Tom Hanks’ Most Regrettable Movies

Tom Hanks attends the special screening of "Sully"

Anthony Harvey/Contributor/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Europe

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Tom Hanks attends the special screening of "Sully"
Anthony Harvey/Contributor/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Europe

They Can’t All Be Great

Tom Hanks, who turns 67 on July 9, may be the best-loved American actor currently working, with more than 80 movies and counting to his credit. With the combination of his nice-guy rep, his comedic chops, and some now-classic films, it’s a wonder his face isn’t on our currency. Of course, he’s also human, and has frequently said he hates watching his own movies. Audiences and critics are divided about his recent performance as Colonel Parker in "Elvis." While some have praised his commitment to the role, Rex Reed said in his review for the Observer: "Balding and bloated, Hanks is a grotesque lampoon of everything from Tennessee Williams’ Big Daddy to Colonel Sanders of fried chicken fame, padded beyond recognition and disfigured by a mass of prosthetics." (If you're wondering, the movie scored 77% on Rotten Tomatoes.) Hanks might have more success with "Here," in which he and Robin Wright will be digitally de-aged. Whether that's a hit or miss, here are some of Hanks' flops, ranked by percentage of positive critical reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

Cloud Atlas

10. ‘Cloud Atlas’

Released: 2012

Critical approval: 66%

Hanks played multiple roles in this sci-fi meditation that spanned 500 years and was just one of his multiple book adaptation bombs. Newsweek called it an “earnest but misbegotten adaptation, which reduces a moving tour de force to a dull and homiletic house of frenetically shuffled cards.” Hanks himself told The Guardian, “I thought, jeez, this thing is so fab; it’s the only movie I’ve been in that I’ve seen more than twice. And it didn’t do any business. And there’s nothing you can do about it.” 


9. ‘Punchline’

Released: 1988

Critical approval: 60%

Four years before playing his mother in "Forrest Gump," Sally Field played Hanks’ contemporary in this attempt at a dark look inside the world of stand-up comedy. (She’s actually 10 years older than him.) Hanks gives a strong performance, particularly in a painful onstage flop, but the movie as a whole is dour and, well, not very funny. “The problem may be that the movie isn't nearly tough enough,” Roger Ebert wrote. “It needs to be more hard-boiled, more merciless in its dissection of egos, more perceptive about the cutthroat nature of show business.”

Turner & Hooch

8. ‘Turner & Hooch’

Released: 1989

Critical approval: 50%

Ignoring the adage about working with children and animals, Hanks teamed up with a droopy-faced mastiff to solve a murder in “Turner & Hooch.” The New York Times said, “The one level on which this mild children's comedy works is as an extended gross joke for 8-year-olds.” Critics’ reviews didn’t undermine the franchise, however; the title was revived in 2021 as a series for Disney+.

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The Man With One Red Shoe

7. ‘The Man With One Red Shoe’

Released: 1985

Critical approval: 47%

This entry into Hanks’ pantheon of lovable ’80s goofballs made under $9 million at the box office and wasn’t well-loved by critics, either. An American remake of the French 1972 film, “Le grand blond avec une chaussure noire,” the movie follows Hanks as a gentle violinist mistaken for an international spy. The Washington Post called it “a nearly unwatchable espionage comedy.” 

Related: The Best (and Worst) Movie Remakes of All Time

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

6. ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’

Released: 2011

Critical approval: 45%

Based on the popular novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, the movie adaptation of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” was less successful than the book. The story focuses on a young boy whose father died on Sept. 11 and who is convinced that somewhere his father left him a message. Hanks played the father in a film The Washington Post called “extremely labored and incredibly crass.”

Larry Crowne

5. ‘Larry Crowne’

Released: 2011

Critical approval: 37%

Tom Hanks with Julia Roberts sounds like a no-brainer, and worked to great effect in “Charlie Wilson’s War.” Co-written by Hanks and Nia Vardalos (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) and directed by Hanks, ”Larry Crowne” tells of a middle-aged man returning to college to complete his education. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggested subtitling the movie, “My Big Fat Mid-Life Crisis.”

Related: Most Romantic Movie The Year You Were Born


4. ‘Inferno’

Released: 2016

Critical approval: 23%

The Robert Langdon trilogy came out of Dan Brown’s bestsellers, and have always sold well — and fiercely divided both readers and viewers. None of the films were well-received by critics: “The Da Vinci Code” has a score of 26% and “Angels and Demons” did only slightly better at 37%. But “Inferno” tested everyone’s patience. As The Atlantic put it, “‘Inferno’ is better than ‘The Da Vinci Code’ or ‘Angels & Demons,’ but both of those films set the bar reprehensibly low.”


3. ‘Ithaca’

Released: 2015

Critical approval: 22%

This World War II drama must have been a labor of love for Hanks. It was directed by Meg Ryan, his co-star in “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail.” The critics didn’t feel the same loyalty. The New York Post said, “If you can't see where it's all heading, you're probably wearing a onesie and wondering how the mobile over your head works.

the bonfire of the vanities

2. ‘Bonfire of the Vanities’

Released: 1990

Critical approval: 15%

Call it a case of extreme miscasting. The book “Bonfire of the Vanities” was Tom Wolfe’s acerbic class satire of New York in the ’80s and already a critical and commercial success, so it made sense the movie version should be as successful. Brian De Palma, best known for his genre films, was chosen to direct. But Hanks, already known for his kind and relatable persona, was miscast as Sherman McCoy, an amoral titan of Wall Street. Hanks himself told Oprah it was “one of the crappiest movies ever made.”

The Circle

1. ‘The Circle’

Released: 2017

Critical approval: 16%

Hanks has received six Oscar nominations and two wins (“Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump”), but book adaptations have not been his friend. “The Circle” was an adaptation of a book by another esteemed author, this time Dave Eggers, and was yet another bomb. Hanks starred with Emma Watson in this dark look at ethics and social media. The New Republic called it simply, “a big honking sloppy mess.” 

Related: Family Ties: Celebrities You Didn't Know Were Related