Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Michael Cera!

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

Michael Cera

The Case

The Prosecution: Juno, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Paper Heart, Year One, Youth in Revolt

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the prosecution was worried about suggesting such a young actor for Movie Jail but in the end we decided that if Kristen Stewart can be brought before the court then so can Michael Austin Cera. Since first breaking out as George-Michael on Arrested Development, Mr. Cera has essentially played a slight variation of that character in every film he has appeared in. A lot of these characters also have similar mannerisms to the actor so many times it just seems like Mr. Cera is playing himself and not acting.

The prosecution knows that maybe Mr. Cera isn't the next Daniel Day-Lewis but the actor hasn't displayed any range of talent. His characters from Juno and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist could almost have been twins, throwing a mustache on in Youth in Revolt doesn't count as acting and in Paper Heart he played…Michael Cera. Sure Mr. Cera's cameo in This is The End was hilarious but once again he was playing a fictionalized version of himself. And do we even have to talk about how bad Year One is?

What's funny to the prosecution is that there use to be a lot of jokes about Jesse Eisenberg and Mr. Cera looking alike and playing similar characters but at least Mr. Eisenberg has dabbled in a bigger variety of genres and still seems to bring something new to the screen even if it is a type of character we've seen him play countless times. Even his Superbad co-star Christopher Mintz-Plasse (who many thought would always be typecast as McLovin) seems to try harder at diversifying his filmography.

But Mr. Cera must get other offers, right? He was in Arrested Development, he's part of the Apatow crew so what gives? Why does Michael Cera always play Michael Cera? The prosecution feels the actor is too comfortable in familiar roles and we feel a stint in Movie Jail is just what the actor needs.

Michael Cera

The Defense: Superbad, Juno, Youth in Revolt, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Arrested Development

Ladies and gentlemen, notice how some of the same films the prosecution lists show up on my list? That is because for some Mr. Cera just isn't their cup of tea. The actor doesn't have a unique acting style but like Denis Leary always playing an asshole or Hugh Grant constantly being "charmingly befuddled" Mr. Cera uses what talents he does have to his advantage. He may play an odd awkward man-boy a lot but he does it very, very well. Who else could have played the lead in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World? Could you imagine anyone but Mr. Cera as George-Michael on Arrested Development?

We also believe that a lot of people dislike Mr. Cera on a purely superficial level or because of how annoying some of his fans are who loved him in Juno and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, two of the actor's weaker films in the prosecution's opinion. But it's not his fault that douchey hipsters fell in love with him, nor should he be blamed. You can't pick your fans and even the most accomplished and well-known actors in the world today have some shit fans.

The main point the defense wants to make though is that Mr. Cera is still quite young. He's only 25 and still has plenty of time to grow as an actor, something he clearly has in mind since two of his upcoming films (Magic Magic and Crystal Fairy) have the actor in roles you wouldn't expect from my client.

Michael Cera


Is it time we snapped Michael Cera's acoustic guitar and send him to Movie Jail or is it too soon to judge the actor? Are the criticisms of Mr. Cera legit or nitpicking by jaded movie nerds? Is Michael Austin Cera 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.


Michael Cera


Salma Hayek

The case against Salma Hayek from last week has been dropped and the actress has been found NOT GUILTY of all charges due to a loophole she discovered in Movie Jail's legal system: having an amazing rack. While some tried to be logical and pointed out that Miss Hayek isn't that great of an actress many just said "bewbs" or "boobs" or…well you get the point. There's no denying that Salma Hayek is simply stunning and it was more than enough to keep her out of Movie Jail. Unfortunately that means no jail showers with Cameron Diaz, Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson.


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

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


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