(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!
Adjusted Score: 1955%
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.
A fast-talking literary agent (Eddie Murphy) must learn how to live without speech upon discovering that he has only a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 6491%
Critics Consensus: The Adventures of Pluto Nash is neither adventurous nor funny, and Eddie Murphy is on autopilot in this notorious box office bomb.
In the future, the owner (Eddie Murphy) of a nightclub on the moon refuses to sell his business to a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 12311%
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.
Though married to a terrible shrew, a man (Eddie Murphy) tries to figure out a way to be with his... [More]
Adjusted Score: 12753%
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.
A hip detective (Eddie Murphy) from Detroit tracks a crime ring to a Los Angeles fun park called WonderWorld.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 12963%
Critics Consensus: Neither scary nor very funny, this misguided effort never lives up to its premise.
A Caribbean vampire (Eddie Murphy) seeks the half-vampire, half-human New York homicide detective (Angela Bassett) destined to be his bride.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 14728%
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.
Sales skyrocket when a burnt-out TV programmer (Jeff Goldblum) puts a guru (Eddie Murphy) on his home shopping network.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 12743%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Armed with the same name as a late U.S. senator, a con man (Eddie Murphy) goes to Washington and plays... [More]
Adjusted Score: 17385%
Critics Consensus: Neither scary nor funny, The Haunted Mansion is as lifeless as the ghosts in the movie.
A real estate agent (Eddie Murphy) and his family encounter ghosts in an old New Orleans house on a remote... [More]
Adjusted Score: 19281%
Critics Consensus: Insipid and mirthless, I-Spy bares little resemblance to the TV series that inspired it.
A special agent (Owen Wilson) and a boxing champion (Eddie Murphy) travel to Budapest, Hungary, to locate an arms dealer... [More]
Adjusted Score: 23238%
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.
Slick jailbird Reggie (Eddie Murphy) hits the street with sloppy policeman Jack (Nick Nolte), this time to nab a drug... [More]
Adjusted Score: 22874%
Critics Consensus: Easy gags and slack direction drag this occasionally clever alien-out-of-planet comedy down to unimaginative lows.
Tiny aliens explore the wilderness of New York City in a human-sized spaceship modeled after their captain (Eddie Murphy).... [More]
Adjusted Score: 22705%
Critics Consensus: An all-star comedy lineup is wasted on a paper-thin plot and painfully clunky dialogue.
Business partners (Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor) sting a white mobster trying to take over their nightclub in 1930s Harlem.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 24704%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
When a young girl and her dying mother are joined by a black male cook who comes to live with... [More]
Adjusted Score: 28836%
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.
A straight-laced cop (Robert De Niro) must work with a bumbling patrolman (Eddie Murphy) on a reality-based TV show.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 29328%
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.
In an attempt to remove Buddy Love from his subconscious, professor Klump (Eddie Murphy) accidentally creates him as a separate... [More]
Adjusted Score: 31079%
Critics Consensus: Daddy Day Care does its job of babysitting the tots. Anyone older will probably be bored.
After company downsizing, two former executives (Eddie Murphy, Jeff Garlin) decide to open a day-care center for kids in their... [More]
Adjusted Score: 49166%
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.
Shrek (Mike Myers) and friends set out to find Fiona's slacker cousin, Artie (Justin Timberlake), and bring him back to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 43905%
Critics Consensus: Despite a promising turn by newcomer Yara Shahidi, Imagine That is another pedestrian family comedy that squanders Eddie Murphy's comedic talents.
Consumed by career woes and personal crises, a financial executive (Eddie Murphy) finds the answers to all his problems within... [More]
Adjusted Score: 44873%
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.
A 20th-century San Francisco doctor (Eddie Murphy) rediscovers his ability to communicate with animals.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 45815%
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.
To save an endangered species, a veterinarian who can talk to animals (Eddie Murphy) must reintroduce a performing bear to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 48593%
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.
A clever detective (Eddie Murphy) from Detroit shows Los Angeles how to stop a hit woman's (Brigitte Nielsen) so-called Alphabet... [More]
Adjusted Score: 44783%
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.
A Manhattan playboy (Eddie Murphy) gets a new corporate boss (Robin Givens), and she treats him the way he has... [More]
Adjusted Score: 52109%
Critics Consensus: Entertaining if not over-the-top humor from a solid comic duo provides plenty of laughs.
Wrongly convicted of murder, two men (Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence) become close friends during decades in a Mississippi penitentiary.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 64032%
Critics Consensus: While not without its moments, Shrek Forever After too often feels like a rote rehashing of the franchise's earlier entries.
After Rumpelstiltskin tricks him into making a pact, Shrek (Mike Myers) finds himself in an alternate version of Far Far... [More]
Adjusted Score: 66358%
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.
An obese scientist (Eddie Murphy) drops the pounds and his poor self-image when a secret formula turns him into a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 76669%
Critics Consensus: Eddie Murphy was in full control at this point, starkly evident in Coming to America's John Landis' coasting direction.
Pampered Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) of Zamunda comes to New York with his royal sidekick (Arsenio Hall) to find a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 74536%
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.
The manager (Ben Stiller) of a luxury condominium joins forces with a petty crook (Eddie Murphy) to steal back the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86138%
Critics Consensus: Dreamgirls' simple characters and plot hardly detract from the movie's real feats: the electrifying performances and the dazzling musical numbers.
After an ambitious manager (Jamie Foxx) gives them a shot at stardom, three singers learn that fame can carry a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86444%
Critics Consensus: A witty commentary on modern film-making, with enough jokes to keep it entertaining throughout.
A broke producer (Steve Martin) hires a nerd (Eddie Murphy) who looks like a famous actor and other misfits to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87900%
Critics Consensus: The buddy cop movie continues its evolution unabated with this Eddie Murphy vehicle that's fast, furious, and funny.
A hip Detroit detective (Eddie Murphy) drives out to Los Angeles and shows local police (Judge Reinhold, John Ashton) how... [More]
Adjusted Score: 89832%
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.
A Chinese maiden disguises herself as a man to take her father's place in battle against invading Huns.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92179%
Critics Consensus: Featuring deft interplay between Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, Trading Places is an immensely appealing social satire.
Sporting billionaire brothers reverse the roles of a Wall Street commodities broker (Dan Aykroyd) and a street hustler (Eddie Murphy).... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95343%
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.
In order to save his home, a monster (Mike Myers) with a donkey (Eddie Murphy) makes a deal with a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95689%
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.
A green ogre (Mike Myers), his new wife (Cameron Diaz) and a donkey (Eddie Murphy) find adventure while visiting his... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97612%
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.
A rumpled detective (Nick Nolte) gets a slick convict (Eddie Murphy) released into his custody for two days to help... [More]
Adjusted Score: 108416%
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.
Performer Rudy Ray Moore develops an outrageous character named Dolemite, who becomes an underground sensation and star of a kung-fu,... [More]