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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Matthew Broderick!

Sep. 30, 2013by:

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: Diminished Capacity, Then She Found Me, Deck the Halls, The Stepford Wives, Inspector Gadget, Godzilla, Addicted to Love, The Road to Wellville, Family Business

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Matthew Broderick has played some memorable characters in his career, but as of late his films and performances have been bland and completely forgettable. What the hell happened to Ferris Bueller? Since starring as Mr. McAllister in Election, Mr. Broderick has become the go to guy for playing sad, broken men in bland indie films. You might be unaware of the situation since most of his recent films have received little to no attention, even by movie buffs.

It's not like these films are hidden gems or feature a strong performance from the actor either. Diminished Capacity is an unremarkable film and Then She Found Me is a small, dull movie. And although I see Wonderful World and Finding Amanda are on the defense's list, it's just more of the same from Mr. Broderick. Did you see the movie starring Mr. Broderick as a man who collects old volumes of encyclopedias and goes on a roadtrip through the Midwest with his estranged son? Well you didn't because I just made it up, but doesn't it sound exactly like something you'd stumble across at three in the morning on IFC?

Think the prosecution is being biased? Since 2004 his only "fresh" films on Rottentomatoes.com are Tower Heist and Margaret. Mr. Broderick has appeared in bigger and more commercial films, but it has been in ones like The Stepford Wives and the truly terrible Deck The Halls. And while Godzilla and Inspector Gadget were both incredibly bad for many reasons, his performances in those movies certainly didn't help either.

What's incredibly frustrating is we all know how talented Mr. Broderick is. He can also sing and dance, yet very rarely does he use these talents on the big screen. Instead, he just winds up playing another sad bastard in an unremarkable film. Ferris Bueller, you are not my hero, and it's time for Movie Jail.

The Defense: Tower Heist, Margaret, Wonderful World, Finding Amanda, The Producers, Strangers with Candy, You Can Count on Me, Election, The Cable Guy, The Freshman, Glory, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Ladyhawke, WarGames

Ladies and gentlemen, my client's recent films might not get a lot of attention, but that doesn't mean they are bad films, nor should Mr. Broderick be subjected to Movie Jail because of them. Indie films can be very hit or miss, but Mr. Broderick is always solid. Then She Found Me isn't a great film, however Mr. Broderick's performance is fantastic. Wonderful World and Finding Amanda might be more "sad bastard" roles for the actor, but he has shined in these types of roles in the past and he's equally as good in these films. Would you rather see him use his talents in more paycheck films or in movies with characters he actually cares about?

Mr. Broderick is extremely talented and the defense is right, he doesn't always use these talents in film. However, he has done a ton of work on Broadway. Maybe part of the reason why he's been doing smaller films is because of the demanding schedule that comes with working on stage. So while he might not get notice for some of his recent films, people have definitely noticed him in stage versions of The Producers, The Odd Couple and other plays.

Does the defense wish Mr. Broderick was in bigger films? Of course, but the defense enjoys more Matthew Broderick regardless. Most of his bad films aren't his fault (I'm looking at you, Deck the Halls) and even small films starring the actor deserve our attention because there's always a chance it could be something special, like Election or the underrated You Can Count on Me. Mr. Broderick for Movie Jail? Not on my watch.

IN CLOSING...

How do you view Mr. Broderick's career as of late? Is he sinking in a sea of generic indie films or just performing in movies he wants to? Should we ignore his commercial failures like The Stepford Wives and Inspector Gadget, or should he be punished for starring in those films in the first place? Is Matthew Broderick 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

After looking over the evidence from last week, the jury has decided Jerry Bruckheimer is NOT GUILTY of all charges. The jury agreed that Mr. Bruckheimer has not been at his best while working with Disney, but in the end decided to give the mega-producer a chance since he is no longer with the studio. The jury feels like it could be a return to form for Mr. Bruckheimer and would be very interested in seeing what he does next. As long as it's not a sequel to G-Force.

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

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

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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8:40PM on 10/01/2013
Guilty, he married Sarah Jessica Parker!!! Just kidding, not guilty. I like the few movies of his Ive watched
Guilty, he married Sarah Jessica Parker!!! Just kidding, not guilty. I like the few movies of his Ive watched
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5:29PM on 10/01/2013

Guilty

Hasn't been in a good movie since Election. Also, he comes off as an asshole.
Hasn't been in a good movie since Election. Also, he comes off as an asshole.
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10:06AM on 10/01/2013
Guilty for everything, including the movies in his defence (excluding 'WarGames' and 'Cable Guy').
Guilty for everything, including the movies in his defence (excluding 'WarGames' and 'Cable Guy').
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4:20AM on 10/01/2013

Take your wife to jail day! FOREVER!

Beyond guilty, he doesn't have a lot of range, and doesn't really play any memorable characters, aside from overrated Bueller. Done nothing relevant in over a decade. Has a rodent like wife, and whines his way through most of his roles. He did very well in the 80's, but If you can defend movies like Godzilla, Inspector Fucking Gadget, Deck The Halls, every Lion King movie ever made, Bee Movie, Tower Heist and Stepford Wives, I feel sorry for you.
Beyond guilty, he doesn't have a lot of range, and doesn't really play any memorable characters, aside from overrated Bueller. Done nothing relevant in over a decade. Has a rodent like wife, and whines his way through most of his roles. He did very well in the 80's, but If you can defend movies like Godzilla, Inspector Fucking Gadget, Deck The Halls, every Lion King movie ever made, Bee Movie, Tower Heist and Stepford Wives, I feel sorry for you.
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10:06PM on 09/30/2013
These would be so much easier to track the progress of if green was Not Guilty and red was a Guilty vote
These would be so much easier to track the progress of if green was Not Guilty and red was a Guilty vote
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9:12PM on 09/30/2013
Not Guilty. Come on, when you look at other teen stars from the 80's, which ones are doing as good as Broderick? Not a lot. Sure, he hasn't been in the best films lately, but I haven't seen him in anything so bad the he should be in movie jail.
Also, have his wife take the stand next week.
Not Guilty. Come on, when you look at other teen stars from the 80's, which ones are doing as good as Broderick? Not a lot. Sure, he hasn't been in the best films lately, but I haven't seen him in anything so bad the he should be in movie jail.
Also, have his wife take the stand next week.
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+5
8:50PM on 09/30/2013
Not Guilty.

I loved his brief stint in 30 Rock.
Not Guilty.

I loved his brief stint in 30 Rock.
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8:43PM on 09/30/2013

Guilty

Guilty as charged
Guilty as charged
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8:14PM on 09/30/2013

GUILTY

Just re-watched Election last week, and I really like that movie, but he's guilty. He's got some hits under his belt, but he hasn't done anything good in the past 10 years. He needs to mix it up and quit playing the neurotic, weiner in every movie.
Just re-watched Election last week, and I really like that movie, but he's guilty. He's got some hits under his belt, but he hasn't done anything good in the past 10 years. He needs to mix it up and quit playing the neurotic, weiner in every movie.
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7:43PM on 09/30/2013
When a Brett Ratner film is the first example/evidence listed in the defense doesn't the defendant automatically get life sentence? I think that was one of the founding laws of movie jail/movie court?

**blows dusts off the old movie history law book and looks it up**
Oh.. no I was wrong, it's actually automatic death sentence.
When a Brett Ratner film is the first example/evidence listed in the defense doesn't the defendant automatically get life sentence? I think that was one of the founding laws of movie jail/movie court?

**blows dusts off the old movie history law book and looks it up**
Oh.. no I was wrong, it's actually automatic death sentence.
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-2
7:04PM on 09/30/2013

Guilty

All of his best roles happened in the 80's, everything since then has just been lackluster. He'll never, ever top Ferris Bueller.
All of his best roles happened in the 80's, everything since then has just been lackluster. He'll never, ever top Ferris Bueller.
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+1
7:01PM on 09/30/2013

HE ISN'T GUILTY FOR NOT HAVING A HIT IN YEARS.

He's Guilty because he's never been a great actor. I'm not saying he's a bad actor, but there are different levels of talent. Think about it. One of his best performances was FERRIS BUELLER because of his charisma, but not because of depth. His character in ELECTION was his most complex one, and even then he relied mostly on his charisma. Unless the script specifically requires it (like in THE PRODUCERS and 30 ROCK), he never tries to be more expressive than usual. Why else would they cast him
He's Guilty because he's never been a great actor. I'm not saying he's a bad actor, but there are different levels of talent. Think about it. One of his best performances was FERRIS BUELLER because of his charisma, but not because of depth. His character in ELECTION was his most complex one, and even then he relied mostly on his charisma. Unless the script specifically requires it (like in THE PRODUCERS and 30 ROCK), he never tries to be more expressive than usual. Why else would they cast him as INSPECTOR GADGET?

What you said about him dedicating more to Broadway is why he isn't in so many studio films, but that's not an excuse to play the same characters over and over. I think people realized that he just doesn't have a wide acting range so they only offer him certain roles. Yes, he can be good in those roles individually (like in CABLE GUY, THEN SHE FOUND ME (which I did like) and TOWER HEIST), but looking at the whole career, it's unimpressive.

By the way, he was great in THE LION KING and BEE MOVIE. Why no mention of those?

Next week: Luc Besson or Dario Argento (if his DRACULA 3D keeps getting bad reviews).
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6:08PM on 09/30/2013
He's never really been a strong actor to begin with, so I don't even know why we're talking about Movie Jail. Isn't this article usually for esteemed actors/directors who have fallen off a bit lately? I don't feel like Broderick ever had it.
He's never really been a strong actor to begin with, so I don't even know why we're talking about Movie Jail. Isn't this article usually for esteemed actors/directors who have fallen off a bit lately? I don't feel like Broderick ever had it.
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4:23PM on 09/30/2013

Guilty!

It's pathetic seeing him these days, playing second-fiddle to Mr Ed.
Man up, Broderick!
It's pathetic seeing him these days, playing second-fiddle to Mr Ed.
Man up, Broderick!
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3:45PM on 09/30/2013
it seems he does better in the drama/lower budget type movies. but once he gets himself thrown into an actual, potentially high grossing film, then look out! So I don't know . . not guilty!!!
it seems he does better in the drama/lower budget type movies. but once he gets himself thrown into an actual, potentially high grossing film, then look out! So I don't know . . not guilty!!!
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2:00PM on 09/30/2013

Guilty

HE MARRIED A F**KING HORSE!!!
HE MARRIED A F**KING HORSE!!!
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7:45PM on 09/30/2013
Legend of the horse faced dog.
Legend of the horse faced dog.
1:59PM on 09/30/2013

Not guilty

but definitely a warning. The guy's a great actor who has been concentrating on his theatre career over Hollywood. And he has his funny moments: he made drinking orange juice funny in MARGARET. Frankly, there are a lot more actors deserving of Movie Jail than Matthew Broderick who have walked: Jack Black, John Travolta to name just two.
but definitely a warning. The guy's a great actor who has been concentrating on his theatre career over Hollywood. And he has his funny moments: he made drinking orange juice funny in MARGARET. Frankly, there are a lot more actors deserving of Movie Jail than Matthew Broderick who have walked: Jack Black, John Travolta to name just two.
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1:24PM on 09/30/2013

No Way!

You're gonna put Bueller on the stand?? Come on.
The problems from Godzilla was the monster not having a real adversary and that horrible dumb blond ex-girlfriend they had to put in there for a really weak love story.
You're gonna put Bueller on the stand?? Come on.
The problems from Godzilla was the monster not having a real adversary and that horrible dumb blond ex-girlfriend they had to put in there for a really weak love story.
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1:09PM on 09/30/2013

Guilty

Good movies as a young actor, but now I just see him playing himself.
Good movies as a young actor, but now I just see him playing himself.
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1:03PM on 09/30/2013

Not Guilty

Definitely some stinkers in there, but I think he's done more good than bad
Definitely some stinkers in there, but I think he's done more good than bad
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11:47AM on 09/30/2013

Guilty

Hasnt done anything worthwhile since Election, plus his go to persona is whiny and irritating, lock him away!
Hasnt done anything worthwhile since Election, plus his go to persona is whiny and irritating, lock him away!
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+0
11:18AM on 09/30/2013

Not guilty.

Just no.
Just no.
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10:50AM on 09/30/2013

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury....

We have a hung jury!
We have a hung jury!
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10:09AM on 09/30/2013

GUILTY

Guilty, guilty, guilty. i could never stand the guy.
Guilty, guilty, guilty. i could never stand the guy.
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+3
9:47AM on 09/30/2013

Not Guilty

Old they may be (and I have not seen him in anything since Godzilla)...but he has not one...but two... once in a lifetime get out of jail cards...if such things exist...in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and War Games. Some actors go an entire career without such movies in their locker.
Old they may be (and I have not seen him in anything since Godzilla)...but he has not one...but two... once in a lifetime get out of jail cards...if such things exist...in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and War Games. Some actors go an entire career without such movies in their locker.
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9:40AM on 09/30/2013
it pains me to say it but I don't think its hard to imagine Ferris Bueller would end up in jail.... I'd have to say GUILTY....
but maybe it'll do him some good & when he comes out he can go back to making decent films again
it pains me to say it but I don't think its hard to imagine Ferris Bueller would end up in jail.... I'd have to say GUILTY....
but maybe it'll do him some good & when he comes out he can go back to making decent films again
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9:29AM on 09/30/2013
Guilty for the fact that for every good movie he has done there have been at least 6 shitty ones.
Guilty for the fact that for every good movie he has done there have been at least 6 shitty ones.
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9:29AM on 09/30/2013
Guilty. He's one of those actors who coasts by on the nostalgia factor. WarGames and Ferris Bueller were a pretty long time ago.
Guilty. He's one of those actors who coasts by on the nostalgia factor. WarGames and Ferris Bueller were a pretty long time ago.
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8:54AM on 09/30/2013
Not guilty. Everybody takes crap gigs every once in a while. I've had my share of crappy jobs to put food on the table. The man has talent. Unfortunately, like De Niro, his later-in-life choices haven't been all that good. Maybe he's just not trying anymore. However, I believe he can still pull off a helluva performance if he finds the right flick. So I say let him off the hook.......for now.
Not guilty. Everybody takes crap gigs every once in a while. I've had my share of crappy jobs to put food on the table. The man has talent. Unfortunately, like De Niro, his later-in-life choices haven't been all that good. Maybe he's just not trying anymore. However, I believe he can still pull off a helluva performance if he finds the right flick. So I say let him off the hook.......for now.
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8:51AM on 09/30/2013

Guilty

He hasnt done anything in 15 years that makes me wanna stick up for him.

It seems like lately everyone is letting any shmuck off scott-free simply because they liked a movie they did back in the early 90s. Isnt the point of movie jail to hold someone accountable for sending their promising career in the wrong direction? I mean Jerry Bruckheimer, John Singleton and Paul Walker have all walked here recently. But then again, I know this is all for fun.
He hasnt done anything in 15 years that makes me wanna stick up for him.

It seems like lately everyone is letting any shmuck off scott-free simply because they liked a movie they did back in the early 90s. Isnt the point of movie jail to hold someone accountable for sending their promising career in the wrong direction? I mean Jerry Bruckheimer, John Singleton and Paul Walker have all walked here recently. But then again, I know this is all for fun.
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8:34AM on 09/30/2013

I can't wait for the re make of BIloxi Blues!

Guilty! Look at that pic of him and SJP come on man! Guilty Guilty Guilty.
Guilty! Look at that pic of him and SJP come on man! Guilty Guilty Guilty.
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8:30AM on 09/30/2013

100% Guilty

This man has given some of the blandest performances in the history of cinema, it amazes me that he still gets work. Pure wide-eyed blandness.
This man has given some of the blandest performances in the history of cinema, it amazes me that he still gets work. Pure wide-eyed blandness.
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-3
8:26AM on 09/30/2013

Awww come on

Why would you want to put someone with cerebral-palsy in jail?
Why would you want to put someone with cerebral-palsy in jail?
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+1
8:10AM on 09/30/2013
Not Guilty. Even if he his guilty of getting away with vehicular manslaughter.
Not Guilty. Even if he his guilty of getting away with vehicular manslaughter.
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7:59AM on 09/30/2013
Not guilty. My only prosecution would be just Deck The Hall. But Family Business? No way. That movie has Dustin Hoffman and Sean Connery and that's okay in my book. So not guilty for me.
Not guilty. My only prosecution would be just Deck The Hall. But Family Business? No way. That movie has Dustin Hoffman and Sean Connery and that's okay in my book. So not guilty for me.
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7:55AM on 09/30/2013

Not Guilty

Precedent is a helluva thing, and a look at previous acquittals shows quite a few with far less credit in the bank than Broderick. Not one with a whole lot of range, but then again, he did play an animated lion convincingly too.
Precedent is a helluva thing, and a look at previous acquittals shows quite a few with far less credit in the bank than Broderick. Not one with a whole lot of range, but then again, he did play an animated lion convincingly too.
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7:41AM on 09/30/2013

Not Guilty

I've enjoyed too many of his films to consider him guilty. I love Ferris Bueller, Cable Guy, Election, You Can Count On Me, Glory, and the guy was amazing in Wonderful World and starred and played one of the most iconic movie characters ever in Ferris Bueller.
I've enjoyed too many of his films to consider him guilty. I love Ferris Bueller, Cable Guy, Election, You Can Count On Me, Glory, and the guy was amazing in Wonderful World and starred and played one of the most iconic movie characters ever in Ferris Bueller.
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