Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Matthew Broderick!

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: Diminished Capacity, Then She Found Me, Deck the Halls, The Stepford Wives, Inspector Gadget, Godzilla, Addicted to Love, The Road to Wellville, Family Business

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Matthew Broderick has played some memorable characters in his career, but as of late his films and performances have been bland and completely forgettable. What the hell happened to Ferris Bueller? Since starring as Mr. McAllister in Election, Mr. Broderick has become the go to guy for playing sad, broken men in bland indie films. You might be unaware of the situation since most of his recent films have received little to no attention, even by movie buffs.

It's not like these films are hidden gems or feature a strong performance from the actor either. Diminished Capacity is an unremarkable film and Then She Found Me is a small, dull movie. And although I see Wonderful World and Finding Amanda are on the defense's list, it's just more of the same from Mr. Broderick. Did you see the movie starring Mr. Broderick as a man who collects old volumes of encyclopedias and goes on a roadtrip through the Midwest with his estranged son? Well you didn't because I just made it up, but doesn't it sound exactly like something you'd stumble across at three in the morning on IFC?

Think the prosecution is being biased? Since 2004 his only "fresh" films on are Tower Heist and Margaret. Mr. Broderick has appeared in bigger and more commercial films, but it has been in ones like The Stepford Wives and the truly terrible Deck The Halls. And while Godzilla and Inspector Gadget were both incredibly bad for many reasons, his performances in those movies certainly didn't help either.

What's incredibly frustrating is we all know how talented Mr. Broderick is. He can also sing and dance, yet very rarely does he use these talents on the big screen. Instead, he just winds up playing another sad bastard in an unremarkable film. Ferris Bueller, you are not my hero, and it's time for Movie Jail.

The Defense: Tower Heist, Margaret, Wonderful World, Finding Amanda, The Producers, Strangers with Candy, You Can Count on Me, Election, The Cable Guy, The Freshman, Glory, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Ladyhawke, WarGames

Ladies and gentlemen, my client's recent films might not get a lot of attention, but that doesn't mean they are bad films, nor should Mr. Broderick be subjected to Movie Jail because of them. Indie films can be very hit or miss, but Mr. Broderick is always solid. Then She Found Me isn't a great film, however Mr. Broderick's performance is fantastic. Wonderful World and Finding Amanda might be more "sad bastard" roles for the actor, but he has shined in these types of roles in the past and he's equally as good in these films. Would you rather see him use his talents in more paycheck films or in movies with characters he actually cares about?

Mr. Broderick is extremely talented and the defense is right, he doesn't always use these talents in film. However, he has done a ton of work on Broadway. Maybe part of the reason why he's been doing smaller films is because of the demanding schedule that comes with working on stage. So while he might not get notice for some of his recent films, people have definitely noticed him in stage versions of The Producers, The Odd Couple and other plays.

Does the defense wish Mr. Broderick was in bigger films? Of course, but the defense enjoys more Matthew Broderick regardless. Most of his bad films aren't his fault (I'm looking at you, Deck the Halls) and even small films starring the actor deserve our attention because there's always a chance it could be something special, like Election or the underrated You Can Count on Me. Mr. Broderick for Movie Jail? Not on my watch.


How do you view Mr. Broderick's career as of late? Is he sinking in a sea of generic indie films or just performing in movies he wants to? Should we ignore his commercial failures like The Stepford Wives and Inspector Gadget, or should he be punished for starring in those films in the first place? Is Matthew Broderick 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.



After looking over the evidence from last week, the jury has decided Jerry Bruckheimer is NOT GUILTY of all charges. The jury agreed that Mr. Bruckheimer has not been at his best while working with Disney, but in the end decided to give the mega-producer a chance since he is no longer with the studio. The jury feels like it could be a return to form for Mr. Bruckheimer and would be very interested in seeing what he does next. As long as it's not a sequel to G-Force.


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, Jerry Bruckheimer


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