Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Akiva Goldsman!

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

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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

I Am Legend Akiva Goldsman

The Case

The Prosecution: Insurgent, Winter's Tale, Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code, Practical Magic, Lost in Space, Batman & Robin, Batman Forever, Silent Fall

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Akiva Goldsman rebounded from his 1990s bombs like Batman & Robin and Lost in Space in a huge way by winning an Oscar for his A Beautiful Mind script, but the prosecution is very unimpressed with the screenwriter's work as of late.

Mr. Goldsman polished the Insurgent script, and penned both of Ron Howard's Dan Brown adaptations, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. While all three did decent numbers at the box office, many critics didn't care for the films, and none of them are above 40% at Rotten Tomatoes. Mr. Goldsman is also responsible for the scripts for two mediocre at best Will Smith movies (I Am Legend, I, Robot), and the forgettable 1998 rom-com Practical Magic.

The less said about Mr. Goldsman's directorial debut, Winter's Tale, the better. The film received extremely negative reviews, and only grossed $30 million worldwide (against a budget of $60 million), even though the romantic fantasy movie opened on Valentine's Day. As a producer, Mr. Goldsman has had a few winners (Lone Survivor, Mr. and Mrs. Smith) and losers (Jonah Hex), but the prosecution is more concerned about his questionable work as a writer and director.

Between his early failures and recent missteps, the prosecution believes there's been more bad than good from Mr. Goldsman, and we're recommending a stiff sentence for the screenwriter.

Winter's Tale Akiva Goldsman Colin Farrell

The Defense: I Am Legend, Cinderella Man, I, Robot, A Beautiful Mind, A Time to Kill, The Client

Ladies and gentlemen, like many screenwriters, my client has several less than stellar movies on his filmography, but the defense doesn't believe Mr. Goldsman's films have been so bad we need to lock him up.

The prosecution claims I Am Legend and I, Robot are "mediocre at best," however the defense had a fun time with both films. Besides winning an Oscar for A Beautiful Mind, Mr. Goldsman also won a Golden Globe for his script, and was nominated for a BAFTA for his Cinderella Man screenplay. Mr. Goldsman may have been up for the "Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million" Razzie for A Time To Kill, but the defense thought it was a solid movie, and we also enjoyed his other John Grisham adaptation, The Client.

My client was also involved with FOX series Fringe as a writer, director and consulting director (that makes up for his Batman movies, right?), and was nominated for a Hugo Award for his work.

Mr. Goldsman's movies don't always win over critics, but many of his projects have done quite well at the box office, so he must be doing something right. Although the defense understands why Mr. Goldsman is on trial, we don't think he deserves Movie Jail. Maybe probation at most, but certainly not a long sentence like the prosecution is suggesting.

The Da Vinci Code Akiva Goldsman Paul Bettany


What should we do with Mr. Goldsman? Does he need to spend some time behind bars, or are you a fan of the Oscar and Golden Globe winning screenwriter? I ask you, the jury, is Akiva Goldsman 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.


A Beautiful Mind Ron Howard Akiva Goldsman Brian Grazer


Megan Fox

Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles star Megan Fox was found NOT GUILTY of all charges in last week's trial. Hey, don't blame me, I just tally up the votes. Miss Fox was able to secure a not guilty verdict thanks to…well, you all know exactly why the actress won't be the latest Movie Jail inmate.The court will be keeping an eye on Miss Fox though, and is open to putting her on trial again.


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

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

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


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