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We're almost through 2014, and for some of us, this is an event worth celebrating. This was an interesting year for movies and movie stars. There was a lot of mud slung from a massive privacy breach. And there were the usual bad choices (and ill fortune) that some of our favorite stars suffered through. It's amazing what anything as small as a cameo or as large as a sleeve of films can do to a person's career, and 2014 showed us that no one is safe from failure in the business they call show.
Here now are 10 movers and shakers who are going to have to put in some overtime in 2015 to repair their damaged images.
10. Will SmithWhat's The Damage: Will Smith lost a lot of clout in 2013, with the M. Night Shyamalan stinker After Earth, and he's still paying for it up to this day. Yet despite this horrific waste of a man who's clearly talented when he's at his peak efficiency, there could have been a shot for him to redeem himself this year, with even the smallest of performances. Anyone who's seen Winter's Tale can attest to the fact that his small, but effective, performance as a mysterious character could have granted him some much-needed good will. The only problem is, he decided to use the vastly unseen Winter's Tale as the venue for his talents.
Chances For Recovery In 2015: Good, especially with his casting in Suicide Squad, as well as an NFL drama and a return to cocky R-rated action/comedy in the rather good looking Focus.
9. Chris PineWhat's The Damage: Star Trek alone should be pushing Chris Pine into the stratosphere of modern acting, considering how great he is in the iconic role of Captain Kirk. Unfortunately, this year brought Pine's career out of warp, with Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit performing rather meh-tacularly at the box office. If Stretch had made it to theaters, Pine could have put himself at even money. Alas, the film was buried on VOD. The kicker for Chris Pine's 2014 is, of course, his performance in Into The Woods, which has garnered positive mentions, but has been overshadowed by the under-performance that is known as Horrible Bosses 2.
Chances For Recovery In 2015: Not Good. Z For Zachariah is the only film Chris Pine has on his slate for 2015, and while that might pull in some teen spending money, it surely isn't going to be anywhere near what other YA adaptations will be bringing in next year.
8. Dane DeHaanWhat's The Damage: Dane DeHaan is still somewhat of a rising star, and 2014 should have been his year to shine – especially considering he scored his first big franchise role on the back of a pretty good 2013. It didn't help that said franchise was none other than the sinking ship we call The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and it helped even less that the film turned DeHaan into a sneering mutation of a character that looked like he was going somewhere in the first half. Much like anyone else who had more than one film with Sony this year, Dane DeHaan took a 1,2 punch as Life After Beth wasn't anything to write home about either.
Chances For Recovery In 2015: Good, as he has two films replete with amazing co-stars lined up for 2015: Tulip Fever and Life.
7. Sylvester StalloneWhat's The Damage: If you believe in brevity being the soul of wit, there's only one title you need to drop that sums up 2014's damage to Sylvester Stallone's career: The Expendables III. What once was the resurrection of kick-assed, over-the-top 80's action turned itself into a PG-13 kids' table of weak tea carnage. Considering The Expendables was Stallone's huge comeback into the action fold, it's even sadder that the franchise that gave him much to be thankful for would be the one to take it all back. Also, did anyone manage to watch the trailer for Reach Me and not feel like it was some DTV remake of Crash?
Chances For Recovery In 2015: Not Good. Stallone has no films lined up for 2015, but should stay busy making the Rocky reboot/sequel, Creed and an animated film, Animal Crackers. We'll see if either really takes off.
6. Adam SandlerWhat's The Damage?: The funny thing about Adam Sandler’s 2014 track record is that he didn’t play it completely safe. Sure, he had a traditional Sandler comedy in the summer bomb Blended, but he hedged his bets big time with two roles outside of his normal wheelhouse. The failure of Men Women And Children was particularly damaging, as it looked like a return to form for Jason Reitman, as well as a dramatic redemption for Sandler. At least, that’s what it looked like heading out of the festivals this year. In the case of The Cobbler, the festival circuit was much less kind, which has the film without any sort of wide release platform as of yet.
Chances For Recovery In 2015: Pretty Good, considering Sandler’s going back to the well with two comedies that look poised to bring back the Happy Madison brand: Pixels, and Hotel Transylvania 2. Not even the Sony hack could stop those two.
5. Angelina JolieWhat’s The Damage: Angelina Jolie’s 2014 is a rather interesting case, considering she had a hell of a year with Maleficent being one of the only non-comic based blockbusters this year had to offer. If she was interested in continuing her acting career, she wouldn’t even be on this list. What’s landed Jolie on this list is a film that should be riding high on a wave of praise. Unbroken, which was snubbed by the Golden Globes, has a 51% on Rotten Tomatoes. What should have been a slam dunk has now become a shaky prospect for future awards consideration, and a middling mark on Jolie’s still fresh directorial career. It also doesn't help that she has been caught up in the controversy involving the hacked Sony emails, which didn't exactly paint her in a positive light.
Chances For Recovery In 2015: So-So. While she and husband Brad Pitt showed a lot of chemistry in Mr. And Mrs. Smith, Angelina Jolie wasn’t writing or directing that picture. To The Sea has her doing both, and that could either spell brilliance or disaster.
4. Liam NeesonWhat’s The Damage?: This entry really hurts, as Liam Neeson hasn’t slipped in the quality of his acting, at least not enough that he should be put in movie jail. Rather, his choices have been the factor that’s lead to his sub-par 2014. The biggest dud in Neeson’s canon this year was A Million Ways To Die In The West, but even A Walk Among The Tombstones’ failure to spark anything short of the minimum of praise called the usual Neeson charm and toughness into question. Even his hilarious performance in The LEGO Movie was mitigated by the fact that he was in The Nut Job.
Chances For Recovery In 2015: Good, though Tak3n can harm them just as much as it can help them. Other than that, Ted 2, Run All Night, and Silence all sound interesting enough to fans to hang in for Neeson’s grand return.
3. Johnny DeppWhat’s The Damage?: Transcendence should have been a walk in the park for Johnny Depp. Sadly, the lukewarm script and the horrible marketing left this film DOA in the pre-summer months that a film of its stature could have raked in major money. Of course, a big piece of that failure is thinking that a film solely powered on Johnny Depp could have taken on Captain America: The Winter Soldier. As if he hadn’t taken enough of a hit, Into The Woods failed to bring back the musical Johnny Depp everyone remembers fondly, and instead trotted out a man dressed in a silly looking cross between a shag carpet and a zoot suit.
Chances For Recovery In 2015: So-So. Mortdecai looks like the type of film that can either be an unsung masterpiece or an overbloated disaster, while Yoga Hosers might do as much for his career as Tusk did (i.e. nothing.) Fingers crossed for Black Mass
2. Jamie FoxxWhat’s The Damage?: The career of Jamie Foxx has been a real grab bag in the past couple of years, with roles both famous and infamous making their way onto his resume. 2014 was pretty consistent though, in that it provided only goose eggs for Foxx, with two of them being massive let downs for the unluckiest studio in town. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Annie proceeded to take premises that could have set Foxx up for some prime acting gold, and turn them into huge let downs that had us wondering, "Is this the same Jamie Foxx that made Ray?"
Chances For Recovery In 2015: So-so. All Jamie Foxx has lined up for 2015 is Harmony Korine’s latest film offering, The Trap. Considering Korine’s track record, it’s perfectly OK to start worrying for Foxx’s career right about now.
1. Cameron DiazWhat’s The Damage?: Say what you will about Annie, but at least Jamie Foxx came out of the trailers looking like he could do something with the material that was given to him. The same cannot be said for his co-star, and biggest hit taker of the year, Cameron Diaz. Every advertisement leading up to the film’s release showed that Diaz was going to be a bit hard to watch as an updated Miss Hannigan, and from what’s been said about the film, the rumors were true. Then there was the summer’s biggest misfire since The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sex Tape, which landed with a thud at an already slumped summer box office.
Chances For Recovery In 2015: Horrible. All that’s on her plate at this point is Bad Teacher 2, and there’s no way that’s being prepped for 2015. Her schedule is open for redemption, provided she doesn’t bail like she did with Men Women And Children.