Many, many of our favorite pop stars have tried their hand at a serious acting career, and some have had major success doing so. (Mark Wahlberg and Barbra Streisand, anyone?) However, others… well… have starred in a few turkeys. Most of these movies starring huge names in pop music were panned by critics upon their release, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t hidden masterpieces ahead of their time. Here 14 the most notorious movies starring our favorite pop stars, from Spice World to Swept Away… in no particular order.
1. From Justin to Kelly
In theory, this one sounded like a great idea — hot off the heels of their successful run on the very first season of American Idol, America’s favorite new talents Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson seemed destined for big screen success… until this movie came out, and it was skewered from top to bottom and tanked at the box office, pulling in less than $5 million on a $12 million budget. Ouch. Clarkson, who has since gone on to have an illustrious music career told Time magazine in 2015, “I just want it to go away. I just want it not to be here.” She hasn’t starred in a movie since. Aw, Kelly.
Burlesque was Christina Aguilera‘s long-anticipated film debut, and seemed destined for greatness… with an all-star cast, including Cher, Kristen Bell, and Stanley Tucci, it was either going to be legitimately good, or so-bad-it’s-good like many other pop stars’ forays into film. Unfortunately, it was simply abysmal. Burlesque hasn’t quite elevated to cult status in the years since its 2010 release, and Aguilera hasn’t acted since. Ouch.
Few people know that Beyoncé has been acting for more than 15 years (!!), and has had her share of hits (Dreamgirls) and misses (Carmen: A Hip Hopera). And yet, her role as a wife on the wrong side of a crazy secretary in 2009’s Obsessed has become her most notorious to date. Bey brought out the big guns to protect her family, and it’s nothing if not LOL-worthy. Sasha fierce… indeed.
4. The Love Guru
This movie was set to be a summer blockbuster in 2008 — it featured Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake… even John Oliver is in it. But the film was truly, catastrophically bad, and The Love Guru was a certified flop. Timberlake went on to see big screen successes in movies like The Social Network and Inside Llewyn Davis, but his bad accent and wig in this movie are simply unforgettable.
5. On the Line
Timberlake’s NSync band mates sadly weren’t spared from movie misses. This 2001 rom com starred Lance Bass and Joey Fatone as friends trying to navigate the dating world, was, frankly, not great. *NSYNC fans surely loved it, but the rest of the movie-going world? Yeah, they didn’t. It only made $4.4 million back on its $16 million budget.
6. The Dukes of Hazzard
In 2005, Jessica Simpson seemed poised for big screen stardom — after all, she was a huge pop star on a wildly popular reality show, and she had won the hearts of pretty much everyone with her bubbly personality. Sadly, the remake of the classic ’70s sitcom ended up being little more than an excuse to show Simpson in her Daisy Dukes, and didn’t cement her status as an actress the way she likely hoped.
7. Freddy vs. Jason
Beyoncé wasn’t the only Destiny’s Child member to flex her acting muscles — Kelly Rowland‘s film debut came in the 2003 horror crossover flick Freddy vs. Jason and it received pretty mixed reviews. Rowland has gone on to star in two other movies since, but hasn’t returned to her horror roots… which might be for the better, if we’re being honest.
8. Halloween: Resurrection
When you’re asked to be a part of a classic horror franchise like Halloween, you do it… even if the end result is pretty questionable. Few people probably know that Busta Rhymes has a slew of film credits to his name, but this one is hilariously over-the-top. The eighth in the franchise, this one was the nail in the coffin for the original Michael Myers films before the series was rebooted altogether in 2007, and it features a seriously awesome fight scene between Busta and the famed killer.
The one and only movie starring the undisputed princess of pop, Britney Spears, has definitely become a cult favorite over the years… and it’s basically the pop star movie that all other pop star movies since have been measured against. That doesn’t mean, by critics’ standards, that Crossroads is good, per se, but fans have a soft spot for this road trippin’ chick flick, even with all its flaws. Spears herself remains good-humored about the movie, tweeting to costar Zoe Saldana in 2014 that she had nothing but good memories making it… even joking that the two should team up for Crossroads 2. I think I speak on behalf of the American public when I say: yaaaaaaasssss.
10. Swept Away
Madonna had already proven that she had acting skills in spades, winning rave reviews for her work in Evita and Dick Tracy, but her passion project with then-husband Guy Ritchie simply didn’t translate well with audiences, and it bombed. Fun fact: this was one of Elizabeth Banks‘ earliest film roles. Who knew?!
11. Spice World
The year is 1997, and I’m here to tell you what I want, what I really, really want. I want my five favorite Spicy ladies to star in a movie on the big screen. And in 1997, they delivered. If you don’t love Spice World for all its lunacy, bizarre plot points, and nonsensical story line, than are you even human? Girl power!
12. A Walk to Remember
Riding a wave of pop success in 2002, Mandy Moore starred in the film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel and pretty much ripped everyone’s hearts apart and sent stock for Kleenex up following its release. (Kidding about that last part, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were true!). A Walk to Remember is pretty syrupy and doesn’t hold up well if you’re older than the age of 15, but who will ever forget how they felt the first time they saw it? I’m still not over it.
13. Cool as Ice
I’m still unsure who decided the world needed a movie starring Vanilla Ice, but alas, here we are. This was basically the vehicle to keep Ice in the spotlight and, well, suffice to say that it melted… badly. Fun fact: Naomi Campbell (yes, that Naomi Campbell) appears in this flick. It won a slew of Razzies, but didn’t actually signify the end of Ice’s movie career — he’s starred in a few others since.
When it comes to notorious pop star movies, this is the ultimate — the one that people can’t stop talking about more than 15 years after its release as a commercial and critical flop. The sad thing is, it seemed to launch a series of personal struggles for Mariah Carey, but thankfully, in the years since, she’s taken hold of her career again and has thrived like the immense pop diva she is. Glitter has gone down in history as a box office tragedy, but fans still rejoice in the movie for everything it did bring: plenty of heart, that standard Mariah sass, and some seriously awesome music. Turns out, all that glitters isn’t always gold, but we won’t hold it against you, girl.