Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Ed Helms!

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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

Ed Helms

The Case

The Prosecution: Vacation, The Hangover Part III, We're the Millers, The Hangover Part II, The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, with Vacation getting panned by critics and underperforming in its opening weekend, the prosecution has decided to put Ed Helms up for Movie Jail.

Although he had a four-year run on The Daily Show and had minor roles in movies such as Evan Almighty and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Mr. Helms' film career didn't really start until 2009's The Hangover. But since then, the actor has mostly starred in negatively movies, including both of The Hangover follow-ups. Mr. Helms cashed in on the success of the first movie and got a pay increase for the sequels, but the prosecution doubts returning for two more movies actually helped his career.

The prosecution also knows that there are many who just don't think he's that great of a comedic actor, and works best in supporting roles. However, even when he has been cast in non-lead roles, it's been in lousy-to-mediocre films, like We're the Millers. Mr. Helms is set to star in another reboot/remake as Detective Frank Drebin in a new The Naked Gun movie, but after Vacation's poor showing with critics and softer than expected box weekend debut, maybe he should reconsider taking the role.

If Mr. Helms isn't careful, he could get stuck doing direct-to-DVD comedies for the rest of his career. While the prosecution doesn't think the actor needs to be locked up for life, we do believe he should spend a month or two in prison for his bad movie choices.

Vacation Ed Helms Christina Applegate

The Defense: Stretch, They Came Together, Jeff, Who Lives at Home, Cedar Rapids, The Hangover

Ladies and gentlemen, my client has made a few crappy movies, but the defense doesn't think he should be held accountable for their bad reviews. Mr. Helms is a very reliable comedic actor, and he's done a lot with his smaller roles, most notably (in the defense's opinion, anyway) as Karl-with-a-K in Stretch.

But the actor has also been just as good in lead roles. Cedar Rapids and Jeff, Who Lives at Home both feature great performances by my client, but, unfortunately, neither film made huge waves at the box office. Some have pegged Mr. Helms as the next Steve Carell, since both got their big breaks as Daily Show writers/correspondents. However, even though my client starred in The Hangover trilogy, unlike Mr. Carell, he still hasn't found his The 40 Year-Old Virgin yet, a film that not only showcases his comedic skills as a solo lead, but is also a big hit with critics and at the box office. Maybe Mr. Helms was hoping Vacation would be that movie, but things don't always go as planned, and again, he's not the reason why the film has received terrible reviews.

Perhaps Mr. Helms should be a little bit more selective when choosing acting roles, but since he's not an A-lister and has done very solid work on both the big and small screen, the defense doesn't believe he belongs in Movie Jail.

Stretch Ed Helms Patrick Wilson


What should we do with The Hangover star? Are you sick of his schtick, and think he deserves to go to Movie Jail? Or is it still too early in his career to put the actor behind bars? Is Ed Helms 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.


The Hangover Part II Ed Helms


Smokey and the Bandit Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds charmed his way into landing a NOT GUILTY verdict in last week's trial. While many jury members agreed that Mr. Reynolds hasn't been passionate about acting for a long time, most said they didn't want to toss him in prison because of his contributions to the film world, with a few saying Smokey and the Bandit alone should keep him out of Movie Jail.


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, Akiva Goldsman, Avi Arad, Damon Lindelof, Hayden Christensen, Dennis Dugan, Sharon Stone

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, Neal McDonough, Cameron Crowe, Katie Holmes, Elijah Wood, Tarsem Singh, Reese Witherspoon, Burt Reynolds

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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