Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…McG!

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: 3 Days to Kill, This Means War, Terminator Salvation, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the prosecution has been considering director Joseph McGinty "McG" Nichol for Movie Jail for some time now, but thought we'd give him a chance to redeem himself first with his latest, 3 Days to Kill. But in its first weekend of release the action flick hasn't generated much interest at the box office, and with terrible reviews by critics, it's clear we need to send McG to the big house.

McG has only directed seven feature length films, however the prosecution believes there's more than enough evidence to convict the director since all but one of his movies has received a "fresh rating" at Rotten Tomatoes. That would be 2000's Charlie's Angels, and when a filmmaker has a movie like that as his highest rated film, you know there's a problem.

Like fellow "all action, no brain" directors Rob Cohen and Brett Ratner, McG has never let things like plot and story get in the way of a good explosion, and while that's fine for a popcorn flick like Charlie's Angels, remember what he did to the Terminator franchise with Terminator Salvation?  Visually it was great, but it wasn't the Terminator movie many expected it to be, and although it may have not been McG's fault, the PG-13 rating certainly didn't help.

McG doesn't really have a unique style of directing, unless you consider distressingly bad to be a style. The prosecution will more than likely use We Are Marshall as part of their arguement, but the movie is just a forgettable sports flick, and most of the praise from critics was for Matthew McConaughey's performance, not McG's directing. In fact, one of the biggest complaints was how McG shot the movie.

Having not one, but three solid leads couldn't save McG's This Mean War though, and once again one of the biggest complaints from critics was how the director filmed the movie. This Means War could have been a decent movie. Not spectacular, but it should have been at least an entertaining way to kill an hour and forty minutes. Instead, we're left with a rom-com action movie that isn't very passionate, funny, or thrilling.

Can we please throw McG's ass in Movie Jail before he strikes again?

The Defense: This Means War, We Are Marshall, Charlie's Angels

Ladies and gentlemen, there's absolutely nothing wrong with McG's films. Yes, critics usually don't have great things to say about his work, but there are many that enjoy his entertaining, if not spectacular, films. Not every movie has to be a complex thriller, or have an important message. Sometimes you just want to have fun at the movies, and if that's all you're looking for, McG's films definitely deliver.

Charlie's Angels is a ridiculous and cheesy movie, and so is its sequel, but they are also very entertaining. The same can also be said for This Means War. People who dislike my client will probably say that credit should go to the cast and not McG, and anything negative about these films is entirely the director's fault.

But is that really fair? Take for example Terminator Salvation. McG didn't write the screenplay or come up with the story, yet fans like to blame him for the movie's failures. It's also not the worst film ever, but if you ask a Terminator fan, they'll be quick to bring up all its flaws. If this was just a forgettable sci-fi movie with no ties to a preexisting franchise, people wouldn't be so harsh to my client. But fanboys just can't let go of how my client "tainted" the Terminator series. We give actors a pass when they've been miscast in a film, why can't we do the same for a director who probably wasn't the right person for the job?

Although not film related, my client has also done some excellent work in television as a producer. He helped bring Supernatural to the small screen, as well as Nikita, Human Target, and Chuck. Like most of his films, McG's shows are a lot of fun, but because they're not "smart" or "cool" people like to bash them, and my client.

McG makes inoffensive, entertaining films that help you escape reality for a couple of hours. If you're expecting something more from my client's movies, that's a you problem. McG isn't going to change what and how he directs, and why should he? It works for him, so let's continue to let my client do what he does best: make fun movies.


Is the sample size too small, or has McG done enough to be sent to Movie Jail? Are the director's films just forgettable, yet entertaining movies, or has he committed real crimes against cinema? How much should he be blamed for Terminator Salvation? I ask you, the jury, is director McG 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 came to Kate Beckinsale's defense in last week's trial, declaring the actress NOT GUILTY of all charges. The jury didn't think too highly of her Underworld movies, but said she's done plenty of other great work, and has more range than similar actresses like Milla Jovovich. Miss Beckinsale's looks also helped her in last week's trial, and we at Movie Jail are positive she would be locked up right now if she didn't have such a wonderful body.


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

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 Special), Johnny Knoxville, Orlando Bloom, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Aykroyd, Sylvester Stallone, Gavin Hood, Jason Lee, Jennifer Garner, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kate Beckinsale


About the Author