Actress Charlize Theron is one of the biggest and most glamorous stars of our generation, and she shows no signs of slowing down. And not only is she brilliantly talented (not only in front of the camera but behind the camera as well – she’s a genius producer) but she’s also one of the most beautiful women on the face of the planet.
And she only gets better with age.
When we first laid eyes on the model/actress, we couldn’t look away for the life of us. But because she’s so talented doesn’t mean she’s immune to making mistakes by picking the wrong roles to star in. Even though she’s saved more movies than she’s flopped, there are still some stinkers out there.
Here are eight movies that Charlize couldn’t save, and 12 she actually did.
20 Aeon Flux
Aeon Flux was a comic book character that was brought to life by MTV as a cartoon in the 1990s and every older millennial understood who she was (or, she was known as the character who would catch flies in her lashes). But when Charlize Theron took on the title role in the live-action film, the movie fell flat on its face.
19 The Astronaut’s Wife
This was one of the first movies I remember seeing Charlize’s face in. Young and short-haired in 1999, she played Johnny Depp’s wife who slowly starts to believe that her astronaut husband is an alien. The film was given a total of 15 percent on Rotten Tomatoes so it was proven that Charlize didn’t have the star power just yet to save the movie.
18 The Road
In 2009, John Hillcoat decided he wanted to adapt Cormac McCarthy’s dark post-apocalyptic novel about a father and young son trying to stay alive. Theron played “the Mother” who tragically leaves behind her son because she can’t handle life anymore. Her description just doesn’t fit the bill of a basically no-name character and left a lot to be desired.
While the IDEA of an Alien prequel seemed like a wonderful idea at the time, the execution fell a little flat, even if it was backed by a stellar cast (Theron, Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce) the story didn’t fit too well. Though audiences found it perfectly average at best, it just left more questions than answers.
16 The Fate of the Furious
In 2017, the 39,394,473 Fast and Furious film was released to perfectly average ratings. Despite Vin Diesel returning as Dominic Toretto, the movie appeared cluttered. Theron played a cyberterrorist named Cipher who manages to convince Dominic into working for her. All this movie proved is that age cannot touch Theron in the slightest.
15 Astro Boy
As quickly as this 2009 animated feature came around, it was forgotten just as rapidly despite an excellent cast (sound familiar?) which included Theron, Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell, and Nicolas Cage among others. Fans and critics were rather “meh” about the whole thing and gave it a 50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
I’ll admit – I LOVED the premise of this movie and Will Smith was excellent as a down-on-his-luck superhero who everyone couldn’t stand. But then the storyline got away from itself when it was revealed about Theron’s character and her relationship to Smith’s Hancock. It just felt almost forced, which was a huge shame.
13 The Italian Job
What was supposed to be a fun caper crime movie that audiences had a good time with, I found a little ruined by them attempting to be more dramatic than it was supposed to be. And that had to do with Charlize’s character Stella and her romantic entanglements. Would have been way better if she wasn’t bothered by all that nonsense.
12 A Million Ways To Die In The West
This is one movie where Charlize’s romantic entanglements were actually SPOT ON. While it wasn’t really a favorite of critics or audiences, it was her presence in the film that actually makes you want to watch the over-the-top comedy. Seth MacFarlane knew exactly what he was doing when he wrote the part and cast her in it.
11 Mad Max: Fury Road
We’re not going to say that she “saved” this movie (it was already brilliant to begin with) but it was her face on the billboards and in the trailer which brought in audiences. This is a movie for a feminist generation who are looking for female empowerment on the screen, and Charlize leads the way in this remake.
Theron is unrecognizable as the serial killer Aileen Wuornos in this 2002 drama, which won the actress an Academy Award for Best Actress. It’s not that she “saved” the movie, it’s that NO OTHER ACTRESS could have played this role with so much grit and brilliance. She literally transformed herself for the part and nailed it.
9 Atomic Blonde
Need an actress to play a secret spy for MI6? Charlize has got you covered. The actress uses all her skills to set this 2017 film on fire in the absolute best way possible. And not just that – have you seen the fashion being sported in the movie? She is the ONLY REASON why you see this movie – period.
This 2018 drama is an insanely hard movie to watch – especially if you’re a mother, but Charlize plays a struggling mom so beautifully, the film turns into a wondrous work of art (even with its dark context and its surprising twist ending). She plays the character of Marlo with such pain and anxiety that you find yourself emotionally entangled in the movie.
7 Long Shot
Oh lovely, yet another comedy where an average looking nobody manages to get the extraordinary, out-of-his-ever-loving-league woman, who happens to a sophisticated politician. But, yet, because it’s Theron and Seth Rogan, it appears to work with both audiences and critics alike. It’s a goofy movie that happens to be a great guilty pleasure.
6 Reindeer Games
The only thing I remember from this movie is how horrible it actually was, and Charlize Theron’s face. This was after she did The Astronaut’s Wife and before she finally really broke out in the Hollywood game. No one even really cares that Ben Affleck was in it or that, well, it was just notoriously bad. The ONLY good thing about it was her role.
5 Sweet November
Without her, it was just another sappy drama about a dying woman who falls in love with Keanu Reeves. Was it a good movie? Goodness no, but the only good part about it was that Charlize’s career was beginning to take off and she was being offered more lead roles. In hindsight, she actually saved this movie.
4 The Cider House Rules
1999-2001 were the years that people AND Hollywood actually started paying attention to the beautiful actress, so it helped that she was in an Academy Award-winning film, despite it being just an average film at best. The one thing most remember about it was that Charlize was in it. And that’s good enough for us.
3 The Devil’s Advocate
Al Pacino. Keanu Reeves. Charlize Theron. Has the makings of a great film, no? Well, it was quickly forgotten in movie history. The only thing that stood out about it is that it was one of Charlize’s early films which served as a stepping stone for her career. I mean, she was relatively unknown and starring with two notable A-Listers.
2 The Legend of Bagger Vance
This movie was lost in that sea of movies that Charlize did in the early 2000s where she was the only good thing about it in general. Like before, the cast looked excellent on paper (her teaming up with Will Smith for the first time) but the storyline, in general, was a snooze fest, which had to do with the writing. Thank god for Charlize.
1 Snow White And The Huntsman
Yikes – an all-around forgetful movie with ONE redeeming quality – hiring Charlize as Queen Ravenna, who was, by far, the most entertaining aspect of this entire movie and its sequel. This was supposed to be a star vehicle for Kristen Stewart (Snow White) but you just ended up rooting for the evil Queen in the long run.
References: rottentomatoes.com, imdb.com, bustle.com., hollywoodreporter.com