63% The Maze Runner Sep 19
62% A Walk Among the Tombstones Sep 19
44% This Is Where I Leave You Sep 19
83% Tracks Sep 19
93% The Guest Sep 17

Top Box Office

11% No Good Deed $24.3M
71% Dolphin Tale 2 $15.9M
92% Guardians of the Galaxy $8.1M
19% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $4.9M
20% Let's Be Cops $4.4M
88% The Drop $4.1M
37% If I Stay $3.9M
36% The November Man $2.8M
34% The Giver $2.6M
67% The Hundred-Foot Journey $2.4M

Coming Soon

68% The Equalizer Sep 26
71% The Boxtrolls Sep 26
86% The Two Faces of January Sep 26
—— Two Night Stand Sep 26
91% Jimi: All Is by My Side Sep 26

New Episodes Tonight

100% Garfunkel and Oates: Season 1
—— Haven: Season 5
89% The Honorable Woman: Season 1
56% Married: Season 1
39% Rush: Season 1
82% Satisfaction: Season 1
79% You're the Worst: Season 1

Discuss Last Night's Shows

86% The Bridge (FX): Season 2
83% Extant: Season 1
—— Franklin & Bash: Season 4
—— The League: Season 6
56% Legends: Season 1
24% The Mysteries of Laura: Season 1
59% Red Band Society: Season 1

Certified Fresh TV

87% Boardwalk Empire: Season 5
86% The Bridge (FX): Season 2
91% Doctor Who: Season 8
83% Extant: Season 1
89% The Honorable Woman: Season 1
87% The Knick: Season 1
89% Manhattan: Season 1
97% Masters of Sex: Season 2
90% Outlander: Season 1
82% Satisfaction: Season 1
87% The Strain: Season 1
79% You're the Worst: Season 1

Madea Goes to Jail (2009)



Average Rating: 4.9/10
Reviews Counted: 50
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 35

Divided between sincere melodrama and populist comedy, Madea Goes to Jail fails to provide enough laughs -- or screen time -- for its titular heroine.


Average Rating: 4.8/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 9

Divided between sincere melodrama and populist comedy, Madea Goes to Jail fails to provide enough laughs -- or screen time -- for its titular heroine.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 333,578

My Rating

Movie Info

Tyler Perry transitions another one of his hit plays to the big screen with this adaptation of Madea Goes to Jail. The successful filmmaker stars once again as the mischief-prone older woman whose exploits this time lead her to jail, where she befriends and reforms a prostitute named Candy (The Cosby Show's Keshia Knight Pulliam). ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi


Drama, Comedy

Tyler Perry

Jun 16, 2009


Lionsgate - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now


Latest News on Madea Goes to Jail

March 8, 2009:
Box Office Guru Wrapup: Watchmen Scores $55.7 Million Opening
The adult-themed superhero film Watchmen seized control of the North American box office posting the...
March 1, 2009:
Box Office Guru Wrapup: Madea Schools Jonas Bros., Chun Li
Despite the arrival of rocking teens, Tyler Perry enjoyed a back-to-back stint at number one with...


Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (35) | DVD (3)

As ridiculous as his films frequently are, Perry, a shrewd yet benevolent showman, knows and loves his audience.

February 25, 2009 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The women's prison dramedy I wanted never really happens.

February 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Perry's playing-to-the-cheap-seats drag shenanigans hijack a morose street melodrama every 15 minutes and haul it into places even Flavor Flav fears to tread.

February 23, 2009 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Adapting his own play, Perry has pared the plot way back while giving his law-breaking matriarch more room to run free.

February 23, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Perry brings his own sensibility to every movie he makes and has enjoyed great success by following his own path. But he leaves you wanting more.

February 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Comment (1)
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If the movie is a mess, it's a purposeful mess, cannily, if not artfully, pushing all the right buttons to ensure Perry will be back for another round.

February 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A half-silly/half-moralistic story about how it is never too late to turn things around, "Madea Goes to Jail" is as wispy as whipped cream, but also as easy to consume.

November 26, 2013 Full Review Source:

A tedious melodrama stuck on top of shrill comedy, and the two parts are both the worse off for the combination.

February 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Perry clearly knows what his fans like, and he gives it to them -- by the shovelful. But for those not so tuned to his talents, Madea Goes to Jail is two excruciating hours of hard time.

September 29, 2011 Full Review Source: American Profile
American Profile

Madea's antics held me captive.

August 3, 2009 Full Review Source: 3BlackChicks Review
3BlackChicks Review

Madea is the antithesis of the moralistic soapbox Perry's movies stand on, which is why she is usually the enjoyable ingredient in his films.

July 3, 2009 Full Review Source:

if it doesn't work quite as well as some of Tyler Perry's previous efforts, it certainly isn't for lack of trying.

March 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

I like Tyler Perry's movies best when the character of Medea isn't in them.

March 3, 2009 Full Review | Comments (8)
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

Perry knows what his fans want (that would be Madea) and so his fans should be well-pleased by his latest film.

March 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Sean the Movie Guy

It is, in short, not nearly as funny as Madea's Family Reunion, Perry's benchmark for freewheeling, low humour.

February 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

Pulliam lends the material emotional shadings that Perry does not write into the script himself.

February 26, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

The predictable, even absurd twists that the movie takes to reach its happily-ever-after conclusion are amusing, as are the smart-ass quips and disposition of Perry's popular alter ego.

February 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out Chicago
Time Out Chicago

[Tyler Perry's] talent, however heedless and untidy, is's clear that he can make better movies than Madea Goes to Jail. The pity is that, with the enthusiastic audience he's already found, he may never feel the need to.

February 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Hokey and ham-fisted, cheaply made and appallingly edited. Even good actors like Derek Luke and Viola Davis are at a loss to get past the dialogue and the characters.

February 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) | Comments (2)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Two movies for the price of one, but the comedy smashed against the drama makes the whole thing less entertaining

February 24, 2009 Full Review Source:

King of all media Tyler Perry gives fans what they want: irreverent, pistol-packin' big momma Madea, who's going to make those confused, disrespectful young people see sense if she has to slap it into them.

February 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for Madea Goes to Jail

"If they got me got me got me I gotta get them get them get them"

This does have serious matters in it. I only enjoyed Tyler Perry's part as Madea. Other scenes were okay. Too much seriousness seems always boring to me (doesn't mean I don't take things seriously, just happens during the movie that's it).
August 20, 2010
Dead Angel

Super Reviewer

Tyler Perry can never go wrong.
February 24, 2009

Super Reviewer

Madea Goes To Jail is a fun movie for its comedy side, but the dramatic side is as stupid as any Tyler Perry film.
June 3, 2012
Bradley Wright

Super Reviewer

This movie is two different movies haphazardly smashed together. The two stories may have worked better separately, but together they suffer from jarring shifts in tone and a feeling of disconnection.
August 1, 2011
Matt Penney

Super Reviewer

    1. T.T.: I can't never do no wrong!
    – Submitted by Calvin C (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Madea Goes to Jail on our Movie forum!

What's Hot On RT

Critics Consensus
Critics Consensus

Maze Runner is Better than Average

Red Carpet Roundup
Red Carpet Roundup

100 pics from Toronto Film Fest

Hunger Games
Hunger Games

New Mockingjay - Part 1 trailer

24 Frames
24 Frames

Longest-running American sitcoms gallery

Foreign Titles

  • Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail (DE)
  • Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail (UK)
Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile