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Tyler Perry‘s most famous character, Madea, has appeared in nearly half the director’s films: a gun-toting, “Hallelu-yer”-shouting force of nature, and an outrageous drag tribute to his mother and aunt. But some films in the Madea Cinematic Universe are gleefully manic, while others arrive in what appears to be a half-finished state of sad melodrama and mediocrity. Not counting her cameo appearance in the otherwise Madea-free “Meet the Browns,” or the animated kids offering “Madea’s Tough Love,” here’s where to find maximum Madea mayhem:
10. “Madea’s Witness Protection”
To look at box office receipts, this one would appear to have been a fan favorite, the second-highest-grossing Madea movie to date. But it came along at a time when Perry was making minor noise about retiring the character, and it really shows. The film looks cheap even by Perry’s budget-minded standards, the jokes are flat, and the director appears tired of the role, going through the motions in that wig and padded housedress, having almost no comic rapport with co-star Eugene Levy. Luckily for fans, Perry chose to keep Madea alive and kicking in future installments.
9. “Madea’s Family Reunion”
The follow-up to Madea’s debut in “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” this movie proves that less Madea screen time means less entertainment. A dramatic abusive-fiancé storyline dominates the film, as do side characters’ preparations for a wedding and family reunion. Madea’s presence is limited to dispensing homespun wisdom to young Keke Palmer, a now-infamous line about shooting Tupac for a parking space, the delivery of Oprah Winfrey‘s “All my life I had to fight…” speech from “The Color Purple,” and a memorable teaching moment about how to counter domestic violence with hot grease and a cast-iron skillet to the abuser’s face.
8. “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” (2017)
The first one made money, so Madea gets to be scared stupid all over again in a sequel so sluggish and haphazardly thrown together that it makes the first one seem like classic comedy by comparison. Madea spends most of the film sitting in a Cadillac and having her most florid swears awkwardly dubbed into softer versions.
“A Madea Family Funeral” (2019): Perry says this is the last Madea movie, and maybe it’s time if this inert effort is all he can muster for his signature comic creation. Madea tends to do a lot of sitting around in this one — a dramedy about infidelity and sudden death — mocking the stupidity of those around her or dispensing old-fashioned life advice. Missing is her trademark wildness, her willingness to ignore all social convention and sense of decency, replaced by sedentary — but often still quite funny — one liners. Come back when you’re feeling it again, Madea.
5. “I Can Do Bad All By Myself”
The ratio of Madea to melodrama is sadly unbalanced in this mostly dramatic near-musical about a troubled nightclub singer (Taraji P. Henson, carrying the film and herself like the Oscar nominee she is) and her struggle to get by, all while having to deal with caring for her recently orphaned niece and nephews. Madea drops into odd moments here and there for comic relief, but the real reasons to watch this one are Henson’s moving performance and Mary J. Blige showing up to knock the title song out of the park.
4. “A Madea Christmas”
Christmas needs saving, and it’s Madea to the rescue. Why it needs saving is irrelevant, but it involves a mean corporation, Larry the Cable Guy, and Lisa Whelchel from “The Facts of Life.” The solution involves Madea donning a Mrs. Claus outfit and laying waste to everyone who gets in the way of her Wonderful Life. She fights the KKK, ties up a misbehaving child with Christmas lights, and calls at least one person a “Satanic loudmouth diarrhea woman,” before going full-on anti-Linus and recounting a bizarrely backward Nativity story. Christmas crisis averted with antics — and as a follow-up to the dismally unfunny “Witness Protection,” “Christmas” restores much-needed chaos to a character whose energy seemed to be flagging.
3. “Diary of A Mad Black Woman”
Perry introduced Madea to film audiences with a chainsaw, a “Mommie Dearest” gag about wire hangers, and a heavy dose of Bugs Bunny-style chaos, all in the strange service of an otherwise serious melodrama about marital discord and domestic abuse. When Madea’s tormented granddaughter (Kimberly Elise) winds up on her doorstep after fleeing a horrible husband, Madea helps the young woman with wild advice and a maniac’s zeal for destructive revenge. This includes the use of firearms and taking that chainsaw to the ex-husband’s couch. At one point, co-star Cicely Tyson admonishes Madea: “God takes care of folks better than you can,” to which Madea responds, “God takes too long.”
2. “Madea Goes To Jail”
Madea’s criminal history involves a litany of charges including identity theft, insurance fraud, and attempted murder. This time around she defies court-ordered anger management (with Dr. Phil, driving him into a state of rage) and mocks her daughter Cora’s peaceful faith in Jesus. Landing in prison after destroying a racist woman’s car, she befriends serial killer Sofia Vergara, battles a predatory inmate, and gets released on a technicality, dancing out of the joint (in her housedress, of course). The highest-grossing Madea film, and the one in which she’s almost conscience-free, as close to pure id as a human being can be without transforming into a cartoon Tasmanian Devil.
1. “Madea’s Big Happy Family”
The perfect combination of family dysfunction (featuring a solidly moving performance from Loretta Devine as a cancer-stricken mother) and a barnstorming Madea. The matriarch comes on like a tornado as she destroys a fast-food restaurant with both her car and her body, freestyle-lectures Christians on the “prescriptures” in the Bible, handily insults every person who crosses her path, and nearly meets her match when sparring with the wild and wicked Teyana Taylor. Madea triumphs, though, because that’s what she always does, somewhere between confessing to sex with Bill Clinton and attacking people with a hammer as a guest on “Maury.”
Read original story All 10 Tyler Perry Madea Movies Ranked From Worst to Best (Photos) At TheWrap