Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Neal McDonough!

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

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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

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li Neal McDonough

The Case

The Prosecution: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Bad Country, Company of Heroes, The Marine 3: Homefront, Ticking Clock, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, 88 Minutes, Forever Strong, I Know Who Killed Me, The Hitcher, Timeline

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, welcome to the odd case of Neal McDonough. While Mr. McDonough is a decent enough actor, he is up for Movie Jail because of his inability to land roles in quality projects. The prosecution isn't sure why, but for whatever reason, the actor is a bad movie magnet.

Mr. McDonough has appeared in multiple negatively reviewed films, and a few of them are notoriously atrocious, like the Lindsay Lohan-led trainwreck I Know Who Killed Me, Timeline, and his latest movie, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. He also starred in the worst of the two live-action Street Fighter films in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, the terrible 2007 remake of The Hitcher, and a bunch of crappy straight-to-DVD/VOD/limited release movies, including Company of Heroes and The Marine 3: Homefront.

It doesn't help that when producers need an actor to play the baddie or a cop, soldier, government official, etc. on the cheap they always seem to give Mr. McDonough a call. However, he does have the option of turning down roles, so a good chunk of the blame does fall on Mr. McDonough.

In the prosecution's opinion, Mr. McDonough has starred in way too many projects below his talents, and we believe he needs to be sent to prison for his "low hanging fruit" films.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Neal McDonough

The Defense: Red 2, Little Birds, The Philly Kid, Captain America: The First Avenger, Flags of Our Fathers, Walking Tall, Minority Report, Ravenous

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. McDonough's filmography is littered with Razzie Award-winning and nominated movies, however the defense doubts that the jury will want to lock my client up.

Although the actor has been active since 1990, he's never been an A-lister, so it's not like he can be extremely selective when it comes to picking his projects. Just like the rest of us, Mr. McDonough needs to pay his bills, and sometimes that means taking a role in a movie that has a high probability rate of failure, both critically and financially.

It's unfortunate that my client has appeared in numerous poorly received films, but he's a damn fine actor, and almost always delivers a solid turn, even in his bad movies. The defense thought Mr. McDonough gave great performances in films like Red 2, The Philly Kid, and Little Birds, and he's also done some fantastic work on the small screen, most notably as Robert Quarles on FX's Justified and on the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.

If Mr. McDonough was a bigger star, maybe the prosecution would have a case against my client. But as a working actor, he's just taking the roles that are offered to him, so let's cut him a little slack. Mr. McDonough's filmography might be abysmal, however that doesn't mean he belongs in Movie Jail.

Red 2 Neal McDonough


What should we do with the Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and Red 2 star? Do you believe Mr. McDonough deserves jail time, or does he just need a better agent? Is actor Neal McDonough 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.


Falcoln Rising Neal McDonough Michael Jai White


Akiva Goldsman

Akiva Goldsman was found extremely GUILTY of all charges in last week's trial, with only one member of the jury fully supporting the filmmaker. Multiple jury members said they weren't impressed with his work on Batman Forever and Batman & Robin (no surprise there), however several also said they didn't care for A Beautiful Mind, even though he won an Oscar for the film's script.


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, The Wachowski Siblings, Kate Bosworth, Garry Marshall, David Goyer, Akiva Goldsman

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, Luc Besson, Jason Reitman, Mila Kunis, Jennifer Connelly, Sienna Miller, Ben Barnes, Simon West, Len Wiseman, Brendan Fraser, Megan Fox

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, Johnny Depp, Kevin Smith & Chris Rock


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