Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison in The Doors

The Worst Biopics Ever Made

These biopics are so bad, they might make you love your idols just a little bit less!
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Bad casting decisions, poor writing, and terrible special effects can really drag a movie down. That’s why you’d think good biopics are basically shoo-ins. It doesn’t get any easier than having a real-life story to work from. The characters already exist, the story has already been outlined, and – because the film is based on real-life events – extensive use of CGI isn’t usually needed. It kind of seems like making an enjoyable biopic movie would be relatively easy.

We’ve seen some pretty wonderful biopics created about intriguing people that stand out, not just as great biopics, but as great movies. They offer us glimpses into the lives of some of life’s most colorful characters, telling stories we wouldn’t otherwise experience and even making us feel like we know a person intimately.

people sitting in a dark movie theater

I’m talking about biopics like The Theory of Everything, the period drama detailing the life of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. It received numerous accolades. There’s also 2013’s award-winning 12 Years a Slave, an intense story about a free Black man from New York who was kidnapped by two conmen in 1841 and sold into slavery.

And then… there are the biopics on this list.

Many of them are infamous, but for very different reasons than the award winners I just mentioned. These ones are remembered for their cliches and their thin scripts, their bad casting choices and disappointing box office numbers. Some of them didn’t even get to the box offic–they went straight to the small screen.

I’d suggest you take this list as a warning. These biopics do not do their real-life subjects justice. They are not the films you want to dive into, no matter how much you loved Princess Diana or looked up to Joan Jett. And for the love of all things holy, John Belushi fans should stay far, far away from Wired.

Jobs (2013)

The story of Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs should have made for an interesting biopic. Unfortunately, I think reading Jobs’ Wikipedia page is probably about as riveting as this lackluster movie. The iconic genius deserved better than this glazed-over retelling of timeline markers. And while Ashton Kutcher’s portrayal of Jobs was pretty good, it’s extremely difficult to believe that he is Jobs because he’s already so well-known in his own right.

The Audrey Hepburn Story (2000)

It would be difficult to pack all of Audrey Hepburn’s life into an hour and a half, but the way this biopic basically skims past her life before Hollywood is a shame. Even more of a shame, though, was Jennifer Love Hewitt playing the revered actress. Does she kind of look like her in the face? Sure. But Hepburn, who had studied to be a ballerina, was the embodiment of grace. It’s difficult to get past the fact that Love Hewitt lacks the poise, charm, or distinctive voice of Hepburn.

Wired (1989)

I would expect a biopic of John Belushi to be wild. After all, Belushi himself was wild, living a million miles a minute and dropping some serious era-defining comedy before his tragic and sudden death. This movie is bonkers but in a completely ludicrous, hard-to-watch kind of way.

The plot is nuts: A guardian angel picks up Belushi (Michael Chiklis) in a taxi cab and takes him through his life’s mistakes a la A Christmas Carol. Belushi’s real-life friends and family denounced the movie, and they were absolutely right.

Related: The Blues Brothers Added to the National Film Registry

Against the Ropes (2004)

In theory, Against the Ropes had the makings of an interesting biopic. After all, it centers on the story of fight promoter Jackie Kallen, the first woman to achieve success as a boxing manager. To be clear, the film did hit pretty hard – at least, it hit the bottom of the barrel pretty hard.

Aside from the fact that it was basically just a bunch of sports movie cliches strung together with a bad script, who on earth would believe Meg Ryan as Jackie Kallen? Yeah, I’m talking about rom-com queen Meg Ryan from When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle.

I Saw the Light (2016)

Hank Williams had a relatively brief time on this planet, but his story is larger than life. A biopic of the legendary country singer, chronicling his rise to fame and subsequent battle with addiction, could have been an epic film. Instead, we got… this.

While Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen certainly share on-screen chemistry, the movie itself never dives too deep into anything. I Saw the Light falls flat where it should soar. It also doesn’t help that Hiddleston and Olsen are both so embedded into the MCU at this point that seeing them on screen together just reminds me of the multiverse.

The Doors (1991)

Ah, The Doors. The biopic that ruined the biopic genre for me for many years. Val Kilmer did a great job at portraying the Lizard King, so that’s not really the problem here. He even sounds like Morrison and performed the songs for the film. My problem is the way the film serves to inflate the mythology surrounding Jim Morrison, and frankly, paints a pretty unflattering picture of the guy.

Don’t be fooled by the name of the film, either. It’s not a movie about the band. It focuses almost exclusively on Morrison’s uninhibited behavior and shallow misappropriation of native culture. Oh, and Meg Ryan plays Morrison’s girlfriend (Hey, look–Meg Ryan gets to appear on our list twice!), while the one and only Billy Idol portrayed one of his buddies. Those were some choices.

Related: Val Kilmer Sits Among Every Actor Who Has Portrayed Batman

Liz and Dick (2012)

This biopic is centered on the scandalous romance between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who first met while filming the epic 1963 classic Cleopatra. But come on, Lindsay Lohan as the legendary Elizabeth Taylor? Whoever made that casting decision should have been fired.

To be fair, 2012’s Liz and Dick premiered on Lifetime. It’s the same television network that gave us Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? and 12 Men of Christmas. But even Lifetime doesn’t get a pass for this biopic.

All Eyez On Me (2017)

If you’re going to make a biopic about the legendary Tupac Shakur, it better be spot-on. Because All Eyez on Me ended up on this list, it clearly didn’t do the rapper any justice. The movie just kind of skims the surface without getting into anything interesting about what made him the icon he became.

Needless to say, this biopic garnered negative reviews and flopped at the box office. To put it in perspective, the film debuted the same weekend as Cars 3, and the animated kids’ movie pulled in more than twice what All Eyez On Me made at the box office that weekend. Let that sink in. A sequel to a sequel about talking cars made more than twice the amount of money in a weekend. By the following weekend, the Tupac biopic dropped 78 percent. Clearly, no one was recommending the film to their friends.

The Runaways (2010)

Joan Jett herself was an executive producer on 2010’s The Runaways, chronicling her first band’s rise and fall. But instead of the ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb she was probably hoping for, the film was a box office bomb. According to Variety, insiders blamed underfunded marketing for the film’s underperformance at the box office. However, if you waste an hour and a half watching it, you’ll realize it’s just a bunch of rock movie cliches dressed in 70s clothing. The biopic certainly doesn’t do justice to the first major all girl punk band.

Diana (2013)

In 2013, British actress Naomi Watts was honored with the chance to play the role of the people’s princess, Diana. This biopic is based on Kate Snell’s 2001 book Diana: Her Last Love, and depicts the last two years of Princess Diana’s life. It starts with Diana’s divorce from Charles, Prince of Wales, and covers her affair with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan.

Despite the promising storyline and Watts’ talent, the movie was a flop. Critics were relentless with their negative reviews, mostly aimed at the hilariously bad script and clumsy direction. Even Naomi Watts herself admitted it wasn’t good, likening it to a “sinking ship.”

Related: Princess Diana On Screen: A Look at the Stars Who Have Attempted the Role