Hollywood recognizes that sex sells – so perhaps that’s why many filmmakers seem to have compensated for their movies’ weaknesses by exploiting their leading ladies’ looks to the max. And while their gorgeous stars may not make these 20 terrible films any better, they at least made the price of admission a fairer one to pay.
20. Jessica Alba – Fantastic Four (2005)
The AV Club slammed Fantastic Four as “a garish monstrosity” upon its 2005 release – just one of the Marvel flick’s countless scathing reviews. Audiences still flocked to see it, though; no doubt Jessica Alba’s tight-fitting super suit contributed, in its own way, towards the movie’s worldwide gross of $330 million at the box office.
19. Angelina Jolie – Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
Lara Croft was already a hugely popular sex symbol thanks to the Tomb Raider video game series, so making a film adaptation of her antics in 2001 was a no brainer. Angelina Jolie amply filled the curvaceous character’s iconic tank top and shorts; her performance, however, earned the actress a Razzie nomination, and the movie itself was universally panned.
18. Mila Kunis – Jupiter Ascending (2015)
The Wachowskis have made some great science fiction movies – The Matrix, for example – but 2015 blockbuster Jupiter Ascending isn’t one of them. And the appeal of its stunning star Mila Kunis still doesn’t quite mask the film’s emphasis on visuals over plot. One critic even labeled the work “an empty viewing experience” – ouch.
17. Charlize Theron – Æon Flux (2005)
Standing at 10 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, sci-fi Æon Flux bombed with critics and fans of the original MTV series when released in 2005. Since most of the film is centered on a catsuit-clad Charlize Theron performing gymnastics, we can safely assume that director Karyn Kusama’s priorities weren’t necessarily focused on plot development – and it totally shows.
16. Nicola Peltz – Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
Michael Bay is infamous for the objectification of female actors in his movies, and 2014’s Transformers: Age of Extinction does nothing to readdress that. Bay’s insistence on showing actress Nicola Peltz in short shorts throughout almost makes the 165-minute run time bearable, but even that wasn’t enough to stop the filmmaker winning his second Razzie for Worst Director in 2015. In fact, it may even have contributed to him receiving that dubious accolade.
15. Megan Fox – Jennifer’s Body (2009)
With a title like Jennifer’s Body, this Diablo Cody-penned high-school horror was bound to be voyeuristic. The fact that the plot revolved around Megan Fox’s titular demon using sex to lure male victims meant that the movie definitely flashed enough flesh. However, as many critics noted, the 2009 release delivered too few scares to save it from the garbage can of celluloid history.
14. Jennifer Love Hewitt – Garfield: The Movie (2004)
Jennifer Love Hewitt’s presence in Garfield: The Movie was no doubt appreciated by parents forced to sit through this by-numbers family film. The live-action stinker justly received a critical mauling on its release in 2004 and was even slammed by its star Bill Murray in 2009’s Zombieland – that’s how bad it was.
13. Kate Beckinsale – Underworld (2003)
Underworld director Len Wiseman must have been inspired by The Matrix to dress his gorgeous actresses in skin-tight leather. It’s a shame, then, that he didn’t follow that movie’s lead when it came to actual character development in the 2003 actioner. The flick was rightly slammed as “paltry” and “shallow” by leading critic Roger Ebert; Kate Beckinsale’s feisty heroine Selene, in fact, remains its most memorable element.
12. Liv Tyler – One Night at McCool’s (2001)
Liv Tyler’s looks are central to One Night at McCool’s, which sees her seductress Jewel manipulating the lives of three men. Indeed, its most memorable moments revolve around her beauty – not least during that scantily clad car wash scene. The critics, though, weren’t bowled over enough by Tyler to totally forget how terrible the 2001 crime comedy is; it currently holds a score of 33 percent at Rotten Tomatoes.
11. Elisha Cuthbert – The Girl Next Door (2004)
Dubbed by some as an inferior version of the 1983 Tom Cruise vehicle Risky Business, The Girl Next Door stands out for one thing and one thing only: Elisha Cuthbert. In fact, as the titular “girl” Cuthbert is practically the 2004 teen movie’s saving grace, even if she’s turned into a sexy stereotype throughout.
10. Milla Jovovich – Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
It’s fair to say that the Resident Evil movies have relied more and more on the pulling power of star Milla Jovovich as the series lumbers on. Retribution, the franchise’s fifth instalment, saw Jovovich pushed to the front and center of the marketing campaign as if to hide the film’s numerous other deficiencies – and there were plenty of them.
9. Salma Hayek – Wild Wild West (1999)
Wild Wild West was never destined for greatness, as evinced by its award for Worst Film at the 1999 Razzies. It was even later slammed by its own lead Will Smith. Perhaps director Barry Sonnenfeld knew it was crummy from the start; after all, ensuring that Salma Hayek wears next to nothing in many of her scenes seems like a distraction tactic to us.
8. Eva Mendes – Hitch (2005)
Much like her character Sara’s effect on Will Smith’s titular hero, Eva Mendes left audiences who flocked to see 2005’s Hitch breathless. And, while it’s not the worst movie on this list, the gorgeous star is easily the most indelible aspect of what is essentially a predictable romantic comedy.
7. Roselyn Sánchez – Boat Trip (2002)
Boat Trip is as offensive as it is bad – upon its 2002 release, in fact, it was damned by various critical quarters as being not only “juvenile” and “tacky” but also homophobic and packed full of stereotypes. The only aspect that holds water in this Cuba Gooding Jr. comedy is Roselyn Sánchez’s love interest Gabriella, whose charm helps make the movie at least somewhat tolerable. Even she couldn’t prevent the so-called comedy from sinking without a trace, however.
6. Malin Åkerman – Couples Retreat (2009)
Setting 2009 romcom Couples Retreat on an island resort at least gave star Malin Åkerman an excuse to show off her beach bod. She somehow helped distract audiences from the awfulness of a movie that Empire critic Olly Richards described as “short on romance and even shorter on laughs.” Oh dear.
5. Demi Moore – Striptease (1996)
Demi Moore wasn’t exactly showing off her acting chops when she took the role of a stripper in this Andrew Bergman comedy. Her flashing of all that flesh didn’t dazzle the critics, though; in fact, both Moore and Striptease took home awards at the 1997 Razzies for Worst Actress and Worst Picture, respectively.
4. Natalie Portman – No Strings Attached (2011)
No Strings Attached doesn’t stand up with the rest of director Ivan Reitman’s work and was even named one of the most terrible releases of 2011 by British newspaper The Telegraph. Perhaps it was the promise of a Natalie Portman sex scene or two, then, that helped draw audiences in – how else can you explain its worldwide gross of $149 million at the box office?
3. Sharon Stone – Sliver (1993)
Sharon Stone had proved that she would bare more than most actresses ever dare in 1992’s Basic Instinct – something on which Sliver, released the following year, may have capitalized financially. After all, the erotic thriller was a box-office smash, even if Stone alone couldn’t stop it from being a total stinker.
2. Blake Lively – Green Lantern (2011)
While 2011’s Green Lantern may be a joke among superhero aficionados, it at least had Blake Lively to fall back on. Her character Carol is both strong and sexy, though it’s never revealed why the VP of an aircraft company would be wearing such skimpy outfits.
1. Cameron Diaz – Sex Tape (2014)
Sex Tape’s poster campaign put star Cameron Diaz front and center in her underwear – perhaps because there was precious little else to go see the 2014 movie for. Diaz’s racier moments, in fact, were the highlight of a performance which still won her a Razzie for Worst Actress in 2015; suffice to say, it’s not one of her finest films by a long shot.