The worst movies that the 2024 Oscar nominees have been in, according to critics

The worst movies that the 2024 Oscar nominees have been in, according to critics
  • The nominees for the 2024 Academy Awards were announced on January 23.

  • Getting nominated is a career-high — but not every movie can be Oscar-worthy.

  • These are the worst movies 20 of this year's acting nominees have been in, according to critics.

The entertainment industry is full of highs and lows, peaks and valleys, as these actors all know. While they were nominated for Academy Awards in January 2024 for their exceptional acting, not every movie they've been in is worthy of an Oscar.

These are the worst movies that the 20 acting nominees from this year have starred in during their careers, according to critics.

Cillian Murphy — "Aloft" (2014)

cillian murphy aloft
"Aloft."Sony Pictures Classics

Rotten Tomatoes score: 16%

In "Aloft," Murphy plays Ivan, a falcon breeder who is dealing with trauma from his mother abandoning him as a child.

Lindsey Behr from the Associated Press called the film "a beautiful, leaden slog."

Lily Gladstone — "The Last Manhunt" (2022)

lily gladstone in the last manhunt
"The Last Manhunt."Saban Films

Rotten Tomatoes score: 18%

"The Last Manhunt" is based on the true story of Willie and Carlota, two Native Americans, who are forced to go on the run into the desert after a fight leaves Carlota's father, William, dead. Gladstone plays a character named Maria, William's widow.

"Fundamentally, the issue with 'The Last Manhunt' is that it's not artsy enough to be much more than a basic posse movie, but it's not exciting enough to just do that well," wrote Luke Y. Thompson of the AV Club.

Bradley Cooper — "Brother's Justice" (2010)

brother's justice bradley cooper
"Brother's Justice."Tribeca Film; American Express of a Primate

Rotten Tomatoes score: 0%

"Brother's Justice" has a rare 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. It's a mockumentary about Dax Shepard trying to switch from a comedic actor to a martial arts star, à la Chuck Norris. Cooper plays himself.

Eric Hynes from Time Out wrote that the film "reeks of a throwaway joke that should have been left to die."

Carey Mulligan — "The Great Gatsby" (2013)

the great gatsby
"The Great Gatsby."Warner Bros. Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 48%

Mulligan starred in the 2013 "Great Gatsby" adaptation as Daisy, the object of Jay Gatsby's affection, and a "beautiful little fool."

"The Great Gatsby" is "a headache-inducing mishmash of waving curtains, hyperactive fades, aggressive zooms," according to Flavorwire's Jason Bailey.

Jeffrey Wright — "Faithful" (1996)

Jeffrey Wright during David Bowie's 50th Birthday Celebration Concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, United States
Jeffrey Wright in 1997.Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Rotten Tomatoes score: 6%

"Faithful" stars Cher as Maggie, a woman whose husband, Jack, hires a hitman, Tony, to kill her — instead, Tony begins falling for Maggie.

Wright has a small part as an unnamed man at a bar.

Roger Ebert wrote, "'Faithful' is the kind of movie that's diverting while you're watching it, mostly because of the actors' appeal, but it evaporates the moment it's over, because it's not really about anything."

Emma Stone — "Movie 43" (2013)

movie 43 emma stone
"Movie 43."Relativity Media

Rotten Tomatoes score: 4%

"Movie 43" is an anthology comedy film that has 14 different mini-chapters. Stone stars in a segment titled "Veronica," as the titular character Veronica. She co-stars with Kieran Culkin as a couple of exes whose conversation is accidentally broadcast over an intercom at a grocery store.

"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," wrote the Chicago Reader's Ben Sachs.

Colman Domingo — "Lucy in the Sky" (2019)

colman domingo lucy in the sky
"Lucy in the Sky."Fox Searchlight Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 21%

Domingo plays Frank Paxton in "Lucy in the Sky," which is primarily the story of astronaut Lucy Cola (Natalie Portman), who is dealing with mental health struggles after returning home from space.

Douglas Greenwood for NME called the film "a hapless story of an astronaut losing herself as she returns back to Earth."

Annette Bening — "Life Itself" (2018) and "The Women" (2008)

life itself and the women
"Life Itself" and "The Women."Amazon Studios; Warner Bros. Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes scores: 13%

Bening has two films that are tied for 13% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The most recent movie is "Life Itself," a multi-generational story of trauma, loss, and love. Bening has a small role as the therapist of Oscar Isaac's character, Will.

"The attempt by 'Life Itself' to pretend it's anything other than another piece of 'Nice men have feelings too, love us for being so nice!' propaganda is just exhausting," wrote Roxana Hadadi for Pajiba.

The other lowest-rated film, "The Women," is a remake of the 1939 film of the same name, which was in turn based on a 1936 play. It's about a group of female friends who deal with infidelity, motherhood, the workplace, and more.

"You go, girls. Preferably as far away as possible," wrote Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams of "The Women."

Paul Giamatti — Pretty Bird (2008)

pretty bird
"Pretty Bird."Sound Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 20%

"Pretty Bird" stars Giamatti, Billy Crudup, and David Hornsby as three friends who team up to market and sell a rocket-powered belt, even though almost no one believes in them.

Variety's Robert Koehler called the film "an overly calculated cautionary tale."

Sandra Hüller — "Sibyl" (2019)

sandra huller sibyl
"Sibyl."Le Pacte; Telescope

Rotten Tomatoes score: 57%

Coincidentally, Hüller's worst-reviewed film was directed by Justine Triet, who also directed her Oscar-nominated performance in "Anatomy of a Fall."

In "Sibyl," a therapist (named Sibyl) becomes too involved in the life of one of her patients, an unstable actor named Margot. Hüller plays a character named Mika, a director who works with Margot.

"A mess 'Sibyl' is, although at times it is a glorious one," wrote Josh Kupecki for the Austin Chronicle.

Robert Downey Jr. — "Johnny Be Good" (1988)

robert downey jr johnny be good
"Johnny Be Good."Orion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 0%

Downey and Anthony Michael Hall star in this '80s comedy as two best friends dealing with the typical woes of high school seniors — except Johnny (Hall) has the chance to be one of the best college football players ever. Downey plays his best friend, Leo.

"'Johnny Be Good,' a would-be satire on the excesses of big-time college football recruiting, is so bad that the NCAA might consider using it as punishment for coaches who violate regulations," wrote Michael Wilmington for the Los Angeles Times.

Da'Vine Joy Randolph — "Office Christmas Party" (2016)

davine joy randolph Office Christmas Party
"Office Christmas Party."Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 40%

Randolph has a small role as Carla, the security guard, in "Office Christmas Party." The film stars Jason Bateman as the Chief Technology Officer of a large company that is in the midst of financial problems. To increase morale, the company's head, Clay (TJ Miller), decides to throw a giant holiday party.

Vox's Alissa Wilkinson wrote, "'Office Christmas Party' is about going too far in order to close a deal, but the movie, curiously, still plays it way too safe."

Ryan Gosling — "Stay" (2005)

ryan gosling stay
"Stay."20th Century Fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 26%

Gosling stars as troubled college student Henry in the mind-bending thriller "Stay." In the film, Henry is a troubled teenager who confides in his therapist that he can sometimes see the future, but reality is not what it seems.

"Mr. Gosling," wrote The New York Times's Manohla Dargis, "like his fans, deserves better."

Danielle Brooks — "The Angry Birds Movie" (2016)

Actress Danielle Brooks attends the opening night of "Daphne's Dive" at Signature Theatre Company's Pershing Square Signature Center on May 15, 2016
Danielle Brooks in May 2016.Noam Galai/WireImage/Getty Images

Rotten Tomatoes score: 44%

Brooks has a dual voice role in "The Angry Birds" movie as Monica, a crossing guard bird, and Olive, a mother of the Bluebirds Jay, Jake, and Jim.

"'Angry Birds' could be gonzo; instead, it's just kinda... there," wrote Emily St. James for Vox.

Robert De Niro — "Godsend" (2004) and "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" (2004)

godsend and the Bridge of San Luis Rey
"Godsend" and "The Bridge of San Luis Rey."Lions Gate Films; Metropolitan Filmexport

Rotten Tomatoes score: 4%

De Niro is another actor with two films tied at the bottom, both released in 2004.

"Godsend" is a horror film starring De Niro, Greg Kinnear, Rebecca Romijn, and Cameron Bright. In the movie, Paul (Kinnear) and Jessie (Romijn) are mourning the death of their son Adam (Bright) when a doctor (De Niro) offers to clone Adam and essentially bring him back to life. However, things quickly get dark.

"It's mangled into an Omen-lite disaster area, thanks to a script torn between making a moral point about cloning and cheap shocks," wrote Mark Dinning of "Godsend" for Empire.

The other film is "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" in which De Niro plays the Archbishop of Lima, Peru. During the movie, a bridge collapses with five people on it. To understand why God would allow such a tragedy, a friar played by Gabriel Byrne interviews as many people who knew the five victims as possible.

"How bad could a movie be that features talent as serious as Robert De Niro, Kathy Bates, Gabriel Byrne, Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham, and Geraldine Chaplin? That bad, alas," wrote Stephen Holden of "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" for The New York Times.

Emily Blunt — "The Huntsman: Winter's War" (2016)

emily blunt huntsman winter's war
"The Huntsman: Winter's War."Universal Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 19%

"The Huntsman: Winter's War" is a sequel to "Snow White and the Huntsman" that somehow doesn't involve Snow White.

In the film, Blunt plays Queen Freya. After her daughter's death, Freya becomes an evil ice queen who forsakes all forms of love and rules over her kingdom with a cold heart.

"When people gripe about Hollywood's reliance on sequels and cheap franchise cash-ins, this is the kind of movie they mean: no Grimm's Fairy Tale, but a grim tale nonetheless," wrote David Sims for The Atlantic.

Mark Ruffalo — "All the King's Men" (2006)

all the king's men
"All the King's Men."Sony Pictures Releasing

Rotten Tomatoes score: 12%

"All the King's Men" is a political drama that tells the entire rise and fall of Willie Stark (Sean Penn), a once hopeful lawyer turned corrupt governor of Louisiana. Ruffalo has a small role as Adam, a doctor whose hospital is being used in a scam perpetrated by Stark.

"A Louisiana swamp of overacting and muddled plotlines sinks this cumbersome new version of Robert Penn Warren's political thriller," wrote Peter Bradshaw for The Guardian.

Jodie Foster — "Siesta" (1987)

"Siesta."Lorimar Motion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 14%

"Siesta" stars Ellen Barkin as a professional stuntwoman — essentially a female Evel Knievel. Before one of the biggest stunts of her career, she travels to Spain to say goodbye to one of her exes, played by Gabriel Byrne. Once there, she becomes absorbed back into his complicated world. That's where Jodie Foster, who plays Nancy, comes in.

"The film is finally overwhelmed by its own ambition, not to mention one too many gimmicks in its plot, but it goes down swinging," wrote Roger Ebert.

Sterling K. Brown — Spaceman (2016)

Actor Sterling K. Brown poses in the press room at the 22nd annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on December 11, 2016
Sterling K. Brown in 2016.Jason LaVeris/Getty Images

Rotten Tomatoes score: 0%

"Spaceman" is about the real-life baseball player Bill "Spaceman" Lee, known for his propensity for drugs and speaking his mind, no matter who it angered. Brown plays one of Lee's friends, Rodney.

April Wolfe of LA Weekly wrote that the film "whiffs on the sports, the action, the story, the dialogue, the acting, the cinematography, the production design, the costuming, the humor — all of it."

America Ferrera — "Towards Darkness" (2007)

america ferrera towards darkness
"Towards Darkness."Peace Arch Entertainment Group

Rotten Tomatoes score: 11%

"Towards Darkness" is about José, played by Roberto Urbino, who is kidnapped and held for ransom. His father, played by Tony Plana, will stop at anything to get his son back. Ferrera plays Luiza, José's girlfriend.

"That someone is kidnapped in Colombia every three hours is a startling statistic and one that offers many cinematic possibilities. But 'Towards Darkness,' which presents one particularly convoluted fictional case, fails to use any of them to advantage," wrote Laura Kern for The New York Times.

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