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Beverly Hills Cop Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    The New Yorker Pauline Kael

    The whole picture is edited and scored as if it were a lollapalooza of laughs. And, with Murphy busting his sides guffawing in self-congratulation, and the camera jammed into his tonsils, damned if the audience doesn't whoop and carry on as if yes, this is a wow of a comedy. [24 Dec. 1984, p.78]

  • 50

    out of 100


    Beverly Hills Cop is more cop show than comedy riot. Expectations that Eddie Murphy's street brand of rebelliousness would devastate staid and glittery Beverly Hills are not entirely met in a film that grows increasingly dramatic.

  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Eddie Murphy looks like the latest victim of the Star Magic Syndrome, in which it is assumed that a movie will be a hit simply because it stars an enormously talented person. Thus it is not necessary to give much thought to what he does or says, or to the story he finds himself occupying.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Newsweek David Ansen

    Beverly Hills Cop is no masterpiece, but it uses Murphy to maximum effect. At its best, the movie is exactly as brazen, charming and mercurial as Murphy himself, which is to say it is unimaginable without him. [3 Dec. 1984, p.81]

  • 80

    out of 100

    The New York Times Janet Maslin

    Beverly Hills Cop finds Eddie Murphy doing what he does best: playing the shrewdest, hippest, fastest-talking underdog in a rich man's world.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Time Richard Schickel

    Murphy exudes the kind of cheeky, cocky charm that has been missing from the screen since Cagney was a pup, snarling his way out of the ghetto. But as befits a manchild of the soft-spoken '80s, there is an insinuating sweetness about the heart that is always visible on the sleeve of Murphy's habitual sweatshirt.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Classic '80s Murphy vehicle; fun but foulmouthed.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie features young comedian Eddie Murphy at the height of his fast-talking and foulmouthed power. Much of what makes the film funny is his use of obscene or at least inappropriate language in a multitude of situations. While he is a cop, his character, Axel Foley, uses the "ends justify the means" approach to police work, and almost every scene involves him lying to various people in order to pursue his goal. Violence is not pervasive, but when it appears, it's rendered realistically -- fistfights leave marks and gunshots produce blood and/or death. Sex is not a major factor in the film, but there is a scene that takes place in a strip club that does feature female nudity.

  • Families can talk about the following: Are Axel's illegal methods justified by the criminal behaviors of his suspects? What about the situations where his lying and scheming has no material effect on his investigation (as when he lies to an hotel clerk to get a room)? How much of the humor of the film is based solely on vulgar language? Would the film be as funny without it? Is it realistic that most of the characters are charmed by Axel's behavior? How does the humorous tone of most of the movie work with the more serious moments of violent action?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The hero is an honest cop, but he disregards procedure.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Realistic hand-to-hand combat and gun-fighting.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Female frontal nudity briefly featured in strip club scene.

  • language false5

    Language: Very strong language.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Hero drinks lightly.