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

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 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
    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)
    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
    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
    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: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. DreH
    Jun 25, 2009
    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
  2. TJurist
    Feb 28, 2009
    This is a quality movie.
  3. WarrenC.
    Jan 1, 2008
    This is one of my all time favorite movies.
  4. AngelE.
    Nov 30, 2008
    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
  5. Sep 17, 2010
    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 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
  6. GerrickC.
    Aug 4, 2007
    Despite having some really big names from movies and television and movies including Redd Foxx and Eddie Murphy, the movie is nothing. What a total waste. Expand

See all 8 User Reviews


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