Eight Actors Who Need to Get Their Shit Together in the New Year

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It’s a new year, and a time for fresh starts, which is something that I think each of these actors featured here needs in 2010. I believe all of them either are, or have the potential to be, great actors, and it’s just a series of poor decisions that have led them to a lull or a low point in their otherwise good careers. They just need to buckle down and get their shit together this year.

Check out the list below and see if you agree with me. I only hate because I love.

1. Gerard Butler

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He made his debut as one of the most badass heroes in history, fighting abnormally tall Persians in 300, but since then has felt the need to “soften” his image with horrible rom com after horrible rom com.

The man needs to understand that he could be one of our next great action heroes if he wanted to be. Law Abiding Citizen was almost excellent, and it proved he’s not a one hit wonder. He needs to start being more choosy with his roles and get this idea that he needs to be in touch with his feminine side out of his head completely.

2. Johnny Depp

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Depp is one of our generation’s greatest actors, and frankly, I’m tired of seeing him tie himself to a floundering director, no matter how good of friends they may be. Tim Burton’s goth reimaginings of classics may be fun art projects, but they haven’t produced a good movie in quite some time.

Depp was fantastic as John Dillinger in Public Enemies this year, and it proves he needs more Burton-less roles to show his range. Also, he should in no way feel obligated to take the plastic wrap off of Jack Sparrow just because Disney tells him to. Depp of a decade ago would have probably told the corporation to go f*ck themselves, not ask “how high” when they tell him to jump.

3. Bruce Willis

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It seems to me that Bruce Willis has been lost in the woods for some time now, wandering aimlessly from forgettable role to forgettable role, not really knowing where he belongs anymore.

His return to Die Hard could have been a triumph, but through really no fault of his own, it was complete shit, mostly due to the studio’s PG-13 requirements and some epically awful writing. He has a cameo in the upcoming The Expendables, and in my opinion, he should take a page from Stallone and start kicking some ass again, no matter how old and bald he is. He should have been in Taken, not Surrogates, in From Paris with Love not Cop Out and he’s only got so many more strikes before we write him off completely.

4. Dwayne Johnson

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It’s standard practice for an action star to do a kids movie or two, but after not even establishing himself in the kick-ass genre, the man seems now to be filming awful children movies and literally nothing else.

I know you took a lot of shit for Doom, Dwayne, but get back on that horse. The Rundown was awesome, Walking Tall was decent and you have the build and acting chops to be a great action star. But I guess it’s only your mission if you choose to accept it

5. Tom Hanks

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Here’s a question. Name the last movie Tom Hanks was in.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Time.

The answer? Angels and Demons. Yeah, forgot about that shit didn’t you?

Tom Hanks, in my opinion, is one of the greatest actors of all time. Therefore, I believe it’s time for him to snap out of whatever odd acting draught he’s in and make some good movies again. It’s not like he’s lost his edge, he’s just made some poor choices recently and needs something stellar to return him to glory. No, voicing Woody in Toy Story 3 does not count.

6. Kevin Spacey

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Another one of my favorite actors, but in recent years, I’ve been nothing but disappointed with Spacey’s film choices. Overlooking his odd cameo voicing GERTY in Moon, his roles in The Men Who Stare at Goats, 21, Fred Claus and Superman Returns have all been beneath him, and I can’t believe it’s now been over ten years since American Beauty came out, which I really consider to be his last great role (though he was pretty excellent in HBO’s minimovie, Recount).

He needs a project that fully utilizes his dramatic range, playing hack villain characters, which seems to be his recent M.O. is just sort of sad to watch, and hopefully he’ll step things up in the coming year.

7. Tom Cruise

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You did it Tom Cruise, you successfully survived to the point where it’s no longer funny to make fun of you. Congratulations. On that note, it’s time to start making good movies again, and not ones that you require to play a Nazi war hero while speaking perfect American English.

Character for character, I think Cruise is one of the best actors around today, despites his personal life insanity. Look at his film catalog, the man does make very, very few bad movies. After a recent slip up with Valkyrie, and some crazy couch jumping, I think it’s time to start being open minded about taking the man seriously (as an actor) again, and he needs to line up some movies to prove our faith is warranted.

8. Luke Wilson

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Jesus Christ man, what the hell happened to you? You were in one of the greatest comedies of the decade (Old School), did a few shitty rom coms/kids movies (Hoot, My Super Ex Girlfriend), had a non-speaking extra’s role (3:10 to Yuma), did a straight to DVD movie with Jessica Simpsons (Blonde Ambition) and now you’re doing extremely misleading AT&T commercials? That, is what you call a nose dive. It’s like watching a buddy of mine smoke a joint then nine months later he’s robbing liquor stores for Crystal Meth money.

I’ve no idea just what happened to make your career tank this much Luke, you’re a talent actor. You were great in Old School, The Royal Tennenbaums and Idiocracy, so I know you have potential. Just start making better career decisions before you lose what little credibility you have left.



  • Madison

    Man, The Rock could have been the next great action star. i just don’t get it.

  • EJ

    Good list, and totally agreed upon for every actor, but Gerard Butler did not actually make his debut in 300. But you knew that I’m sure. He’s also been in RocknRolla since 300, and while that was hit or miss, Guy Richie should be making a sequel which I’ll definitely be seeing.

    As for the rock, if you’ve seen his SNL appearances you’d see he does his best work in comedic situations- not that I’m gonna go see a goddamn tooth fairy movie.

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  • JZ

    The my wedding dress game adverts are gay and going to get me in trouble at work.

  • http://millist.wordpress.com Lorin

    Toothless >>>>>>>>> Tooth Fairy

  • JapJay

    I think The Rock is not wanting to examine his life because sometimes the “tooth” hurts.

  • Cheryl

    Ah you brought up my favorite movie of all time (Old School) can Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn also start making good movies again please? 4 Christmases was NOT funny…and I’m having troubles even remembering the last time I went to see a Will Ferrell (refused to see Land of the Lost and I keep getting mixed reviews for Stepbrothers)

  • FrankenPC

    Vin Diesel. He should START to get his shit together.

  • FrankenPC

    @Cheryl: I couldn’t help but laugh at Step Brothers. It’s pretty decent comic writing. Really, though, Ferrell could have been replace with pretty much any actor. His shtick is old school.

  • Laura

    When I first saw Luke Wilson in the ATT&T commercial, my first reaction was “GGGGOOOOOHHHH what is that?”. I cannot believe that Stephen Merchant is in the Tooth Fairy. It literally pains me to no end.

  • http://none Chingo

    Dewayne Johnson oh Dewayne Johnson where art thou Dewayne Johnson….he could’ve been the action hero we’ve been missing since rambo. terminator and die hard…Stathams the closest but we can consider him a martial artist….not an action hero…oh and as far as tom cruise goes don’t sleep on knight and day

  • DaveDave

    Good list. I agree with Butler making way too many romantic comedies and Dwayne Johnson’s obssesion with starring in kids movies.(What happened to the spyhunter movie?) I do miss Kevin Spacey and Tom Hanks in interesting roles. Their recent movies have all been bleh. Ill agree with Bruce Willis needing better roles, but you really didn’t like the new Die Hard? It wasn’t jaw-dropping, but I thought Willis was pretty badass in it which I hadn’t seen in awhile. I wish Johnny Depp would get some more diverse roles instead of being some weirdo in a Burton movie. I love Depp and Burton but they both seemed to have hit a stale spot. I just saw Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas last night and Depp hit the nail on the head at acting like a reporter on fifteen diffferent drugs. By the previews, Depp looked like he played a really good Dillinger so I’ll have to wait and see. One more thing, not to sound like a dick, but Luke Wilson had like three or four lines in 310 to Yuma, which I still didn’t get why he was cast as a very minor supporting role. He really has gone belly-up in this past year, especially with the AT-T commercials. Overall good list, which these actors should read themselves.

  • zero

    You forgot Will Ferrell, for that matter the whole cast of the frat pack. Excluding Vince Vaughn, every one of them were hilarious at one point, Zoolander, Talladega Nights, Dodge Ball, hell even romantic comedy like meet the parents.

    Since then, all we got were nights at the museum and land of the lost. what happened?

    The new generation of comedy actors in my opinion are kinda weak. Yeah, I’m looking at you Seth Rogen, Green Hornet… wtf…worst casting ever…

    p.s. on the Luke Wilson AT&T deal, wouldn’t it be funny to have Owen Wilson do Verizon commercials. LOL

  • CNA

    Butler may have had his BIG debut in 300, but before that he was in several other big-ish movies… Phantom of the Opera, Reign of Fire, Tomb Raider Cradle of Life, Timeline. But yes, I am in agreement that since 300, it’s kind of been downhill…

  • Josh

    Gerard Butler was hardly a one hit wonder before Law Abiding Citizen. RocknRolla was absolutely awesome, as all Guy Ritchie films are. Gamer was passable, and I laugh at the fact that bad reviews for that film pretty much sunk Surrogates in the water. He was also awesome in Reign of Fire (as were Christian Bale and *gasp* Matthew McConoughey), which I have to admit is one of my biggest guilty pleasures of all time. I love that movie. Also liked him in Dracula 2000, though the movie sucked. And Phantom wasn’t bad.

    Also… Tom Hanks has been quite awesome lately. Sure, the Lady Killers wasn’t very good and disappeared very quickly, but Angels & Demons was quite good, I felt. I’ve watched it several times. Much better than the original, that’s for sure, and a good mystery film, something we don’t get many of anymore. Also, ever see Charlie Wilson’s War? Honestly one of the best films of the last decade, and the best performance of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s career, in my opinion, and that is saying something. Not to mention his turn on Celebrity Jeopardy! as himself. “And Tom Hanks has his hand stuck in a pickle jar…” “I… I wanted a pickle!” Freaking classic.

  • zomgmouse

    Has Gérard Depardieu been in anything interesting recently?

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  • unitedhybrid

    You forgot to include Eddie Murphy. He used to be a great actor. Then he took himself away from what he’s known for: Good comedy. I understand he had kids now and everything BUT seriously? Is this the best he can do? The last Dr. Dolittle didn’t even star him. That’s how much the industry really doesn’t need his crap right now. I can also understand actors/actresses making a few bad movies now and again and even in a slump. But this is just really depressing. He needs to get it together!

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  • MacGyver1138

    I’ve thought the same thing about most of these actors before. I assumed that the Rock would become something of an action star after The Scorpion King. That wasn’t a good movie, but he was a pretty good actor in it, and then I loved him in the Rundown.

    A lot of these guys need to take the Stallone approach: Go get ripped if necessary, and then star in several badass movies in a row. The guy is in his 60s, and I can totally still buy him as an action star. For that matter, they can take the Clint Eastwood approach: be a hardcore badass for you entire career, and become an awesome director as you get older.

  • sweet

    I watched Valkyrie last night and, I thought it was great….My 15 year old is learning about ww2 and I thought it was a good example of how everyone still thinks of their country as “Hitler’s Germany” . There were citizens and high goverment officals that opposed him and that do not get enough credit.
    Yeah..all the different accents were weird…

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  • FLUZAO44

    luke wilson is awesome in ‘henry poole’… but its not a comedy