Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Rob Cohen!

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: Alex Cross, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Stealth, The Skulls, Daylight

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, director Rob Cohen is known for his fun action movies, but lately his films have not been as fun as his previous ones, and there has been a severe drop in quality. How big of a drop? Have you seen Stealth?

Most of Mr. Cohen's films haven't been big hits with critics, but some (and most movie goers) have appreciated his "turn your brain off" movies. XXX? Stupid, but fun. The Fast and The Furious? A high-octane blast. But what positive things can you say about The Mummy: The Tomb of The Dragon Emperor? The CGI is better? Oh wait, it's not. Ok, well it's still a fun movie though, right? Sure, if your idea of fun is pouring sand into your eyes.

It's obvious though that audiences have also cooled to Mr. Cohen's movies. Besides being panned by critics, both Alex Cross and Stealth were box office failures. The Tomb of The Dragon Emperor performed fairly well, but it was still the lowest grossing and lowest reviewed film in The Mummy franchise.

The prosecution might be able to look past some of Mr. Cohen's previous failures like The Skulls and Daylight, but it's hard to ignore his three recent bombs. No wonder people were so upset when it was announced he will be working on a remake of Road House. Sure, it's another incredibly dumb idea from Hollywood, but do you also have any confidence in Mr. Cohen behind the camera for this project? The prosecution doesn't, and firmly believes he needs to be locked up in Movie Jail.

The Defense: XXX, The Fast and the Furious, The Rat Pack, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Dragonheart

Ladies and gentlemen, why is the prosecution always going after people who are involved with fun movies? Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brett Ratner last week, and now Rob Cohen. In many ways Mr. Cohen is like Mr. Ratner, just without the asshole, frat boy antics. Mr. Cohen directs movies for you, the movie goer, not traditional critics:

"What I find is, above all, I’m an audience viewer. When I go to a movie I want to be entertained and stimulated, and that stimulation can come from a movie like The Battle of Algiers or The Last Year at Marienbad, but it can also comes from The Avengers, which I loved. Why does it have to be one thing? When you have a medium as diverse and so bursting for different things, why does it have to be an alienating, slow, verging on boring experience to get a good review?" ~Rob Cohen (Film School Rejects)

Mr. Cohen doesn't take himself or his films seriously, and just wants to create a fun movie experience for audiences. Is that really a crime? The prosecution wants the jury to focus on his most recent sub-par offerings, but we shouldn't disregard some of his older films. XXX and The Fast and the Furious are both excellent popcorn flicks, however those aren't the only good movies by the director. Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story is a fantastic semi-biographical movie on the late Bruce Lee, and Mr. Cohen also did a great job directing the 1997 television movie The Rat Pack for HBO. Plus, he directed Dragonheart. Say what you will about that movie, but I loved that film as a child, and I still do today.

There are plenty of directors who deserve Movie Jail, but Mr. Cohen isn't one of them.


Should we stick Mr. Cohen in a jail cell with his Alex Cross buddy Tyler Perry, or should we let him walk? Has he earned a place in Movie Jail, or do you think he hasn't done enough truly bad films to be sent to the cinematic prison? I ask you, the jury, is Rob Cohen 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.



Send The Rat to prison! Brett Ratner didn't stand a chance last week, and has been found GUILTY of all charges by the jury. A couple members of the jury supported the director, but most said they've had enough of his bland, studio friendly films, and he should have been sent to Movie Jail a long time ago. As part of his sentence, Mr. Ratner will not be allowed anywhere near shrimp or Olivia Munn, and must agree to never make Rush Hour 4.


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

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


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