Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 54 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: Jack McCall, a fast-talking literary agent, who can close any deal, any time, any way. He has set his sights on New Age guru Dr. Sinja for his own selfish purposes. But Dr. Sinja is on to him, and Jack's life comes unglued after a magical Bodhi tree mysteriously appears in his backyard. With every word Jack speaks, a leaf falls from the tree and he realizes that when the last leaf falls, both he and the tree are toast. Words have never failed Jack McCall, but now he's got to stop talking and conjure up some outrageous ways to communicate or he's a goner. (Paramount Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 18
  2. Negative: 10 out of 18
  1. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Mar 9, 2012
    The formulaic script by Steve Koren doesn't manage to exploit the absurd premise with any discernible wit or invention, and the star is left floundering.
  2. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Mar 9, 2012
    Before this star vehicle devolves into a soggy New Age sermon, Murphy's manic pantomiming offers a few faint flickers of the mad comic genius from 1987's "Raw".
  3. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Mar 14, 2012
    If A Thousand Words' formula seems familiar, that's because writer Steve Koren has tripped down this quasi-metaphysical path before in "Bruce Almighty" and "Click."
  4. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Mar 8, 2012
    The poster art for A Thousand Words shows Eddie Murphy with duct tape over his mouth, which as a promotional idea ranks right up there with Fred Astaire in leg irons.
  5. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Mar 8, 2012
    Alas, even Murphy's largely wordless, physically adroit performance can't redeem this tortured exercise in high-concept spiritualist hokum.
  6. 25
    For a comedy about the quest for inner peace, A Thousand Words reeks of desperation.
  7. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Mar 10, 2012
    In theory, A Thousand Words should draw on its star's abilities as a physical comedian, but Murphy, miming his order for a triple latte at Starbucks, comes off like Charlie Chaplin on crystal meth; he's strenuously unfunny to watch.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 18
  2. Negative: 9 out of 18
  1. Jun 16, 2012
    This is a classic example of a movie that should have been tested more before release as I could absolutely see the sheer brilliance and potential behind this project. I believe that the public's opinion about this film would have been much better had there been well written captioned thoughts with comedic value to match Eddie Murphy's facial expressions as that would have held viewers attentions longer and also increased the pace of the story. However, after watching the entire movie I was exceedingly happy with the overall story line and since all other aspects of the film were perfectly fitting- i.e. sound, music, lighting, editing, etc. I gave this a 9.5 (even though doesn't allow half points, hence the10), but never the less it's definitely worth a watch and for many out there it will be a poignant and heartfelt reminder to love your family. The ending could have used a twist as the obvious possibilities were present: I can think of 3, 2 of which could have incorporated the ending already used, but as it stands I absolutely agree that the final cut suits the mainstream audience just fine. Again, I firmly believe that having his thoughts hilariously captioned with good writing could have saved this title, but I have a good feeling that this might be a sleeper in terms of popularity for rental, cable, or streaming internet (IF they can include an alternate cut with good captions- hint hint). Expand
  2. Oct 17, 2012
    It's stupid and corny and out of date, but it's not nearly as painful as everyone is making it out to be. It's got a few laughs and a good message about living life. Still not necessarily a "good" movie, but not a bad one by any means. Expand
  3. Jul 14, 2013
    Kind of a mixed bag. On one hand you have some very funny moments, on the other hand you have a movie that, while funny, manages to fluctuate between mature and juvenile jokes that makes it hard to find an acceptable audience. Some of the humor is too dumb for older audiences, but perfect for kids. The rest is too mature for kids but perfect for adults. The movie also features some genuine touching moments mixed with a familiar message of morals. I for one enjoyed the movie and laughed throughout, but I can't help but realize that all the familiarity of it's message and fluctuating maturity of its humor are going to turn off many. So if you're looking for a family comedy to watch with your teenage children (I recommend at least age 13) then this might be for you, depending on your taste. Expand
  4. Apr 10, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. When Mookie asks Pino who his favorite movie star is(in Do the Right Thing), the epithet-spouting Italian-American answers, "Eddie Murphy." It's a testament to Murphy's talent that even the racist son of a pizzeria owner worshipped the then-former SNL star. Given the time frame, the last film starring his screen idol which Pino probably saw in a Bedford-Stuy theater would probably have been Coming to America. For a man who resents how his Brooklyn neighborhood seems to be growing blacker by the day, the story about an African prince's mission to find a wife in Queens, should fill Pino with outrage, since Akeem, who finds work at a fast-food joint, is taking some McJob away from a white man. If the prince had "jungle fever", however, then maybe Pino would turn on Murphy, and see for the first time, his confused assignation of a racial double standard that exempts entertainers(he likes Magic Johnson and Prince, too) from being "n*****". In that scene with Lee, John Turturro mocks Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, and the Minister Louis Farrakhan, black men who are willing to fight back against the white establishment. And yet, in 48 Hrs., although Reggie Hammond gets called every name in the book by the cop who temporarily paroles him, the 1982 film allows the black man to retaliate, not only through off-color language, but with fisticuffs too, most memorably, in a knock-down, drag-out fight where Jack Cates takes his fair share of licks against the African-American convict. This constituted as progress, because back in the early-seventies(Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, notwithstanding), blacks weren't allowed to challenge white authority. To hit a cop, especially a racist one such as "Popeye" Doyle in The French Connection, where Brooklyn's finest, posing as Santa Claus, surreptitiously calls some black youths "boy", as in "Have you been a good boy?" was unthinkable. Inside the social club(whose dark-skinned patrons are the source of the lexical transference that Doyle lays on the two kids), there's movement, the surveillance pays off, when Det. Russo coaxes their target to flee, a chase that ends with police brutality, and intimidation in a back alley. It's a show of excessive force made justifiable by the bodily incision Doyle's partner suffers from the black man's knife-wielding hand. But, of course, the times as they were, the whole filmic contraption was fixed ,with The French Connection being a prime example of how black actors were either cast as criminals or entertainers. In the aforestated scene, the two stereotypes align themselves in perfect symmetry, on both sides of that bar window, in which Doyle keeps his eyes peeled for the con, while he urges the black kids into minstrelization by singing "Jingle Bells" to a jolly bigot, who later states, "Never trust a n*****." In another bar, another drug raid, Popeye corrects a patron after he calls him Doyle without prefacing his surname with a "Mister". Spike Lee was just 14 at the time when the William Freidkin film won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. It would take another decade, but Sam Cooke finally made good on his word when he promised that "A Change is Gonna Come", during a blink and miss it moment in 48 Hrs., when a hegemonic shift in the racial hierarchy occurs after Jack's request that back him up is met with askance. "Now why the f*** would I do that?" implores Reggie. In a scene that mirrors The French Connection(referring to Popeye Doyle, he says, "When white cops came in to f*** with me and my friends, the only thing that stopped us from kicking their a*ses, they had guns and badges."), Murphy walks into a monochromatic-skinned bar and intimidates the clientele just like Gene Hackman did back in '71. "There's a new sheriff in town," promised Murphy. Now, after countless bad movies, including A Thousand Words, you could say that Murphy put himself "Back on the Chain Gang". The Bodhi tree, often associated with the place that Prince Siddhartha finds enlightenment, is transmogrified in A Thousand Words, an unaware Buddhist horror movie, because Bo doesn't want Jack McCall, a literary agent, to meditate. Uh-uh. This Sacred Fig wants him dead. Pitched as a comedy, Dr. Sinja, a New Age guru whose book Jack aspires to publish, goes largely unexamined as a psychopath, since, contrary to his avowed obliviousness to the evil leaf-letting Bodhi's origin, is probably the man who directs the ficus to sprout in Jack's garden. After countless depictions of evil Christians, Dr. Sinja is that rare character in film: an evil Buddhist. The tree dictates Jack to do the right thing and choose his words wisely, which he does, but still, the Bodhi kills him. "The fake me died," he says. Only then does the guru agree to work with Jack(or is it "Jack"). A Thousand Words is like some bizarre eastern retelling of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Jack isn't a pod person, but rather, a Bo one. Expand
  5. Mar 9, 2012
    DUD! This movie was tired after the first 22 seconds. There were very few moments of originality, and everything in between was flat, uninspired, dull, and painfully unfunny! The supporting cast was awful, especially his wife (I don't want to learn her name because I want to forget everything about her). I really wish someone in Hollywood could write an excellent script for Eddie Murphy because I want him to be successful...we keep waiting and waiting. Should I be happy or sad that I used my free rewards movie ticket to see this drivel??? It is a bit of both for me: I'm happy that I didn't waste a penny of my own money on it, but VERY sad I wasted a "free ticket". Expand
  6. Mar 24, 2012
    This movie, is very boring and tired. It seemed like it was thrown together, without being properly written. I expected it to be a little better than what It was, I do not like this film and I wouldn't see it again. Expand
  7. Mar 10, 2012
    Eddie murphy is os bad this movie is so bad i regret taking my friends to see this movie. Eddi disappointed me with this movie. It had some ok parts pu this movie isnt worth more than a zero Expand

See all 18 User Reviews