Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Shia LaBeouf!

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

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: Transformer series, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, New York, I Love You, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Eagle Eye, plagiarizing Dan Clowes' comic

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you shouldn't be too surprised to see Shia LaBeouf on trial, considering the events from last week. We will get to that stupidity in a moment, but plagiarizing the Dan Clowes' comic "Justin M. Damiano" isn't the only reason why the prosecution is going after Mr. LaBeouf. As an actor, he hasn't shown he has the biggest range, and the films he has appeared in haven't all been winners, to say the least.

The Transformers movies and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull made a ton of money in theaters, but critics weren't that kind to them (especially the last two Transformers), or Mr. LaBeouf's performances. Is Mr. LaBeouf completely to blame for the movies' failures? No, but he's definitely part of the problem with them, and regardless of how much he trashes those films, it's not as if he didn't cash the checks he received for his work.

Outside of big budget films, Mr. LaBeouf's track record isn't any better. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a boring film, and the actor is the definition of bland in it. It still might be better than Eagle Eye though, which is a completely ridiculous movie, with another meh performance by Mr. LaBeouf. Some (including the defense) may point to Lawless as evidence of Mr. LaBeouf's talents as an actor, however the prosecution feels Mr. LaBeouf was the weakest part of that film.

But this recent plagiarism business is incredibly ugly. If Mr. LaBeouf was just an actor in a film that had a plagiarized story, he definitely wouldn't be at fault, but he "wrote" the script for his short film without giving any credit to Dan Clowes. Blatantly copying someone else's work is much worse than starring in a shitty movie, not being a great actor, or for being kind of an asshole. It's lazy, disrespectful, and is something that will probably follow Mr. LaBeouf for the rest of his career. Yes, he apologized, but it's too little, too late in the prosecution's opinion. This also isn't the first time the actor has used someone else's words without giving due credit, and even "borrowed" from Yahoo! Answers for his Twitter apology.

The jury might think the prosecution is jumping on the "F*ck Shia LaBeouf" bandwagon, but what he did was very serious, and he should be punished. Stick a fork in Shia LaBeouf, because this beef is done.

The Defense: Charlie Countryman, Lawless, Disturbia, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Holes, The Battle of Shaker Heights

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. LaBeouf hasn't helped his reputation with movie buffs with his plagiarized short film, but the prosecution doesn't think the actor would be on trial if it we were basing it only on his acting credits. He's actually been really good in most of his movies, even in films that as a whole aren't great, like Charlie Countryman. Holes and The Battle of Shaker Heights both feature excellent performances by Mr. LaBeouf, and he also did a fine job in Disturbia, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, and The Greatest Game Ever Played.

Many fans weren't pleased with Mr. LaBeouf's character in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, however the prosecution is correct in saying it wasn't my client's fault. Mutt was a terrible character, and the defense doubts a different actor would have done any better with the role.

But the defense feels that Mr. LaBeouf shouldn't be crucified for plagiarizing a comic. Yes, it is serious business to essentially steal someone else's work, and maybe he could have done a better job of apologizing. However, does that mean he should be finished as an actor and filmmaker? Others have done far worse and most of the public has forgiven them (Roman Polanski, anyone?), so why are people treating Mr. LaBeouf like he slapped the face off of a child? Once again, it was very wrong what he did, but emotions are running so high that I feel like my client isn't going to have a fair trial.

Mr. LaBeouf has done some dumb things, and can't keep his mouth shut sometimes, but does that mean we should throw him into Movie Jail? The defense doesn't think so, and urges the jury to really consider all the pieces of evidence before rendering a verdict.


What is the jury going to do with "Shit The Beef"? Send him to Movie Jail, or declare him an innocent man? Is the only reason why he's on trial is because of his plagiarized film, or is it just the last straw? Is Shia LaBeouf 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.



Renee Zellweger has been GUILTY of all charges. The jury completely agreed with most of the prosecution's arguments from last week, and the actress is now sitting in a prison cell in Movie Jail with the likes of Cameron Diaz and Sarah Jessica Parker. However, if she does another Bridget Jones film, we're going to stick her in solitary confinement.


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

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, Dan Aykroyd


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