Critic Reviews



Based on 13 critic reviews provided by
Chicago Tribune
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.
New York Daily News
Though he plays two other roles, Perry only really cuts loose when he dons Madea's housecoat, turning her into a devilishly funny voice of reason. Likewise, the movie tenses up when she's offscreen, becoming the sort of moralistic soap opera we've seen from Perry before.
Madea's physical comedy is loud enough to wake the dead, but its drama is just as excessive. In a neat bit of economy, Perry stages a wedding that doubles as a breakup, and triples as the villain's crowd-pleasing comeuppance. Now that is some serious multitasking.
It's a tale soggy with the kind of race/class lessons that Madea, the director-star's battle-ax alter ego, doles out far more handily (and entertainingly) in a single church-lady-from-hell zinger.
Wildly uneven effort, which is notably more strained and slapdash than such earlier efforts as "Madea's Family Reunion" and "Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns."
There is, however, Viola Davis, who might win an Oscar tomorrow for her one scene in "Doubt." Her part here - a minister combing the street for crack-whores to rescue - is about three times as large.
It's great that Perry has seized opportunity for himself and for the performers he employs. But has he succeeded only in creating a kind of ghetto for black-themed entertainment that's of sub-par quality -- one that, admittedly, makes him a lot of money?
The Hollywood Reporter
For all its staleness, the melodramatic main story does contain enough good acting and resonant scenes.
There is something both satisfying and frustrating about Madea Goes to Jail. Mr. Perry dutifully gives his audience what it wants, but you can't help feeling that he might also have more to offer: more coherent narratives, smoother direction, better movies.
L.A. Weekly
Check off all of Perry’s motifs: vilification of the black bourgie princess, tough-love Christian messages, Academy Award–nominated actresses (Viola Davis, this time) managing to maintain their dignity.

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