Critic Reviews



Based on 13 critic reviews provided by
Quicker on the uptake than any of Eddie Murphy's fat ladies, quicker even than Flip Wilson's Geraldine Jones.
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.
Both slapstick and social drama, and it is certainly the most confident mix of the two that Perry has managed to achieve with this particular part of his vast media franchise.
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.
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.
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.
The Hollywood Reporter
For all its staleness, the melodramatic main story does contain enough good acting and resonant scenes.
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?
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.
I've been watching movies my entire life, and I can honestly say I've never been more confused in a theatre than I was while watching Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail.

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