The five worst movies of Tom Hanks’ career

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The five worst movies of Tom Hanks’ career

There are only a few actors able to match the majesty of Tom Hanks, with the Hollywood icon having thrived in the industry ever since 1980, working with the likes of Wes Anderson, Jonathan Demme, Brian De Palma, Robert Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg and Baz Luhrmann along the way. Sure, modern stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Denzel Washington might be able to rub shoulders with the star, but few of them share the same public adoration. 

Making his cinematic debut in the low-key Armand Mastroianni horror flick He Knows You’re Alone, Hanks later thrived on the small screen, appearing in loveable TV comedies such as Bosom Buddies and Family Ties. It was following this short stint that Hanks would steadily reach big-screen success, elevating his star persona following the release of Splash in 1984, where he starred alongside Daryl Hannah. 

Still, despite starring in a number of iconic movies, picking up back-to-back Oscar wins for 1994’s Philadelphia and 1995’s Forrest Gump, Hanks has been known to appear in his fair share of commercial and critical flops too. From early dramatic misfires to more recent fairytale stories, Hanks has phoned in several performances across his career, clearly just waiting for his paycheck at the end of the production.



Take a look at our list of Hanks’ worst movies of all time below.

Tom Hanks’ five worst films

The Bonfire of the Vanities (Brian De Palma, 1990)

The American filmmaker Brian De Palma is quite rightly known for making some of the greatest movies of the late 20th century, including 1987’s The Untouchables, 1993’s Carlito’s Way and the 1996 Tom Cruise action vehicle Mission: Impossible. Still, it’s fair to say that his 1990 film The Bonfire of the Vanities is one to forget, with the awfully-titled movie producing some awful performances from Hanks and co-stars Bruce Willis and Melanie Griffith. 

Despite the impressive cast, the film was unable to muster anything reasonably exciting, telling the story of a Wall Street hotshot whose life crumbles before his eyes, forcing him to connect with an equally down-on-her-luck reporter.

The Circle (James Ponsoldt, 2017)

Aren’t big-tech companies so insidiously evil? This was certainly the topic on everyone’s tongues back in 2017 when James Ponsoldt released the sci-fi thriller The Circle, telling the story of a woman who lands her dream job at a powerful tech firm, only to discover that the company is harbouring a sinister secret. With Emma Watson in the lead role, supported by Hanks as the big baddie, this film is lacking a serious amount of personality. 

Dull, formulaic and just a little bit silly, Ponsoldt gets his Black Mirror-esque story all wrong, with Hanks unable to muster anything even nearly sinister as the antagonist. 

Ithaca (Meg Ryan, 2015)

When Meg Ryan decided to take on the 2015 war drama Ithaca, it was almost inevitable that she would cast her three-time screen co-star Tom Hanks in a key role. We expect that Hanks wishes he never took her up on the offer. However, the Oscar winner is forced to appear in a rubbish film that tells the story of a 14-year-old telegram messenger growing up into a man after his brother was sent to war in 1942.

Appearing with the likes of Alex Neustaedter, Hamish Linklater and Sam Shepard, Hanks is unable to rouse the cast with his own downbeat performance, leading the film to become the obscure oddity that it is.

The Man with One Red Shoe (Stan Dragoti, 1985)

The problem with Stan Dragoti’s 1985 movie The Man with One Red Shoe should be clear from its sheer premise, telling the story of a man who is randomly chosen as the target of CIA surveillance. Meandering and pointless, the film fails to conjure much intrigue and imagination, running off one central gag in the hope that no one will realise that they have no other tricks up its sleeve.

The talents of the lead cast members, Hanks, Jim Belushi, Dabney Coleman, Carrie Fisher and Lori Singer, are totally squandered in this weird comedy, thriller, with the one saving grace being its reasonably cool promotional poster.

Pinocchio (Robert Zemeckis, 2022)

It would be unkind and inaccurate of us to bash every single Disney live-action remake, indeed, there are some decent ones. But one thing’s for sure, Robert Zemeckis’ 2022 adaptation of Pinocchio certainly isn’t one of them, with the movie starring Hanks as a ridiculously bumbling version of Geppetto, with his presence on screen barely feeling real in the foreground of the CGI set. 

A re-telling of the classic tale that follows the life of a puppet who is transformed into a real boy, Zemeckis’ film was also hampered by the fact that the Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro did a far more superior adaptation of the same story mere months before.

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