Beverly Hills Cop

(Photo by Paramount Pictures/ courtesy Everett Collection)

All Eddie Murphy Movies Ranked

Eddie Murphy’s movie career came roaring out of the gate in the early ’80s, with three yearly successive Certified Fresh classics in a row: 48 HRS, Trading Places, and Beverly Hills Cop. His presence represented a shake-up in the comedy status quo: Provocative jokes, tough action, and even some social commentary. Combined with his other seminal ’80s movie, Coming to America, Murphy was the king of American comedy. And if you needed even more raw (literally) material, you could turn to his hard-hitting stand-up movies.

Harlem Nights was a highlight in his immediate post-America career, if only in having Murphy in the director’s chair, and luring Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx into the same movie. But it was the softening of Murphy’s image that propelled him into the blockbuster stage of his career with The Nutty Professor, where he performs seven separate roles. Along with roles in Mulan, Dr. Dolittle, and Shrek, suddenly every kid out there knew his name. (The Golden Child apparently had not worked.) In-between, Murphy was still able to put out more adult-oriented movies like Bowfinger and Life.

But the cracks began to show with The Adventures of Pluto Nash, one of the more notorious bombs in Hollywood history, along with The Haunted Mansion and Daddy Day Care, where audiences slowly started to turn on his family material (the critics were already out). A Best Supporting Actor Oscar nom for Dreamgirls in 2006 was quickly overshadowed by the pile-up disasters of Norbit, Meet Dave, Imagine That, and A Thousand Words. Murphy peaced out from filmmaking until a time audiences and critics would be more appreciative of his talents, hopefully with the movies to back it up.

It seemed like that moment might have been four years later with 2016’s Mr. Church. Nah, nobody saw it. Instead, the true comeback would hit in 2019: Dolemite Is My Name, where he plays bold and brash blaxploitation legend Rudy Ray Moore, and for which he received the most glowing reviews of his career. And he’s picked Dolemite director Craig Brewer to helm Coming 2 America, the long-gestating sequel that will finally hit theaters this December. Before then, we’re ranking all Eddie Murphy movies by Tomatometer!

#36
#36
Adjusted Score: 1778%
Critics Consensus: Dated jokes (A Thousand Words was shot in 2008) and removing Eddie Murphy's voice -- his greatest comedic asset -- dooms this painful mess from the start.
Synopsis: Jack McCall (Eddie Murphy) is a selfish literary agent whose fast-talking ways allow him to close any deal. His next... [More]
Directed By: Brian Robbins

#35
Adjusted Score: 6374%
Critics Consensus: The Adventures of Pluto Nash is neither adventurous nor funny, and Eddie Murphy is on autopilot in this notorious box office bomb.
Synopsis: "Pluto Nash" is an action comedy set on the moon in the year 2087, starring Eddie Murphy as the title... [More]
Directed By: Ron Underwood

#34

Norbit (2007)
9%

#34
Adjusted Score: 12950%
Critics Consensus: Coming off his Oscar-nominated performance in Dreamgirls, the talented-but-inconsistent Eddie Murphy plays three roles in Norbit, a cruel, crass, stereotype-filled comedy that's more depressing than funny.
Synopsis: Mild-mannered Norbit (Eddie Murphy) has always had it rough, since the day he was left abandoned at a combination Chinese... [More]
Directed By: Brian Robbins

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 10009%
Critics Consensus: Despite being set at an amusement park, Beverly Hills Cop III forgets to have any fun as it churns out uninspired violence and witless gags, with an uncharacteristically lethargic Eddie Murphy not helping matters.
Synopsis: When his boss is killed, Detroit cop Alex Foley (Eddie Murphy) finds evidence that the murderer had ties to a... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 12641%
Critics Consensus: Neither scary nor very funny, this misguided effort never lives up to its premise.
Synopsis: In the wake of her mother's death in a mental institution, detective Rita Veder (Angela Bassett) is assigned to a... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#31

Holy Man (1998)
12%

#31
Adjusted Score: 14233%
Critics Consensus: Cloying and unfunny, Holy Man wastes the repartee between Eddie Murphy and Jeff Goldblum on the gospel of toothless satire and unearned sentimentality.
Synopsis: Ricky Hayman (Jeff Goldblum), an executive at a home shopping network, is on the verge of losing his job. Sales... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Herek

#30
Adjusted Score: 12550%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the conniving world of politics, even a professional shyster like Thomas Jefferson Johnson (Eddie Murphy) can find himself outmatched.... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Lynn

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 17536%
Critics Consensus: Neither scary nor funny, The Haunted Mansion is as lifeless as the ghosts in the movie.
Synopsis: Workaholic real estate agent Jim Evers (Eddie Murphy) is accused by his wife, Sara (Marsha Thomason), of neglecting his son... [More]
Directed By: Rob Minkoff

#28

I Spy (2002)
16%

#28
Adjusted Score: 19115%
Critics Consensus: Insipid and mirthless, I-Spy bares little resemblance to the TV series that inspired it.
Synopsis: When the Switchblade, the most sophisticated prototype stealth fighter created yet, is stolen from the U.S. government, one of the... [More]
Directed By: Betty Thomas

#27

Another 48 HRS. (1990)
21%

#27
Adjusted Score: 21956%
Critics Consensus: Even the return of Eddie Murphy, Nick Nolte, and director Walter Hill can't hide the lazy, patchwork quality of Another 48 Hrs.
Synopsis: While trying to capture drug lord "The Iceman," policeman Jack Cates (Nick Nolte) confronts two criminals and kills one of... [More]
Directed By: Walter Hill

#26

Meet Dave (2008)
20%

#26
Adjusted Score: 22573%
Critics Consensus: Easy gags and slack direction drag this occasionally clever alien-out-of-planet comedy down to unimaginative lows.
Synopsis: Dave Ming Chang (Eddie Murphy) is the ultimate fish out of water. Even though he's just arrived in New York,... [More]
Directed By: Brian Robbins

#25

Harlem Nights (1989)
21%

#25
Adjusted Score: 22297%
Critics Consensus: An all-star comedy lineup is wasted on a paper-thin plot and painfully clunky dialogue.
Synopsis: In the waning days of Prohibition, Sugar Ray (Richard Pryor) and his adopted son, Quick (Eddie Murphy), run a speakeasy... [More]
Directed By: Eddie Murphy

#24

Mr. Church (2016)
24%

#24
Adjusted Score: 25194%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a young girl and her dying mother are joined by a black male cook who comes to live with... [More]
Directed By: Bruce Beresford

#23

Showtime (2002)
25%

#23
Adjusted Score: 28663%
Critics Consensus: Showtime starts out as a promising satire of the buddy cop genre. Unfortunately, it ends up becoming the type of movies it is satirizing.
Synopsis: When a no-nonsense LAPD detective (Robert De Niro) is forced to star in a reality-based television show with a frustrated... [More]
Directed By: Tom Dey

#22
Adjusted Score: 28898%
Critics Consensus: While Eddie Murphy is still hilarious as the entire Klump family, the movie falls apart because of uneven pacing, a poor script, and skits that rely on being gross rather than funny.
Synopsis: Professor Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy) is getting married. And the Klump family could not be more delighted. His fiancee Denise... [More]
Directed By: Peter Segal

#21

Daddy Day Care (2003)
27%

#21
Adjusted Score: 31183%
Critics Consensus: Daddy Day Care does its job of babysitting the tots. Anyone older will probably be bored.
Synopsis: While his wife, Kim (Regina King), brings home the bacon, unemployed Charlie (Eddie Murphy) spends his days caring for the... [More]
Directed By: Steve Carr

#20

Shrek the Third (2007)
42%

#20
Adjusted Score: 50262%
Critics Consensus: Shrek the Third has pop culture potshots galore, but at the expense of the heart, charm, and wit that made the first two Shreks classics.
Synopsis: When King Harold suddenly croaks, Shrek (Mike Myers) learns he will have to rule the land of Far, Far Away,... [More]
Directed By: Chris Miller

#19

Imagine That (2009)
41%

#19
Adjusted Score: 44461%
Critics Consensus: Despite a promising turn by newcomer Yara Shahidi, Imagine That is another pedestrian family comedy that squanders Eddie Murphy's comedic talents.
Synopsis: Like many busy professionals, Evan Danielson (Eddie Murphy) is so focused on his career that quality time with his young... [More]
Directed By: Karey Kirkpatrick

#18

Dr. Dolittle (1998)
42%

#18
Adjusted Score: 44363%
Critics Consensus: Doctor Dolittle finds some mirth in the novelty of wisecracking critters, but this family feature's treacly tone is made queasy by a reliance on scatological gags that undercut the intended warmth.
Synopsis: After a fender bender, Dr. John Dolittle (Eddie Murphy) gets back his childhood ability to converse with animals. But the... [More]
Directed By: Betty Thomas

#17

Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001)
42%

#17
Adjusted Score: 45800%
Critics Consensus: Although there are laughs to be had in Dr. Dolittle 2, its preoccupation with toilet humor and Murphy's restrained performance makes this a missed opportunity.
Synopsis: In Dr. Dolittle 2, the now-famous doc has more patients -- two-legged and four-legged -- than he can handle. But... [More]
Directed By: Steve Carr

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 48073%
Critics Consensus: Eddie Murphy remains appealing as the wisecracking Axel Foley, but Beverly Hills Cop II doesn't take him -- or the viewer -- anywhere new enough to justify a sequel.
Synopsis: The hard-nosed Detroit cop from the original film returns to Los Angeles to help solve another case. This time he... [More]
Directed By: Tony Scott

#15

Boomerang (1992)
44%

#15
Adjusted Score: 46490%
Critics Consensus: Boomerang injects some fresh color into the corporate rom-com formula, but the frothy fun is undercut by off-putting gender dynamics and misjudged gags.
Synopsis: A cocky ad executive, Marcus (Eddie Murphy) has a reputation as a ladies' man. However, Marcus gets a taste of... [More]
Directed By: Reginald Hudlin

#14

Life (1999)
51%

#14
Adjusted Score: 51828%
Critics Consensus: Entertaining if not over-the-top humor from a solid comic duo provides plenty of laughs.
Synopsis: During Prohibition, loudmouth Harlem grifter Ray (Eddie Murphy) and the no-nonsense Claude (Martin Lawrence) team up on a bootlegging mission... [More]
Directed By: Ted Demme

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 64532%
Critics Consensus: While not without its moments, Shrek Forever After too often feels like a rote rehashing of the franchise's earlier entries.
Synopsis: Long-settled into married life and fully domesticated, Shrek (Mike Myers) begins to long for the days when he felt like... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 65940%
Critics Consensus: The Nutty Professor falls back on juvenile humor eagerly and often, but Eddie Murphy's consistently funny work in dual roles means more for audiences to love.
Synopsis: Brilliant and obese scientist Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy) invents a miraculous weight-loss solution. After a date with chemistry student Carla... [More]
Directed By: Tom Shadyac

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 75831%
Critics Consensus: Eddie Murphy was in full control at this point, starkly evident in Coming to America's John Landis' coasting direction.
Synopsis: Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) is the prince of a wealthy African country and wants for nothing, except a wife who... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#10

Tower Heist (2011)
68%

#10
Adjusted Score: 74616%
Critics Consensus: Tower Heist is a true Brett Ratner joint: little brains to this caper, but it's fun fluff, exciting to watch, and showcases a welcome return to form for Eddie Murphy.
Synopsis: For more than 10 years, Josh Kovaks (Ben Stiller) has managed one of New York City's most luxurious and well-secured... [More]
Directed By: Brett Ratner

#9

Dreamgirls (2006)
78%

#9
Adjusted Score: 86908%
Critics Consensus: Dreamgirls' simple characters and plot hardly detract from the movie's real feats: the electrifying performances and the dazzling musical numbers.
Synopsis: Deena (Beyoncé Knowles),Effie (Jennifer Hudson) and Lorrell (Anika Noni Rose) form a music trio called the Dreamettes. When ambitious manager... [More]
Directed By: Bill Condon

#8

Bowfinger (1999)
81%

#8
Adjusted Score: 85759%
Critics Consensus: A witty commentary on modern film-making, with enough jokes to keep it entertaining throughout.
Synopsis: On the verge of bankruptcy and desperate for his big break, aspiring filmmaker Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin) concocts a crazy... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 87035%
Critics Consensus: The buddy cop movie continues its evolution unabated with this Eddie Murphy vehicle that's fast, furious, and funny.
Synopsis: After his childhood buddy is murdered while visiting Detroit, rebellious cop Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) follows the leads to Beverly... [More]
Directed By: Martin Brest

#6

Mulan (1998)
86%

#6
Adjusted Score: 90110%
Critics Consensus: Exploring themes of family duty and honor, Mulan breaks new ground as a Disney film, while still bringing vibrant animation and sprightly characters to the screen.
Synopsis: Fearful that her ailing father will be drafted into the Chinese military, Mulan (Ming-Na Wen) takes his spot -- though,... [More]
Directed By: Barry Cook, Tony Bancroft

#5

Trading Places (1983)
88%

#5
Adjusted Score: 88934%
Critics Consensus: Featuring deft interplay between Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, Trading Places is an immensely appealing social satire.
Synopsis: Upper-crust executive Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) and down-and-out hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) are the subjects of a... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#4

Shrek (2001)
88%

#4
Adjusted Score: 96421%
Critics Consensus: While simultaneously embracing and subverting fairy tales, the irreverent Shrek also manages to tweak Disney's nose, provide a moral message to children, and offer viewers a funny, fast-paced ride.
Synopsis: Once upon a time, in a far away swamp, there lived an ogre named Shrek (Mike Myers) whose precious solitude... [More]

#3

Shrek 2 (2004)
89%

#3
Adjusted Score: 96797%
Critics Consensus: It may not be as fresh as the original, but topical humor and colorful secondary characters make Shrek 2 a winner in its own right.
Synopsis: After returning from their honeymoon and showing home movies to their friends, Shrek and Fiona learn that her parents have... [More]

#2

48 HRS. (1982)
93%

#2
Adjusted Score: 96664%
Critics Consensus: Marking an auspicious feature film debut for Eddie Murphy, 48 Hrs. is a briskly paced action comedy that succeeds largely due to the outstanding chemistry between its two leads.
Synopsis: Renegade cop Jack Cates (Nick Nolte) pulls bank robber Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) from a federal prison on a 48-hour... [More]
Directed By: Walter Hill

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 110298%
Critics Consensus: In dramatizing Rudy Ray Moore's stranger-than-fiction story, Eddie Murphy makes Dolemite Is My Name just as bold, brash, and ultimately hard to resist as its subject.
Synopsis: Performer Rudy Ray Moore develops an outrageous character named Dolemite, who becomes an underground sensation and star of a kung-fu,... [More]
Directed By: Craig Brewer

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