Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Brett Ratner!

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: Rush Hour 3, X-Men: The Last Stand, After the Sunset, Rush Hour 2, Money Talks

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, if you didn't like X-Men: The Last Stand, now is your chance to put the man responsible for it behind bars. Yes, this week's defendant is Mr. Brett Ratner, one of the least talented and douchier directors working today.

Most of Mr. Ratner's films aren't straight-up terrible, however almost all of them have been forgettable and unimaginative. Money Talks feels like a cheap version of his later Rush Hour films, but it's not as if the movies in that series are incredibly unique, nor are they that great. Even the first film, which many consider the best, is just slightly better than your average buddy-cop adventure flick. After the Sunset, however, is terrible, as well as unoriginal and boring.

Mr. Ratner doesn't seem to care about the quality of the film, just how profitable it can be. Most directors like having a final cut, but Mr. Ratner is the opposite. He probably enjoys those notes from the studio and results from focus groups, because at the end of the day, how much money a film can make is more important to Mr. Ratner than if it's any good or not.

Why do I need final cut? Final cut is for artistes quote unquote–directors whose movies don't make a lot of money. Maybe Scorsese should have final cut because a guy like Harvey Weinstein or a studio might change it to make it a little more accessible or a little more commercial and he has a vision of what he wants it to be. He wants it to be four hours long or whatever.

What's your vision, Mr. Ratner? Giant stacks of money? Comments by the director like the one above (and a few others) are also part of the reason why so many people dislike Mr. Ratner. He's a poor man's Michael Bay, and like that director, he should be sitting in a prison cell in Movie Jail.

The Defense: Tower Heist, Red Dragon, The Family Man, Rush Hour

Ladies and gentlemen, going to a Brett Ratner film is a lot like getting a meal at Denny's: unremarkable and forgetabble, but it gets the job done at the time. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Not every director needs to be a Terrence Malick or P.T. Anderson, and Mr. Ratner is just delivering what many movie goers want when they go to a theater: a fun ride. Mr. Ratner is a director that works very well with studios. Does that make him a bit of a yes-man? Sure, but it's not necessarily a bad thing working with a studio instead of against it; it's probably one of the reasons why he continues to find work in the industry.

The defense can rage about the quality of Mr. Ratner's films all he wants, however movie buffs have always been very critical of the director, and it's not going to stop anytime soon. But guess what? They don't matter, because his movies aren't made for that audience anyway. They're for the general public, not movie snobs, and for the most part they've loved his films. Comic book nerds hate X-Men: The Last Stand, but most fans of the film haven't read the source material, and didn't mind the events in that movie. 

Mr. Ratner has had some solid films though. Red Dragon is a decent quasi-remake of Manhunter, and The Family Man is better than most holiday films. Although it hasn't aged well, Rush Hour is still a very fun movie, and even the sequel isn't nearly as bad as some make it out to be. As a producer, Mr. Ratner has had a few stinkers (Skyline), but he's also had some hits like 21 and Horrible Bosses. Mr. Ratner's films are crowd pleasers, not Oscar contenders, so why treat them like they're suppose to be important or something more than what they are? There are other directors who belong in Movie Jail, but Mr. Ratner isn't one of them.


Does Brett Ratner deserve jail time, or should he walk? Does he lack talent, or is he just crafting fun cinematic adventures for the general public? Is Brett Ratner 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.



Last week's trial? More like a riot! Arnold Schwarzenegger has been found NOT GUILTY of all charges, and it wasn't close at all. The jury angrily dismissed the prosecution's arguments and threatened him with bodily harm for even making a case against the actor. Mr. Schwarzenegger was very cool about the trial though, and offered the prosecution a paid vacation to Belize for his troubles…


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

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


About the Author