Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 21
  2. Negative: 4 out of 21

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Critic Reviews

  1. The Distinguished Gentleman is an easy, breezy romp of a movie, a low comedy of highly entertaining order.
  2. Portland Oregonian
    Reviewed by: Ted Mahar
    Murphy shows an easy versatility, going for guffaws one minute and pulling off a grinner the next. [04 Dec 1992]
  3. Murphy's comic brilliance is at the service of the story and he positively shines with a number of diverse and zany impersonations, most enjoyably a Jesse Jackson takeoff.
  4. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    While the result is inevitably middle of the road, it still manages to be the funniest picture Murphy has made in quite some time. [04 Dec 1992]
  5. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Julie Salamon
    With a refreshing absence of earnestness, the movie mainly spins out many variations on a theme: Easy Street begins and ends on Capitol Hill. [03 Dec 1992]
  6. 50
    The Distinguished Gentleman prefers to give us measured laughs at a leisurely pace, and then it settles for the sellout upbeat ending. Ho hum.
  7. Eddie Murphy does his patented routines effectively, and the dialogue has some pungent moments, but the movie doesn't succeed as the "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" update it would like to be.
  8. All The Distinguished Gentleman has is Eddie Murphy doing his best to be the life of the party. By the end of the movie you wish he would just go to another party.
  9. There's just not enough good material, however, to sustain the comic pace.
  10. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Uneven but occasionally quite funny political satire.
  11. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    The film is content to remain at the level of the mildly entertaining, with no real surprises and not much sass. [04 Dec 1992]
  12. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Dave Kehr
    It has a few good laughs in it thanks to Murphy, but mainly depends for its appeal on an uncomfortable manipulation of racial stereotypes. [04 Dec 1992]
  13. The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    The Distinguished Gentleman isn't - distinguished, that is - but it's a notable cut above Eddie Murphy's recent ventures. [04 Dec 1992]
  14. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Susan Wloszczyna
    Despite Murphy's campaigning, Gentleman deserves a veto. [04 Dec 1992]
  15. The filmmakers treat all the characters, not to mention the audience, as sitcom puppets.
  16. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Murphy occasionally does uninterrupted seconds of shtick, but the film is stuffed with cheap sentiment (a kid with cancer), extraneous characters and embarrassing simplistic politics.
  17. 40
    Alas, it's too coarsely drawn and broadly directed by Brit Jonathan Lynn to effectively skewer what ought to have been an easy target.
  18. Baltimore Sun
    Reviewed by: Stephen Hunter
    It's last in laughs, last in drama but first in Murphy ego, as he gives a performance that everybody has seen before, only louder. [04 Dec 1992]
  19. San Francisco Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Edward Guthmann
    The Distinguished Gentleman isn't much of a movie - it's a mess, in fact. [04 Dec 1992]
  20. 20
    Unfortunately, the film rests heavily on the shoulders of Murphy, who seems to wander aimlessly from scene to scene, searching for a laugh. The joke's on him, though: There are none.
  21. 10
    This Hollywood Pictures production (basically, a Walt Disney adult venture) culls every Capitol-corruption cliche in the book for the dullest 90 minutes Murphy has ever appeared in.

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