Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Eli Roth!

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

Eli Roth

The Case

The Prosecution: The Green Inferno, Aftershock, The Man with the Iron Fist, Hostel 2

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Eli Roth has been a fixture in the horror genre ever since first making moviegoers squeamish with his darkly funny, but gruesome feature film directorial debut Cabin Fever, which received very solid reviews from critics and grossed over $30 million worldwide against a budget of just $1.5 million. Hostel also scored decent marks and was a success story at the box office, but the prosecution isn't a fan of the "torture porn" flick or its sequel, and in our opinion, he has yet to top his first movie as a director.

It just doesn't seem like Mr. Roth has grown as a filmmaker, although some will probably argue that it's because he has only helmed five movies, including next month's Knock, Knock. But none of his post-Hostel directorial efforts have a fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes (with his latest, The Green Inferno, currently sitting at 39%), and he also co-wrote the scripts for the lowly reviewed Aftershock and The Man with the Iron Fists.

Mr. Roth may have his fans, but he also has an equal amount of detractors, and while the prosecution will give him credit for not making limp, PG-13 horror movies, we still feel he needs to serve some time behind bars.

Aftershock Eli Roth

The Defense: Hemlock Grove, Hostel, Cabin Fever

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Roth has never been a critical darling, however he has developed a loyal following thanks to his blood-drenched movies. Perhaps he's not the future of horror as dubbed by Quentin Tarantino, but he certainly knows the genre, and is still a strong director.

Although my client's big screen efforts have received mixed reviews from "serious" critics, many horror fans love him and his movies, mostly due to the fact that he doesn't shy away from the red stuff. Even though his films may be a little weak story-wise, they do deliver when it comes to blood and guts. He's a very polarizing filmmaker though, and while the defense isn't sure where the hate for him comes from, it appears to have started with the release of Hostel 2. Maybe some people weren't happy that it was just more of the same, but that happens often with horror sequels.

In addition to his feature film credits, Mr. Roth also created that awesome Thanksgiving trailer for Robert Rodriguez and Tarantino's Grindhouse flicks, and besides directing the pilot, he also serves as an executive producer on Netflix's Hemlock Grove. The latter hasn't received fantastic reviews, but it's still an entertaining series. Personally, my client might not be your favorite director, but he definitely doesn't deserve to go to Movie Jail, especially since he's only directed five films.

The Green Inferno Eli Roth


Do we need to lock up the "Splat Pack" director, or are you a fan of his films? Has he earned a prison sentence with his relatively small amount of movie directing credits, or do you think we need to see more from him before deciding his fate? Is Eli Roth 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.


Eli Roth


Michael Polish Kate Bosworth

Since almost all of the jury members said they aren't familiar with many of Michael Polish's films during last week's trial, the court has decided not to imprison the Twin Falls Idaho director. Mr. Polish won't be joining his wife Kate Bosworth in the slammer (except for conjugal visits), but he still needs to be more selective with his movie projects.


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, Jessica Biel, Nick Swardson, Simon Kinberg, Alex & Stephen Kendrick

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, Ed Helms, Sean Astin, Michael Polish

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, Ice Cube, Owen Wilson & Vince Vaughn


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