- NBC’s “The Office” was a hit sitcom that featured an expansive cast of talented actors including Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, and John Krasinski.
- Many of the show’s cast members have gone on to successful careers in the entertainment industry, but they have also been in a few movies that critics hated.
- Steve Carell, who starred as Michael Scott, had a minor role as a waiter in the critically panned comedy “Curly Sue,” which is his lowest-rated film.
- John Krasinski, Brian Baumgartner, and Mindy Kaling all appeared in the rom-com “Licence to Wed” (2007), which is those actors’ worst movie.
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NBC’s “The Office” was a hit comedy series that fans still stream today. Although many of the show’s cast members have gone on to work on a variety of big films, not all of their flicks have been a hit with critics.
Here are the worst movies that the cast of “The Office” has appeared in, based on critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes.
Note: All scores were current on the date of publication and are subject to change. Films without critical scores were not included.
Oscar Nuñez played Lorenzo in “Fred: The Movie” (2010).
On “The Office,” Oscar Nuñez played Oscar Martinez, a meticulous accountant who puts up with Angela’s short temper and Kevin’s crass humour.
While “The Office” was still on the air, Nuñez played Lorenzo in “Fred: The Movie,” a film about the silly life of YouTuber Fred Figglehorn (Lucas Cruikshank).
The comedy was called “boorish” and “grating” by critics.
“Even young fans of the online shorts will find the concept stretched perilously thin,” Richard Jordan wrote for Total Film. “And if your eardrums don’t break, your spirit certainly will.”
Craig Robinson appeared in “Father of Invention” (2011).
Craig Robinson played warehouse foreman Darryl Philbin on “The Office.”
The actor had a role in the comedic drama “Father of Invention” as the very smitten Jerry King.
The film was completely panned by critics who called it “predictable” and “banal.”
“Colourless exposition and a lack of imagination or wit stall ‘Father of Invention’ at the starting gate,” wrote Ronnie Scheib for Variety.
Andy Buckley appeared in Netflix’s “The After Party” (2018).
Critic Score: 0%
On “The Office,” Andy Buckley played David Wallace, Dunder Mifflin’s CFO who loses the company to Sabre but eventually buys it back toward the end of the series.
After finishing his run on the famed show, Buckley had a minor role in the Netflix original “The After Party.” In the film, he played Mr. Levine the father of a teen who is trying to get into a big New York City after-party.
The movie was critically panned, with many reviewers complaining that it tried to be too many different things at once.
Audra Schroeder wrote for The Daily Dot, “‘The After Party’ is a ‘one crazy night’ movie. It’s a buddy movie. It’s a coming-of-age movie. Unfortunately, it’s not sure which one to focus on.”
David Denman played Byron in “Is That a Gun in Your Pocket” (2016).
Critic Score: 0%
On “The Office,” David Denman played Roy, a divisive character who stood in the way of Jim and Pam’s love story. Roy worked in the warehouse at Dunder Mifflin and was engaged to Pam at the beginning of the series.
After the show, Denman went on to appear in a number of films, including the comedy “Is That a Gun in Your Pocket.” The film centres on the women in a small, Texas town who start withholding sex from their husbands until they agree to give up their guns.
Some critics thought the film had good intentions, but nearly everyone agreed that it missed the mark.
“Most of the time … the movie is too busy being saucy or sappy to even look at its target,” wrote Mark Jenkins for The Washington Post.
John Krasinski starred in “Licence to Wed” (2007).
John Krasinksi played loveable prankster Jim Halpert on “The Office.” But the actor put his Dunder Mifflin business attire aside to play Ben Murphy, a man set on marrying his fiancée (Mandy Moore) at her family church, in “Licence to Wed.”
Unfortunately, the church’s pastor (Robin Williams) makes them go through outrageous hoops to secure their wedding.
Critics panned the film and largely blamed the poor score on its outlandish, “creepy” premise.
“It’s exactly what it looks like from the commercials,” Christy Lemire wrote for the Associated Press. “[It’s] a one-joke movie, and that one joke isn’t even funny to begin with.”
Brian Baumgartner also played a small role in “Licence to Wed.”
“The Office” alum Brian Baumgartner, who played accountant Kevin Malone, made a cameo in “Licence to Wed,” which is also his lowest-rated film.
Mindy Kaling is yet another cast member who appeared in “Licence to Wed.”
Mindy Kaling, who wrote for and played Kelly Kapoor on “The Office,” also appeared in the rom-com flop “Licence to Wed.”
Some even dubbed this movie an “Office” party because of how many stars from the sitcom appeared in it.
Angela Kinsey was a real-estate mogul in “Furry Vengeance” (2010).
Although she also had a minor role in “Licence to Wed,” Angela Kinsey, who played a cat-loving accountant on “The Office,” appeared in an equally low-scoring film called “Furry Vengeance.”
In the movie, housing developer Dan (Brendan Fraser) is enlisted by real-estate moguls Neal (Ken Jeong) and Felder (Kinsey) to destroy a rural Oregon forest and turn it into a mall. But the local forest animals fight back in retaliation.
Critics panned the film for having a thin premise and called it humorless.
“People often ask reviewers to choose the worst film of the year so far,” Derek Malcolm wrote for the London Evening Standard.“At last I have a cast-iron candidate.”
Jenna Fischer played Alli in “Are You Here” (2014).
After playing shy-receptionist-turned-brazen-businesswoman Pam Beesly, Jenna Fischer appeared in a small role alongside Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, and Amy Poehler in “Are You Here.”
Although the film had an all-star cast of comedians, critics called it “frustrating” and “disappointing.”
“Everything about ‘Are You Here’ feels like a bottom-drawer script idea that was put together too casually and carelessly,”Liam Lacey wrote for The Globe and Mail.
Melora Hardin starred as Barb Fields in “The Comebacks” (2007).
Critic Score: 9%
Melora Hardin is well-known for playing Jan Levinson, a vice-president-turned-candle-maker and one of Michael Scott’s love interests, on “The Office.”
In 2007, Hardin played Barb Fields, the wife of a struggling football coach, in “The Comebacks” alongside “The Office” costar David Koechner.
Critics panned the sports comedy, with some saying that it took the parody too far.
“There is no I in ‘team,’ but there are three in ‘idiotic.’ And idiotic more or less describes the appeal of ‘The Comebacks,’ a so-stupid-it’s-funny spoof of inspirational sports dramas,” John Monaghan wrote for the Detroit Free Press.
Catherine Tate voiced a character in “Monster Family” (2018).
Critic Score: 10%
The superconfident Nellie Bertram was played by Catherine Tate. Although she was a latecomer to “The Office,” Tate made a lasting impression on fans with her can-do spirit and exaggerated Englishisms.
Tate’s lowest-rated film is the animated family feature “Monster Family,” in which she voiced the mischievous witch Baba Yaga.
Many critics thought the kooky family film was “clunky” and overdone.
“The whole thing is exhausting, with too much slapstick, too few decent laughs and a care-y share-y message of family togetherness,” Cath Clarke wrote for The Guardian.
James Spader starred as Joel Campbell in “The Watcher” (2000).
Critic Score: 10%
The intense and sometimes creepy Robert California was played by James Spader. Robert took over as CEO of Dunder Mifflin Sabre after Jo Bennett’s (Kathy Bates) exit.
Spader was already a well-established actor before joining the cast of “The Office,” but not all of his films were a hit with critics. In 2000, the actor starred as a police detective on a seemingly endless hunt for an infamous serial killer in the suspenseful drama “The Watcher.”
“The Watcher” was not well-liked by critics, and many reviewers thought the film was too formulaic.
Kevin Thomas wrote for the Los Angeles Times, “While intelligently plotted and well-acted by James Spader, Keanu Reeves and Marisa Tomei, it is neither acutely suspenseful nor particularly thrilling but instead mainly numbing.”
Phyllis Smith was a flight attendant in “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” (2011).
Phyllis Smith played Phyllis Vance (née Lapin) on “The Office,” a quiet salesperson with a surprisingly sharp tongue.
After “The Office,” she memorably voiced Sadness in the hit Pixar film “Inside Out” (2015), but her lowest-rated film is the partially animated flick – “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” (2011).
In the family-friendly film, Smith made a brief appearance as a flight attendant. And critics dragged the film for its lazy writing and humour.
“‘Chipwrecked’ will probably be a winner with families that have small children, but older children may squirm and adults will find themselves wondering how such a promising premise got so quickly beached,” James Plath wrote for Movie Metropolis.
Steve Carell was Tesio in “Curly Sue” (1991).
Long before he played oddball boss Michael Scott on “The Office,” Steve Carell made a small appearance in “Curly Sue” (1991) as a waiter named Tesio.
“Curly Sue” was poorly received by critics, who called it “mindless.”
Harriet Waugh wrote for The Spectator, “Everyone who has to do with it – particularly John Hughes, the writer, director and producer of it – should be ashamed.”
BJ Novak voiced Baker Smurf in “The Smurfs 2” (2013).
BJ Novak not only wrote for “The Office,” but also he played temp-turned-corporate-boss-turned-temp-again Ryan Howard.
The same year “The Office” ended, Novak returned as the voice of Baker Smurf in “The Smurfs 2.”
Critics called out the sequel for lacking charm and being “obnoxious.”
“‘The Smurfs 2’ probably isn’t any worse than you might expect,” wrote critic Bruce Ingram for the Chicago Sun-Times. “On the other hand, it’s almost certainly not any better.”
Ellie Kemper played Tess in “Sex Tape” (2014).
After embodying ditzy-yet-loveable Erin Hannon on “The Office,” Ellie Kemper played friendly neighbour Tess in “Sex Tape.”
In the comedy, Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz starred as a married couple who panics when they realise they accidentally put their sex tape online.
Critics said that the laughs were few and far between and the plot was hard to believe in “Sex Tape.”
“Even for a farce, the situations stretch credulity far beyond the breaking point,” critic Lou Lumenick wrote for the New York Post.
Kate Flannery was Norma in “Helicopter Mum” (2015).
On “The Office,” Kate Flannery starred as Meredith Palmer, a brassy and often inappropriate supplier-relations representative.
Flannery later went on to play a supporting role in “Helicopter Mum,” a movie that centres around Maggie’s (Nia Vardalos) smothering relationship with her son (Jason Dolley).
The comedy was ripped apart on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics attributing their low ratings to the movie’s uneasy humour and nonsensical script.
“[Salomé] Breziner’s disjointed film is rife with storylines that go nowhere and characters that briefly appear and disappear without explanation,” critic Christine Ziemba wrote for Paste magazine.
Ed Helms played an estranged son in “Father Figures” (2017).
On “The Office,” Ed Helms played Andy Bernard, a paper salesman-turned-regional-manager who never stops talking about his alma mater, Cornell.
In “Father Figures,” Helms and Wilson played brothers who try to track down their father, who they once believed to be dead.
Critics ripped the film apart for its lack of direction and slow-moving plot.
“Director [Lawrence] Sher shows no special affinity for comic pacing or enlivening dialogue scenes, so the movie just plods from scene to scene, building no momentum,” critic Robert Abele wrote for The Wrap.
Rashida Jones played Debbie in “Cop Out” (2010).
Critic Score: 18%
Rashida Jones had a brief but influential role on “The Office” as Jim’s short-lived girlfriend Karen Filippelli.
In the buddy-cop comedy “Cop Out,” Jones acted alongside Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis.
Generally, the comedy was called “slow” and “humorless” by critics.
“It’s just not very funny – despite the all-too-apparent struggle to deliver verbal fireworks, there’s something immovably sluggish and inert about it,” wrote critic Andrew Pulver for The Guardian.
Rainn Wilson played a professor in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” (2009).
Critic Score: 20%
On “The Office,” Rainn Wilson played Dwight Schrute, an overachieving beet farmer with a passion for selling paper.
In 2009, Wilson played Professor Colan in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” which was dragged by critics for having overblown action scenes and a messy plot.
“I would like to think that even if I was 14, either in body or spirit, I would still find this film an impossibly, incomprehensibly overlong and cacophonous bore,” film critic Peter Rainer wrote for The Christian Science Monitor.
Leslie David Baker was Lieutenant Banning in “The Happytime Murders” (2018).
Critic Score: 24%
Leslie David Baker is well known for playing crossword-loving curmudgeon Stanley Hudson on “The Office.” But his lowest-rated film is the puppet-filled murder mystery “The Happytime Murders,” in which he played Lieutenant Banning.
The star-filled comedy was dragged by critics for being overstuffed and humorless.
Paul Lieberstein made a short cameo in “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard” (2009).
Critic Score: 27%
In addition to writing for “The Office,” Paul Lieberstein played Michael’s rival Toby Flenderson, an innocuous human-resources representative who desperately tried to maintain a semblance of professionalism at Dunder Mifflin.
Lieberstein hasn’t acted in many films, but he had a small role in “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard” alongside “The Office” costars like Helms, Robinson, and Koechner.
Critics mostly panned the comedy for being crass and overstuffing its supporting cast with outrageous characters.
“The oh-so-out-there mentality earns some chuckles, but that, along with [Jeremy] Piven’s preening, gets very trying. A hard sell is still a hard sell,” wrote Joe Neumaier for the New York Daily News.
Creed Bratton appeared in “Saving Lincoln” (2013).
Critic Score: 27%
Creed Bratton played the eccentric and mysterious Creed on “The Office.” It seemed no one, including Creed himself, was ever positive about what his actual job is at Dunder Mifflin.
Bratton is primarily a musician, but he has appeared in a few films including “Saving Lincoln.” In the film, he played Senator Charles Sumner, a politician who worked under Abraham Lincoln’s administration.
Many critics felt like the period drama lacked substance and didn’t add anything new to the historic plot.
Mark Olsen wrote for the Los Angles Times, “The film feels like an animated Wikipedia page, just sort of running through the greatest hits of Lincoln’s life in office – the Emancipation Proclamation! Gettysburg! The Theatre! – without any real insight.”
Zach Woods appeared in the film “Downhill” (2020).
Critic Score: 37%
Corporate goody two-shoes Gabe Lewis, played by Zach Woods, joined the cast of “The Office” on season six.
Recently, Woods starred in the dramatic comedy “Downhill” with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell. In the movie, which is an American remake of the international film “Force Majeure” (2014), an avalanche plows through a resort in the Alps and the aftermath drives a wedge between a married couple vacationing there.
Although some critics were impressed with Louis-Dreyfus’ and Ferrell’s performances, many reviewers felt “Downhill” was a weak imitation of the original source material.
“It validates a saying that I have: don’t remake the good movies, remake the bad movies that had a great concept,” Peter Rainer wrote for Film Week.