Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Simon West!

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

The Expendables 2 Simon West

The Case

The Prosecution: Wild Card, Stolen, When a Stranger Calls, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The General's Daughter

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Simon West has only directed eight feature films, but the prosecution feels he's been around long enough to be considered for Movie Jail. Mr. West's movies have never received glowing reviews from critics, with 2012's The Expendables 2 being his only fresh rated film at Rotten Tomatoes, and his most recent project Wild Card is sitting at 28%.

Mr. West is also responsible for the negatively reviewed video game adaptation Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, the lame John Travolta-led crime flick The General's Daughter and that shitty When a Stranger Calls remake from 2006. While those films at least performed well at the box office, the director's Taken rip-off Stolen was a critical and financial failure.

Look, the prosecution loves Con Air as much as the next guy, but Mr. West has a very weak filmography, filled with low rated movies. Mr. West has a film based on Duncan Falconer's John Stratton book series in the works, as well as a remake of The Blob, and many people have said they would rather see someone else behind the camera for those upcoming projects.

If Michael Bay, Brett Ratner, Rob Cohen and McG belong in prison, then so does Mr. West, and the prosecution believes the jury will agree that the director needs to spend significant time behind bars.

Simon West

The Defense: Wild Card, The Expendables 2, The Mechanic, Con Air

Ladies and gentlemen, although there's no denying that my client has helmed several mediocre (at best) movies, the defense believes Mr. West has actually improved as a director.

Mr. West directed the best installment (in the defense's opinion) in The Expendables series with the first sequel, and while his latest effort Wild Card didn't score rave reviews from most critics, there are some who enjoyed the film.'s very own Chris Bumbray gave it a 7, and the defense agrees that it's a pretty solid movie. Like Wild Card, The Mechanic isn't a particularly memorable flick, but it's still a decent action thriller.

Mr. West is kind of a journeyman, point-and-shoot director, and there's nothing wrong with that. If a studio needs a fairly reliable director who can handle action heavy scenes, they give my client a call. The defense does wish Mr. West would stay away from remakes (if The Blob moves forward it will be his fourth) and perhaps he's a little guilty, however overall we don't believe his movies have been so awful we need to lock him up.

The Mechanic Simon West


What should we do with the Con Air and The Mechanic director? Is Mr. West a bad filmmaker who deserves to go to Movie Jail, or just a very average one? Is Simon West 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 Expendables 2 Simon West


David Goyer

David Goyer was found GUILTY of all charges in last week's trial, with most of the jury saying they haven't been impressed by his solo work, and many also said they didn't care for his Man of Steel script. While Mr. Goyer did help pave the way for comic book movies by writing the screenplay for the first Blade, his subpar CBMs (Blade: Trinity, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance) and directorial efforts are what landed him in jail.


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

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

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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