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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Madea Goes to Jail can be found here.
When Madea (Tyler Perry) lands in jail following a highway 'situation', she looks for someone to nurture and finds it in recovering drug addict turned prostitute Candace 'Candy' Washington (Keshia Knight Pulliam).
Madea Goes to Jail is based on a play of the same name, written by the film's director Tyler Perry. Madea Goes to Jail is the fouth movie in the Madea series, in which Perry stars as southern matriarch Mabel "Madea" Simmons (among other characters), often the comic relief element (and savior*) in otherwise malaise/tension-filled dysfunctional family dramas, i.e. whenever she isn't the protagonist. It is preceded by Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005), Madea's Family Reunion (2006) and Meet the Browns (2008), and followed by I Can Do Bad All by Myself (2009), Madea's Big Happy Family (2011), Madea's Witness Protection (2012), A Madea Christmas (2013), Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016), and Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (2017)—along with an animated movie Madea's Tough Love (2015). [*Although Madea has no magical powers, special tools or blatant deus ex machina abilities, she much like Mary Poppins can show up out of the blue with the mission of rescuing a family from itself and she will do just that. This trope forms the basis of the Madea stories in which she is more of a supporting character and not the titular character.]
Madea Goes to Jail picks up where Meet the Browns ends with Madea and Uncle Joe, both played by Tyler Perry, involved in a high speed car chase with the police. However, because of a technicality (the arresting police forgot to read Madea her Miranda rights), Judge Mablean Ephriam is forced to let her go. Later in the movie, Madea destroys a lady's car out of revenge and is sent to jail again by Judge Greg Mathis.
Just before Josh (Derek Luke) and Linda (Ion Overman) are about to be married, Josh pours through Candy's case file and realizes something isn't right. Chuck (RonReaco Lee) finally reveals how Linda padded Candy's file and got her sentenced to 17 years in jail for crimes she did not commit. In front of the entire congregation, Josh announces that he has no intention of marrying this "conniving and manipulative human being," and he walks out of the church, leaving Linda standing bewildered at the altar. Josh goes straight to the jail, promises Candy that he's going to get her out, and tells her he loves her. He reviews Linda's cases and finds that seven women, including Madea, have all been sentenced to jail on trumped up charges. Word gets out to the public and becomes the subject of numerous talk shows, including a "Free Madea" show hosted by Whoopi Goldberg. Linda is indicted by a grand jury on charges of fraud, tampering, and providing false documents. In short notice, the sentences of the seven wrongly-convicted women are overturned, and they are released. In the final scene, Josh and Candy kiss as Candy walks out of the jailhouse. As the credits roll, Madea's interview with Dr Phil McGraw is shown.
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