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Madea Goes to Jail (2009)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 20 February 2009 (USA)
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Mischievous grandma Madea lands in jail, where she meets a variety of mixed-up characters.


Tyler Perry


Tyler Perry (based on the stage play by), Tyler Perry
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tyler Perry ... Madea / Joe / Brian
Derek Luke ... Joshua Hardaway
Keshia Knight Pulliam ... Candace Washington
David Mann ... Brown
Tamela J. Mann ... Cora (as Tamela Mann)
RonReaco Lee ... Chuck
Ion Overman ... Linda
Vanessa Ferlito ... Donna
Viola Davis ... Ellen
Sofía Vergara ... T.T.
Robin Coleman ... Big Sal
Bobbi Baker Bobbi Baker ... Tanya
Aisha Hinds ... Fran
Benjamín Benítez ... Arthur
Karan Kendrick ... Guard Watson


Mischievous grandma Madea lands in jail, where she meets a variety of mixed-up characters.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, drug content, some violence and sexual situations | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

20 February 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$41,030,947, 22 February 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$90,485,233, 19 April 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Last "unknown" appearance by Sofía Vergara before the premiere of her mega-hit TV series Modern Family (2009) and then she becoming a superstar. See more »


In the scene when Chuck is typing, studying a case for his friend Joshua, the laptop should be on. He is using a MacBook Pro. When MacBook Pros are on, the Apple logo on the back of the notebook would be illuminated white. Thus since the logo isn't lit, the computer is off. See more »


Madea: I'm Madea! Ma to the damn D-E-A!
See more »


Referenced in The Hard Times of RJ Berger: Lily Pad (2010) See more »


Written by Norman Howell, Horace Payne and Benoit Tshiwala
Performed by Born Jamericans
Published by Mudslide Music, Inc. (BMI)
Courtesy of Delicious Vinyl
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

According to this, the Lord is always the answer. Whatever.
18 June 2009 | by JungleBunnyBastardSee all my reviews

Now, before anything, I'm a Christian and I do have some religious beliefs. However, I'm not a hardcore Christian. I also can't stand it when people shove religious crap down my throat. I can learn to poke fun at my own religion and laugh because for all I know I could be worshiping the wrong religion. Not a big deal to me. I'm still a decent guy. Religion is always the last thing on my mind.

With that said, this movie was just bad in every way possible. Let me break it down for you: it's not funny, it's not clever, it's not entertaining, it's overlong, it's boring, it's predictable, it's clichéd, the bad acting and dialog make it unwatchable at times with it's stupid one liners. It also tries too hard to be both dramatic and ends up becoming unbearably hammy. It also leaves me wondering: "Is it comedy or drama? Do I even care anymore because of how unlikeable the characters are?" I've seen some comedy/dramas that evenly weigh out each element very well. This film and the rest of Tyler Perry's films don't fit into that category at all.

This also pounds you over the head with religious context and other ridiculous and unrealistic plot elements that just come off as being unintentionally sappy. And why the hell is Dr. Phil in this? Really? Does anyone like this douche bag enough to want him to star in a film (however amateurish)? And not having one pop-culture icon in the film is enough, but they also had to add in another one (Judge Mathis).

Oh, I forgot to tell you the story. Madea goes to jail, but it takes forever before she actually gets there (she's there for the final 20 minutes of the show). Tyler Perry casts his conceded ass into three separate roles in this, which gets tiresome. I have no problem with directors wanting to be in their own films (Braveheart and Annie Hall come to mind) but, damn dude, three roles? Seriously? Oh, yeah, back to the "story". Madea keeps doing dumb stuff so she eventually goes to jail and is ordered anger management (with Dr. Phil of all people) and at the same time a prostitute is trying to get off the streets.

Is there anything in this film that Tyler Perry hasn't done before? Madea? Sexual abuse? Religious elements? Drug addiction? Yes, yes, it's all so sad and so easy for you to get tears jerked from your audience while at the same time giving them a good belly laugh. You are oh-so-clever, Tyler Perry.

All in all, I'm just getting really sick and tired of these stupid Madea movies. Almost as much as those damn "movie" movies with Seltzerberg. The only saving grace in this that I can think of is that the actor who plays Josh is the only one who didn't annoy me. He wasn't good, he just seemed like the only one who was even trying. Kudos to him, but at the same time he should be ashamed to agree to star in a film like this. The man is clearly talented and needs to be in real movies and avoid this kind of crap. He's the only reason why this doesn't get one star out of me. I gave it two for his sake.

Like I said with Not Easily Broken, leave the religious elements out of your films unless it actually does have something to do with it (Last Temptation of Christ, Doubt) but at the same time don't exclude your audience. Next time, Perry, I'm not gonna be so easy on your ass.

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