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20 Actors Who May Want To Call It A Career

With Hollywood’s fixation on getting young talent to sell movies and with the recent announcement made by Joaquin Phoenix that he was going to retire from acting (real or not), I thought it would be a good time to look at some actors and actresses that I think might want to consider retirement as well.

There were a couple of qualifications to consider here.  I didn’t want to have anybody too young, thereby not giving them a chance to develop.  I didn’t want to have anyone that doesn’t work at least somewhat regularly in films, hence a few people that I might have normally considered didn’t make the cut.  This is a film site, so no TV mainstays could make the list.  Make no mistake, there are some distinguished actors on the list.  In some cases, I would rather remember them for the roles they did well rather than the tripe that they continue to put out.  So, while it is all in fun, here is the list of those who might want to consider calling it an acting career.

First off, a few honorable mentions that didn’t make the list for various reasons, but that might soon be hearing the footsteps of father time calling them out.  In no particular order.

Al Pacino

Topher Grace

Geena Davis

Anthony Anderson

Eugene Levy

Eddie Griffin

Kate Bosworth

John Leguizamo

Willem Dafoe

Ed Harris

Gene Hackman

Martin Short

Freddie Prinze Jr.

Eddie Murphy

Tim Allen

Ray Romano

And now for the 20 actors who may want to call it a career:

20.    Tyler Perry

Admittedly, I know this is not going to happen.  But he makes the list for creating the character of Madea alone.  Not funny in the least.  How people keep turning out for his movies baffles me, but it baffles Hollywood too, that’s why he does it on his own.  Less of Tyler Perry and more of others would be welcome in my book.

19.    Robert De Niro

When it’s time, it’s time.  De Niro’s transition into comedy in recent years is unsettling to say the least.  And in dramas, as much as we all love the gangster persona, his range is next to nil these days.  I want to remember him as Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull or Jimmy Conway in Goodfellas.  A great career, but it’s time to transition into directing for good, my man. Note:  Al Pacino was under close consideration here as well.  He’s almost a caricature of himself these days.

18.    Meryl Streep

Her career actually parallels De Niro’s in a lot of ways.  Sure she can turn out a great performance, but must every time she does a film be considered Oscar-worthy?  I’ve never understood this fascination with her.  Too often her characters have an authoritarian presence.  If she could dial it down and do a movie every few years, she’d be easier to take, but she has 12 credits listed on IMDB since 2006 alone.  I wouldn’t mind if she gracefully bowed out.

17.    Catherine Keener

She is an unfortunate addition to the list.  She’s a talented actress that I have always pulled for.  But it seems she is constantly playing the toughened, independent type of woman and I am sick of seeing it.  Yes, she did the 40-Year Old Virgin and broke type briefly, but one change does not a career transition make.

16.    Kate Hudson

She was fresh as Penny Lane in Almost Famous but that was in 2000.  She brings nothing to these rom-coms she is settling for in recent years and I don’t get what anyone sees in her.  She is not particularly funny, attractive or charming anymore.  On the positive side, she hasn’t worked tons throughout the years but has 6 credits going since 2008.  A little too much.  Sorry.

15.    Martin Lawrence

My, how the mighty have fallen.  From humble beginnings to movie star to going crazy.  He was unique in his TV show and then in 1992’s Boomerang and ‘95’s Bad Boys.  But all of his movies in the past 10 years have been horrific.  Black Knight, Rebound, Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins, just to name a few.  Need I go on?

14.    Michelle Rodriguez

She plays the same tough as nails, hard to get at man-chick in every single role.  She never lost he Girlfight persona.  I don’t care about her sexual orientation, do what you gotta do, but as an actress you need to show something more.  Her Battle In Seattle cardboard cut-out sealed it.  I know it’s not always easy for actresses to secure gigs, but such is life…no dice here.

13.    John Travolta

He was funny and fresh in Saturday Night Live and Grease and his Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction made him cool again.  A true classic.  But since then, he has been ridiculous far too often.  Hairspray?  Wild Hogs?  I can’t take him seriously anymore.  Stick to flying planes and pitching Breitling watches, amigo.

12.    Matthew McConaughey

The guy is known more for tabloid fodder than anything these days and that is not a good thing.  He has charm and that can’t be denied, but nowadays he can only do the shirtless hunk it seems and that spells doom.  He doesn’t seem to challenge himself as an actor.  Also, on a hygiene note, wear some deodorant!  Enough with the “I smell like I smell naturally” stuff.  Join society as a whole, bro!

11.    Mike Myers

His career may indeed be dead now and we will all be better off for it.  The Love Guru crashed and burned but his Austin Powers has never been funny and his brand of humor should have stayed in Canada.  I don’t deny his talent (ok, I guess I do), but he’s never been very funny and certainly is not much of an actor at all.  You wanna do voice-work?  Cool, I can live with that, but no more schleppy, sloppy comedies.

10.    Kathy Bates

We are several years removed from her Annie Wilkes in 1990’s Misery and she has over 90 credits now.  The image of her undressing in 2002’s About Schmidt haunts me to this day.  She should have retired by 2001.  We get it.  You’re crazy, you’re tough, you’re over-the-top.  Enough already.

9.    Josh Hartnett

One of the youngest guys on the list, he is as good looking as my new dining table but my table is more emotive.  It evokes a desire to come eat off of it and watch TV.  Hartnett’s acting would force me to lose my lunch.  Did a decent job in Lucky Number Slevin but any goodwill was lost in the Black Dahlia.  Casting Directors, please reject his agent’s pleas for more work!

8.    Jon Voight

I see Angelina in him, or him in Angelina.  It’s too creepy.  He is not a particularly engaging actor anymore.  His heyday was 30-40 years ago, with Midnight Cowboy and The Champ.  No need to keep giving him work, then maybe I can find Angelina more attractive.  As it is, I just can’t quite get there.  When he got swallowed by that Anaconda back in ’97, his wink should have been a farewell screen moment.  The guy is hamming around doing National Treasure(s) and Bratz for crying out loud!

7.    Dane Cook

Almost hasn’t done enough work to make the list.  His “Is that a bottle of cock-blocker” line in 2005’s London is his only noteworthy quote in any film.  Tough to watch, not funny, charming or engaging, and yet, he still gets work.  I feel he turns off far more people than vice versa.  Stick to stand up.  Or don’t.  We’ll thank him for it.  Or just blissfully forget him.

6.    Rob Schneider

Yes, he’s been nothing but a supporting player, but he hasn’t done anything since “making copies” on SNL.  The guy is horrible.  He’s so bad, I don’t think even he likes him.  His buddies like Sandler need to stop having pity on him and giving him roles.  He’s done more than enough damage already.  Playing an Asian Minister in Chuck & Larry is blasphemous and tasteless.  Rob, make like Patrick Swayze and be ghost.

5.    Dame Judi Dench

She plays mean and she plays in period pieces. We get it. You don’t want your daughter to marry outside of the family.  You speak with an English accent.  Fall off.  She has had a 50-year career, which is at least 10 years too long.  Her winning an Oscar for 8-minutes of screen time in Shakespeare In Love was a travesty.  Replace Dame Helen Mirren in any role she gets cast in and we all win.

4.    Ashton Kutcher

Does he do anything well outside of planning pranks on his friends?  His acting chops are nil.  He seemingly plays the same character in almost every role.  How he got on TV is beyond me, but making it to the big screen is a flat-out joke.  He’s not even a box-office draw really, but with What Happens In Vegas scoring, he has a few more film credits in the works.  We all lose here. Our money and our dignity, if we continue to watch.  Dude, you’re hammering Demi, enjoy it and hide from us, please.

3.    Giovanni Ribisi

“Rib-eye” pitifully cries to his Dad and gets to date the lovely Nia Long virtually ruining an otherwise good movie, 2000’s Boiler Room.  He has about as much charm as his character in The Other Sister, which isn’t saying much.  An actor should be interesting to watch and sadly, when he is on-screen I often want to turn away (no joke).  Being a model for Sean John or Rocawear is both improbable and silly.  He’s incredibly annoying on screen and that’s not acting…that’s just how he comes across.

2.    Samuel L. Jackson

There is not another actor alive who is more tired.  He is in everything it seems.  His Jules Winfield was a true classic and his role in Jackie Brown was solid as well.  But then he got big, and somehow became a “definition of cool”.  He’s done nothing of merit in the last 8 years, which spans an enormous 50 credits!  Fifty, I said!  I wish those Snakes On a Plane would have eaten him.  There is way too much rubble to sift through to try to take him seriously anymore.  He believed the hype about himself instead of keeping it even keel and dialing down the movies.  A once-promising career that is essentially going to waste now.

1.    Sir Anthony Hopkins

Hopkins beats out Jackson simply because he really has one role with which we associate him by…Dr. Hannibal Lecter.  If he were to have called it a career around then, we would always remember his amazing performance.  But now, there is so much over-acting in between with his hack job in Legends of the Fall or “we’re going to kill the bear” in The Edge.  Fortunately, he has somewhat dialed it down to a movie a year or so, but still…when he was given British Knighthood, that should have been his sign to hang it up.

Agree or disagree? Let us know and give us your list.  Remember it’s all in good fun.

13 Responses to “20 Actors Who May Want To Call It A Career”

  1. Pads says:

    You are a true genius.

  2. TheMuse says:

    Anthony Hopkins as the No. 1……are you serious? You should have just called out Robert Redford or Clint Eastwood.


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