Like almost every Martin Scorsese film, “Gangs of New York” is a long drama with plenty of interesting characters, amazing sequences, and outrageous violence. Cameron Diaz, as “Irish” pickpocket-slash-prostitute, however, was a letdown that sticks out like a sore thumb compared to Daniel Day-Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Her accent kept slipping, and she failed to carry the dramatic energy that the other principal actors – dramatic pros – maintained with ease. A comedic actor like Diaz going up against Day-Lewis and DiCaprio is also going to play second fiddle, but for a movie that was almost perfect, Diaz dropped the ball big time.
Justin Timberlake as Mickey Rubin in “Wonder Wheel”
From “The New Mickey Mouse Club” to 'Nsync and beyond, Justin Timberlake has done it all, including dating Britney Spears. He's been in several high-profile movies and delivered a few great performances, but “Wonder Wheel” wasn't his best.
As a Coney Island lifeguard who falls in love with a middle-aged waitress and her daughter, Timberlake was torn in too many directions to deliver a performance that could match up to director Woody Allen's standards. The dramatic film was fraught with problems, getting a mere thirty-one percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and Timberlake was one of the reasons it failed.
James Franco as Oz in Oz the Great and Powerful
The iconic man behind the curtain from “The Wizard of Oz” received his own prequel movie with James Franco as the wizard, but the casting proved to be a misstep. Picture a powerful wizard, even one who doesn't actually have magic powers, and you're unlikely to come up with Franco.
Franco has the acting chops, and the movie wasn't terrible, but he seems more like a hipster playing a magician ironically than someone who really believes in himself. It would be like Michael Cera playing chocolatier Willy Wonka.
Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor
Lex Luthor is one of the iconic comic book villains, up there with the Joker and Magneto. Plenty of people were hoping for a powerful actor who has already been stunned as a bald villain – like Bryan Cranston in "Breaking Bad" when he says, "I am the one who knocks" – but instead, we got Jesse Eisenberg. He's certainly not a bad actor, looking at his previous outings, but he just didn't have the power to play this unforgettable villain.
Superman's arch-nemesis needs more, and Eisenberg just didn't have it in him. Many found his character too manic, too loud, and too wild for what a good Luther should be – a little bit too close to the Joker for a lot of people's liking.
Johnny Depp as Tonto in The Lone Ranger
Nothing beats Johnny Depp as an interesting character, but this casting choice was a bit too interesting for most people. "The Lone Ranger" was a huge box office bomb for Disney, losing almost two hundred million dollars, and Depp's casting was a primary issue. Tonto is a Native American character, and it would have been a great way for a Native American actor to show his skills. Instead, we got Captain Sparrow – and his costume for the film also raised some eyebrows.
Depp's acting wasn't the problem, but his "redface" is the leading storyline when most people talk about this movie.