Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Queen Latifah!

Last Updated on August 2, 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

Joyful Noise Queen Latifah

The Case

The Prosecution: Joyful Noise, The Dilemma, Just Wright, Valentine's Day, What Happens in Vegas, Mad Money, Beauty Shop, The Cookout, Taxi, Bringing Down the House, Scary Movie 3

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, legendary rapper Queen Latifah can be a very good actress, especially with the right material, but she has a terrible habit of popping up in low quality and poorly received movies. While several of her films since her critically acclaimed turn in Chicago were solid performers at the box office, most critics haven't been impressed by them, and the prosecution feels she could be appearing in better movies.

Just take a look at some of her post-Chicago movies. The Dilemma, Valentine's Day, What Happens in Vegas, Mad Money and Taxi all have Rotten Tomatoes ratings below 30%, and Joyful Noise, Beauty Shop, and Bringing Down the House weren't hits with critics either. Miss Latifah once said "I think it's important to create projects as an actor rather than wait for them," and she's done just that by serving as a producer on multiple feature and television movies, however most of them haven't done that well with critics.

Again, this isn't so much about Miss Latifah's talents as an actress, but the awful films she has appeared in, and the prosecution feels she has a few too many stinking up her resume. Although we don't need to lock the actress up and throw away the key, she has earned a prison stay for her bad movies, and a couple of months behind bars should do the trick.

Just Wright Queen Latifah

The Defense: Ice Age series, The Secret Life of Bees, Hairspray, Last Holiday, Stranger than Fiction, Chicago, Brown Sugar, The Bone Collector, Living Out Loud, Set It Off

Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Latifah has appeared in a number of negatively reviewed films, but she's a gifted and charismatic actress, and her well-received movies definitely make up for her less-than-awesome ones.

While films like Joyful Noise, Just Wright and The Secret Life of Bees didn't receive high marks from critics, most praised my client's turns in them. It also wasn't that long ago that she won a Golden Globe for her role in the TV film Life Support, and was recently up for a Best Actress Emmy for her portrayal of Bessie Smith in HBO's Bessie. Miss Latifah certainly has done better than most other rappers/singers-turned-thespians, and is only one of three hip-hop artists (and the first female one) to receive an acting Oscar nomination.

Miss Latifah's filmography may not be fantastic, however it isn't completely filled with critically panned movies either. Some may argue she needs to be pickier with her big screen projects, but unfortunately, there aren't that many great roles out there for forty-year-old African American actresses, and the defense is confident the jury will agree that she doesn't belong in the slammer.

Chicago Queen Latifah


Does the prosecution have a case against Miss Latifah, or do you think it's ridiculous that the Chicago and Hairspray actress is being considered for Movie Jail? What should we do with hip-hop's first lady? Is Queen Latifah 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.


Queen Latifah


Kelsey Grammer

Kelsey Grammer was found NOT GUILTY of all charges in last week's trial, thanks to the Cheers and Frasier star's strong television work. Jury members said although he hasn't had the much success on the big screen, he's still a good actor, and some even admitted to liking Down Periscope.


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, Avi Arad, Damon Lindelof, Hayden Christensen, Dennis Dugan, Sharon Stone, Jessica Biel, Nick Swardson, Simon Kinberg, Alex & Stephen Kendrick, Eli Roth

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, Neal McDonough, Cameron Crowe, Katie Holmes, Elijah Wood, Tarsem Singh, Reese Witherspoon, Burt Reynolds, Ed Helms, Sean Astin, Michael Polish, Kelsey Grammer

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, Ice Cube, Owen Wilson & Vince Vaughn


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