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List of the seven most overrated Hollywood

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 24, 2007

List of the seven most overrated Hollywood actors, including Ben Kingsley, Kate Hudson, and Ben Stiller, a personal unfavorite of mine. (via house next door)

Reader comments

Dan BolandApr 24, 2007 at 3:55PM

So so glad to see Ben Stiller on the list — easily the most overrated comic “talent” of my generation.

LaurenApr 24, 2007 at 3:59PM

That list was extremely well thought out.

kowgurlApr 24, 2007 at 4:03PM

Ben Stiller is so overrated. So not funny. My hatred for him began with Reality Bites.

Who is more famous?Apr 24, 2007 at 4:29PM

I have to disagree with Matthew McConaughey. I agree he plays the same guy over and over in most of his movies (much like Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, etc.) but check out Reign of Fire, where he’s this vein-popping insane warrior guy. You can’t even recognize him, it’s actually some pretty decent acting happening there.

As a replacement, how about Natalie Portman? Has she EVER done any acting that isn’t “reading lines” stiltedly?

BTW check out http://www.famousr.com/ - rank the celebs!

Haute NegroApr 24, 2007 at 4:35PM

I have to agree wholeheartedly with the critique of Kate Hudson. She certainly didn’t inherit her mother’s “it” factor and Almost Famous was too boring and self-righteous for me to invest in.

ShaneApr 24, 2007 at 4:39PM

I think that everyone can agree that Ben Stiller doesn’t really “act”, but rather “play himself in every movie he’s ever made”. His best roles is when he plays someone so over the top, you can’t help but laugh (see: Zoolander, Dodgeball). The one glaring omission is Hilary Swank. She is the epitome of overrated. She has TWO Oscars! Ludicrous! She was Carly on Beverly Hills 90210.

Others that should be on the list:
> Halle Berry
> Renee Zellweger
> Julia Roberts
> Richard Gere
> Jonathan Rhys Meyers
> Kurt Russell

I know that there are so many people I’m leaving off.

NataliApr 24, 2007 at 4:42PM

What the HELL at Ben Kingsley and Tom Hanks. Anyone who can’t appreciate BK’s performance in Sexy Beast (let alone having no knowledge of the British Knighthood system) and then goes on to proclaim Forrest Gump as “dreadful” knows nothing, I repeat nothing about film, or acting, or even sanity.

However, I hate Ben Stiller with the force of a thousand suns.

Buck TurgidsonApr 24, 2007 at 4:46PM

Now come on, Ben Kingsley is a real actor for crying out loud. Just compare his Ghandi with Don Logan from Sexy Beast. Yeah, he may be an arrogant SOB off camera but so what? And that reputation might be more sour grapes than anything else. Take a look at his cameo role in The Sopranos last year which played on that rep. And how arrogant can someone be who was in Thunderbirds?

tiffanyApr 24, 2007 at 4:51PM

Agreeing with Shane: I’d swap Tom Hanks for Halle Berry on that list. The only role she was ever good in was as the crackhead in “Jungle Fever.”

jkottkeApr 24, 2007 at 4:53PM

Just because an actor appears on the list doesn’t mean they are bad, just that they are too highly regarded in comparison to their actual talent level (in the writer’s opinion).

andyApr 24, 2007 at 4:56PM

I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Sienna Miller. For all the press she gets, her work rate and quality are considerably low.

AjitApr 24, 2007 at 5:04PM

I actually like Ben Kingsley & Tom Hanks (run Forest, run!). Here is my list:

1) Liam Neeson
2) Ben Stiller
3) Andy Garcia
4) Will Smith
5) Natalie Portman (who i had great hopes for)
6) Catherine Zeta-Jones
7) Bill Paxton

But the award for the worst actor goes to David Caruso. CSI Miami is generally bad but with Caruso makes it one of the all time worst. The man has zero range. And what the single expression he does possess is terrible.

kittyholmesApr 24, 2007 at 5:38PM

oh man, hilary swank should really be on this list. she does a half dozen terrible, terrible movies, (like the core, or the reaping, she was even terrible in the black dahlia!) and then she does one movie that is completely crafted to win an oscar. so annoying!

i also have to agree with ben stiller. his presence in movies makes me uncomfortable. i don’t want to feel uncomfortable when i watch movies. though, speaking of uncomfortable, he was kind of funny when he played himself on curb your enthusiasm.

ScottApr 24, 2007 at 5:43PM

McConaughey is the personification of bland.

Random other overrateds:

Owen Wilson
Robin Williams (though I’m not sure anyone really “rates” him anymore anyway)
Anthony Hopkins
Spike Lee (everything between Do the Right Thing and Inside Man)
Eric Bana
Donald Sutherland (yes, even in the great Children of Men)
Jamie Foxx
Russell Crowe
The Sopranos
Clint Eastwood, director

And, perhaps especially, Nicholas Cage



ScottApr 24, 2007 at 5:45PM

I meant Michael Caine, of course, not Sutherland.

Except in Hannah and Sisters.

awApr 24, 2007 at 9:55PM

Yes, Owen Wilson should go back to writing with Wes Anderson.

I think Halle Berry is not on the list b/c she is NOT overrated. Everyone already knows she is perfectly dreadful…

junkdeluxeApr 25, 2007 at 4:01AM

Ben Kingsley???!! you have to see his performance in Sexy Beast, as completely unhinged psychotic Don Logan, and then realise this is the same actor that managed to pull off a role that couldn’t be any further removed, in Gandhi.

BenApr 25, 2007 at 6:11AM

Yeah, I have to give props to Kingsley, too. I think he’s underrated, if anything.

emilyApr 25, 2007 at 11:50AM

I quote ‘The Chappelle Show’: “Who in the HELL is Renee Zell-WEDGER?” She is thankfully fading from Ingenue-du-Jour status…squinting is not acting!

I would throw in…wait for it…Sean Penn. Yes, he’s a fine actor, but not the mighty, sun-blotting talent he’s made out to be (and possibly believes himself to be). He does apparently have a sense of humor, though, as the Metaphor-Off on the Colbert Report showed!

dobbsApr 25, 2007 at 11:58PM

how about Natalie Portman? Has she EVER done any acting that isn’t “reading lines” stiltedly?

Beautiful Girls and Closer are two examples.

My most hated actor theses days is Robert De Niro. Dreck after dreck after dreck and all the more drecky considering we know what he’s capable of. He should have retired 10 years ago.

And yes, Tom Hanks blows.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.