10 Perfectly Good Actors We Wish Would Make Better Movies

I would love for this to be the summer of Jason Bateman, and it's not just because of my dedication to all things Arrested Development. Bateman, with his skilled timing and expressive face, redefined the role of the "straight man" in comedy, making the middle Bluth as screwed-up (and occasionally as much fun to watch) as the loonier members of his family. He's a perfectly good actor, and he's demonstrated it with fantastic supporting roles in movies like State of Play and Up in the Air. The news that not one, but two movies with Bateman in starring roles made me more than a little excited.

Then I found out what the two movies were. And one of them is a body-switch movie.

I don't really object to Bateman making these luke-warm comedies (his kids gotta eat, and besides, what actor hasn't actually made a couple of flops here and there?). I just wish he'd balance them out with something, well, meatier. Now that the Arrested Development movie has been properly announced, we can at least look forward to Bateman's reprisal in his role as Michael Bluth. Hopefully, he'll give us something else to look forward to before long.

Anyway, the Bateman Situation, as I'm calling it, got us to thinking about all of the actors we love that we wish would make better movies. Here's a list of 10.

1. Michael Keaton

Sure, we love Keaton's recent work in

Cars

and

Toy Story 3

(he stole the show as Ken), but he lost a lot of cred with

Herbie Fully Loaded

and

First Daughter

. His earlier work in

Clean and Sober

and

One Good Cop

Upcoming Events

showed off his real chops.

2. Debra Winger

She brought us to tears in

Terms of Endearment

and

Shadowlands

(both of which earned her Academy Award noms), but hasn't done much recently (aside from a few In Treatment episodes). We want her back.

 

3. Jason Schwartzman

Full of so much potential in 1998's

Rushmore

, but started going downhill when he played Louis XVI in Sophia Coppola's

Marie Antoinette

.

4. Kirsten Dunst

We loved her in

Dick

and lament the fact that she's really just known for

Spiderman

now.

 

5. Sam Rockwell

Moon

was so, so good. We're mystified by the fact that he's he doing guinea pig voices in

G-Force

.

6. Sigourney Weaver

She freaked me out in

The Ice Storm

and kicked serious ass in the

Alien

movies. So why is she in

Cedar Rapids

?

 

7. Anthony Hopkins

He won an Academy Award for 17 minutes of screen time in

Silence of the Lambs

. That's how good he is. But he started slipping with

Meet Joe Black

in 1998, and hasn't made a good film since.

8. Sarah Polley

Let's face it: She was awesome in

Avonlea

and

Ramona

, and we loved seeing her all grown up in

Go

. Then she made

Splice

...

 

9. Ralph Fiennes

Fiennes carries on a great English tradition of solid, classically trained Shakespearean actors. The fact that he hasn't found an adequate role (possibly except for

The Constant Gardener

and

The Reader

) is a tragedy indeed. At least he'll have Voldemort to carry him into eternity.

10. Linda Hamilton

She's always been more of a TV actress, and we enjoy seeing her in bit parts on

Chuck

and

Weeds

, but the fact that her last sort-of OK movie was

Dante's Peak

is a real shame.


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