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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Hayden Christensen!

06.08.2015

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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

Takers Hayden Christensen

The Case

The Prosecution: Outcast, Takers, New York, I Love You, Virgin Territory, Awake, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, although Hayden Christensen was heavily criticized for his performances in the Star Wars prequels, they aren't the sole reason why he's up for Movie Jail. Mr. Christensen stands before you today because it's been ten years since the release of Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, and he still hasn't proved he's a better actor than what we saw in the Star Wars flicks.

Most of Mr. Christensen's post-Star Wars films have had little success with critics and at the box office, and his performances in them have ranged from barley tolerable (Jumper) to straight up awful (Takers). What happened to the guy who was nominated for multiple awards for his role in Life as a House? While some will argue that the George Lucas movies "destroyed" his career, maybe the actor would be doing a little better if he wasn't taking roles in obvious crap films, like Virgin Territory and Awake. Yes, Mr. Christensen is only picking from the roles that are offered to him and probably hasn't seen too many truly great parts come his way since Star Wars, but there has to be better options out there for the actor than playing second fiddle to Nicolas Cage in a shitty action flick.

The prosecution understands that Mr. Christensen isn't 100% responsible for his "wooden and whiny" Anakin Skywalker, but he certainly isn't a great or even good actor, and we believe the jury will agree that he deserves a very long stay in prison.

Outcast Hayden Christensen

The Defense: Vanishing on 7th Street, Jumper, Factory Girl, Shattered Glass, Life as a House, The Virgin Suicides

Ladies and gentlemen, lets be honest here; if my client didn't have the Star Wars movies on his filmography, he probably wouldn't be a Movie Jail candidate. Some will say his Anakin "ruined" Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, but those people should just let it go already, and there were far bigger problems with the films than my client's performances.

Mr. Christensen may not have a lot of range as an actor, but there have been a few strong turns from my client. Although his performance in Factory Girl received mixed reviews, the defense thought he did a great job in the Edie Sedgwick biopic, and we also thought he was fantastic in Shattered Glass. Mr. Christensen didn't have a lot to work with in Vanishing on 7th Street, but in the defense's opinion, he did just fine in the underrated horror movie.

My client's projects since the Star Wars movies are a mixed bag, however all it can take is one or two bad performances/movies to derail a career, especially for a young, up-and-coming actor, and that's exactly what happened to Mr. Christensen. Is it fair? Not, but that's the Hollywood system for you. Even though Mr. Christensen might be a little guilty, the defense doesn't believe he belongs behind bars.

Vanishing on 7th Street Hayden Christensen

IN CLOSING...

Do you think Mr. Christensen just hasn't found the right post-Star Wars role yet, or do we absolutely need to lock him up? Do you have faith in his abilities as an actor, or should we have thrown him in prison a long time ago? Is Hayden Christensen 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?

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith Ewan McGregor Hayden Christensen

LAST WEEK'S VERDICT

Aloha Rachel McAdams Cameron Crowe Emma Stone

Cameron Crowe was found NOT GUILTY of all charges in last week's trial, however the court has decided to put the once celebrated filmmaker on probation. The court has a feeling the jury will be a little less forgiving if the director is responsible for another poorly received film, and he better show some improvement with his Aloha follow-up, or he might be looking at a lengthy prison sentence.

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

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

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

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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10:27AM on 06/10/2015

Not Guilty

Was his line delivery in the prequel films forced, awkward, and flat, with barely any emotion behind them (save one line in episode 3)? Yes, absolutely. Was even Samuel motherfucking Jackson boring as shit in those films? Yes. And didn't Natalie Portman gave an equally lifeless performance? Fuck yeah! It's almost as if the director didn't give the actors good direction and all and everyone was just fumbling about greenscreens trying to figure out what to do. Lucas is to blame for the terrible
Was his line delivery in the prequel films forced, awkward, and flat, with barely any emotion behind them (save one line in episode 3)? Yes, absolutely. Was even Samuel motherfucking Jackson boring as shit in those films? Yes. And didn't Natalie Portman gave an equally lifeless performance? Fuck yeah! It's almost as if the director didn't give the actors good direction and all and everyone was just fumbling about greenscreens trying to figure out what to do. Lucas is to blame for the terrible performances in the prequel trilogies (before you ask, yes Ewan McGregor was able to overcome that BS and be awesome in it).

Outside of those films, he has been uneven, but mostly on the good side, imo. Yes, he's not that much fun in "Takers", but his character has such little screentime that his sole defining element is that he wears hats; I am not kidding. Rewatch it and tell me anything else about the dude- can't be done. So, maybe a lot of his scenes got cut, so he couldn't deliver, within the finished product at least.

He was excellent in "Factory Girl" and "Shattered Glass", and I wish he'd be able to take more dramatic roles like those as he really shines there. I liked him in "Vanishing ON 7th Street", despite the meandering of the movie, and his non-chemistry with any of his costars.

He was dreadful in both "Awake" and "Virgin Territory", and that's all on his shoulders.

So, uneven, but given the right material, he can be very good, thus not guilty.
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3:17AM on 06/09/2015
Hayden Christensen took the role of Anakin Skywalker away from an actor who could have worked opposite of Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor on the best role of his career. The role could and should have been ones of the most epic roles in cinematic history and launched another actor into the best ever category.

Hayden is forever GUILTY for being given and taking that chance and doing absolutely nothing with it.
Hayden Christensen took the role of Anakin Skywalker away from an actor who could have worked opposite of Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor on the best role of his career. The role could and should have been ones of the most epic roles in cinematic history and launched another actor into the best ever category.

Hayden is forever GUILTY for being given and taking that chance and doing absolutely nothing with it.
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10:15AM on 06/10/2015
I think you are being completely unfair to him. Any actor that is dealing with a director so bad that (s)he can cause the likes of Natalie Portman and Samuel L. Jackson to churn out dull, lifeless performances has an uphill battle. Lucas was far too invested in his special effects and labored dialogue to care about the actors, and they all (and I do mean all, save for McGregor who is the sole great that about all three prequel movies, in terms of acting) get lost and are unsure what to
I think you are being completely unfair to him. Any actor that is dealing with a director so bad that (s)he can cause the likes of Natalie Portman and Samuel L. Jackson to churn out dull, lifeless performances has an uphill battle. Lucas was far too invested in his special effects and labored dialogue to care about the actors, and they all (and I do mean all, save for McGregor who is the sole great that about all three prequel movies, in terms of acting) get lost and are unsure what to do.

In scenes that require no talking, but emoting with body language and facial expressions, he isn't that bad.
+1
2:25AM on 06/09/2015

Guilty

Terrible actor. He was the worst part of Shattered Glass, an otherwise excellent film.
Terrible actor. He was the worst part of Shattered Glass, an otherwise excellent film.
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9:59PM on 06/08/2015

not guilty

could care less about this guy really & screw Star Wars anyway, fucking nerds!
could care less about this guy really & screw Star Wars anyway, fucking nerds!
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5:34PM on 06/08/2015
Didn't realize the dude was still going. Haven't seen him in anything since Jumper.
Didn't realize the dude was still going. Haven't seen him in anything since Jumper.
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3:16PM on 06/08/2015

Not guilty

Not guilty. Yes, the star Wars prequels are shitty (though I enjoyed parts of Episode III), but that's Lucas' fault. Christensen was great in Shattered Glass. One of my favorite performances, period.
Not guilty. Yes, the star Wars prequels are shitty (though I enjoyed parts of Episode III), but that's Lucas' fault. Christensen was great in Shattered Glass. One of my favorite performances, period.
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+0
3:11PM on 06/08/2015

Guilty

In the running for "Worst actor ever"
In the running for "Worst actor ever"
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2:53PM on 06/08/2015

Not guilty

As long as Channing Tatum stinks up 5-6 movies every year, Hayden's a free man.
As long as Channing Tatum stinks up 5-6 movies every year, Hayden's a free man.
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1:13PM on 06/08/2015

not guilty!

Ah this was a tough one. He wasn't terrible in Revenge of the Sith so I'm giving him a pass. And I don't remember him in virgin suicides. Who was he? One of the younger boys?
Ah this was a tough one. He wasn't terrible in Revenge of the Sith so I'm giving him a pass. And I don't remember him in virgin suicides. Who was he? One of the younger boys?
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12:24PM on 06/08/2015
Guilty. I think he was just okay in Shattered Glass, not even that great.
Guilty. I think he was just okay in Shattered Glass, not even that great.
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12:12PM on 06/08/2015
Yes, he's horrible in the Star Wars prequels but his "career" is hardly significant enough to even be scrutinized for this article series. This is reaching.
Yes, he's horrible in the Star Wars prequels but his "career" is hardly significant enough to even be scrutinized for this article series. This is reaching.
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12:11PM on 06/08/2015

Sooo guilty

Death penalty, guilty.
Death penalty, guilty.
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+1
11:25AM on 06/08/2015
I can't believe people actually defend this guy.This dude was always a shitty actor going back as far that Goosebumps episode he was in back in 1997. He sucks!
I can't believe people actually defend this guy.This dude was always a shitty actor going back as far that Goosebumps episode he was in back in 1997. He sucks!
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-2
10:47AM on 06/08/2015

Career average: 4.6/10.

I admit that, because I saw them so many years ago, I don't remember 100% how I felt about his performances in TAKERS (one of the worst movies I've ever seen) and STAR WARS. I do remember very well his "I hate you moment" in EPISODE III. It was meant to be a heartbreaking moment, but he ruined it with his unconvincing delivery. I also remember very well his awful performance in the terrible VANISHING ON 7TH STREET. His performances in AWAKE (a guilty pleasure of mine) and JUMPER (decent) were
I admit that, because I saw them so many years ago, I don't remember 100% how I felt about his performances in TAKERS (one of the worst movies I've ever seen) and STAR WARS. I do remember very well his "I hate you moment" in EPISODE III. It was meant to be a heartbreaking moment, but he ruined it with his unconvincing delivery. I also remember very well his awful performance in the terrible VANISHING ON 7TH STREET. His performances in AWAKE (a guilty pleasure of mine) and JUMPER (decent) were uneven. He was good in some scenes and bad in others. Overall, he's not the worst actor in the world, but he's not good enough to deserve his fame. He's Guilty. By the way, he was in VIRGIN SUICIDES?! I didn't notice!

"if my client didn't have the Star Wars movies on his filmography, he probably wouldn't be a Movie Jail candidate. [...] all it can take is one or two bad performances/movies to derail a career, especially for a young, up-and-coming actor, and that's exactly what happened to Mr. Christensen. Is it fair? Not, but that's the Hollywood system for you. Even though Mr. Christensen might be a little guilty, the defense doesn't believe he belongs behind bars."
1) Without the prequels, he probably wouldn't be so famous. So... you're kind of right.
2) Yes, it's fair. If you're a bad actor, you shouldn't be in movies. Simple as that. What's unfair is when an actor delivers a good performance in a good movie that flops at the box office, and the studio thinks "He/She isn't bankable; we won't hire him/her anymore."
3) What does "A little guilty mean"? Isn't the point of this to talk like it was a real trial? Would you say that about a criminal? I get that you WANT him to be Guilty and is reaching to say something to defend him, but come on.

Next week: Dennis Dugan, Kelsey Grammer, Roland Joffe, James Marsden or Reese Witherspoon.
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10:18AM on 06/10/2015
It is not fair because far greater actors/ actresses gave equally as bad performances in the prequel trilogy, and they aren't/ weren't treated with such vitriol.
It is not fair because far greater actors/ actresses gave equally as bad performances in the prequel trilogy, and they aren't/ weren't treated with such vitriol.
10:45AM on 06/08/2015

Finally!!

I've been waiting for this day since Movie Jail #1. There is no one i find more infuriating than Hayden Christensen and it has nothing to do with Star Wars. He has absolutely no talent, not even in the overrated Life as a House. My biggest problem with him is Factory Girl, and I'm so thankful Bob Dylan (whom i'm a rabid fan of) was able to get his character's name changed. I think Quantum Flux sums it up best right below me
I've been waiting for this day since Movie Jail #1. There is no one i find more infuriating than Hayden Christensen and it has nothing to do with Star Wars. He has absolutely no talent, not even in the overrated Life as a House. My biggest problem with him is Factory Girl, and I'm so thankful Bob Dylan (whom i'm a rabid fan of) was able to get his character's name changed. I think Quantum Flux sums it up best right below me
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9:54AM on 06/08/2015
So guilty, perhaps we should forgo movie jail and just give him the death penalty.

"On a more personal note, let me just go on record as saying that there's no place for fakes, charlatans or tricksters like you in decent society! You play on the gullibility of innocent people! If my hands weren't tied by the unalterable fetters of the law, then I would invoke the tradition of our illustrious forbears, reach back to a purer, sterner justice and have you BURNED AT THE STAKE!"

So guilty, perhaps we should forgo movie jail and just give him the death penalty.

"On a more personal note, let me just go on record as saying that there's no place for fakes, charlatans or tricksters like you in decent society! You play on the gullibility of innocent people! If my hands weren't tied by the unalterable fetters of the law, then I would invoke the tradition of our illustrious forbears, reach back to a purer, sterner justice and have you BURNED AT THE STAKE!"

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9:43AM on 06/08/2015
Guilty. He's one of those actors who cannot get out of the role he was cast. Every time I see him I always think of Star Wars. He was good in Life As A House and Shattered Glass (very good in this movie) but nothing else since.
Guilty. He's one of those actors who cannot get out of the role he was cast. Every time I see him I always think of Star Wars. He was good in Life As A House and Shattered Glass (very good in this movie) but nothing else since.
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9:38AM on 06/08/2015

Guilty

No way this guy is getting out of jail.

Also, is it possible to have two people write this column? Have one write the defense the other the prosecution? Might make for a more interesting read and a little less obvious that you want a case to go one way or another.
No way this guy is getting out of jail.

Also, is it possible to have two people write this column? Have one write the defense the other the prosecution? Might make for a more interesting read and a little less obvious that you want a case to go one way or another.
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+1
9:16AM on 06/08/2015

Guilty

The guy has zero screen presence and is about as talented as a block of wood.
The guy has zero screen presence and is about as talented as a block of wood.
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9:11AM on 06/08/2015
I'm going with guilty. I'll say his performance in Star Wars III the Revenge of the Sith was light years better than his performance in Attack of the Clones. But overall, he was given the opportunity to be the leading man the center of big films and in my opinion he didn't really catapult that into super stardom, and that really is on him. he hasn't become the next big thing and he got the chance. I'm not much of a bettering man but I get the feeling Boyega will take his Star Wars
I'm going with guilty. I'll say his performance in Star Wars III the Revenge of the Sith was light years better than his performance in Attack of the Clones. But overall, he was given the opportunity to be the leading man the center of big films and in my opinion he didn't really catapult that into super stardom, and that really is on him. he hasn't become the next big thing and he got the chance. I'm not much of a bettering man but I get the feeling Boyega will take his Star Wars opportunity this coming winter and parlay that into multiple note worthy films and super stardom in a way Hayden has totally NOT done.
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8:42AM on 06/08/2015
This guy has no chance. He is a terrible actor... and in conjunction with George Lucas completely ruined Star Wars. He's going straight to movie jail with no parole.
This guy has no chance. He is a terrible actor... and in conjunction with George Lucas completely ruined Star Wars. He's going straight to movie jail with no parole.
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8:40AM on 06/08/2015

Guilty

Not quite sure how this guy has been given the bigger roles he's gotten.
Not quite sure how this guy has been given the bigger roles he's gotten.
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7:52AM on 06/08/2015

Guilty as charged...

Shattered Glass was the rare role he knocked right out of the park. It earned him a lot of goodwill with me. But that well dried up a while back. And I don't think he's on here just because he was in the prequels, though he's only one of the reasons they feel like the most elaborate con in recent movie history. He's so rarely shown any depth as an actor, I'm done waiting for him to reinvent himself as someone worth watching.
Shattered Glass was the rare role he knocked right out of the park. It earned him a lot of goodwill with me. But that well dried up a while back. And I don't think he's on here just because he was in the prequels, though he's only one of the reasons they feel like the most elaborate con in recent movie history. He's so rarely shown any depth as an actor, I'm done waiting for him to reinvent himself as someone worth watching.
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7:45AM on 06/08/2015

Probation with time served

As much as I don't blame him for the awful performances of the Star Wars prequel films (George is to blame), he can be a good actor but his recent roles haven't helped him at all.
As much as I don't blame him for the awful performances of the Star Wars prequel films (George is to blame), he can be a good actor but his recent roles haven't helped him at all.
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7:34AM on 06/08/2015

Guilty as fuck!

Hayden Christensen has never given a single performance that is even watchable. He's just a horrible actor.
Hayden Christensen has never given a single performance that is even watchable. He's just a horrible actor.
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7:33AM on 06/08/2015

Guilty

The only film I thought he did a good job in was Shattered Glass. Other than that, everything has been terrible. I'm sure he's a nice guy, but he's like a wooden plank when it comes to acting and/or delivering a good performance.
The only film I thought he did a good job in was Shattered Glass. Other than that, everything has been terrible. I'm sure he's a nice guy, but he's like a wooden plank when it comes to acting and/or delivering a good performance.
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7:19AM on 06/08/2015

JAIL..

100%
100%
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