Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Jerry Bruckheimer!

Last Updated on August 2, 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:  Pearl Harbor, Bad Company, Bad Boys II, Kangaroo Jack, National Treasure, King Arthur, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, G-Force, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Lone Ranger

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, with Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney parting ways, the prosecution feels this is a perfect time to levy charges against the super producer. Now, when it comes to producers it can vary how much impact they have on a project, and sometimes with them it's more about how much a film will make than its quality. However, it's obvious Mr. Bruckheimer wields quite a bit of power, and of course with great power comes great responsibility, so the prosecution believes the defendant should be held accountable for the recent less than stellar films that have have carried the Bruckheimer name.

Mr. Bruckheimer is known for producing high-grossing crowd pleasers. But his movies haven't performed as well as pervious ones, nor have they been well received by critics or movie goers. Why do you really think the union between Disney and Mr. Bruckheimer dissolved? Disney can say part of the reason was because of Mr. Bruckheimer's wish to go back to producing adult orientated film, but if the studio had any faith in Mr. Bruckheimer, do you really think Disney would have let him go? The prosecution is fairly certain that Disney could have still released films by Mr. Bruckheimer without sullying it's family friendly image, especially if it meant more money in their pockets.

Some have said that Mr. Bruckheimer and Disney ending their partnership could be a return to form for the producer. But are you really that confident in Mr. Bruckheimer? Has he produced anything in the past decade the makes you think he'll be working on films like Con Air, The Rock, or Black Hawk Down? Let's take a look at some of the "highlights" of his filmography from 2003 on: the Pirates of the Caribbean series, two National Treasure films, G-Force, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, The Lone Ranger, and Kangaroo f*cking Jack. Yes, many of those films were blockbusters and it's not like Mr. Bruckheimer was hunting for Oscar nominations with these movies. But his films just aren't as fun as the ones he produced from the 80s and 90s.

Maybe part of the reason was because of the tragic passing of his producing partner Don Simpson in 1996, but it's obvious Mr. Bruckheimer moved away from the types of movies that made him such an in-demand producer in the first place, and has instead focused on unimaginative potential tent-poles. One or two Pirates movies is fine, but four with another on the way? And both Prince of Persia and The Lone Ranger were both bad ideas that were also poorly executed.

The question is do you think we should wait and see what Mr. Bruckheimer will do next, or has the damage been done and he should go to Movie Jail? The prosecution believes prison is the right answer, and I am positive that the jury will come to the same conclusion.

The Defense: Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun, The Ref, Crimson Tide, Bad Boys, The Rock, Con Air, Enemy of the State, Armageddon, Remember the Titans, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Black Hawk Down, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Veronica Guerin, Déjà Vu, Glory Road

Ladies and gentlemen, my client has produced some of the biggest hits of all time and helped launch the careers of numerous actors. But let's be honest: usually you know what to expect in a film produced by Mr. Bruckheimer. He might not be known for producing highbrow films, but that has never been his goal. Mr. Bruckheimer's goal? To put butts in seats and make the audience happy, and for the most part that's exactly what my client has done for over twenty years.

The past decade might not have been the best for Mr. Bruckheimer, but it certainly hasn't been a bad decade, not with the success his Pirates of the Caribbean films have had. Yes, critics disliked the later entries and movie geeks enjoy using the series as toilet paper, but you ask almost anyone from the general public and they'll tell you that they loved these films. Same thing with National Treasure, and yes, even Kangaroo Jack. My client once said "If I made films for the critics, or for someone else, I'd probably be living in some small Hollywood studio apartment," and the defense completely agrees with his comment. It's impossible to call this past decade a failure for Mr. Bruckheimer when in all honesty, he's had a tremendous amount of success.

Many are pointing at The Lone Ranger as to why my client and Disney have separated, but would the studio really drop such a big name producer because of one film? And even if Disney didn't get the return they were expecting for films like Prince of Persia or The Sorcerer's Apprentice, it's not like these films were complete bombs, especially when you take into consideration their international totals and DVD sales. To the defense, it just sounds like both parties realized it was probably time to explore new options. It's not as if Mr. Bruckheimer was "fired" by Disney and if my client is interested in going back to more adult themed films then he should.

But like the prosecution said, the real question is does the jury have any confidence in Mr. Bruckheimer? Will and can he produce movies that are on par with some of his well known hits from the 80s and 90s? The defense believes in Mr. Bruckheimer, and so should the jury.


So what do you think? Should we give Jerry Bruckheimer a chance or has he burned you one too many times? Does Disney not renewing their first-look deal with the producer mean we should also give up on Mr. Bruckheimer, or is the prosecution reading too much into it? Is Jerry Bruckheimer 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.



I learned three things from last week's case against Brian De Palma: 1. the director is NOT GUILTY, 2. no one likes The Black Dahlia and 3. don't ever, EVER call Scarface overrated. The consensus from the jury was that although it has been a rough few years for Mr. De Palma, he's directed enough classics to keep him out of Movie Jail and a bad movie from Mr. De Palma is still better than most films. Except for the previously mentioned The Black Dahlia, of course.


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, Jack Black, Brian De Palma


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