Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Justin Timberlake!

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: Runner Runner, Trouble with the Curve, In Time, Yogi Bear, The Open Road, The Love Guru, Black Snake Moan, Edison

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, with Runner Runner being a complete bomb with critics and movie goers, the prosecution has decided it's time to take a look at the film career of Mr. Justin Timberlake. The pop sensation has been dabbling in movies since 2005, and we should really put an end to this nonsense. Many musicians and singers who have tried their hand at acting have made it quite obvious that being an actor isn't their day job, and Mr. Timberlake is no exception.

While Mr. Timberlake may have plenty of natural charisma and does fairly well with comedy, it's his dramatic turns that leave a lot to be desired. Yes, he received quite a bit of acclaim for his performance in The Social Network, however that was written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher. My point? Without a strong director and script, Mr. Timberlake tends to struggle. Clint Eastwood is clearly a great director, but the script for Trouble with the Curve isn't that good, and Mr. Timberlake doesn't have the natural acting skills to rise above the weak writing. The Open Road isn't a completely terrible film, however it is very dull, and Mr. Timberlake is as bland as a sugar free desert in it. Black Snake Moan is a fine film, but Mr. Timberlake isn't believable or particularly good in it. And I'm 99% sure the only reason Southland Tales is on the defense's side is because of the scene where Mr. Timberlake lip syncs The Killers, which is completely in his wheelhouse (i.e. singing/dancing) and isn't actual proof of his talents as an actor.

Let's go back to his comedies though, because while they are the best things Mr. Timberlake has appeared in, it's not like these movies have been giant crowd pleasers or received outstanding reviews. The Love Guru is one of the laziest and worst comedies the prosecution has ever experienced, and Yogi Bear is painfully terrible. Bad Teacher might have been better received and did well in theaters, however the prosecution believes it was due to Cameron Diaz's performance in it, not Mr. Timberlake's.

Plus he was in *NSYNC. Need I say more? Send Mr. Justin Timberlake to Movie Jail.

The Defense: Friends With Benefits, Bad Teacher, The Social Network, Southland Tales, Alpha Dog, Appearances on SNL

Ladies and gentlemen, is the prosecution really using *NSYNC against my client? That was years ago dude, let it go. Just because your high school girlfriend had a crush on him then doesn't mean you can attack him now. Mr. Timberlake is actually one of the better examples of a singer moonlighting as an actor, and not just because of The Social Network. The prosecution claims Mr. Timberlake can't rise above weak writing or directing, yet in several films his performance has actually been quite good, even when the film hasn't been. Alpha Dogs comes to mind, and yes, so does the scene from Southland Tales because it's f*cking awesome.

We should remember that while Mr. Timberlake did start very young in television and music, the film industry is a completely different beast and his first role wasn't until 2005. He's talked multiple times about how he felt like a rookie when he first started working in the movie business, and like all rookies Mr. Timberlake has had his share of ups and downs. But he does have several things working in his favor. He's naturally funny (which should be obvious to anyone that has seen him on Saturday Night Live) and is incredibly charismatic. Mr. Timberlake also never comes across as taking himself or acting too seriously, and in general comes across as a very likable person.

Since Mr. Timberlake has spent most of his time on music, his filmography isn't as long or as varied as others over an eight year period, but the defense believes there is a lot of potential for him as an actor. The defense could very easily see him leaving the music industry completely in order to work on more films. Mr. Timberlake has worked with some excellent directors since his first film, and his next one is Inside Llewyn Davis with The Coen Brothers. Mr. Timberlake might not have picked the best projects to work on early in his career, but it looks like he's learned from his mistakes. If there's one singer-turned-actor that does not deserve Movie Jail, it's Mr. Timberlake.


Is the jury going to make Justin Timberlake cry a river by sending him to Movie Jail? Or has he proven that his involvement with a film isn't just stunt casting? Did starring in The Social Network make up for appearing in craptastic offerings like The Love Guru? I ask you, the jury, is Justin Timberlake 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.



The jury has reached a verdict for last week's trial of Nicole Kidman: NOT GUILTY of all charges. In the end, the jury decided the actress is just way too talented (and hot) for Movie Jail. The jury made it clear that while she doesn't always appear in the best films, she almost always delivers and her crimes do not warrant her being sent to prison. Now run along Miss Kidman, and try to avoid starring in films like Trespass. You're better than that.


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


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