Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Peter Jackson!

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

Movie Jail Banner

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 Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Peter Jackson

The Case

The Prosecution: The Hobbit Trilogy, The Lovely Bones, King Kong

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the prosecution originally wanted to put director Peter Jackson up for Movie Jail before the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, but decided to wait until the final installment in his The Hobbit series hit theaters. Now that it has, it's clear we need to do something about Mr. Jackson.

The Hobbit flicks haven't been awful, but they certainly aren't as good his The Lord of the Ring movies, and he definitely didn't need to do a three-movie adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien novel. It's no surprise many have compared the director's The Hobbit movies to George Lucas' Star Wars prequels.

Sometimes less is more, and Mr. Jackson seemed to forgot that while making The Hobbit trilogy. The prosecution also has a problem with the pacing of his films as of late. While you could blame it on the stuff Mr. Jackson added to The Hobbit from appendices to Tolkien's The Return of the King, but the prosecution also had the same issue with his King Kong. For the record, it does have a 84% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, however with its 50% audience score, it's obvious the prosecution wasn't the only one who was disappointed with the film. In addition, Mr. Jackson's The Lovely Bones adaptation received negative reviews from most critics, even with strong performances by Stanley Tucci and Saoirse Ronan.

Last week Mr. Jackson said he wants to focus on smaller films now, which is great and all, however also threatened said he'd be down for more Middle-Earth movies. In the prosecution's opinion, the director needs to take a break before starting work on his next project, because we just haven't been impressed with his recent efforts.

The Lovely Bones Peter Jackson

The Defense: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Frighteners, Heavenly Creatures, Dead Alive, Meet the Feebles, Bad Taste

Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps my client shouldn't have split The Hobbit into three movies, however the defense doesn't think we should send him to prison because of them, and we've enjoyed his recent films. Ok, so maybe not The Lovely Bones, but we still don't believe he belongs in Movie Jail.

The only real blemish on my client's filmography is his big screen version of the Alice Sebold novel, and while many might argue Mr. Jackson's The Hobbit films have been underwhelming, he set the bar for himself very high with The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It's not as if his second Middle-Earth trilogy has received awful reviews from critics either: all three have fresh ratings at Rotten Tomatoes.

Although the prosecution didn't like King Kong, the defense thought it was a great movie. In fact, the defense believes it's actually a very underrated film, even though it was a little too long and there were parts that dragged. And let's not forget Mr. Jackson's fantastic pre-LOTR films like Dead Alive, Heavenly Creatures and The Frighteners.

But the defense does think it would be best if Mr. Jackson didn't do another Middle-Earth movie. Like many, the defense would love to see the director return to the horror genre, but whatever he decides to do next, we're confident it won't be another The Lovely Bones.

King Kong Peter Jackson


Do you think Mr. Jackson deserves to go to Movie Jail for his recent films, or do you believe he's still a great director? Do we need to lock him up for, far away from Middle-Earth, or is the prosecution just nitpicking? Is director Peter Jackson 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.


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Peter Jackson


Ridley Scott

Ridley Scott was found NOT GUILTY of all charges in last week's trial, but there were more than a few jury members who said he should spend some time behind bars. If his The Martian adaptation ends being another subpar film from the director, the court will heavily consider putting Mr. Scott up for Movie Jail again.


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

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

UPDATES: Robert De Niro, Nicolas Cage and Roland Emmerich, Jim Carrey, Robert Rodriguez and Gerard Butler, Jessica Alba, Julia Roberts and The Farrelly Brothers


About the Author