Are you the kind of person who gets attached to a particular actor whose work you loved on a television show, or a movie from years ago, or because they’re charming in television interviews, and decide to watch that movie based on your affection for that actor? I like your sense of loyalty! Unfortunately, where it concerns these three actors, you should probably scrap that loyalty and go see a Tom Cruise movie. He may be an unlikable person, but at least his movies are good more often than not.
Alison Brie — We all love her from Community and Mad Men, and we know she’s both a good comedic and dramatic actress, but she’s largely been relegated to middling best friend roles in forgettable studio and indie flicks. She played Will Ferrell’s terrible wife in the terrible Get Hard; she played Emily Blunt’s sister in the forgettable Five-Year Engagement; she was in a movie no one has heard of (and no one has spoken highly of) with Haley Joel Osment called Montana Amazon; she’s in Search Party later this year with a lot of other amazing TV actors (T.J. Miller, Adam Pally, Thomas Middleditch, Jason Mantzoukas), but the movie looks decidedly VOD; Save the Date with Lizzy Caplan was mediocre, at best; and she was in the tepid Scream 4. In fact, save for a voice role in The LEGO Movie, Brie apparently has never been in a good movie before.
James Marsden — I love James Marsden! He was great in 30 Rock, he was solid in Enchanted, and he was fine in the X-Men movies, but when it comes to movies in which James Marsden is billed as the lead, you should avoid them at all costs. The D Train with Jack Black opened last week, and it was horrible. Ever hear of Into the Grizzly Maze, the movie he made with Piper Perabo? No? No one else has, either (it comes out next month on VOD). Nicholas Sparks’ Best of Me? A piece of shit. Accidental Love? Not even worthy of an All GIF review. The Loft? A fetid trash fire. Walk of Shame? Oh, for fuck’s sake. Bachelorette? Deserving of a straight-to-VOD release. 27 Dresses? The Box? Hop? A cadbury egg filled with crap. Awesome guy, dreadful movie choices.
Adam Scott — I adore Adam Scott, and I’m so sad that Parks and Recreation is over, and that Party Down was cancelled because he was terrific in those shows. He’s also done occasionally well in smalls supporting roles in bigger films. But as one of the top-billed actors? STAY AWAY. Let me draw your attention to Hot Tub Time Machine 2, a movie so bad the star of Must Love Dogs turned it down; or A.C.O.D., an incredibly bland movie where Amy Poehler plays Adam Scott’s step-mom. What about The Guilt Trip? Oh, you mean the one where Seth Rogen took a blood-shit on Christmas? Then there’s See Girl Run, a movie I couldn’t muster any enthusiasm for even though it was filmed in my home town. There’s also Friends with Kids, which was smug, misguided, and worst of all, boring. There’s also Our Idiot Brother, where nothing really happens, Bachelorette (again), and They Came Together, which some people like, but most of us do not. Then there’s Leap Year, literally the worst movie of 2010. Basically, Adam Scott is a reliable straight-man you can depend on in a TV show. Unfortunately, he’s someone you should avoid whenever possible in theaters.
Other beloved actors who make mostly bad movies: Gillian Jacobs, Nick Offerman, Joel McHale, and Lizzy Caplan.