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: 1.329%
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: Eddie Murphy is Jack McCall, a fast-talking literary agent, who can close any deal, any time, any way. He has... [More]
Directed By: Brian Robbins

#35
Adjusted Score: 5.99%
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: Eddie Murphy gets way, way out in this futuristic sci-fi comedy. In the year 2087, the Earth's natural resources have... [More]
Directed By: Ron Underwood

#34

Norbit (2007)
9%

#34
Adjusted Score: 12.726%
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: A meek and lovable milquetoast married to an overbearing, overweight tyrant finds his life turned upside down when he meets... [More]
Directed By: Brian Robbins

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 12.975%
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: Comedy takes a back seat to action in this third go-round for Eddie Murphy as wisecracking Detroit cop Axel Foley,... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 11.234%
Critics Consensus: Neither scary nor very funny, this misguided effort never lives up to its premise.
Synopsis: Comedian Eddie Murphy tried something different with this 1995 film that he produced and co-wrote, enlisting veteran horror director Wes... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#31

Holy Man (1998)
12%

#31
Adjusted Score: 14.221%
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: In this sharp-edged, high-octane comedic look at life, love, and television home shopping, Murphy is an inspirational televangelist who hilariously... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Herek

#30
Adjusted Score: 13.387%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A smooth-talking confidence trickster makes his way into congress (where the cynical would suggest he'd have plenty of company) in... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Lynn

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 17.69%
Critics Consensus: Neither scary nor funny, The Haunted Mansion is as lifeless as the ghosts in the movie.
Synopsis: Realtor Jim Evers and his wife and business partner Sara get a call late one night from mansion owner Edward... [More]
Directed By: Rob Minkoff

#28

I Spy (2002)
16%

#28
Adjusted Score: 19.451%
Critics Consensus: Insipid and mirthless, I-Spy bares little resemblance to the TV series that inspired it.
Synopsis: Special agent Alex Scott and middleweight world champion Kelly Robinson are reluctantly paired for a dangerous mission to recover the... [More]
Directed By: Betty Thomas

#27

Another 48 Hrs. (1990)
18%

#27
Adjusted Score: 19.354%
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: At times, Another 48 Hrs. seems less like a sequel to than a parody of the first 48 Hrs., especially... [More]
Directed By: Walter Hill

#26

Meet Dave (2008)
20%

#26
Adjusted Score: 23.248%
Critics Consensus: Easy gags and slack direction drag this occasionally clever alien-out-of-planet comedy down to unimaginative lows.
Synopsis: With their home planet in danger and no place in the known universe to seek shelter, a desperate crew of... [More]
Directed By: Brian Robbins

#25

Harlem Nights (1989)
21%

#25
Adjusted Score: 23.079%
Critics Consensus: An all-star comedy lineup is wasted on a paper-thin plot and painfully clunky dialogue.
Synopsis: Eddie Murphy, in addition to starring as Quick, the son of 1930s Harlem gambling-house proprietor Sugar Ray (Richard Pryor), also... [More]
Directed By: Eddie Murphy

#24

Mr. Church (2016)
24%

#24
Adjusted Score: 24.407%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Set 1965 Los Angeles, Mr. Church begins with a stranger arriving on the doorstep of 10-year-old CHARLOTTE "CHARLIE" BRODY and... [More]
Directed By: Bruce Beresford

#23

Showtime (2002)
25%

#23
Adjusted Score: 28.086%
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: Robert DeNiro continues to lampoon his tough-guy persona with this spoof of buddy cop movies that teams him with comic... [More]
Directed By: Tom Dey

#22
Adjusted Score: 28.682%
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: Overweight scientific genius Sherman Klump and his extended family are back in this sequel to the 1996 comedy smash The... [More]
Directed By: Peter Segal

#21

Daddy Day Care (2003)
27%

#21
Adjusted Score: 30.389%
Critics Consensus: Daddy Day Care does its job of babysitting the tots. Anyone older will probably be bored.
Synopsis: When two fathers lose their jobs in product development at a large food company, they are forced to take their... [More]
Directed By: Steve Carr

#20

Shrek the Third (2007)
41%

#20
Adjusted Score: 48.118%
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 Shrek married Fiona, the last thing he had in mind was becoming the next King. But when Shrek's father-in-law,... [More]
Directed By: Chris Miller, Raman Hui

#19

Imagine That (2009)
41%

#19
Adjusted Score: 44.279%
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: A powerful financial executive whose career was sent spiraling down the drain due to sudden lack of confidence finds the... [More]
Directed By: Karey Kirkpatrick

#18

Dr. Dolittle (1998)
42%

#18
Adjusted Score: 44.349%
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: Betty Thomas directed this adaptation of the classic children's stories by Hugh Lofting (1886-1947), updating the original concepts into the... [More]
Directed By: Betty Thomas

#17

Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001)
42%

#17
Adjusted Score: 45.115%
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: Eddie Murphy returns as a doctor with a gift for talking to animals in this sequel to a box-office blockbuster.... [More]
Directed By: Steve Carr

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 44.835%
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 young black cop from Detroit is still on vacation in Beverly Hills. In this sequel to the 1984 original,... [More]
Directed By: Tony Scott

#15

Boomerang (1992)
44%

#15
Adjusted Score: 45.947%
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: Eddie Murphy plays Marcus Graham, a hotshot ad exec who's also an insatiable womanizer. He is thus hardly prepared for... [More]
Directed By: Reginald Hudlin

#14

Life (1999)
50%

#14
Adjusted Score: 51.778%
Critics Consensus: Entertaining if not over-the-top humor from a solid comic duo provides plenty of laughs.
Synopsis: Comedians Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence team up for a story that wouldn't appear to have many immediate humorous possibilities... [More]
Directed By: Ted Demme

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 63.715%
Critics Consensus: While not without its moments, Shrek Forever After too often feels like a rote rehashing of the franchise's earlier entries.
Synopsis: A domesticated Shrek hatches a plan to recapture his mojo and discovers what life in Far Far Away land would... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 66.723%
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: Comedian/actor Eddy Murphy makes a comeback in this at times hilarious remake of the 1963 Jerry Lewis classic. Whereas Lewis'... [More]
Directed By: Tom Shadyac

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 69.719%
Critics Consensus: Eddie Murphy was in full control at this point, starkly evident in Coming to America's John Landis' coasting direction.
Synopsis: Coming to America casts comedian Eddie Murphy as pampered African prince Akeem, who rebels against an arranged marriage and heads... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#10

Tower Heist (2011)
67%

#10
Adjusted Score: 72.854%
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: Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy lead an all-star cast in Tower Heist, a comedy caper about working stiffs who seek... [More]
Directed By: Brett Ratner

#9

Dreamgirls (2006)
78%

#9
Adjusted Score: 85.096%
Critics Consensus: Dreamgirls' simple characters and plot hardly detract from the movie's real feats: the electrifying performances and the dazzling musical numbers.
Synopsis: Director Bill Condon brings Tom Eyen's Tony award-winning Broadway musical to the big screen in a tale of dreams, stardom,... [More]
Directed By: Bill Condon

#8

Bowfinger (1999)
81%

#8
Adjusted Score: 85.71%
Critics Consensus: A witty commentary on modern film-making, with enough jokes to keep it entertaining throughout.
Synopsis: Bobby Bowfinger is a shameless wannabe film producer, who is desperate to break into the Hollywood big-time in spite of... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 85.693%
Critics Consensus: The buddy cop movie continues its evolution unabated with this Eddie Murphy vehicle that's fast, furious, and funny.
Synopsis: What's that wisecracking young black guy (Eddie Murphy) in that beat-up Chevy Nova doing in lily-white Beverly Hills? He's Axel... [More]
Directed By: Martin Brest

#6

Mulan (1998)
86%

#6
Adjusted Score: 89.96%
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: Disney's cross-cultural retelling of a popular Chinese folk tale about a peasant girl who disguises herself as a man and... [More]
Directed By: Barry Cook, Tony Bancroft

#5

Trading Places (1983)
87%

#5
Adjusted Score: 90.808%
Critics Consensus: Featuring deft interplay between Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, Trading Places is an immensely appealing social satire.
Synopsis: The "nature-nurture" theory that motivated so many Three Stooges comedies is the basis of John Landis's hit comedy. The fabulously... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#4

Shrek (2001)
88%

#4
Adjusted Score: 94.883%
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 ornery ogre named Shrek whose precious solitude is... [More]

#3

Shrek 2 (2004)
89%

#3
Adjusted Score: 95.734%
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 battling a fire-breathing dragon and the evil Lord Farquaad to win the hand of Princess Fiona, Shrek now faces... [More]

#2

48 HRS (1982)
93%

#2
Adjusted Score: 96.267%
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: A variation on the "buddy-cop" hybridized genre, 48 HRS. greatly bolstered the career of Nick Nolte and made comedian Eddie... [More]
Directed By: Walter Hill

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 106.494%
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: Stung by a string of showbiz failures, floundering comedian Rudy Ray Moore (Academy Award nominee Eddie Murphy) has an epiphany... [More]
Directed By: Craig Brewer

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