Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Mel Gibson!

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: The Expendables 3, Machete Kills, The Beaver, Edge of Darkness, We Were Soldiers, The Million Dollar Hotel, Forever Young, Air America, Bird on a Wire, Mrs. Soffel

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, last week one of you said a trial for Mel Gibson would be interesting, and while the prosecution agrees, we also believe there's enough evidence to convince the jury we need to send the filmmaker to Movie Jail.

This trial isn't about the comments Mr. Gibson made to police when he was arrested for driving under the influence in 2006 or the alleged recording of a phone call with his ex-girlfriend, however it would be ridiculous not to bring them up since they've obviously had a negative impact on his career. The prosecution's problem with Mr. Gibson are his films since those unfortunate incidents, and although they are clearly the reasons why he hasn't appeared in the greatest films as of late, we still think he could be working on better movies.

Edge of Darkness just felt like more of the same from Mr. Gibson, and him playing a villain in The Expendables 3 and Machete Kills sounded fantastic on paper, but both movies (and his performances in them) weren't anything to write home about. Even with his controversies, Mr. Gibson should still be able to find solid projects since he's been kicking around Hollywood for so long, and is close friends with a bunch of other famous actors. It did help him land a role in The Beaver, but even though he's actually really good in the Jodie Foster movie, the film itself is pretty weak. As to him directing again, if studios aren't that comfortable with him starring in a film, it's unlikely they would want him behind the camera for one either.

The prosecution would love to see Mr. Gibson make a comeback, but it's not going to happen with the films he's been appearing in recently, and we doubt he's going to be directing a new movie anytime soon. We believe spending some time in Movie Jail will help Mr. Gibson, and keep him away from bad projects that might further damage his career.

The Defense: Get the Gringo, The Beaver, Edge of Darkness, Apocalypto, The Passion of the Christ, The Singing Detective, Signs, What Women Want, Chicken Run, The Patriot, Payback, Conspiracy Theory, Lethal Weapon series, Ransom, Braveheart, Maverick, The Man Without a Face, Hamlet, Tequila Sunrise, Mad Max movies, The Bounty, The River, The Year of Living Dangerously, Gallipoli

Ladies and gentlemen, we aren't going to try to defend the things Mr. Gibson has said and done in his personal life, but the defense is a fan of his movies, and we believe he's still doing great work. Are Machete Kills and The Expendables 3 amazing movies? No, but in the defense's opinion Mr. Gibson was quite good in both films, and he did a solid job in Edge of Darkness as well. But if you really want proof Mr. Gibson is still an incredibly talented actor, check out his Get the Gringo and The Beaver, two very different movies featuring outstanding performances from my client.

In 2011 at the 25th American Cinematheque Awards, Robert Downey Jr. asked Hollywood to forgive my client, and the defense believes what Mr. Gibson needs is an Iron Man. It obviously doesn't have to be a superhero movie, but we think a hit movie with Mr. Gibson as the lead would do wonders for his career, especially if it was also well-received by critics.

Although many people might not think too highly of Mr. Gibson because of his controversies, movie buffs (and more than likely most members of the jury) still love his older films, and the defense doesn't think they'll want to lock up my client. This isn't the same as say Shia LaBeouf's trial, since Mr. Gibson's filmography is much more impressive. Besides his acting, my client has directed two excellent films with Braveheart and Apocalypto, and the defense strongly believes in his skills as a director. Many critics didn't love his The Passion of the Christ, but the defense still enjoyed the film, and that's coming from an atheist, so it's not as if we're just a big fan of Mr. Jesus.

Mr. Gibson's films haven't been marvelous these past few years, and it's his own fault many are no longer fans of the actor, but the defense still doesn't think he deserves to go to Movie Jail.


Do you believe Mr. Gibson should spend (at least) a few months behind bars, or do you think we should let him walk? Do you think he can turn things around, or is this it for "Mad Mel"? Is Mel Gibson 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.



Very few jury members defended director and screenwriter Mark Steven Johnson in last week's trial, and he's been found GUILTY of all charges. Many took issue with how he handled the Ghost Rider and Daredevil movies, and were also unimpressed with his other films. Mr. Johnson will be spending the next five years in Movie Jail, and as part of his punishment can't be involved with any comic book movies for at least a decade.


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

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, 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

UPDATES: Robert De Niro, Nicolas Cage and Roland Emmerich


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