Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Andrew Niccol!

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 Host, In Time, Simone

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, director/screenwriter Andrew Niccol may not have many credits on his filmography, but his early work is quite impressive, with writing the script for The Truman Show, as well as writing and directing Gattaca. So what in the f*ck is he doing directing crap like The Host?

While the Stephenie Meyer adaptation is awful (we'll get to that mess in a minute), In Time isn't a great film either. The movie may have its fans, but the prosecution didn't care for it at all. The premise is interesting, however Mr. Niccol's script prevents it from being a good movie. The same goes for Simone  also written and directed by the filmmaker): good idea, shitty final result. And since Mr. Niccol was the director and penned the scripts, the blame must fall on him. The prosecution has also noticed most of his work explores similar themes and ideas involving technology. I have no problem with a director revisiting things that have worked for him before, but in Mr. Niccol's case it's starting to feel more than a little stale.

You'd think a filmmaker who has worked on original projects like Gattaca and even In Time would avoid something like The Host, or at least make it better than the novel. But his adapted screenplay is almost worse than the book, and the film is just not interesting. The prosecution would rather watch someone reading the book than sit through that painfully boring movie a second time.

Mr. Niccol's career doesn't look too hot right now, and cooling his heels in a jail cell might help him in the long run. The prosecution isn't looking for a lengthy sentence, however I do feel he needs to pay for his crimes.

The Defense: Lord of War, The Truman Show (screenplay only), Gattaca

Ladies and gentlemen, most of Mr. Niccol's high concept scripts have been excellent, and the prosecution is making way too big of a deal about The Host while ignoring his other awesome movies.

Gattaca and The Truman Show are damn near classics in the defense's opinion, and my client deserves a lot of the credit, especially with Gattaca. Simone and In Time might not be as good as those two films, however the defense doesn't believe they're complete disasters either. And does anyone else think Lord of War is incredibly underrated? The film features a very funny script and great directing, both of which provided by my client.

Now, The Host: the defense admits it is by no means a great film, and my client did pull double duty as the writer and director for the project, so it'd be foolish for me to say he isn't at fault at all for the end result. However, that's still the only straight up abomination on his filmography, and with the other films he's worked on, the defense can forgive him for helming an adaptation from the same author of the Twilight series. Just because he wrote and directed one really shitty film doesn't mean we should just give up on the guy. His upcoming thriller Good Kill about a drone pilot could be a good post-The Host project for the filmmaker, similar to how Lone Survivor helped us forget about Peter Berg's Battleship.

With just a few credits on his filmography and only one real blemish with The Host, the defense just doesn't think Mr. Niccol deserves to go to Movie Jail.


Have you lost faith in Mr. Niccol, or do you think he's still capable of delivering a solid movie? Was The Host just a fluke, or another example of a recent weak script from the filmmaker? I ask you, the jury, is Andrew Niccol 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. 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.



(Note: Last week's verdict contains spoilers from yesterday's episode of Game of Thrones. If you haven't seen it yet, don't scroll past the title card below.)

Well isn't this convenient. The jury found King Joffrey GUILTY in last week's trial, and the bastard was killed off in last night's episode. Huzzah! Although the evil f*cker is finally gone, the prosecution does wish his death was a little longer and more painful.


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)

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, Jennifer Garner, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kate Beckinsale, John Cusack, Chris Columbus, Clive Owen, Terrence Howard


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