Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Luc Besson!

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Movie Jail Banner

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

Luc Besson

The Case

The Prosecution: Taken sequels (screenwriter), The Family, Brick Mansions (screenwriter), 3 Days to Kill (screenwriter), Colombiana (screenwriter), Bandidas (screenwriter), Revolver (screenwriter)

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Luc Besson has written, directed and produced more than 50 movies during his career. The problem is the good-to-bad ratio isn't too hot for his projects.

The prosecution's main issue with the French filmmaker is his screenwriting credits. Mr. Besson helped write recent poorly received films such as the Taken sequels, Brick Mansions, 3 Days to Kill and Colombiana, and while the prosecution may have enjoyed Lockout and From Paris with Love, it's not like their fantastic films. And could someone also please tell Mr. Besson not every action movie needs a sequel?

As for his directorial efforts, the defense is a Lucy fan (which did solid numbers at the box office last year and received decent reviews from critics), but the prosecution thought it was merely OK. Lucy was a step-up from The Family, however it's not as if either movie is as good as say, The Professional or The Fifth Element. Maybe if Mr. Besson didn't spread himself so thin most of his films wouldn't end up in the green over at Rotten Tomatoes.

Now, there are a bunch of his French movies neither the prosecution or the defense has seen (such as his Taxi and Arthur series), so it'll be up to the jury to explain why they should be used as evidence for or against Mr. Besson. But the prosecution is confident that even if those films end up helping him, there's still more than enough evidence to convince the jury Mr. Besson needs to spend some time in Movie Jail.

The Family Luc Besson Robert De Niro Tommy Lee Jones

The Defense: Lucy, Lockout (screenwriter), The Lady, From Paris with Love (screenwriter), District 13: Ultimatum (screenwriter), Taken (screenwriter), Transporter series (screenwriter), Unleashed (screenwriter), District 13 (screenwriter), Kiss of the Dragon (screenwriter), The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, The Fifth Element, The Professional, La Femme Nikita, The Big Blue, Subway

Ladies and gentlemen, the prosecution can bitch about my client's films all he wants, but at least Mr. Besson stays busy. And considering how many projects he's been involved with, the prosecution believes his success rate is actually pretty damn good.

Look, no one is trying to say From Paris with Love, Lockout or even Lucy are classic action flicks, and while they may not be as great as some of my client's older movies like the prosecution claims, they're still a very fun way to kill a couple of hours. Hell, even The Family was an entertaining movie.

But in the prosecution's opinion, there are three movies in particular that will keep my client out of prison: La Femme Nikita, The Professional and The Fifth Element. Most movie buffs hold all three films in high regard, especially The Professional. And don't forget Mr. Besson also helped introduce the world to parkour with his District 13 movies.

Mr. Besson is an excellent action writer and director, and the prosecution doubts the jury will want to lock up the filmmaker. Maybe he has been trying to do too many things at the same time with mixed results, however that doesn't mean he deserves to go to Movie Jail.

Lucy Luc Besson Scarlett Johansson


Have you been unimpressed with Monsieur Besson's recent work and think we should send him to the big house? Or do you believe he's done too much good to be tossed in prison? I ask you, the jury, is writer and director Luc Besson 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 Professional Luc Besson Jean Reno


Tammy Melissa McCarthy

Although some of you thought the prosecution "jumped the gun" putting Melissa McCarthy up for Movie Jail, the actress was found GUILTY of all charges in last week's trial. But the court (and several jury members) believe Miss McCarthy is a talented and funny actress, so we're not going to throw the book at her. A couple of months in prison should do her some good, and hopefully Miss McCarthy will find some quality projects to work on after she is released.


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

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

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


About the Author