomings, but to be honest, if this weren’t a musical, we’re not sure anyone would’ve had the incentive to watch this in the first place.
12. Machete Kills
Starring: Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Tom Savini, Billy Blair, Electra and Elise Avellan, Felix Sabates, Jessica Alba, Mel Gibson, Demián Bichir, Amber Heard, Sofía Vergara, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr., Vanessa Hudgens, Alexa Vega, William Sadler, Marko Zaror, and Charlie Sheen.
We don’t really know where they were going with this one, or why the ensemble cast. The first movie was not very successful in any case, yet compared to the sequel it was a blazing success. It just shows you can bring all of the King’s horsemen but you can’t make them fight. While it was packed with action and explosions, the quality of it overall was just really not good at all. The dialogue was poor and, in the words of movie critic James Berardinelli, the movie “plays like a joke that’s been told a few times too often.”
11. Ocean’s Twelve
This one is not altogether that bad and there are definitely good moments. But sometimes you can just get too much of a good thing and after Ocean’s Eleven (which was pretty good) we found this one of be unimpressive. It’s what happens when the creators are looking to cash in on a sequel rather than come out with an impressive story. Movie critic David Ansen said: “Unfortunately, there’s so much going on in Steven Soderbergh’s sequel… that everyone gets short shrift. Ocean’s Twelve is busier, messier and thinner than its predecessor, and while it looks like the cast is having a blast and a half, the studied hipness can get so pleased with itself it borders on the smug.” Hopefully the same won’t be said for Ocean’s Eight… because that’s an all-start female cast that we can’t WAIT to see!
Starring: Harry Belafonte, Joy Bryant, Nick Cannon, Laurence Fishburne, Spencer Garrett, Helen Hunt, Anthony Hopkins, Ashton Kutcher, Shia LaBeouf, Lindsay Lohan, William H. Macy, Demi Moore, Martin Sheen, Christian Slater, Sharon Stone, Freddy Rodriguez, Heather Graham, Elijah Wood and Emilio Estevez.
We were upset with this one because this tragic story could’ve been a massive hit. It was the story of the assassination U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, a key point in American history. It’s good that Emilio Estevez tried to portray how much of an impact this tragedy had on everyone, however overall it was mediocre drama that constantly repeated details the audience already knew. Rotten Tomatoes‘ Critics Consensus reads: “Despite best intentions from director Emilio Estevez and his ensemble cast, they succumb to a script filled with pointless subplots and awkward moments working too hard to parallel contemporary times.”
9. The Big Wedding
With a total of four Academy Award-winning actors starring in this movie, it still ended up with a rating of just eight percent as per Rotten Tomatoes. Yet with flat humor and very flimsy story line, it’s incredible that so much talent would be wasted on it. Critic Trevor Johnston said: “It’s not the sheer predictability of the ensuing frolics that’s hardest to take, or even the dismal attempts at humor (cunnilingus, stiffies, hand-jobs: really?), but the sheer misery of watching actors you once respected demean themselves in such utterly worthless fodder.” Harsh!
8. The Love Guru
Not so good. Lots of gross and immature jokes that seem more fitting for a 10-year-old. What’s more there was a lot of backlash from Hindu groups because of its offensive portrayal of their religion and culture.
Connie Ogle mentioned in her review: “Everybody who pays to see this mess deserves a great big ‘I’m sorry.’ The Love Guru is insulting to anyone with a healthy sense of humor and the simple desire to laugh.”
7. Pearl Harbor
So often our historic events are twisted and turned until we forget why we bothered to watch this poor reenactment. The film that is about a historic and sad event for us, was turned into a cheesy romance instead. Movie critic David Germain said: “For all the 118 actors listed, the movie offers almost no sense of authentic humanity. The faces the filmmakers plaster on their characters are as flat and stereotyped as those on war-recruitment posters.”
6. Movie 43
Starring: Kristen Bell, Halle Berry, Gerard Butler, Leslie Bibb, Kate Bosworth, Josh Duhamel, Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Justin Long, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts and Kate Winslet.
Movie 43 was rife with messy editing and awful jokes. Words cannot explain how much of a disaster this movie turned out to be, despite is long list of A-list actors. Ben Sachs said: “Despite all the gross-out humor, the most offensive thing about this is the lazy filmmaking; every shot feels like a first take, and the haphazard editing precludes any comic timing. The cast is full of stars, a few of whom manage to eke some laughs out of the desperate material…everyone else looks as if he’s sleepwalking.”
5. Year One
With some of the best comedic actors we have, Year One didn’t impress. The jokes are not just flat, but some of them are so disgusting and kinda offensive. Rotten Tomatoes‘ Critics Consensus says: “Year One is a poorly executed, slapdash comedy in which the talent both in front of and behind the camera never seem to be on the same page.” Couldn’t agree more.
4. Vanilla Sky
This is an okay concept for a film if you like this kind of thing. But we won’t hold the idea over this movie.. Instead we’re just going to say it. This wasn’t Tom Cruise‘s best performance, and it was really hard to tolerate his self-absorbed character. This could’ve been a thrilling and thought-provoking film, but what we got instead was a depressing romantic drama.
The problem with these ensemble cast movies is that they try and pack so much into a very short time. This results in poor character depth, we never get to really understand any of the characters and there is little to no chemistry created at all. It’s movies like this that put all rom-coms to shame. There’s also the whole white-washing thing that really for the time that it was created, seriously disappointing.
2. Winter’s Tale
Book-adaptations often go wrong. Screen writers seldom stick to the plot and do not really understand what made the books so attractive. According to movie critic Sheila O’Malley, “the film version of Winter’s Tale probably won’t please anyone: neither fans of the book nor those who have never read it. It lacks visual splendor (except for one or two scenes). It lacks emotional depth. It lacks scope and magic.” With a 13% score on Rotten Tomatoes, there’s no question that this was a massive failure – it made millions less than half of its budget back in the box office…
1. American Hustle
For us this one of mixed because there is a lot going on here. For one it is covering a historic event and doing so in a way to tell the story and create comedy. Jennifer Lawrence’s performance was excellent although she rarely featured in the film at all. In the end it seemed like more emphasis was put on the film’s aesthetics, rather than the complexity or relatability of the characters. In his review of the film, writer Kyle Smith explained: “American Hustle is a movie that was built backward, or inside out: It puts actors’ needs before the audience’s. There’s no heart under those polyester lapels, and what all that Aqua Net is pasting together is a few sparse strands of wispy story.”
We’ll admit that on several occasions, we’ve fallen into the trap of assuming that a stellar cast will automatically lead to an equally stellar film. It made perfect sense, because why else would a filmmaker bring together the most talented A-Listers, right? But to our dismay, a lot of these projects have fallen drastically short, proving that good casting and a film’s quality really can be mutually exclusive. And you want to know the most annoying part? It feels like producers have made a practice out of using the most famous names as a cover-up for their dull, cheesy, and often predictable storylines.