The Most Overrated Actors In Hollywood

It's not that these actors are terrible. Watching their movies doesn't suck the existence out of our souls like sitting through an endless loop of John Travolta's Gotti while you're running out of popcorn and Diet Coke. It's quite the contrary. These actors are part of some of the most successful and highest-rated film franchises of all time — from Twilight to Mission: Impossible — and while they should be proud, they should absolutely remain on their toes.

Though sitcoms like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air can't be rated highly enough, that only goes so far for a star who's resting so comfortably on his laurels that that portrayal of Aladdin's genie seems acceptable. With a handful of People's sexiest men covers and tabloid drama between them, it's easy to overlook that a string of flops are indeed a string of flops. Fortunately, being an "It Girl" (or guy) is still the name of the game in the movie biz, so those big box office paychecks will continue rolling in regardless of whether or not they nab a couple culturally insensitive roles or find themselves in the top billing slot of a critical bomb. But that doesn't change the fact that these are the 

​Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson managed to carve a space for herself in Marvel's highly successful Avengers franchise, but there's no denying the girl aligns herself with some questionable projects.

By all accounts, 2008's The Other Boleyn Girl was so inexplicably self-serious that it couldn't help but spur a Saturday Night Live parody. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the general consensus is that the film "[felt] more like a soap opera than a historical drama" (i.e. an obvious punching bag for late-night TV). Then there was Her, the Spike Jonze critical darling that never actually showed Johansson's face. The film barely made back its reported $23 million production budget, and she played an operating system — an operating system. Later, Johansson transformed into a living mass of data in Lucy, another tech flick with mediocre ratings. Neither of these two films are enough to discredit Johansson's acting chops on their own, but 2017's Ghost in the Shell definitely made us question her judgement. The blonde, green-eyed actress faced a litany of angry thinkpieces when she adopted the Asian lead and found herself facing similar scrutiny in 2018 after being cast as a trans man in Rub & Tug (which she quit amid backlash).

If that didn't sell you on ScarJo for this list, the star also says things like: "Just because I'm the top-grossing actress of all time does not mean I'm the highest paid." Anyone have a tiny violin?

Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart is undeniably likeable. The actress has had enough public scandal to make us at least sympathize. Plus, it's not entirely her fault that the character that catapulted her into worldwide fame was based on a book so wildly problematic that Psychology Today described it as "worse than just a bad book." Aside from Twilight, Stewart has a number of pretty good movies under her belt: Joan Jett biopic The Runaways, which netted a 69% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, Personal Shopper, which scored an impressive 80%, and Adventureland, the comedy 61% of users enjoyed. The actress' biggest problem seems to be that no one actually knows what to do with her — is she a comedian, an action star, a lovelorn teen, a serious artist? Virtually every role she takes seems to embody the same feeling.

Stewart's hallmark is her awkward, girl-next-door persona complete with lip biting and nervous side eyes. It's a character we've seen over and over again, and while it definitely embodied Bella Swan's teen insecurity, it's led to more than a few lukewarm — but by no means awful — reviews. On The Road, Snow White and the Huntsmen, and yes, both Breaking Dawns, failed to creep over a 50% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Even W Magazine begged the question: "Why don't we take Kristen Stewart, actress, seriously?" Regardless, Hollywood keeps casting K Stew as we try to put a finger on why we enjoy her mediocre films.

Sam Worthington

On one hand, we want to ask why Hollywood is still trying to make Sam Worthington happen. On the other hand, Sam Worthington has definitely already happened. The dude is booked solid through 2025, and not just with Avatar, the film that scooped him from the dredges of a Terminator sequel nobody asked for. As of this writing, he's filming Dreamland, a drug-fueled thriller; his war flick Seacole is in pre-production, and Fracture (not the Ryan Gosling movie) is chilling in post — but let's be clear. He's hardly immune to a flop, which hasn't seemed to have an effect on his career either way.

It's true: 2015 and 2016 were kind to Worthington. Hacksaw Ridge, The Keeping Room and Everest were a veritable winning-streak that the rest of his career couldn't keep up with. Even 2008's Rogue carries a striking 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it's the exception, not the rule. Two of his most high profile films — Clash of the Titans (2010) and Wrath of the Titans (2012) — cling to a meager 27% and 26% on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively. His most recent work, 2018's The Titan (no relation to the former two Titan flicks), couldn't even crawl past the teens. Perhaps Avatar 2 through 5 will flip the script, but it wouldn't be surprising if no one cares about a series of sequels made more than 10 years after the original. At least he'll probably make a ton of money.

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt is undeniably box office gold. The actor screaming "what's in the box?" in 1995's Se7en will forever remain — not only an extraordinary display of unbridled talent — but a culturally significant moment for thriller fans and UPS drivers alike. The star has more films with critical ratings soaring into the ninetieth percentile than most working actors even have projects, but in the last five years, his recognition has been mostly for his work behind the camera, not in front of it.

Pitt's most recent producing credits have raked in Oscars — from If Beale Street Could Talk to Moonlight (which was subject to that embarrassing La La Land snafu). Selma, which he executive produced, landed a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, Big Men scored the almost unheard-of 100%, and The Normal Heart even got a 94% — but when was the last time his acting chops were at the forefront? It certainly wasn't 2017's War Machine or 2016's Allied, which were met with lukewarm critical ratings.

Today, it seems Pitt is more known for a dressing like his girlfriends and not paying Angelina Jolie "meaningful child support" (whatever that means for the impossibly rich), than he is for tearing open a box full of Gwyneth Paltrow's severed head. Though, let's switch our course for a moment and focus on the news that he's reportedly no longer dating celebrities. We all, apparently, have a chance.

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie has totally revamped her image in the last decade. The starlet went from wearing a vial of Billy Bob Thornton's blood and mouth-kissing her brother to being the type of refined activist that holds down a position as an actual U.N. Goodwill Ambassador. She also fiercely advocates for her blended tribe of children. It almost makes us forget that she is an actress, let alone the kind of actress whose career has been fueled by tabloids rather than actual acting talent.

Looking at Jolie's career is like looking at a bunch of fond memories you forget weren't actually that great — like that family picnic where you won a three-legged race but ended in throwing up lukewarm potato salad couple hours later. As unsettling as her portrayal in Girl, Interrupted was, it only scored mediocre Rotten Tomatoes ratings. Similarly, becoming female video game icon Lara Croft amounted to little more than a padded bra and a box office gross that far outweighed the actual reviews. The fact that A Mighty Heart, where Jolie dabbles in blackface, is one of her highest-rated films really speaks volumes.

Will Smith

We've forgiven Will Smith for a lot of movie theater sins. That pang of nostalgia we feel every time we hear the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song really can numb of a lot of questionable movies. Plus, that moment he's forced to murder his dog in I Am Legend is pretty much one of the saddest big screen moments of all time (it far outweighs Rose pushing Jack off that floating piece of Titanic wreckage, if you ask us). Unfortunately, the days of Men in Black and Bad Boys are over. Even Wild Wild West (which somehow scored a 17% on Rotten Tomatoes despite being the best Western film of all time, in our opinion) was something Smith was still apologizing for seven years after its premiere.

The point is: We're no longer living in the Willenium, but it's not as drastic as The Guardian's estimation that Smith's reincarnation as a Coachella daddy and inspirational YouTuber is an effort to "save [his] career." He's doing just fine. After all, he convinced a casting director that he could fill the late Robin Williams' shoes in Disney's live-action remake of Aladdin — a move that backfired before audiences even saw it. But that was always going to be a tall order for a guy who became an actor because he ran into trouble with the IRS, right? Thankfully, Smith's sense of humor has always been his saving grace. The actor admits the Genie memes are "very funny," and he's not wrong.

Tom Hiddleston

Raise your hand if you had no idea who Tom Hiddleston was before he was spotted frolicking across a Rhode Island beach in a homemade "I Love T.S." t-shirt. For a time in 2016, the British actor's name was incessantly splashed across headlines, and it had nothing to do with his acting career — such is the staggering drawing power of dating Taylor Swift. Nonetheless, the star was considered for the prestigious role of James Bond immediately following his biggest blockbuster flops. Wait? How the heck did that happen. The dude was only Loki from Thor. He wasn't even the Thor! Apparently, the tabloid giveth and the tabloid taketh away.

Hiddleston's credits are almost completely devoid of critical flops. The only two sour marks on his nearly 20-year career are High-Rise and I Saw the Light (which proves a Londoner should probably never take on the role of Americana legend Hank Williams). Unfortunately for Hiddleston, his three-month fling with pop icon Taylor Swift thrust him into the spotlight enough to be considered for — and lose — the role of James Bond (a role he probably didn't deserve in the first place considering he's pretty much failed to break out of the Marvel universe). According to The Evening Standard, Hiddleston was left drinking shaken — not stirred — martinis on his own after his uncomfortable tabloid display of PDA squashed 007's "air of mystery" rendering him "uncastable." At least he has the song "Getaway Car?"

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp's indescribable air of mystery might just be the reason Hollywood has let his litany of box office bombs slide through the cracks. We get it: his portrayal of Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean was borderline brilliant. Charlie and the Chocolate factory was the remake we didn't even know we needed, and Edward Scissorhands will always be a classic, but for every hit, Depp has a massive failure (and that's not including his tattoo coverups).

Sherlock Gnomes was obviously never going to be good — an all-star voice cast and punny name doesn't actually make a film, and whatever directors managed to suck out of Gnomeo & Juliet was run dry by its 86-minute runtime. Before that, there was the possible red-face incident in The Lone Ranger. More recently, London Fields was so widely panned it rivaled Gotti in levels of awfulness. According to The Guardian, it's "one of the biggest flops in living memory" and proudly usurped the title of second worst opening for a wide release in history (it's unclear if this warrants a vintage-wine-fueled toast from one of Depp's infamous goblets). 

If the flops weren't enough, there's the fact that the star's entire on-screen persona has been shattered. Depp wasn't just playing a troubled, depressed, alcoholic — he was (allegedly) a troubled, depressed alcoholic, according to a profile in Rolling Stone. Needless to say, there's nothing fun about watching someone pretend to lose their mind on-screen when they're actually struggling.

Chris Pratt

When Chris Pratt met Anna Faris, the blonde comedienne was undeniably a bigger star. Cue some freshly cut abs and Marvel-level fame, and Pratt committed one of the cardinal sins of rising stardom (and the tell-tale sign of a man who's grown too big for his designer slim-cut jeans): he split from the mother of his child and got engaged to a woman who's 10 years younger than him.

Nonetheless, Pratt wasn't always looking dreamy while fostering a diagnosable case of Stockholm Syndrome in Jennifer Lawrence (hello, the poorly-rated money maker that was Passengers). Before he lost 60 pounds in six months for Guardians of the Galaxy, the star was a dopey, side character on Parks and Recreation. Lest us forget one of his earliest contributions: the gooey, moralistically imposing Everwood, which does not hold up in 2019 should you Hulu yourself into that rabbit hole (though it did wildly annoy some staunchly Catholic critics). Today, we remember Pratt for massive blockbusters like Jurassic World, The LEGO Movie, and Avengers: Infinity War, and not for that time he played himself in the critically panned Jem and the Holograms adaptation or Bride Wars, which incidentally might have been the flick that caused Kate Hudson to run out of Hollywood in her sensibly priced-leggings, and launch Fabletics.

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise built a name for himself as one of the biggest action stars on the planet. Not only did Mission: Impossible basically write the book on what a modern-day action film should be, Eyes Wide Shut pushed boundaries in the world of thrillers, and Risky Business just felt good. Cruise even managed to capitalize on the dark underworld of vampires in Interview with a Vampire long before Twilight gave them a glimmering new brush of paint. You could say he was ahead of the trend (which frankly, no one ever thought would be trendy to begin with).

The Tom Cruise we know in recent years is not at all the same Tom Cruise that played air guitar in his underwear or snuck his way into the dangerous world of underground, mansion sex parties. Ever since he maniacally jumped up on Oprah's couch and labeled Matt Lauer "glib" while rallying against the pharmacology industry, he's somehow lost his action hero edge. Case in point: The Mummy remake. By all accounts, Cruise should have been the sole person in Hollywood that could have improved an action series starring Brendan Fraser and the Rock. Instead, the 2017 flick scored a meager 16 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Rolling Stone rated it one of Cruise's worst films of all time next to Rock of Ages, which they panned as "dreadfully shrill" and "tiresome." At least Tropic Thunder let him make fun of himself.