Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Jack Black!

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

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: Shallow Hal, Envy, Shark Tale, King Kong, The Holiday, Nacho Libre, Year One, Gulliver's Travels, The Big Year

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, while watching a video last week of Jack Black reuniting with the kids from School of Rock, the prosecution thought of how little we've heard from him recently and decided it's time to go after the actor. There are comedians that are funny and can act, and then there are some that struggle when they have to play a character that is not a mirror image of themselves. Mr. Black falls into the later category. The actor's greatest success has been while playing "Jack Black" and unfortunately has struggled in other roles. On top of that, Mr. Black's recent films have been incredibly disappointing.

Now, some people don't like Mr. Black's shtick and never will: that's just how it is. However, even the biggest fans of the actor have to cringe while watching some of his movies. Year One is one of the worst comedies the prosecution has ever seen and contains almost no laughs, but even that film looks like Animal House when compared to Envy or The Big Year. The problem isn't even that these movies are terrible: they are horrible AND Mr. Black brings absolutely nothing to them except for more of the same. For an actor that his known for his boundless energy, Mr. Black is pretty lethargic when it comes to his movie selections. We're looking at you, Gulliver's Travels.

The defense is sure to bring up Bernie as an argument, but the prosecution argues that his quirky character is just far enough "out there" that it still didn't seem like that much of a stretch for the actor. Sure it was a good performance, but was it really that special or fantastic? Another film where Mr. Black attempts to act and fails is King Kong. Perhaps the actor was completely miscast for the role, but some of the blame must also fall on Mr. Black. The prosecution believes Mr. Black has earned himself a long stint in Movie Jail and hopefully the jury will come to the same conclusion.

The Defense: High Fidelity, Saving Silverman, Orange County, School of Rock, Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny, Margot at the Wedding, Be Kind Rewind, Tropic Thunder, Bernie, Kung Fu Panda

Ladies and gentlemen, the prosecution's argument smells of shit. The past few years might not have been the strongest for my client, but he isn't the lazy actor the prosecution makes him out to be. Does Mr. Black play himself slightly too often? Maybe, but there are many examples of Mr. Black being damn good at it, like School of Rock, High Fidelity and of course, anything involving Tenacious D (which we'll get to later).

Yes, the defense is going to bring up Bernie because guess what: Mr. Black was fantastic in that film. But that isn't the only film starring Mr. Black that proves that he knows how to act: he was excellent in Margot at the Wedding and even though the defense doesn't care for The Holiday, Mr. Black's performance in it is solid. Mr. Black might not have a wide range when it comes to acting, but it's certainly bigger than the prosecution makes it out to be. And although he was miscast in King Kong and Gulliver's Travels was just terrible, Mr. Black still gave it his all in both films.

Which brings us to Tenacious D. Mr. Black is very passionate about his band and it shows: the past few years he hasn't been in that many films, but he did release a new album and went on tour to support it. My client probably had to turn down a few film roles while with the band, but let's be honest here it's not like he's making U2 money with Tenacious D. He wanted to make a new album and go on tour because he loves the fans, he loves the music, and he loves to perform. Mr. Black chose to work on something he truly cares about and you've got to respect him for that. Mr. Black does not deserve Move Jail and the only fair verdict possible for the defendant is "not guilty."


Has Jack Black played "Jack Black" too often? Should his work with Tenacious D count in his trial? It's up to you, the jury: is Jack Black 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.



Some members of the jury were ready to write off Jon Voight because of Bratz: The Movie and Superbabies, but in the end he prevailed and has been found NOT GUILTY of all charges. The jury wasn't too pleased with the defense for not including his older work, however even without some of his classics the actor avoided jail time. He lucked out this time, but if Mr. Voight continues to star in Superbabies films we might need to have another visit with the actor.


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

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


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