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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Aaron Eckhart!

11.16.2015

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This is Movie Jail, a unique maximum security prison that houses some of the worst writers, directors, actors and producers from Hollywood and beyond. Their crimes? The offenses vary from convict to convict but most of these inmates have contributed negatively to the film world to some capacity* and his or her misdeeds have covered a long enough period of time that the authorities had to intervene. In each column a defendant is put on trial, arguments are made, and then it is up to YOU, the jury, to decide if the person is guilty or not guilty of crimes against cinema. Their lives are in your hands, dude.

The Defendant

Aaron Eckhart

The Case

The Prosecution: My All American, I, Frankenstein, Erased, Battle: Los Angeles, Love Happens, Meet Bill, No Reservations, The Black Dahlia, Neverwas, Suspect Zero, Paycheck, The Core, Thursday

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, although Aaron Eckhart is a talented actor, the prosecution has decided to put him up for Movie Jail because of his recent run of mostly awful movies. Mr. Eckhart first garnered notice for his role as George the biker in Erin Brockovich, and went on to star in well-received movies such as Conversations with Other Women, Thank You For Smoking, and The Dark Knight, but he's also appeared in more than a few questionable projects, especially as of late.

His latest film, My All American, opened over the weekend to very weak reviews, however it looks like a masterpiece next to I, Frankenstein, which only has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 3% and was a financial failure. While the prosecution kind of gets why he did the former (he probably got a decent paycheck and it more than likely would have been a franchise-starter if it had done well at the box office), we feel the latter is the type of movie that should be below him, and the same goes for Erased, his little seen 2012 thriller. Olympus Has Fallen may have been a big enough of a hit to warrant a sequel, but like The Rum Diary, it only scored mixed reviews. Several of Mr. Eckhart's older movies have also received mediocre-to-terrible reviews (The Core, The Black Dahlia, Suspect Zero), however the prosecution is more concerned with his most recent ones.

The prosecution isn't questioning Mr. Eckhart's acting abilities, but we do need to do something about his bad movie choices before they have a lasting negative effect on his career, and we believe a week-long stint behind bars and a couple hundred hours of community service should do the trick.

I, Frankenstein Aaron Eckhart

The Defense: Olympus Has Fallen, The Rum Diary, Rabbit Hole, The Dark Knight, Towelhead, Thank You For Smoking, Conversations with Other Women, The Missing, Possession, The Pledge, Nurse Betty, Erin Brockovich, Any Given Sunday, Your Friends & Neighbors, In the Company of Men

Ladies and gentlemen, my client may not always appear in the best movies and his recent ones have been a little disappointing, however he definitely doesn't belong in Movie Jail. Mr. Eckhart isn't really an A-list actor, so he doesn't have the luxury of beng extremely picky with his roles, and although he has a few of them on his resume, it's not as if he's only been doing generic action flicks and rom-coms. And while it's true that his recent stretch of films haven't been fantastic, 2010's Rabbit Hole did earn very positive reviews from critics.

At least the prosecution isn't trying to claim that my client is a poor actor. Mr. Eckhart has consistently received praise for his performances, even in bad or subpar movies like The Rum Diary, Battle: Los Angeles and Meet Bill. Heath Ledger got a lot of love for his portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight, but the defense thought Mr. Eckhart was just as good as Harvey Dent/Two-Face, and we feel it is his second best turn to date, behind his performance in Thank You for Smoking.

Would the defense like to see Mr. Eckhart star in better movies? Absolutely, but his career isn't in danger like the prosecution suggests, and we doubt the jury will want to lock him up since he's a strong actor with a pretty solid filmography.

Thank You for Smoking Aaron Eckhart

IN CLOSING...

What should do with The Dark Knight and Thank You for Smoking star? Does he need a slap on the wrist and a kick in the ass to get his career back on track, or do you think he's doing just fine? Is Aaron Eckhart GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?

*The cases for and against a defendant going to Movie Jail by the author are not necessarily his views and opinions but they are some of the beliefs that one would use to effectively make an argument for both sides. Not quite a devil's advocate but you get the point. Anyway, this is all in fun so don't take it too seriously. We have a separate jail for those people called "Troll Tower" and believe me you do NOT want to go there.

WHAT SAY YOU, GUILTY OR NOT?

The Dark Knight Aaron Eckhart

LAST WEEK'S VERDICT

Barry Levinson

Acclaimed filmmaker Barry Levinson was found NOT GUILTY of all charges in last week's trial, and although some jury members said it does seem like the director has lost his way a bit, most said he's earned a pass with his older films like Rain Man and Good Morning, Vietnam.

PREVIOUS VERDICTS

GUILTY Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Vince Vaughn, Tim Burton, The Farrelly Brothers, Michael Bay, Jessica Alba, Ice Cube, Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Marlon Wayans, Julia Roberts, M. Night Shyamalan , Katherine Heigl , Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tyler Perry, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Ashton Kutcher, Happy Madison Productions, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Willis, Paul W.S. Anderson, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brett Ratner, Rob Cohen, Renee Zellweger, Shia LaBeouf, Renny Harlin, Diane Keaton, McG, Demi Moore, King Joffrey (Game of Thrones Special), David Spade, Spike Lee, Kevin James, Joel Schumacher, Ehren Kruger, Chris Rock, Mark Steven Johnson, Mickey Rourke, Ashley Judd, Uma Thurman, Josh Duhamel, Saw Franchise (Halloween Edition), Zach Braff, Sam Worthington, Melissa McCarthy, The Wachowski Siblings, Kate Bosworth, Garry Marshall, David Goyer, Akiva Goldsman, Avi Arad, Damon Lindelof, Hayden Christensen, Dennis Dugan, Sharon Stone, Jessica Biel, Nick Swardson, Simon Kinberg, Alex & Stephen Kendrick, Eli Roth, Paranormal Activity Franchise (Halloween Edition)

NOT GUILTY Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Nic Cage, John Travolta, Oliver Stone, Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Wes Craven, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Rodriguez, Kristen Stewart, Roland Emmerich, Kevin Costner, Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Smith, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Anna Faris, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron, Ray Liotta, Jason Statham, Paul Walker, Will Smith, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Johnny Depp, Ryan Reynolds, Milla Jovovich, John Singleton, Jon Voight, Jack Black, Brian De Palma, Jerry Bruckheimer, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Freddy Krueger (Halloween Edition), Johnny Knoxville, Orlando Bloom, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Aykroyd, Sylvester Stallone, Gavin Hood, Jason Lee, Jennifer Garner, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kate Beckinsale, John Cusack, Chris Columbus, Clive Owen, Terrence Howard, Andrew Niccol, Drew Barrymore, Steve Martin, Joel Silver, Michelle Rodriguez, Kiefer Sutherland, Dario Argento, Susan Sarandon, Dennis Quaid, Rob Reiner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mel Gibson, Pierce Brosnan, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, Ivan Reitman, Stephen Sommers, Shawn Levy, Jai Courtney, Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Luc Besson, Jason Reitman, Mila Kunis, Jennifer Connelly, Sienna Miller, Ben Barnes, Simon West, Len Wiseman, Brendan Fraser, Megan Fox, Neal McDonough, Cameron Crowe, Katie Holmes, Elijah Wood, Tarsem Singh, Reese Witherspoon, Burt Reynolds, Ed Helms, Sean Astin, Michael Polish, Kelsey Grammer, Queen Latifah, Mark Wahlberg, Vin Diesel, Barry Levinson

UPDATES: Robert De Niro, Nicolas Cage and Roland Emmerich, Jim Carrey, Robert Rodriguez and Gerard Butler, Jessica Alba, Julia Roberts and The Farrelly Brothers, Ben Stiller, Tim Burton and Shia LaBeouf, Johnny Depp, Kevin Smith & Chris Rock, Ice Cube, Owen Wilson & Vince Vaughn

Extra Tidbit: Who should stand trial next week? Share your suggestions for actors, directors and writers below with your verdict!
Source: JoBlo.com

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8:53PM on 11/16/2015

Not Guilty

Battle: LA is a guilty pleasure of mine; it's a smidge cheesy, but Eckhart puts in a good performance. I also kind of like the idiocy that is the Core, I've Netflixed it a couple of times.
Battle: LA is a guilty pleasure of mine; it's a smidge cheesy, but Eckhart puts in a good performance. I also kind of like the idiocy that is the Core, I've Netflixed it a couple of times.
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6:14PM on 11/16/2015

Not Guilty

Not Guilty by a Nose
Not Guilty by a Nose
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3:34PM on 11/16/2015

NOT GUILTY

Exactly what Noms said; even in bad movies, he's excellent. 100% not guilty. I stand by the opinion that he was better than Ledger in the Dark Knight. He was incredible in that. And I personally enjoy Battle Los Angeles. Sue me.
Exactly what Noms said; even in bad movies, he's excellent. 100% not guilty. I stand by the opinion that he was better than Ledger in the Dark Knight. He was incredible in that. And I personally enjoy Battle Los Angeles. Sue me.
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1:59PM on 11/16/2015

NOT GUILTY

As the defence states, in even bad movies, Aaron puts in good performances (The Core excepted!)
Do I wish he was in better movies? Of course! But he'll always be a good support rather than leading man and these are the films that he's usually better in.
As the defence states, in even bad movies, Aaron puts in good performances (The Core excepted!)
Do I wish he was in better movies? Of course! But he'll always be a good support rather than leading man and these are the films that he's usually better in.
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1:50PM on 11/16/2015
Not Guilty
Not Guilty
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10:38AM on 11/16/2015
Not guilty. He's a good actor. He just needs to choose better scripts.
Not guilty. He's a good actor. He just needs to choose better scripts.
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10:26AM on 11/16/2015

Not guilty

The man's been turning in solid work since In the Company of Men. He had a moment of true stardom with Thank You for Smoking and The Dark Knight. I don't think it serves any purpose to bring up his pre-Thank You for Smoking roles as part of the prosecution. What this guys needs is a good cable TV show with him as the star.
The man's been turning in solid work since In the Company of Men. He had a moment of true stardom with Thank You for Smoking and The Dark Knight. I don't think it serves any purpose to bring up his pre-Thank You for Smoking roles as part of the prosecution. What this guys needs is a good cable TV show with him as the star.
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10:26AM on 11/16/2015

Not Guilty

I have liked Aaron Eckhart in most of his films. (I, Frankenstein was BAD). But look at Battle:Los Angeles for example. Not a great film overall, but his presence kept the movie from being a complete fail. He really did a good job in the role of Master Sergeant. My point being is that overall he improves films, he is a very good actor. SO he's had a few duds. Not enough to put him in Movie Jail. I like him and would like to see him in more films.
I have liked Aaron Eckhart in most of his films. (I, Frankenstein was BAD). But look at Battle:Los Angeles for example. Not a great film overall, but his presence kept the movie from being a complete fail. He really did a good job in the role of Master Sergeant. My point being is that overall he improves films, he is a very good actor. SO he's had a few duds. Not enough to put him in Movie Jail. I like him and would like to see him in more films.
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10:23AM on 11/16/2015

Not Guilty

He's a really good actor and extremely likable. I thought his Harvey Dent was just as great and up to par as Ledger's Joker was in the Dark Knight.
He's a really good actor and extremely likable. I thought his Harvey Dent was just as great and up to par as Ledger's Joker was in the Dark Knight.
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10:16AM on 11/16/2015

ANY GIVEN SUNDAY....

... is my all time favorite movie so NOT GUILTY
... is my all time favorite movie so NOT GUILTY
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9:30AM on 11/16/2015
He was good in RABBIT HOLE, THE DARK KNIGHT and THANK YOU FOR SMOKING, but I wouldn't say he was out of this world. When you compare that to his awful performance in I FRANKENSTEIN, it doesn't look so bad. However, he has chosen to appear in so many questionable projects and he didn't made them good or even less bad. I'm not talking about the great NURSE BETTY. I'm talking about the average PAYCHECK, the passable OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, and the awful THE RUM DIARY and THE CORE. And how could I
He was good in RABBIT HOLE, THE DARK KNIGHT and THANK YOU FOR SMOKING, but I wouldn't say he was out of this world. When you compare that to his awful performance in I FRANKENSTEIN, it doesn't look so bad. However, he has chosen to appear in so many questionable projects and he didn't made them good or even less bad. I'm not talking about the great NURSE BETTY. I'm talking about the average PAYCHECK, the passable OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, and the awful THE RUM DIARY and THE CORE. And how could I forget (again) I FRANKENSTEIN, BATTLE L.A. and POSSESSION? I couldn't, because they're 3 of the worst movies I've seen in my life. He's Guilty.

Next week: Candice Bergen, Jason Blum, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Elisha Cuthbert, Danny DeVito, Matt Dillon, Brad Fuller, Heather Graham, Melanie Griffith, Raja Gosnell, Don Johnson, Angelina Jolie, Jamie Kennedy, Ben Kingsley, Brian Levant, Eugene Levy, Lucy Liu, Robert Luketic, James Marsden, Neal Moritz, Amanda Peet, Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kelly Preston, Meg Ryan, Seann William Scott, Barry Sonnenfeld, Barbra Streisand or Patrick Warburton.
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9:18AM on 11/16/2015

Not Guilty

When I walked out of Dark Knight I was actually as impressed with his performance as I was with Ledger's. I think he is a good actor but he is just going through a dry spell. He probably needs a new agent.
When I walked out of Dark Knight I was actually as impressed with his performance as I was with Ledger's. I think he is a good actor but he is just going through a dry spell. He probably needs a new agent.
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8:42AM on 11/16/2015
I often wonder how much is based on the quality of the movie and less so on the quality of the acting. If a good actor can be in a shitty movie, why does he automatically suck?
Just curious. Should we be basing them on the shitty films or basing on how well they make themselves look in a shitty film?
I often wonder how much is based on the quality of the movie and less so on the quality of the acting. If a good actor can be in a shitty movie, why does he automatically suck?
Just curious. Should we be basing them on the shitty films or basing on how well they make themselves look in a shitty film?
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3:31PM on 11/16/2015
Being a good actor is mostly about talent, but knowing how to choose projects is a (smaller) factor too.
Being a good actor is mostly about talent, but knowing how to choose projects is a (smaller) factor too.
8:31AM on 11/16/2015

Not Guilty

For now though... the guy has made a lot of crap lately.
For now though... the guy has made a lot of crap lately.
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8:31AM on 11/16/2015

Not Guilty

Not Guilty. Why is Battle: LA & The Core on the prosecution's list?
Not Guilty. Why is Battle: LA & The Core on the prosecution's list?
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8:16AM on 11/16/2015

Not guilty

I quite liked Battle Los Angeles, was a bit of mindless fun.
Yeah he has made some crap films but most actors have these days. Maybe give him a suspended sentence. Just to keep him on his toes.
I quite liked Battle Los Angeles, was a bit of mindless fun.
Yeah he has made some crap films but most actors have these days. Maybe give him a suspended sentence. Just to keep him on his toes.
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