Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 20
  2. Negative: 5 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Veronica Chambers
    Dr. Dolittle is a zoo-and a blast. [6 July 1998, p. 67]
  2. Director Betty Thomas demonstrates her expertise at keeping indulgence at bay in even the coarsest of comic situations.
  3. 75
    Too many adults have a tendency to confuse bad taste with evil influences; it's hard for them to see that the activities in "Doctor Dolittle,'' while rude and vulgar, are not violent or anti-social. The movie will not harm anyone.
  4. 60
    Isn't as sharp or consistent as Murphy's "The Nutty Professor," but it's an amusing, lightweight diversion.
  5. Reviewed by: Suzanne O'Connor
    There is the language to consider, but despite the film's slow start, small children should take to the idea of communicating with animals.
  6. An on-again, arf-again comedy. [26 June 1998, p. 54]
  7. The talented Murphy is appealing here, performing with sincerity and restraint - a wise choice, since his co-stars are a menagerie of wisecracking animals.
  8. 50
    Dr. Dolittle does do a lot of stuff right. [ 26 June 1998, p. 12 E]
  9. 50
    Small children should be delighted by the menagerie of chatty critters, but their parents may be less than thrilled by what the animals have to say.
  10. Given a choice between the puerile but essentially innocent whimsy of Dr. Dolittle and the dimwitted nastiness of, say, "Dirty Work," parents should be grateful for the Eddie Murphys and Jim Carreys of the world for at least providing a kinder, gentler option.
  11. 50
    To his credit, Eddie Murphy knows it well enough to deliver a team-playing performance as the critter-phobic physician who reluctantly becomes the Albert Schweitzer of the animal kingdom.
  12. Reviewed by: Leonard Klady
    Slim on story and rife with scatological jokes, the film may strike a chord with pre-teens but misses for an older crowd despite some nifty effects and broad humor.
  13. 40
    It's a kiddie comedy that really shouldn't be on the big screen at all; it has all the creative range of an Afterschool Special.
  14. 40
    Nat Mauldin and Larry Levin's screenplay, indifferently directed by Betty Thomas, is simply an excuse for tired scatological jokes involving animal characters with the voices of well-known actors.
  15. 38
    It's a cloying, humorless motion picture whose only assets are the work of Jim Henson's Creature Shop and a couple of good one-liners by a pair of rodents.
  16. A complete waste of time and potential.
  17. The animals are cute and Murphy gives a lively performance, but as with his remake of "The Nutty Professor," the original is still the best.
  18. Runs out of ideas long before the projector runs out of film.
  19. Reviewed by: Anthony Miele
    The humor is boring and in most spots inappropriate for children.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Sep 27, 2013
    Not a very good movie: just an average Eddie Murphy comedy. Not that funny, just amusing. Not very interesting, just yawn-worthy. You can see where I'm going with this. Full Review »
  2. Jul 3, 2013
    You're gonna have a lot fun with Eddie Murphy in this movie if you haven' seen it! Great acting and likable story, i'm giving it a 7.5/10, with the Metacritic system 8/10 Full Review »
  3. JayH.
    Jun 25, 2009
    The weak plot is uplifted by some rather clever animal effects. It has it's funny moments, but there are as many misses as hits. Overall, it's slightly above average. Eddie Murphy is surprisingly bland. Full Review »