The Rise and Fall of Eddie Murphy i.e. 5 Best/Worst Movies EVER

21 Jan

Whether it be his one of a kind laugh, or his giant grin, who can honestly say they hate Eddie Murphy? He’s done so much for not just black cinema but cinema as a whole. But with such a burden came a huge responsibility to keep that integrity alive. Something that Eddie Murphy absolutely has betrayed in every way. This might be one of the most tragic tales in all of Hollywood to a living star. Before getting into my list, let me just say how much I truly hate that there will be a generation of people who only knows Eddie Murphy as Donkey from Shrek. On top of that, when you see him perform in a movie like Dreamgirls, YOU SEE HOW PHENOMENAL AN ACTOR HE IS!!! SO WHY DOES HE DEMEAN HIMSELF WITH SUCH SHIT ROLES?!?!?!?!?! Ok…. Sorry, but this has to be one of the biggest enigmas in movie history…. With that said, on to the list.

The Best

5. The Nutty Professor

Based on the 1966 Jerry Lewis remake by the same name, Eddie Murphy would play multiple characters to tell the story of Sherman Klump, an over weight, genius professor who while combating his battle of the bulge, was also trying to win the eye of one Miss Purty (played by Jada Pinkett Smith). Sherman eventually creates a formula to transform him into a skinny person and thus, his skinny alter ego, Buddy Love, enters the picture to cause havoc to Sherman’s life. Hilarity ensues.

This was the first movie I can recall going to see multiple times in theaters (3 if I remember correctly). This film was so enjoyable, especially figuring out that Eddie Murphy is essentially carrying the ENTIRE MOVIE by himself. It’s a heartfelt love story full of quoteables and memorable sequences. It also gave a lot of attention to early comedian, Dave Chappelle (who has Eddie as one of his comedy idols).

4. Shrek

Now, I’m not stupid enough not to give credit to his performance as Donkey which really breathed new life to his career. I’ve only seen the first two films (refusing to see the 3rd and being really meh about the last one) and they are great performances done by both Eddie and Mike Myers. These were great alternative films to Pixar movies from a struggling Dreamworks animation studio. That is, until they decided to keep going past 2. Donkey is definitely one of his most memorable/timeless roles. Respect has to be paid to such an accomplishment. Like I mentioned earlier, it just sucks that THIS will be the role he’s most remembered for.

3. Coming To America

An all-star cast jam packed into an amazing film. This 1988 classic will feature Eddie Murphy (as well as Arsenio Hall) pose as multiple characters for the first time on screen. A feat will perform multiple times through his career. This movie is also chalk full of quoteables (They have the Golden Arches…..I’ve got the Golden Arcs….LET YOUR SOUL GLOWWWWW!!!! She’s your queen to be!!!!!) and there is no one in this movie that did a bad job. That fact in itself is amazing. The movie also makes a shout out to one of Eddie’s other films in Trading Places when he gives money to the Dukes who are homeless and on the street (sigh, hobos….).

2. Life

I had such a hard time with these last two. I waited right before publishing to finalize the final 2 but I gave my 2 spot to Life. Martin Lawrence did a great job with Eddie playing off of each other. This is usually so easy for Eddie to do with other black actors and he pulled it off again.

1. Beverly Hills Cop (I & II(III doesn’t exist))

If there was any other role besides Donkey that Eddie would be remembered for, it’s Detroit Police Detective, Axel Foley.  This was one of the first big commercial success movies to feature the streetwise cop, who is no nonsense, and doesn’t follow the rules (Chris Tucker would make a fortune off of this almost a decade later). The only question I ever had about the BHC franchise was this: Axel is from Detroit…..W(hy)TF is always in LA solving crimes? Is there not enough crime in Detroit to take care of????  But why doesn’t 3 exist on this list? Oh, you’ll see why in a few minutes.

After all the praise of the first part of this blog, it’s time to look at the dark side to Eddie’s career…. His 5 Worst Movies Ever. There truthfully is no race between 5-2, 1 wins this thing BY A MILE.

The Worst

5. Holy Man

WTF? to this movie caption. I mean, really? REALLY?

We should’ve seen this downward plunge in his career coming…but…but…. HOLY MAN?! Metro was seemingly his first really big failure, but I mean at least in Metro you sort of related his character to Axel. This..this abomination, there was no rhyme or reason for it….it was…just terrible….

4. Beverly Hills Cop 3

Yep, BHC III definitely is in the Worst list. There are several reasons why that I will outline here:

There are a couple of instant no-no’s to have in a sequel that if are added, you start off with a foot in the grave.

1. Not being able to secure original cast members and then giving stupid excuses as to why they’re absent (BHC III check mark)

2. Having to add different plot devices to the character to just make the movies stretch out a bit more (Ex.:In every Rocky movie after 1, a character had to die (or be near death) in order to have Rocky continuously fight)

3. The sequel has little or nothing to do with its predecessor(s) (BHC III check mark)

4. Kids….If your movie needs to have kids added into it…ABORT MISSION. GTFO while you still can. (BHC III check mark)

#4 doesn’t pertain to just sequels, it’s very much all movies in general. There are more sequel rule deal breakers but I just wanted to throw a couple of them in to prove my point.

This was the first sign that maybe Eddie wasn’t capable of a hit every time. But we just saw it as a blip on the radar. All great actors have one bad film in their repertoire. If we only knew what would follow.

3. Showtime

You mean to tell me there’s a movie out there that puts Robert De Niro AND Eddie Murphy? It was great, right? No…no it wasn’t. Which is really disappointing since because of this movie, they will be staying as far away from each other as humanely possible.

2. Bowfinger

The same premise as #3 sits with this one too. Only difference is, they’re both iconic comedians!! How did this movie suck so badly???? *Sigh*…..And finally

1. Norbit

WTF? No, really....WTF??????

Top 5 Coonish movies of all time. Without debate. This movie really should’ve killed Eddie Murphy’s career. Somehow he still walks around LA and people don’t throw bricks at him. This movie has no competition. HIS WORST MOVIE EVER! If you’ve never seen this movie, DON’T! Do you trust me? I promise I’ll never lead you guys astray. DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE. End of story.


At the end of the day I wrote this to say…we need to give Eddie some help. We need to reach out and stop him from picking these God awful movies. Like I referenced with Dreamgirls earlier, Eddie has shown time and time again, that he can act really well but he wastes his talents over and over again. I just hope we don’t EVER see anything like Norbit again….. One can only dream…

-The Big Socrates


Posted by on January 21, 2011 in Uncategorized


17 responses to “The Rise and Fall of Eddie Murphy i.e. 5 Best/Worst Movies EVER

  1. MichaelYoungHistory

    January 21, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    Good stuff bro.

    -Life and Coming to America my 1 and 2, followed by Nutty Prof, Shrek, then BHC. Got the right 5 though.

    Are you saying Daddy Day Care > BHC3? GTFOH!!!

  2. realist23

    January 21, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    How the hell did you not put Boomerang on the best list?!?!?!?!? That movie is classic! He was such a G in that movie! Everybody wanted to be slick and cool like him. He had Robin Givens and Halle Berry after him! I can’t respect this, bro! Take out Shrek and put in Boomerang! He technically wasn’t “in” Shrek…his voice was.

    • MichaelYoungHistory

      January 21, 2011 at 5:36 PM

      Boomerang is good. Not in Top 5. If anything, get rid of BHC. But Life is classic. CLASSIC.

      • Typo-Critical

        January 21, 2011 at 6:12 PM

        Boomerang is a fantastic movie. But I couldn’t rank it as Top 5 because, well, really, it’s not Eddie’s movie. While he’s set as the star on the movie poster, it’s all the female appearances that really steal the show. Halle Berry… Robin Givens in the black teddy underneath the trenchcoat (which would inspire a certain scene in fade2Black #shamelessplug)… Eartha Kitt proving she still had the cat’s meow… and Grace Jones being Grace Jones.

        • primemeridian11

          January 22, 2011 at 8:24 AM

          Boomerang should have been in Top 5. Life would be my number 1. I haven’t seen him be funnier than he was in Life.

  3. The Big Socrates

    January 21, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    @realist23-Yeah, I thought about that and if I hadn’t put Shrek in, Boomerang would’ve made the cut. I based Shrek more on the impact it did for him in Hollywood more than anything else. Boomerang would’ve probably been 5 and NP 4.
    @MYH-I forgot about Daddy Daycare. Definitely would’ve replaced Showtime with Daddy Daycare. BHC3 stays.

  4. The Big Socrates

    January 21, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    The other rationale for his worst movies was movies that he starred in that weren’t kids movies. Aside from Doctor Dolittle being decent, they were all terrible, so that goes without saying.

  5. realist23

    January 21, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    And where is Raw and Delirious?? Those put him on the map! Harlem Nights?!? You’re killin’ me, Marcus!

    Here’s my Top 5 Eddie Murphy Best Music list, though…y’all ready?
    5. Party All the Time

    • MichaelYoungHistory

      January 21, 2011 at 5:56 PM

      Harlem Nights is overrated.

      @Socrates congrats on being the 100th post bro!!!

    • ginandcigars

      January 21, 2011 at 9:29 PM

      yo, what about “Put Your Mouth On Me, ” that was the jam too LMAO

  6. Typo-Critical

    January 21, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    This was a great list for the most part. While I liked your Top 5, mine would differ. I would bump out Shrek, and replace it with The Golden Child. I really, really loved that movie.

    Technically, this may not count, but Eddie Murphy’s RAW standup would be in my Top 5, as well. There were SO many classic lines and stories in that movie. One of the funniest parts was also his most offensive (about “wanting an African bush b*tch”); in fact, Coming to America was sort of his apology for that part of the standup.

    As for the worst, I avoided Bowfinger the same way I have continued to avoid Bad Company – something about the “stand in for your twin brother” concept just scared me. But I would easily, EASILY replace BHC III with The Adventures of Pluto Nash. That was worse than Daddy Day Care, too. Worst movie twist ever. Randy Quaid as a robot sidekick. Rosario Dawson would again be cursed with trying to salvage an un-saveable movie (as she did in Light It Up and much later, Seven Pounds).

  7. utpipeline

    January 21, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Brad’s right. Marcus, you’re tripping. The comedic genius of Coming to America is unparable and, in my book, the best movie of all times. Structurally, that movie is beautiful! It’s up ther with Superbad and Ocean’s Eleven. Every event is beautifully plotted (that’s what PLOT really means, guys). And must we not forget the quotable moments are never ending. Beverly Hills Cops and Live have not impacted a culture the way Coming to America has. I’m so surprised you didn’t have Trading Places as one of the top five. It could be interchangeable with any movie other than Coming To America. Boomerang is def #2. I would have done 5. BHC 1 4. Nutty Professor 3. Life 2. Boomerang (never gets old. Maaaaacus!) 1. Coming to America

    I can tell you exactly what happened to Eddie Murphy’s career. He signed like a 6 movie deal with a studio after Nutty Professor. He felt stuck, so he rushed and did a whole bunch of “whatever” movies to get out of his contract.

  8. justinfication

    January 22, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    48 hours…
    Trading Spaces…
    the Golden Child (no need to crown it, but I liked it)

    This guy paved the way for Chris Tucker.

    There are many that I wouldn’t watch, but considering he goal was to make cheesy family movies, all I can do is shrug.

  9. me

    March 3, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    I loved norbit! It’s hilarious…that is all

  10. Mikha'el Wade

    October 23, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    I think Eddie Murphy works best working off a fall guy, which is why Trading Places, for me, would be his best movie. He’s just brilliant in that and John Landis is such a great comic director, as evidenced in Coming To America, which no doubt has to be in the top five. Let’s just forget about their other collaboration…

  11. essex mobile homes

    July 15, 2012 at 9:25 AM

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  12. yo

    November 7, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    bowfinger and life are criminally underrated !!


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