The 10 Worst Performances by Oscar Winning Actors

5. Tommy Lee Jones – Batman Forever


Back in 1993 (when Leo was nominated for his first Oscar) Tommy Lee Jones won Best Supporting Actor for The Fugitive. Since then he has had a string of roles usually playing the smart ass, know-it-all man in the room. To this date he has a total of four Oscar nominations, so what made him decide to give the worst performance of his career as Two Face in Batman Forever?

Batman must take on Two Face and the Riddler in Batman Forever. Jones could have played the role of Two Face as dark and sinister (like Heath Ledger did with the Joker in The Dark Knight), but instead Two Face comes off as a cheap clown with an almost cartoonish quality, actually jumping up and down with each little triumph.

It is hard to see him as a threatening figure with him whining all the time when he doesn’t get his way and screaming things like, “Why can’t you just die?!” Jones’ performance is so exaggerated it actually makes Jim Carry’s take on the Riddler look subtle.


4. Sandra Bullock – All About Steve

Sandra Bullock - All About Steve

The same year Sandra Bullock won her Oscar for The Blind Side, she also won a Razzie for her performance in All About Steve. Bullock has mastered the romantic comedy with films like Miss Congeniality, Two Weeks Notice, and While You Were Sleeping, but she doesn’t quite make it work with All About Steve.

Bullock plays Marry Horowitz, a woman who falls for a cameraman, so she stalks him across the country. Bullock brought the charm in her previous works, but here she just brings pity. It is one embarrassing situation after the other with her constantly blabbering on and slapstick gags that do not work.

All her jokes and strange comments fall flat and her scenes with Bradley Cooper are the worst. Both are fine actors, but they cannot play off each other in this movie. Waving her arms all over the place and grinning uncontrollably, it’s Bullocks’ worst performance of her career. “First priority occupation. Second priority fornication,” she laughs. Ugh!


3. Nicolas Cage – The Wicker Man

cage wicker man

In the late eights and early nineties, Nicolas Cage had string of decent movies with good parts, which included Raising Arizona, Moonstruck, and Firebirds. And in 1995 he took home gold for playing a destructive drunk in Leaving Las Vegas. However, around 2005, Cage decided to begin starring in every film he could and one of the these was the remake of a 1970s cult classic.

In The Wicker Man, Cage plays Edward Malus, a trouble cop who investigates the vanishing of a little girl on an island where the women are in charge and the men are used for “breeding stock”. Cage seems bored and confused for most of the movie, barely cracking a smile or any other form of emotion.

However when he does get angry, he gets very angry. “How did it get burned?” and “Not the bees!” he shouts. The memorable ending which was presented so well in the original, feels weak in the remake with Cage screaming at the top of his lungs. It makes one cringe.


2. Halle Barry – Catwoman

Catwoman (2004)

Halle Barry won Best Actress in 2001 for her amazing performance in Monster’s Ball. What’s even more amazing is she became the first African American to win Best Actress. Everyone remembers her acceptance speech and how much she cried onstage. It was one for the history books. Then she made the career move every actor/actress seems to make after they win an Oscar: star in an action movie.

Patience Phillips is a nervous, clumsy, shy woman, who after a near death experience becomes Catwoman, a woman with excellent reflexes and cat senses. Berry is in fact adorable as the shy girl, though it’s hard to believe someone as beautiful as her ever had so much trouble being liked. Once she is given her cat powers though, her performance becomes very silly. With big eyes and open mouth she twitches and cocks her head at every little insect that crosses her path.

The story has her switching in and out between shy and bold personalities and it simply does not work. Halley Berry can play a great bad ass, but with the terrible dialogue she is given and her constant purring, it proves embarrassing to watch.


1. Nicolas Cage – Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance

Nicolas Cage - Ghost Rider 2 Spirit of Vengeance

Ghost Rider was not a great film and Nicolas Cage did not receive any praise for his performance as Johnny Blaze. However, the film did reasonably well at the box office and the studio green lit Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance. As a result, Nicolas Cage turned out an even worse performance than he did with the prequel.

Johnny Blaze must protect a child the devil wants to consume, while at the same time battle the soul of the Rider within. As Blaze, Cage snarls at his enemies with a look that is meant to be menacing, but in the long run looks ridiculous.

Even with all the heavy breathing and baring of teeth, one cannot take him seriously as the host of a demon. His lip trembles as he bellows, “This thing has no reason, no conscience. Just hunger!” Cage looks like a coked out lunatic as he tries to keep The Rider from coming out. “He’s scraping at the door!” he screams in a high pitched whine. One cannot help but laugh.

Author Bio: Born and bred in Portland, Oregon, Rollyn Stafford loves the city of roses and hopes to continue acting and directing films there in the future. He has appeared in numerous films such as Victoria’s Exorcism, Romance, and Poison, as well as appearing on NBC’s GRIMM. Besides directing short films, Mr. Stafford teaches chess and computer coding to after school kids.