11 Crappiest Movies of Christian Bale's Career

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11 Crappiest Movies of Christian Bale’s Career

By Agent Bedhead | Seriously Random Lists | July 18, 2012 | Comments ()


As a member of the illustrious Pajiba Ten Hall Of Fame, Christian Bale boasts a huge amount of fans around these parts. He's also, obviously, still riding high as Batman. Still, Bale made his own fair share of crappy movies throughout his career, and here are the top eleven of them:

Terminator Salvation: Oddly enough, Bale himself ruined this movie by insisting upon massive script rewrites to give his John Connor more screentime. Bad Bale.


Harsh Times: Even with Bale's talent, he couldn't pull off a "Hispanic in L.A." accent, and the dialogue was ridiculous as well.


Equilibrium: Not only was this movie a cheap-looking ripoff of Blade Runner and Fahrenheit 451, but Gun-Fu? Really.


Pocahontas: Love can conquer hate. Unfortunately, love cannot counter crappiness.


Public Enemies: Sure, this wasn't a terrible movie, but with director Michael Mann at the helm, it should have been so much better.


Reign of Fire: Some might say this movie defies critical analysis. Others would say it's just crappy.


The Portrait of a Lady: Dare I declare that John Malkovich was the one-noted, proverbial weak link here? It pains me to admit as much.


Captain Corelli's Mandolin: This was easily one of Nicolas Cage's crappiest films as well. And that's saying something.


Swing Kids: This movie was historically accurate and, in short, a total mess.


Velvet Goldmine: Loved the soundtrack. Shame about the movie.


Newsies: Yes, I know this movie featured Christian Bale dancing. And I know you loved it. Still, it was a crappy (and cheesy) movie.


Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her little black heart can be found at Celebitchy.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • dinosaurpuke

    NEWSIES???? You sir, are a butthole.

  • Patrick Bateman

    I'm just happy I didn't see American Psycho, his finest work, on this list.

  • Justin Kuhn

    Equilibrium? I don't have threats graphic enough.

  • No. You have clearly been compromised and therefore your opinion is invalid. Velvet Goldmine?! REALLY?

  • Kristin

    Um ... 'Equilibrium' is awesome.

  • Zombietroy

    Every time I watch Portrait of a Lady, for some reason I see Barbara Hershey as Kevin Bacon in drag.

  • squaredog

    I'm okay with all this but how can you hate on Swing Kids?

  • hindulovegod

    Velvet Goldmine is genius. It has the perfect style for its subject--all wanton excess and glitter.

  • TonyusPrime

    this list is crappy...

  • Martin

    THANK YOU for tending the FLAME of TRUTH. Newsies is fucking awful. I humbly consider myself to be something of a connoisseur of musicals, and when I finally got around to seeing the much hyped Newsies, I was gobsmacked at how subpar it was on nearly every conceivable level.

    It works much better as a stage play, thankfully. Jeremy Jordan is a much better fit in that role than Bale.

  • Barth

    This list fails so hard, and so consistently.

  • BobBX542

    There are a bunch on here I haven't seen, but are you kidding me with Harsh Times, Equilibrium, and Public Enemies?? What did you do, just pick a bunch of titles off of his IMDB page hoping no one would notice?? These choices are so retardedly wrong, it forces me to believe that the rest are wrong as well.

  • KatSings

    Watching Gun Kata is like fight porn for me. Does it make any sense? Of course not. But it is fan-fucking-tastic to observe. Also, Bale and a puppy. A PUPPY. Equilibrium remains a DVD I am not guilty to own.

  • NateMan

    I'm going to have to add on a 'go pork yourself' to the pile for including Equilibrium on this list. That movie was fucking awesome. How many movies have the stones to light the love interest on fire?! And the gun katas are only slightly more absurd than the actual katas that exist.

  • Christopher

    Fuck you, destroyer of joy.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Isn't that a death metal band?

  • zeke_the_pig

    Public Enemies made zeke very, very sad.
    Except for the bit when Johnny Depp is hiding behind a tree and someone shoots at him with a shotgun and it goes WHUMP! into the tree.
    That WHUMP! was the best sound made in 2009. It's the kinda noise I imagine happens when [insert name of physically massive actor] ejaculates.

  • Legally Insignificant

    Fred Willard?

  • zeke_the_pig

    Well that was prescient

  • Bodhi

    Hating Newsies is like hating Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken: impossible

  • linny

    I will SHANK you for putting Newsies on this list.

    ...just kidding. But really not.

  • kimk

    Ok, on one hand - "Velvet Goldmine"?!!? What are you smoking m'am?

    On the other, have to admit that, looking at his movies over the years it is a relatively high quality list, finding 10 duds is difficult.

    But again - "Velvet Goldmine"? No.

  • Ash

    "Unfortunately, love cannot counter crappiness".
    shut you damn mouth.

  • Moriarty

    "11 Christian Bale movies that aren't as good as American Psycho, The Dark Knight, or Howl's Moving Castle but are still awesome anyways"

    There you go fixed that for ya.

  • also add the fighter and you are right.

  • jesus f'in christ. Velvet Goldmine is a fan fucking tastic movie. It has ewan mcgregor and his mcgregor special in it. It has Ewan Mcgregor fucking Christian Bale. It has Jonathan Rhys Myers kissing dudes!!!!

    Its Gunkata not Gun-Fu. and it is an awesome martial art.

    Newsies rules.

    You are the resident TROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL this week.

  • After reviewing your list I realize I must have horrible taste, because I really really like most movies y'all consider crappy....including most of these.

  • Cahuatijo

    Salvation and Equilibrium on this list... What the f, dude?

  • melissa82

    you take newsies off the list and you take it off NOW!

  • Ginger

    Oh, Bedhead. Normally I love you, but I AM DISAPPOINT. Terminator 4 did suck, though. Bad Bale, indeed.

  • John G.

    American Psycho is great, BTW

  • John G.

    If Bedhead's just gonna troll us like this, I suggest we don't respond to her posts.

  • stardust

    This list. I need to go rest my head on the cool tile floor. I don't even.

    Equilibrium was....I mean, do your synapses still process Awesome? You should have that checked out.

  • carrie

    I only agree with TERMINATOR 4

  • Psychicdog

    *reads comments* Holy shit. Is there some line I missed in the article where she said, "Christmas is canceled!"

  • "Equilibrium" was a bad-ass movie. If you wanna argue with that I wish a can of gun-fu opens up on you.

  • Rocabarra

    Pfft, thought you'd have learned your lesson the first time around with Reign of Fire in the M.M. list, Agent Bedhead.
    And Equilibrium?? Swords AND puppies AND Sean Bean AND William Fichtner AND a dystopia? To echo @emmelemm:disqus, obvious trolling.

  • Jezzer


    *runs into bedroom, slams door*

  • Tinkerville

    So the best you can do argument-wise is crappy? Newsies, crappy? Pocahontas, crappy? Reign of Fire, crappy? Seriously?! If you're going to troll this hard at least make an effort.

  • MG

    Newsies and Swing Kids?? Preteen me is so writing mean things about you in her diary.

  • billdog

    am I the only one that actually thought harsh times was fun??

  • moppy

    Personally, I loved Velvet Goldmine, and I loved Equilibrium even more.

  • $27019454

    This list is a joke. It has to be. Right?

  • Tammy

    It was everything a girl who turned 11 in 1992 could have wanted: cute boys, earnestness, dancing, a spectacular soundtrack, earnestness, gorgeous clothes, and more earnestness.
    I wore out my VHS of this. And I own the soundtrack.

  • Annika Raaen

    A thousand times amen to this.

  • emmelemm

    Ahem. It's "gun katas", please.

  • jamie pants


  • DaveTron

    For shame! Velvet Goldmine is an amazing movie!

  • Hawkeye Fierce

    Are you lactose intolerant? Did a milk truck tip over and kill your family? Were you violated by a dairy cow?

    I'm trying to come up with a reason for your hatred of such glorious cheese as Equilibrium and Reign of Fire. Truly, it must stem from a deep, dark, horrific trauma to make you lash out so.

  • John G.

    actually, a dragon tried to burn all her books.

  • Hawkeye Fierce

    Oo! Oo! Can it be a dragon performing Tai Chi with a nickel plated Colt?--we may have our next starring vehicle for Senor Bale.

  • PaddyDog

    You didn't like Reign of Fire? I'll bet you were happy when little Jackie Paper grew up and left Puff all alone as well.

  • Puddin

    Oh Bedhead. Who hurt you?

  • FireLizardQueen

    I'm a die hard fantasy/sci-fi fan and I fell asleep watching Reign of Fire.

    But, but... Newsies!?! How dare you say such things about a movie about pretty boys dancing and singing.

  • Nimue

    Either this list is straight up trolling. Or Bale is just so amazing he doesn't really do crappy films.

  • eeeeee

    I had NO IDEA Bale was Thomas in Pocahontas . . . my childhood has been radically altered.

  • PerpetualIntern

    I didn't either! I was just about to IMDB it to figure out who he was. I need to watch it again.

  • Leah No-No

    Velvet Goldmine?!??!
    Agent Bedhead, you break-a my heart.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Equilibrium is Resident Evil bad. The badness wraps the whole way round back to "awesome."

  • ok this may be true, but certainly not in the cinema. It was deathly quiet when i saw it. i tried to like it, but it was beyond ridiculous with everyone trying so hard to be emotionless ---- Taye Diggs, I'm lookin' at you!

  • BierceAmbrose

    It is however, *perfect* upon returning home at 0-dark-30, too wired to sleep, too buzzed to think, wanting some eye-fodder on the glide slope toward turning in.

  • fracas

    Henry V! Branagh is no Olivier.

  • annie

    But so bad they're... Amazing. I'm going to say that he's done so many great movies that even his crappy ones are great. I love Reign of Fire (bald crazy McConaughey!) and Velvet Goldmine.

  • NoPantsMcLane

    Reign of Fire is not an Uwe Boll film this time?

  • mpbstereo

    Equilibrium is by no means a perfect movie, but the sheer visceral badassery of it all makes its inclusion on this list mind-boggling.

    Shaft is far more deserving to be on this list, everything about that movie was complete dog vomit.

  • Captain_Tuttle

    Swing heil!

  • Four Eyes

    I was expecting Newsies to be here. But dammit, get your paws off my Reign of Fire! Bale + fire breathing Dragons x McConaughey crazy = frickin' awesome!

  • janellest


  • Let's soak 'er for Crutchy!

  • Puddin

    Santa fe? Are you there? Do you swear you won't forget me?

  • emmelemm

    You are so trolling! Every fucking time!

    You know Equilibrium is a Pajiba sacred cow. Leave our cows alooooonnnnne!

  • emmelemm

    I reply to myself to say, I stopped reading after Equilibrium. You're slaying sacred cows left and right!!

  • seanfast

    Hey I liked Swing Kids! And I know Equilibrium is terrible but I love that too nonetheless...

    He was in two Pocahontas movies? Pocahontas and The New World?

  • amurph

    I liked Equilibrium too and completely forgot he was in Pocahontas. And oh my to The New World. My friend equated that movie to a 3am infomercial that flashed random shots of boxes full of kittens while playing muzak.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I had forgotten that too. So I went to IMDB...man, the reader review for Pocahontas is amaze-balls.

  • Will

    Equilibrium is brilliant. It's 1984 with a way cooler ending.

  • Guest

    As someone who works in the Humanities, let me tell you I can't watch it without a feeling of anxious identification, given what I'm seeing all around me these days. So: yeah. Awesome Bean/Watson B fare + puppy! AND unsettling subtextual anxieties = my kinda.

  • Rocket Fuel Malt Liquor

    If you'd mentioned Little Women, we might have had to throw down.

  • PerpetualIntern

    I was waiting with baited breath to see if Little Women showed up on this. Don't mess with Laurie.

  • Bodhi

    Thats for damn sure

  • Guest

    Velvet Goldmine, Reign of Fire, Equilibrium, Public Enemies. Own two, love them all, and CB is the last reason I watch them. UNASHAMED.

  • ShagEaredVillain

    What, no "Machinist"?
    Skinny Bale does not art make.

  • John G.

    I love The Machinist

  • Rooks

    Bale's 11 crappiest movies are really, generally rather uncrappy. There are actors out there who would kill kittens for this list to be their "greatest movies"-list.
    And now excuse me, I have to rewatch Velvet Goldmine right now.

  • Yes please! Velvet Goldmine was great!!!! How is it even on this list?

  • Less Lee Moore

    I meant to add that I agree with Rooks's comment, too. Duh.

  • Less Lee Moore

    Velvet Goldmine. Really? I hate to be that person but seriously, come on. I'm sad about Reign Of Fire, Equilibrium, and Harsh Times being on this list, too, but Velvet Goldmine's inclusion is unforgivable. I could understand All The Little Animals or GASP! the sacred Empire of the Sun, or even Prince of Jutland, but Velvet Goldmine? What the fuck.

  • Bert_McGurt

    "Terminator Salvation: Oddly enough, Bale himself ruined this movie by insisting upon massive script rewrites to give his John Connor more screentime. Bad Bale."
    Keep in mind - the alternative was more screentime for Sam Worthington. We really should be lauding him.
    And what is with the Costner-beard on McConaughaaaayyyyy?

  • Zombietroy

    Like, Just for the Worthington bash. Worst actor to be shovelled on us by Hollywood in 20 years.

  • Wicked

    Reign of Fire and Equilibrium? I mean story wise they are not so great but they're not bad either.. freaking entertaining as hell though. And hating on POCAHONTAS, are you INSANE?!

  • Sofia

    I loooooooooooooove Velvet Goldmine............ and Pocahontas. Best Disney kiss of the 90's by far. So much tension surrounding it.

  • Rob

    Yeah, I'll defend "Swing Kids." Sure it was a little mawkish, but c'mon. That's your real dancin' Bale. You can't beat it.

  • I just can't with this list.

  • BiblioGlow

    "...Reign of Fire..."
    "...Velvet Goldmine..."
    I can't.....I can't even....my consternation levels....you are dead to me.

  • carrie


  • lonolove

    That's....his whole filmography? Equilibrium, Newsies...VELVET GOLDMINE?! Shame on you, Agent Bedhead.

  • Forbiddendonut

    And I shall have to fight you for including Reign of Fire. As that movie, too, is batshit banans fun!

  • Theunis Stofberg

    you leave Equilibrium alone dammit!! Gun-Fu!!!! Guuuuuuunnn-Fuuuuuuu!!! Some script-writer earned a lot of money coming up with that concept!

  • Fredo

    I will have to fight you for including Equilibrium. That movie is batshit bananas fun!

  • Tubgirl Interrupted

    I tend to agree with you. Also Velvet Goldmine was good if only for the crazy casting. Guilty pleasure.

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