This list is pretty condensed, I'm sure there are a lot more actors that are overrated/underrated that I didn't touch on. I also have to mention that I really don't go to movies regularly because of time constraints and for reasons I've mentioned before.
1) Brad Pitt - I'll forget that fact that he's a political activist now and sounds like a total moron when interviewed. How any celebrity can be a environmentalist is beyond me. He's celebrated in the press for building green houses in New Orleans but isn't criticized for his own excessivness, unless he lives in a green 20 room mansion or flies on green private jets or is involved in green movie productions. Don't get me started. Anyways, he has done some great work with good range. His latest movie has been given some good ink.
Best examples: Fight Club, 12 Monkeys, A River Runs Through It, Se7en, Spy Game
2) Helena Bohnam Carter - I've always enjoyed her work, even the little seen Big Fish.
Best examples: Lady Jane, Hamlet, Fight Club, Howard's End, Big Fish
3) Jean Reno - Usually the French guy in all his movies, very underrated.
Best examples: Leon, The Big Blue, Ronin
4) Gary Oldman - I like him in just about everything he does, even as a guest host on Greg The Bunny. His acting in Leon was unbelievable, unless that's really him.
Best Examples: Leon, Immortal Beloved, Romeo Is Bleeding, Sid & Nancy, Fifth Element
5) Tim Roth - Deserved an oscar for Rob Roy.
Best Examples: Rob Roy, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Four Rooms (he didn't suck, the movie kind of did).
6) John Malkivich - This guy has range, have always enjoyed his work.
Best Examples: Rounders, Dangerous Liaisons, Empire Of The Sun, Killing Fields, Places in the Heart
7) Franka Potente - Very talented young lady, wait, she's older than me.
Best Examples: Run Lola Run, Born Identity, Blow
8) Clive Owen - Great actor but chooses crappy movies, he was the only reason I wasted my time on Children of Men, a very crappy movie.
Best Examples: Sin City, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
9) Chiwetel Ejiofor - Another great actor in the crappy movie Children of Men. First saw him in Serenity, a great underrated movie.
Best Examples: Serenity
10) Kathy Bates - Scared the shit out of me in Misery, seriously, I couldn't touch Fried, Green Tomatoes without the image of her turning James Caan's ankles into jello popping into my head.
Best Examples: Misery, The Waterboy, The Late Shift, Fried Green Tomatoes
11) Daniel Day Lewis - Single handily saved Gangs of New York from DiCaprio and Diaz. Damn fine actor.
Best Examples: My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, Last of the Mahicans, A Room With A View
12) Christian Bale - Two words: American Psycho. That and my wife thinks he's hot. Hell, I think he's hot.
Best Examples: American Psycho, Batman Begins, Equilibrium, Velvet Goldmine
13) Ewen McGregor - Saved the Star Wars franchise, literally. Made me forget about Hayden Christentian and Natalie Portman's horrific acting and chemistry. Has always made some decent flicks, probably one of my favourite actors, even though he was in The Island.
Best Examples: Trainspotting, Shallow Grave (awesome movie), Big Fish, Rouge Trader, Brassed Off,
14) Ron Perlman - Has been under the radar for years now, mostly because he's under a lot make up in his most prominent roles.
Best Examples: Hellboy, Blade II, Cronos,
1) Simon Pegg - I've been banging my drum for awhile on this guy. Really like his stuff.
Best examples: Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, 24 Hour Party People
2) Martin Freeman - Another Brit, I think you see a theme to my list, barely any Americans.
Best Examples: Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, Hot Fuzz, Love Actually (So I've Heard)
3) Sam Rockwell - Why doesn't this guy get more raves?
Best Examples: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Galaxy Quest, Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, Safe Men
4) William Shatner - Sooo over the top, so cheesy, but I don't care.
Best Examples: Airplane II, Star Trek sketch on Saturday Night Live, Star Trek (even numbered)
5) Adam Goldberg - First saw him in Dazed and Confused, have been pretty impressed since.
Best Examples: Hebrew Hammer, The Sultan Sea
1) Julia Roberts - Acts like that high maintenance girl in high school that everyone wanted to have sex with but no one wanted to deal with. I had a hard time finding any men that actually find her attractive. Tried her hand at broadway which was met with bad reviews, because it's pretty apparent she cant act.
Worst Examples: Pelican Brief, My Best Friends Wedding, The Mexican, Stepmom, Mary Reilly
2) Halle Berry - Probably one of the worst actresses to ever get acclaim, right up there with Morisa Tomei. Has the distinction of having the worst Oscar acceptance speech of all time.
Worst Examples: Catwomen, Monsters Ball, Swordfish, Gothika, Bulworth
3) George Clooney - Looking down then up again in a dramatic fashion is pretty much his only move, if you count that smile and head wiggle, of course. Pretty much acts the same in all movies, though I have to admit he was good in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Solaris.
Worst Examples: Intolerable Cruelty, Oceans 12, Oceans 13, Perfect Storm, One Fine Day, Batman and Robin
4) Jack Nicholson - I know I'm going to get a bunch of shit for this (if anyone is reading, of course) but he basically plays himself in everything; psychotic, mean and loud, much like in real life. When I was watching The Shining I kept thinking something was missing, then it hit me like a ton of bricks. In the novel the main character is a normal guy that slowly goes insane. In the movie Jack already looks insane, there was no turning, so it was no surprise when he tried to turn his family into hamburger. I would have guessed that he would have done it anyways even if the place wasn't haunted. He makes decent films, to me he is just overrated.
Worst Examples: Wolf, Somethings Gotta Give, About Schmidt (thanks for the nude scene Kathy)
5) Leonardo DiCaprio - Has spoiled all Scorsese movies that he has been in. Almost single handily destroyed Gangs of New York and The Departed. I haven't seen The Aviator because I couldn't take a baby faced DiCaprio playing Howard Hughes seriously. To me, he can't act, in fact, he overacts in some of his movies. Then there are his overbearing politics and environmentalism. Seriously DiCaprio, if you want me to take you seriously on environmentalism make a lot less movies, which spews a lot of CO2 and produces a lot of waste (when you really think about it), and stress all of Hollywood to do the same. So far he just stresses normal people to change their habits, not celebrities. He does drive a Prius though, which is great considering he lives in multiple mansions, takes private jets, has air conditioned trailers during movie shoots, is carted around in SUVs, etc. See Ed Bagely Jr, at least he practices what he preaches.
Worst Examples: Romeo and Juliet, Titanic, Total Eclipse (god, what a stinker), Blood Diamond, Quick and the Dead
6) Jude Law - I can't say that he can't act or he hasn't been in good movies, I just don't like the guy.
Worst Examples: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
7) Gwyneth Paltrow - If you don't like George Bush, just say you don't like George Bush and his administration, don't bash ALL of America just because he was elected, in other words, don't bite the hand that spends money to see your shitty acting skills (See also Ed Norton, Johnny Depp, etc.). Basically plays the whiny women in everything she's in.
Worst Example: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Great Expectations, Duets, Bounce, Shallow Hal, View From the Top
8) Marlon Brando - Mumbling is not an acting skill, neither is being a complete douche-bag
Worst Examples: The Score, The Island of Dr. Monreau, Don Juan DeMarco, Last Tango in Paris
9) Tom Cruise - Plays a "cocky ____" in every movie. For example plays a cocky fighter pilot in the soft core gay porn movie Top Gun. Plays a cocky lawyer in The Firm. You get the idea. He's also guaranteed to have a running scene with his fists pumping in every movie. His recent psychotic incidents don't help much either.
Worst Examples: War of the Worlds (seriously, why did they remake that), Mission Impossible (all of them), Cocktail, The Firm, Jerry McGuire
10) Natalie Portman - Plays either the eccentric chick or the chick that can't stop crying in all her films.
Worst Example: Closer, Mars Attacks! Garden State
11) Sean Penn - Someone REALLY needs to sit this guy down and tell him to cool off or something. Accuses George Bush of being a fascist and also accuses him of censorship yet hops in bed and raves about dictators that actually ARE fascist and censors ALL their critics by either killing or deporting (Chavez, Castro). Someone please explain that to me, seriously, I'm all ears. Always plays the conflicted guy, tends to overact or underact.
Worst Examples: I am Sam, Were No Angels, Shanghai Surprise
1) Jack Black - The whole drugged up hyperactive over the top act was kind of tired after High Fidelity, but that didn't stop him from continuing to do it.
Worst example: School of Rock, Orange County, Shallow Hal, Envy, Nacho Libre
2) Ben Stiller - Pretty much has only 3 characters he plays: the awkward, every day guy, the over the top asshole, and, and.....nope that's it, only two. Being his agent the last couple of years was probably easier than being Samuel Jackson's, he wouldn't turn anything down, especially the bad ones.
Worst Example: Anything filmed after 1999, except for The Royal Tanenbaums
3) Sasha Baren Cohen - Borat took America by storm with the Borat movie, but I really wasn't impressed. The whole guy with a microphone with a weird accent purposely trying to piss people off with done quite well with Tom Green. Actually, Tom Green did it better. His Ali G character kind of sucks balls too.
Worst Example: The Borat Movie
4) Jim Carrey - I actually did like him until after Dumb and Dumber. Then I kind of started getting annoyed. I actually think he's funnier when he's trying to be dramatic, I laughed my ass off when I saw the first part of the Majestic and Man on the Moon.
Worst Examples: The Mask, Truman Show, The Cable Guy, Fun With Dick and Jane
5) Stephen Colbert - He was pretty refreshing a couple of years ago, now he's kind of annoying. I actually thought of him last night (Sunday 9/23) when he was a guest voice on the Simpsons, really a sucky episode, and he definitely didn't help.
Just Cut Me a Check Division
Now here's the debate for the ages, who has cashed in on their success and have run their careers into the ground so bad that everyone has forgotten all the good things they have done in the past? Basically, who has sold out more, Al Pacino or Robert DeNiro? At least Al has done some decent movies since 2000 (Insomnia for one) but he also starred in Gigli. DeNiro on the other hand hasn't made a decent movie in years. Both actors have done so many bad movies since 1999 that it would take me forever to type them all out.
That's all I can think of, feel free to disagree and write me angry posts.....time for a beer.