Metascore
16

Overwhelming dislike - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 27 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: He's Quick with a quip, Quick with a gun. And Quick with a scheme to keep mobsters from muscling in on the 1930's Harlem hot spot, Club Sugar Ray. (Paramount Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 14
  2. Negative: 11 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    50
    The best thing about the film is the way it allows Richard Pryor to rise above the demeaning buffoon roles he's been playing for the last few years and finally play a character with dignity and style. [17 Nov 1989, p.89]
  2. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    50
    Harlem Nights isn't the embarrassing vanity production it might have been, there's still not a lot to be said for it.
  3. 50
    People may go to see Eddie Murphy once, twice, three or even six times in disposable movies like Harlem Nights, but if he wants to realize his potential he needs to work with a better writer and director than himself.
  4. The plot exposition gets laborious in spots, the period flavor is only occasional and approximate, and the direction tends to be clunky, yet the strong secondary cast helps to take up some of the slack.
  5. The movie is full of phallic gags about little-bitty guns and crude jokes at physical or emotional infirmities. [17 Nov 1989, p.6]
  6. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    10
    The movie veers uneasily from not-funny comedy to not-persuasive melodrama. Murphy forgets that the dialogue in old-fashioned crime pictures was as highly stylized as the settings. In place of sharply polished wisecracks, he gives us the steady mutter of the witless, unfelt obscenities that are the argot of our modern mean streets. [27 Nov 1989, p.88]
  7. Reviewed by: Chris Dafoe
    0
    As it stands, Murphy has put his idols and friends in front of a camera, given them a watered down version of The Sting and hoped they'd make the best of it. They don't. [23 Nov 1989, p.C12]

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. WarrenC.
    Jan 1, 2008
    10
    This is one of my all time favorite movies.
  2. DreH
    Jun 25, 2009
    10
    Ok.. i decided to stroll the bottom movies out of random bored to see what was there. Then i saw Harlem Nights. I think i must be missing Ok.. i decided to stroll the bottom movies out of random bored to see what was there. Then i saw Harlem Nights. I think i must be missing something, or they all watched a boot-legged version of this movie. This movies is definitely one of the better movies ever made, with a stellar cast. I think this comedy is more cultural based and appeal to a specific crowd. That does not make this a bad movie, but just a movie not for everyone. But bottom 200, by no means Expand
  3. GesselB.
    Feb 19, 2008
    10
    Critics don't know everything, because they missed this one! Harlem Nights is one of the best movies filled with all time comic greats Critics don't know everything, because they missed this one! Harlem Nights is one of the best movies filled with all time comic greats that comes to mind. The best part about it was that they all played outrageously funny roles without usurping one another, or trying to steal the spotlight. Today's black comedies try to be as good as this one but overdo it way too much! Richard Pryor,Redd Foxx and Eddie Murphy all at the same time is amazing! The only bad part was that we could not see a Richard Pryor from the early 80's, because he was amazing. Many one line greats of all time ," Throw it up in the air and call it sunshine!" Expand
  4. Ozy
    Dec 16, 2014
    10
    Why oh why oh why is this movie rated so low by the 'experts' ?? I understand that a number of people wont like this movie, like people whoWhy oh why oh why is this movie rated so low by the 'experts' ?? I understand that a number of people wont like this movie, like people who watch gone with the wind for 10,000th time on Saturday night. People like my mother who wont find the movie all that amusing because there were no real romantic scenes. Or people like my 5th grade teacher who hated cursing. Yeah fair enough they may hate it - but their views are not the be all and end all view of this movie. I have watched this movie several times and enjoyed it thoroughly. I laughed all the way thru. I loved the chemistry between the characters i thought the movie was brilliant. Sorry experts, you are Wrong. Expand
  5. AngelE.
    Nov 30, 2008
    10
    Easily one of Eddie Murphy' best movies. Every character and scene in this movie is memorable. You will remember ( you shot my pinky toe Easily one of Eddie Murphy' best movies. Every character and scene in this movie is memorable. You will remember ( you shot my pinky toe and stop shooting that little piece of s##t ) quotes for years to come. If you have seen this film then you know what I am talking about. Expand
  6. Sep 17, 2010
    7
    As a comedy, this movie doesn't really work, but as a rather dark gangster drama with some funny bits thrown in, Harlem Nights is a film thatAs a comedy, this movie doesn't really work, but as a rather dark gangster drama with some funny bits thrown in, Harlem Nights is a film that was well ahead of its time. If it were made today, it may of had a different reception. The ending could have been stronger, but I enjoyed the film and see it as a precursor to the type of style adopted by films like Pulp Fiction and shows like The Sopranos. Expand

See all 9 User Reviews

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