i’ve really hit some nerves with this list. 1. in my opinion, de caprio in blood diamond was an example of a good accent on the whole. not perfectly consistent but there’s no way he’s amongst the worst. 2. al pacino in scarface – fair point, it was horrendous and should’ve been included. 3. kate beckinsale in underworld – i’ve not seen the film 4. nic cage in any film with an accent – again, fair point. 4. catherine zeta jones wasn’t playing an american in traffic? really?
catherine zeta jones – traffic
remember when steve soderbergh made brilliant films? i do. traffic was an incredible example of soderbergh at his peak but the cracks were already starting to show – namely the casting of catherine ‘oggy’ zeta ‘oggy’ jones as an american. considering she’s been using a fake american accent at every opportunity since marrying michael douglas you’d think she’d have been a bit better.
keanu reeves – dracula
i was tempted not to even mention this one due to the fact that he’s not an actor. it’s just a given that he’ll never be able to imitate someone with an english accent because he can’t imitate anything unless it has no emotion, voice or physical presence. and to say yes to the part after finding out the gary oldman is gonna share scenes with you and make you look even worse is just acting suicide.
tommy lee jones – blown away
ahh, tommy lee jones. seriously, tell me a good film he’s been in apart from the fugitive? there isn’t one. maybe all casting directors were alerted as soon as blown away was released and the whole world watched him play an irish terrorist with an icelandic accent. if he wants to get any awards in future he’s gonna have to hope that bjork biopic gets made and someone’s needed to play her dad.
kevin costner- robin hood
am i correct in thinking that robin hood was meant to be english? if i am then this is the most extreme case of shit ‘accenting’ i have ever witnessed. as if having bryan adams at no.1 in the charts for 2yrs isn’t bad enough, costner turns up on set and doesn’t even consider putting on an accent to play mr hood. there are even some scenes where it sounds as if he’s trying to sound more american just to piss me off.
dick van dyke – mary poppins
there’s a reason why dick’s performance in mary poppins is always mentioned when the subject of shit movie accents is brought up: because it’s absolutely hilariously bad. if the director had said to him before the film, “listen dick, i want you to do a comedy cockney accent throughout filming. don’t take it seriously.” he still couldn’t have done a worse accent.
don cheadle – oceans 11
i couldn’t find a decent clip of cheadle doing his dick van dyke impression but nevermind, it would’ve made me wretch anyway. so what’s the matter with soderbergh? doesn’t he do auditions of any sort? all he needed to hear was one sentence of cheadle’s disgraceful cock-er-ney accent before realising he was absolutely not suitable for the part. maybe not though because the fucker hired him again for the sequels.
sean connery – the untouchables / hunt for red october / highlander
[update] his accent in the untouchables was so shit i actually remembered it as being american when in reality he was trying to play an irishman.
sean connery was good for only 2 things: indiana jones & the last crusade and james bond. every other film could be wiped from his back catalogue and he’d be better off. his russian impression in the hunt for red october is bad. his egyptian impression in highlander is awful. his american irish accent in the untouchables is the funniest piece of acting ever unintentionally produced. watch the clip below and then tell me you didn’t urinate at least a little bit in your pants.
brad pitt – seven years in tibet / devil’s own
pitt’s austrian accent in seven years in tibet isn’t actually that bad. the problem is, he keeps forgetting to fucking use it. at the start it isn’t too much of a problem but by the end of the film he, and the rest of the crew, seem to have given up. with devil’s own however, his oirish accent is just shit. he’d have been better off using the pikey accent he somehow managed in snatch than the poor attempt he gave.
mike myers – shrek
i know it’s an animated comedy but i don’t care – the scottish accent that comes from myers’ lips is really shit. i’ve worked it out and he only sounds scottish 4% of the time, other noted accents coming from shrek during the film including australian, south african and russian.
josh hartnett – blow dry
‘from the creators of full monty’. that’s one sentence that should immediately ring alarm bells as you walk into the cinema, closely followed by an evacuation of the building as you realise that someone has employed josh ‘charisma’ hartnett to play someone from yorkshire in a comedy about hairdressing. even for british people it’s a difficult accent to imitate – now imagine training a dog to pull it off. pretty bad? the dog would’ve been more consistent. strangely i couldn’t find any footage of josh in character on the intertubes.
julia roberts – mary reilly
first off, it’s an awful film. secondly, julia roberts’ attempt at an irish accent is disturbingly bad. at best she sounds like a posh english woman, at worst she seems to be playing someone from texas. watch the trailer – there are plenty of examples. at one point when she says, “i don’t believe there’s anyone out there sir”, she apparently drops any kind of attempted accent and ploughs on regardless.
patsy kensit – lethal weapon 2
i can only imagine they gave kensit the part due to her looks because she can’t act for shit. when she has a line she looks as if she’s reading from a piece of paper covered in text the size of ants and her accent is just confusing. unless i was mistaken and she was actually playing the part of an alcoholic norwegian woman, she was crap.
michael caine – cider house rules
he won an oscar for this performance and if there’d also been an award for ‘weakest fake accent’ he’d have bagged 2 trophies. maybe it’s just because whenever i hear his voice i immediately think ‘…blow the bloody doors off…’ but like all shit accent performances it ruined the film for me. it’s just far too distracting.
trailer (narrated by caine)…
john malkovich – rounders
(cheers to rodge for reminding me)
a late addition, i completely forgot about malkovich’s absurd accent in rounders. supposedly a russian character, he sounds like a drunk count dracula. or anyone evil from a cartoon. watch…