Madea Goes to Jail (2009)



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

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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
PG-13 (for mature thematic material, drug content, some violence and sexual situations)
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
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Tyler Perry
as Madea/Joe/Brian
Derek Luke
as Joshua
Ion Overman
as Linda
David Mann
as Brown
Viola Davis
as Ellen
Robin Coleman
as Big Sal
Bobbi Baker
as Tonya
Tom Joyner
as Himself
Al Sharpton
as Himself
Steve Harvey
as Himself
Wanda Smith
as Herself
Sybil Wilkes
as Herself
Joy Behar
as Herself
Phil McGraw
as Himself
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Critic Reviews for Madea Goes to Jail

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (13)

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

Full Review… | February 24, 2009
Village Voice
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | February 23, 2009
Boston Globe
Top 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.

Full Review… | February 23, 2009
AV Club
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | February 23, 2009
New York Daily News
Top 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.

Full Review… | February 23, 2009
Arizona Republic
Top 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.

Full Review… | February 23, 2009
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Madea Goes to Jail


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

Bradley Wright
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.

Matt Penney
Matt Penney

Super Reviewer

"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).

Dead Angel
Dead Angel

Super Reviewer

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