Coming to America


Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 15
  2. Negative: 4 out of 15

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Critic Reviews

  1. San Francisco Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Eddie Murphy's latest picture, Coming to America, is a harmless, fairly amusing comedy that will delight Eddie Murphy fans and keep everyone else mildly entertained. [30 Jun 1988, p.E1]
  2. Murphy takes on a softer edge than usual this time: the plot recalls a Jeanette MacDonald operetta of the Depression, the mythical African country looks like a Beverly Hills fever dream, and, true to Murphy's idealized black middle-class view of things, everybody gets what he wants without much fuss or sacrifice, and virtually the only poor people in evidence are white.
  3. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    The romantic stuff is tepid. Luckily, his onscreen buddy, Hall, never strays far. Coming to America is at its best when they're playing off each other, and not just as the prince and his buddy. [29 Jun 1988, p.69]
  4. Time
    Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Coming to America seems to be more career move than movie. After the raucousness of Beverly Hills Cop II and the raunchiness of Eddie Murphy Raw, the star apparently wants to assert his claim on the currently vacant title of America's Sweetheart. His aspirations must be bigger and badder than that. We want -- may actually need -- something more from this gifted man than Eddie Murphy Tame. [4 July 1988 p.66]
  5. Though Coming to America is a romantic comedy the director steers the film more often toward quick, in-and-out comic situations and gags that are only mildly funny. In part this is due to the fact that Mr. Murphy plays the prince with cheerful, low-keyed innocence that is completely legitimate, but is not supported by the short attention span of the screenplay. The romance is tepid.
  6. 60
    Coming to America isn't as aggressively awful as the "Cop" films or "The Golden Child," but at least in those films there was something to react to. In making Coming to America, Murphy seems to have set his sights on the lowest prize imaginable. He aspires to blandness.
  7. The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    Reviewed by: Jay Scott
    In past celluloid lives Eddie Murphy has been responsible for a handful of the most popular movies ever made, which explains why he has been able to bring Coming to America to your neighborhood theatre with its misogyny, technical ineptitude and witlessness intact.
  8. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Gene Siskel
    It's a sweet, oft-told story, and Murphy and Hall add a number of very sharp supporting roles-hidden by makeup-to add spice to the general level of gentleness. [1 Jul 1988, p.A]
  9. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Sheila Benson
    James Earl Jones proves that he is probably the only actor in America who can wear the skin of a full-grown lion-jewels in its eyes, its tail in its mouth-over street clothes and not look like a damn fool. But there's not a thing he can do with this flaccid, foolish film. [29 Jun 1988, p.1]
  10. 100
    Eddie Murphy does everything in this movie successfully. Coming To America remains his most personal work and a great argument that a movie can be decent and wholesome despite having enough profanity to make Bill Cosby lose sleep. A perfect argument for Eddie Murphy as decent guy even without the fame and fortune. Not that he's planning on giving it back though.
  11. Although the fairy-tale script is as old as the motion picture industry itself, the resourceful cast of Coming to America brings freshness to the annoyingly cliched material. Unfortunately, Landis' inelegant direction nearly derails the film.
  12. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Donna Brit
    There are some laughs, Murphy is appealing and the ancient theme of love conquering all is beguiling. But America's mean-spiritedness lingers after its pastel-pretty ending.
  13. 60
    Landis' latest keeps you laughing not with it's originality (of which there is little) but with it's confidence to out-joke it's predecessors on this much-trodden ground.
  14. 60
    The main pleasure in America comes in the romancing of prince and pauper. But the comedy is a mere handmaiden.
  15. 10
    Coming to America starts on a bathroom joke, quickly followed by a gag about private parts, then wanders in search of something equally original for Eddie Murphy to do for another couple of hours. It's a true test for loyal fans.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 65 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Oct 20, 2015
    One of the better comedies to come out of the 80s, it is a bit crude due to its age but the characters are simply unforgettable from the starsOne of the better comedies to come out of the 80s, it is a bit crude due to its age but the characters are simply unforgettable from the stars to the supporting cast. When you can remember supporting characters clearly, you know that a movie did something right though it does not hurt to have people like James Earl Jones playing a comedic supporting cast in your movie. From the slutty sister, to the yukky hair family and the barbers, all the characters made an impact despite very limited screen time. This is very hard to do in a 2 hour movie and although its cheesy, I actually thought that the love interest is believable making the movie better than one might expect. In my opinion, this movie is probably Eddie Murphy's best comedic performance. Hint, you should watch this movie after Trading Places since it makes a funny reference to the other movie. Full Review »
  2. VincentV.
    Jul 17, 2008
    The movie's story isn't that original, but Eddie Murphy delivers a good job and the most jokes are quite funny.
  3. deeznuts
    Aug 19, 2007
    The critics are wrong, this movie was GREAT. So many classic lines and absolutely hilarious, Eddie Murphy's best.