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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Jennifer Garner!

01.20.2014

Movie Jail

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

The Case

The Prosecution: The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Arthur, Valentine's Day, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Elektra, 13 Going on 30, Daredevil

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Jennifer Garner earned numerous fans portraying Sydney Bristow on television's Alias, but when it comes to movies, her work leaves a lot to be desired. Her performances have been weak, and most of the films she has starred in have been pretty terrible.

The jury is probably already well aware of the prosecution's dislike for Valentine's Day, but Miss Garner also appeared in the abysmal Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. Miss Garner coasts through both films, barely putting any effort into her performance. The prosecution understands films like these usually don't have the best opportunities for one to showcase his or her skills as a thespian, but Jesus Christ Miss Garner, at least try. The actress was a little better in 13 Going on 30, however that's like saying getting kicked in the stomach is better than getting kicked in the nads, and it's not like that film was critically acclaimed either. 

But Miss Garner isn't on trial for starring in a few too many shitty rom-coms. Arthur is a bland and annoying, and so is Miss Garner in the film. The Odd Life of Timothy Green is so sickly-sweet you might develop diabetes while watching it, and like it is in most of her movies, Miss Garner is just kind of...there.

Let's not forget about how she butchered Elektra in Daredevil and the solo movie. Some may argue she wasn't right for the part to begin with and the screenwriters are the ones that f*cked up, but she still managed to completely fail as the character, and at least some of the blame has to fall on Miss Garner.

For her crimes, Miss Garner should serve no less than 13 months, but no more than 30 in Movie Jail.

The Defense: Dallas Buyers Club, The Invention of Lying, Butter, Juno, The Kingdom, 13 Going on 30, Pearl Harbor, Alias, Dude, Where's My Car?

Ladies and gentlemen, my client has appeared in a few awful movies, but enough to be considered for Movie Jail? The defense doesn't think so, and we believe Miss Garner has proven she's a decent actress. Maybe not fantastic, however there's nothing wrong with someone being just average at their job.

Although she got a lot of exposure on Alias, the defense has never considered Miss Garner to be a big name actress. Definitely not an A-lister. But once again, there's nothing wrong with that. The word the defense keeps coming to when trying to describe Miss Garner is serviceable. She's not going to blow you away with her performance, however Miss Garner usually doesn't hurt the film either. It's why she does better in supporting roles instead of leads (in the defense's opinion), like in Juno and even Pearl Harbor. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto are getting all the attention for Dallas Buyers Club, but Miss Garner was also quite excellent in the film.

The prosecution claims Miss Garner is a "lazy" actress, but clearly he hasn't seen The Kingdom, and she also has a ton of energy in 13 Going on 30. And you know what? 13 Going on 30 isn't actually that bad for essentially being a female version of Big. The film could have been much worse, and the defense believes Miss Garner deserves a lot of the credit. Go ahead and try to take away my man card, I f*cking dare you.

Miss Garner can do action, comedy, romance, and drama, and is obviously a talented actress. Is she on the same level as Meryl Streep, or even Julia Roberts? No, but that doesn't mean we should send her to Movie Jail.

IN CLOSING...

Should Mrs. Affleck be sent to the slammer for her crimes, or do you think she's an innocent woman? How much should she be blamed for Daredevil and Elektra? Is Jennifer Garner GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?

COMMENT BELOW WITH YOUR VERDICT!

*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. Anyways, 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?

LAST WEEK'S VERDICT

Look at Jason Lee in the picture above. See how happy he and his Alvin army are that he's been found NOT GUILTY of all charges? Most of the jury was on the actor's side during last week's trial, however there were a few that believed Mr. Lee should at least spend some time in Movie Jail. But Mr. Lee is a free man, so when he does make Alvin and the Chipmunks in Space, the jury will have no one to blame but themselves.

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

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 Special), Johnny Knoxville, Orlando Bloom, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Aykroyd, Sylvester Stallone, Gavin Hood, Jason Lee

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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6:59PM on 01/21/2014

NOT Guilty

Not the greatest actress, but damn likeable and cute as hell
Not the greatest actress, but damn likeable and cute as hell
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11:30AM on 01/21/2014

Meh

Loved her on ALIAS but has she been in a movie that mattered? I think this topic should be reserved for once loved actors who did great work and have fallen into B movie territory. She was never a revered "film actress" so I think this article is unjustified.
Loved her on ALIAS but has she been in a movie that mattered? I think this topic should be reserved for once loved actors who did great work and have fallen into B movie territory. She was never a revered "film actress" so I think this article is unjustified.
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2:59AM on 01/21/2014
Not guilty. She actually gave a Sexy and heartbreaking performance in Daredevil (directors cut... good movie)

Elektra was an awful movie but hardly her fault. The colored contact lenses she wore for that character... gorgeous.
Not guilty. She actually gave a Sexy and heartbreaking performance in Daredevil (directors cut... good movie)

Elektra was an awful movie but hardly her fault. The colored contact lenses she wore for that character... gorgeous.
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9:24PM on 01/20/2014

Cool. She was one of my suggestions for this column.

Her films are very hit or miss. I thought Butter was awful. Her best roles are supporting roles. I don't think she's a bad actress, just chooses some bad roles. I can't think of one single "great" performance, so I must say guilty, but she's not as bad as an offender as most, so I'd only give her a short sentence.
Her films are very hit or miss. I thought Butter was awful. Her best roles are supporting roles. I don't think she's a bad actress, just chooses some bad roles. I can't think of one single "great" performance, so I must say guilty, but she's not as bad as an offender as most, so I'd only give her a short sentence.
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-2
9:12PM on 01/20/2014

Guilty

To be fair, there is a fraction of me inclined to be forgiving because she isn't incapable of a decent performance (she's the best part of Juno, she's fine in Buyers Club...), but far more often than not she is utterly insufferable. With some - like Jason Lee last week - I can be forgiving of some poor showings in light of, well, reality, but the lead of Elektra and 13 Going on 30 needs to be behind movie bars.
To be fair, there is a fraction of me inclined to be forgiving because she isn't incapable of a decent performance (she's the best part of Juno, she's fine in Buyers Club...), but far more often than not she is utterly insufferable. With some - like Jason Lee last week - I can be forgiving of some poor showings in light of, well, reality, but the lead of Elektra and 13 Going on 30 needs to be behind movie bars.
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+1
8:12PM on 01/20/2014
Probation. I honestly can't think of anything noteworthy she's been in since Alias that proves she is a worthwhile actress, but I can't really think of any massive duds either. She's usually decent in a supporting role, but otherwise, she's not very noteworthy. She's just kind of there. She was an okay Elektra, but both Daredevil and Elektra sucked balls. Dallas Buyers Club was a fantastic movie, but she wasn't very interesting in it. Not really guilty, but she's also not completely innocent.
Probation. I honestly can't think of anything noteworthy she's been in since Alias that proves she is a worthwhile actress, but I can't really think of any massive duds either. She's usually decent in a supporting role, but otherwise, she's not very noteworthy. She's just kind of there. She was an okay Elektra, but both Daredevil and Elektra sucked balls. Dallas Buyers Club was a fantastic movie, but she wasn't very interesting in it. Not really guilty, but she's also not completely innocent. The defense needs a stronger case of why her more positive films outweight her duds.
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5:33PM on 01/20/2014

Not Guilty

She is a capable actress, and if you can show me an actor or actress with a perfect track record I'll eat my hat. THAT BEING SAID, I must recuse myself from the proceedings for the following reasons: A) She is my dream woman B) I have met her, and she is a wonderful person in real life C) Her husband is Batman, but more importantly he is a New Englander, and after what happened in Denver yesterday, we New Englanders need to console one another
She is a capable actress, and if you can show me an actor or actress with a perfect track record I'll eat my hat. THAT BEING SAID, I must recuse myself from the proceedings for the following reasons: A) She is my dream woman B) I have met her, and she is a wonderful person in real life C) Her husband is Batman, but more importantly he is a New Englander, and after what happened in Denver yesterday, we New Englanders need to console one another
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4:34PM on 01/20/2014

Not guilty....

I'm indifferent to her really. Beautiful and a decent actress even if she doesn't pick the greatest movies.
I'm indifferent to her really. Beautiful and a decent actress even if she doesn't pick the greatest movies.
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3:06PM on 01/20/2014
She is not gulity and she isnt annoying...I will say she doesnt always pick the greatest movies to star in, but she does bounce back from time to time.
She is not gulity and she isnt annoying...I will say she doesnt always pick the greatest movies to star in, but she does bounce back from time to time.
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+0
1:36PM on 01/20/2014

HUH? "13 GOING ON 30" DID GET GOOD REVIEWS.

Go to Rotten Tomatoes. They're not the best, but you talk about it like it was one of the worst-reviewed movies of that year. Actually, most critics agreed that it was Jennifer's performance what made it good. And I agree.

I don't think DUDE should be in the Defense. I loved it, but she got stuck playing the nagging girlfriend. I don't even remember what she did in PEARL HARBOR and CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. While I don't hate DAREDEVIL nor ELEKTRA, I could see their flaws. Jennifer isn't entirely
Go to Rotten Tomatoes. They're not the best, but you talk about it like it was one of the worst-reviewed movies of that year. Actually, most critics agreed that it was Jennifer's performance what made it good. And I agree.

I don't think DUDE should be in the Defense. I loved it, but she got stuck playing the nagging girlfriend. I don't even remember what she did in PEARL HARBOR and CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. While I don't hate DAREDEVIL nor ELEKTRA, I could see their flaws. Jennifer isn't entirely to blame for them (specially in the latter, where the character was too inconsistent), but her performances in both movies were still bad. CATCH & RELEASE was terrible and her character was boring (actually, all of them were), but she still tried her best. Her role in JUNO only required a few moments of low-key depth, and she nailed them. GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST had a lot of OK performances (her included). It just had a premise that was doomed from the start (mixing the tired rom-com genre with the over-used CHRISTMAS STORY formula?!). THE INVENTION OF LYING's high concept required most of the actors to say their lines without much emotion, and all Jennifer was asked to do was stand there, look pretty, and listen to the other actors call her the most beautiful woman in the world (not even close!). She didn't stand out in VALENTINE'S DAY, and some of her co-stars did.

I assumed she hadn't been an A-lister anymore because she got busy as a mom, but she still appears in movies almost every year. Huh. Anyway, I'm gonna go with Not Guilty because her career (even if it's a good performance in a bad movie or vice-versa) has been a little bit more hit than miss. However, if there ever was an opposite column (a Movie Hall of Fame or something), I would NEVER recommend her. She doesn't seem to have that much range, and she certainly can't carry a movie by herself.

Next week: Kate Beckinsale, Diane Keaton, Robert Luketic, Andrew Niccol, Ridley Scott, David Spade, Sigourney Weaver, or, current Razzie nominee Dennis Dugan.
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1:22PM on 01/20/2014

Not guilty

She's done enough good work to keep her out of Movie Jail. She's had some shitty movies but she's been able to bounce back fairly quickly everytime. She has not done anything exceptional but she's never been downright offensive either. I think her better workx have been under-seen on many occasions. Sure she's not the best actress out there but she is also far from the worse. I do not think she is leading lady caliber but I think she as also come to accept that.
She's done enough good work to keep her out of Movie Jail. She's had some shitty movies but she's been able to bounce back fairly quickly everytime. She has not done anything exceptional but she's never been downright offensive either. I think her better workx have been under-seen on many occasions. Sure she's not the best actress out there but she is also far from the worse. I do not think she is leading lady caliber but I think she as also come to accept that.
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11:42AM on 01/20/2014

Not guilty.

Now, I'll be the first to admit I'm a little biased, because Alias was awesome, and she was a big part of why. Juno and The Kingdom (I was a little disappointed she hasn't done more movies like that). But more than that I credit her with helping Ben Affleck overcome his image problems. For that alone I think she deserves a pass. But she's also a talented actress. She hasn't had the best of luck with her feature films (still haven't seen Dallas Buyers Club, so can't comment there), but I know
Now, I'll be the first to admit I'm a little biased, because Alias was awesome, and she was a big part of why. Juno and The Kingdom (I was a little disappointed she hasn't done more movies like that). But more than that I credit her with helping Ben Affleck overcome his image problems. For that alone I think she deserves a pass. But she's also a talented actress. She hasn't had the best of luck with her feature films (still haven't seen Dallas Buyers Club, so can't comment there), but I know for a fact she has the goods, and I firmly believe she is as genuine as she appears. No way, no how, is this woman guilty.
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11:36AM on 01/20/2014
Not guilty. I'm not really a fan, but she's just so inoffensive it couldn't possibly get annoying.
Not guilty. I'm not really a fan, but she's just so inoffensive it couldn't possibly get annoying.
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11:11AM on 01/20/2014

Not Guilty.

I thought she was great in Alias, Juno, Butter, The Invention of Lying, and The Kingdom and I thought she made for a terrific Elektra. Can't wait to see her in Dallas Buyer's Club and I even enjoyed Ghosts of Girlfriend's Past with her and McConaughey.

So not guilty. Also she's seems very down to earth and she is gorgeous. Affleck is a lucky guy.
I thought she was great in Alias, Juno, Butter, The Invention of Lying, and The Kingdom and I thought she made for a terrific Elektra. Can't wait to see her in Dallas Buyer's Club and I even enjoyed Ghosts of Girlfriend's Past with her and McConaughey.

So not guilty. Also she's seems very down to earth and she is gorgeous. Affleck is a lucky guy.
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11:09AM on 01/20/2014

Not Guilty

I didn't mind her as Elektra. The solo movie wasn't great but that wasn't her fault.
I didn't mind her as Elektra. The solo movie wasn't great but that wasn't her fault.
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10:54AM on 01/20/2014

Not Guilty

For the record, "13 Going On 30" is a fun, not great, rom-com that only works thanks to her energetic performance.

She has appeared in some utter shit, and was downright awful as Elektra in the standalone film (director's cut of 'Daredevil' does not completely suck, so I will cut her slack there). However, even in movies I utterly despise, she's been good- "Butter" is a tonally confused, awkward, not as scathing as it thinks it is satire, but all the actors, including Ms. Garner are better
For the record, "13 Going On 30" is a fun, not great, rom-com that only works thanks to her energetic performance.

She has appeared in some utter shit, and was downright awful as Elektra in the standalone film (director's cut of 'Daredevil' does not completely suck, so I will cut her slack there). However, even in movies I utterly despise, she's been good- "Butter" is a tonally confused, awkward, not as scathing as it thinks it is satire, but all the actors, including Ms. Garner are better than the movie deserves. Plus, she was damn good in "The Kingdom".

Is it enough for her to not be put on trial again? No, but right now, she's free, IMO.
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+4
10:43AM on 01/20/2014

Not Guilty

Garner just needs more evolved roles. Her supporting roles in films like Juno and Catch me If you Can were a delight and she needs more of them, just with more exposure. Alias was amazing.
Garner just needs more evolved roles. Her supporting roles in films like Juno and Catch me If you Can were a delight and she needs more of them, just with more exposure. Alias was amazing.
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-8
10:17AM on 01/20/2014

Guilty

Haven't seen her do anything that I would say is worthy enough to keep her out of jail. So in she goes.
Haven't seen her do anything that I would say is worthy enough to keep her out of jail. So in she goes.
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8:50AM on 01/20/2014
Not guilty. She's picked many annoying films but I don't find her annoying in and of herself.
Not guilty. She's picked many annoying films but I don't find her annoying in and of herself.
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8:47AM on 01/20/2014

Not Guilty

Elektra/Daredevil aside, she's always been fine with me. Got sucked into watching 13 Going on 30 with the wife and it was actually an enjoyable flick.
Elektra/Daredevil aside, she's always been fine with me. Got sucked into watching 13 Going on 30 with the wife and it was actually an enjoyable flick.
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8:26AM on 01/20/2014

Not guilty

I always like her, even when her movies suck.
I always like her, even when her movies suck.
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8:24AM on 01/20/2014

Not Guilty

She's been in some shitty movies and given some shitty performances, but she's actually very capable in the right role. I loved her in Dallas Buyer's Club, and 13 Going on 30 is a major guilty pleasure. While it's tempting to declare her guilty just on the basis of how horrifically bad Odd Life of Timothy Green is, she's definitely Not Guilty.
She's been in some shitty movies and given some shitty performances, but she's actually very capable in the right role. I loved her in Dallas Buyer's Club, and 13 Going on 30 is a major guilty pleasure. While it's tempting to declare her guilty just on the basis of how horrifically bad Odd Life of Timothy Green is, she's definitely Not Guilty.
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8:22AM on 01/20/2014

Not Guilty

She's not the greatest actress, but she does solid work and I don't believe she was to blame for DAREDEVIL/ELEKTRA. And she played off Matthew McConaughey very well in GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST - one of the few reasons to watch that crapfest.
She's not the greatest actress, but she does solid work and I don't believe she was to blame for DAREDEVIL/ELEKTRA. And she played off Matthew McConaughey very well in GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST - one of the few reasons to watch that crapfest.
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8:02AM on 01/20/2014

Not guilty

Very pretty, smart in her choices most of the time and she rocks in Butter. She does have all my sympathy.
Very pretty, smart in her choices most of the time and she rocks in Butter. She does have all my sympathy.
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7:48AM on 01/20/2014

Not Guilty at all

The true reason why her career isn't where it should be is because she became a Mom with Batman. She's Alias (Kickass btw), Juno and I love someone recognizing the coolness that was The Kingdom. She has never been the worst part of a film. Even though Elektra sucked horse dick, that wasn't her fault. It just wasn't a cool character. She's a solid actress but she misses out on a few things. She does no good to anyone in movie jail.
The true reason why her career isn't where it should be is because she became a Mom with Batman. She's Alias (Kickass btw), Juno and I love someone recognizing the coolness that was The Kingdom. She has never been the worst part of a film. Even though Elektra sucked horse dick, that wasn't her fault. It just wasn't a cool character. She's a solid actress but she misses out on a few things. She does no good to anyone in movie jail.
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-12
7:44AM on 01/20/2014

Guilty

The second she appears my suspension of disbelief goes.in my opinion her acting sucks
The second she appears my suspension of disbelief goes.in my opinion her acting sucks
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7:36AM on 01/20/2014

blah

Never really stood out for me so I cant get all that bothered about arguing my case. She's married to a cool dude so NOT GUILTY
Never really stood out for me so I cant get all that bothered about arguing my case. She's married to a cool dude so NOT GUILTY
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7:33AM on 01/20/2014
Not guilty. 13 Going On 30? She was very cute in that movie. And I think she's really great in The Odd Life of Timothy Green.
Not guilty. 13 Going On 30? She was very cute in that movie. And I think she's really great in The Odd Life of Timothy Green.
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