What happened to Halle Berry's career?

Ali Gray
Yahoo UK Movies Features

She had the world at her feet... then she tripped over it and fell flat on her bum. How quickly things have changed for Halle Berry: in 2002 she became the first black woman to win the Best Actress Oscar but in the decade that followed she won a Razzie for the worst superhero movie ever made, contributed towards the (temporary) death of James Bond, suffered the indignity of starring in a naff shark movie with her boyfriend and tried to impress Stephen Merchant by making guacamole with her boobs. Where did it all go wrong for Halle Berry? We chart her tragic career implosion film by film...

Monster's Ball (2001)
The movie:
Hard-hitting drama in which Berry played the widowed wife of an executed prisoner, with Billy Bob Thornton the racist prison guard who falls for her. Powerful stuff.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 85%
Halle-lujah or not Berry good? Berry good indeed: you don't win an Oscar for any old performance, you know. "This moment is so much bigger than me," wept Berry as she accepted her Academy Award. "This is for every nameless, faceless woman of colour who now has a chance tonight because this door has been opened." Who could have predicted how quickly it would slam shut for her...

[Lindsay Lohan's career meltdown: Film-by-film]

Die Another Day (2002)
The movie:

James Bond goes OTT: invisible cars, diamond-studded villains, face-masks, Madonna and an homage-o-meter that was spinning wildly out of control.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 57%
Halle-lujah or not Berry good? While Halle Berry can't take the blame for the suckiest Bond movie in a generation, her role as sassy spy Jinx didn't exactly help matters. Lumbered with some truly terrible dialogue, Berry was lucky she got to re-enact the infamous beach scene from Dr. No: a convenient distraction from how poorly-written her role was. Still, credit where it's due: it was the most successful Bond movie to date.

X-Men 2 (2003)
The movie:
One of the best superhero movies ever made, Bryan Singer's spandex-clad sequel was superb in every respect.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 87%
Halle-lujah or not Berry good? A definite post-Oscars high point. The role of Storm was fleshed out considerably after Berry's awards success and the film benefited from her performance as a result; her tender scenes with Nightcrawler are among the movie's best. Things would be quite different for Halle on the set of the third X-Men film, however...

Gothika (2003)
The movie:
Overly theatrical ghost story starring Berry as a psychiatrist who wakes up in her own mental asylum with no memories what she'd done to get there.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 15%
Halle-lujah or not Berry good? One of the more forgettable films on Halle's CV, this is a plot-by-numbers potboiler with a few bog-standard twists that will leave you resolutely unmoved. You wouldn't say Berry was bad in it, but it's a film that's only remarkable due to the fact co-star Robert Downey Jr accidentally broke Berry's arm during filming.

Catwoman (2004)
The movie: 
The most ill-advised superhero movie ever made, it took everything that was great about Michelle Pfeiffer's performance in Batman Returns and buried it in kitty litter.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 9%
Halle-lujah or not Berry good? Catwoman was such a disaster it secured four Razzies including Worst Actress for Berry. To her credit, she accepted the award in person: "I want to thank Warner Bros for casting me in this piece-of-s**t, god-awful movie." Me-ow! Catwoman is the reason you don't see any female superheroes in cinemas these days.

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
The movie:
The third X-Men movie but the first without Bryan Singer at the helm, it's a competent if undeserving end to the trilogy.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 57%
Halle-lujah or not Berry good? Dare we say that by this point, Berry's ego – or at least what her agent was demanding – was getting out of control? Before he dropped out to make way for Brett Ratner, Bryan Singer and Halle allegedly fell out over Storm's lack of a decent role – Berry reportedly requested she had as much screen time as Hugh Jackman.

Perfect Stranger (2007)
The movie:
A ludicrous cyber-thriller which sees journalist Berry flirt awkwardly with Bruce Willis' businessman, who she suspects is the killer of her childhood friend.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 11%
Halle-lujah or not Berry good? Again, Berry can't exactly be blamed for Perfect Stranger's complete failure to entertain, as the film's script is so ridiculous it almost defies belief. Philip French in The Observer wrote: "It is as convoluted and implausible as a unicorn's horn... [even] Agatha Christie couldn't guess what happens in the end."

Things We Lost In The Fire (2007)
The movie:
Berry's first return to serious, awards-worthy fare casts her as a widow who invites her hubby's messed-up friend, Benicio Del Toro, to live with her and her children.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 64%
Halle-lujah or not Berry good? It's one of Halle's more palatable movies, although it does get a little bit maudlin in places. Sadly it didn't herald a return to Oscar-winning form for Berry, so the film's writer went on to pen other such masterpieces as Adam Sandler's Just Go With It, Kevin James' Here Comes The Boom and Miley Cyrus' So Undercover.

[Gallery: Child stars then and now]

Frankie & Alice (2010)
The movie:
More awards grandstanding, with Berry playing a character suffering from dissociative identity disorder. Mental illness = Oscar success... right?
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 14%
Halle-lujah or not Berry good? That Rotten Tomatoes score isn't necessarily representative of the film's quality, because it wasn't screened for many critics. Critic Peter Travers called Berry's performance "mesmerising" but her multiple personalities – including a racist white woman – felt like something from a bad taste Family Guy sketch.

New Year's Eve (2011)
The movie:
One night. Two dozen celebrities. A few days' work. Lots of very large paycheques. The drippiest ensemble movie of the year.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 7%
Halle-lujah or not Berry good? Awful. Halle Berry appears in approximately 3% of the star-studded film as a healthcare worker nursing Robert De Niro's cancer sufferer through his final days. I'd love to say she made the most of her 240 seconds of screen time... but I'd be lying. By this point, Berry was just clocking in, reading her lines and clocking off.

Dark Tide (2012)
The movie:
A shark thriller, cannily sold with Halle Berry in a bikini on the poster. How the mighty have fallen.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 0%
Halle-lujah or not Berry good? You read that right: literally no one has anything nice to say about Dark Tide. Though it's not exactly from the 'Sharknado' school of cheap and cheerful shark movies, it is a profoundly odd film for Berry to star in – the chance to go to work with Olivier Martinez, now her husband, must have overridden her critical faculties.

Cloud Atlas (2012)
The movie:
An epoch-spanning romantic odyssey across time and space, the Wachowski's adaptation of David Mitchell's sprawling novel was a glorious flop.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 66%
Halle-lujah or not Berry good? Berry was again happy to be part of a bunch, but unlike New Year's Eve, Cloud Atlas was a true epic, spreading its cast of characters over multiple roles and six different time spans. Berry was superb as, among others, investigative reporter Luisa Rey, muse Jocasta Ayrs and even an ageing Korean doctor. A male one.

Movie 43 (2013)
The movie:
Risible sketch comedy which saw several respectable stars, including Richard Gere and Kate Winslet, apparently duped/guilt-tripped into appearing.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 4%
Halle-lujah or not Berry good? Movie 43 is quite possible the nadir of Berry's career to date. Her sketch, involving escalating dares with Stephen Merchant, was the most puerile of the lost – and that includes a skit with Hugh Jackman wearing balls on his chin. At one point, Berry squirts hot sauce from a turkey baster up her skirt. Case closed, your honour.

The Call (2013)
The movie:
Berry plays a 911 operator who finds herself at the centre of a kidnapping case one year after a young girl dies on her watch.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 40%
Halle-lujah or not Berry good? You can see for yourself when The Call is released in UK cinemas this week. It appears to be another Perfect Stranger-esque twisty thriller (with an equally ridiculous ending) but sadly, most of the talk surrounding the film is focused on either Halle Berry's weird haircut, or how far she's fallen since winning an Oscar. Sorry Halle!

Watch the 'Monster's Ball' trailer below, just to remind yourself of how good Halle Berry can be.