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A Thousand Words Review

Movies.com Critics

2.0

Dave White Profile

Let Eddie Murphy talk! Read full review

1.0

Grae Drake Profile

Hits a Raw nerve. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 2.0
    26

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 16

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    In theory, A Thousand Words should draw on its star's abilities as a physical comedian, but Murphy, miming his order for a triple latte at Starbucks, comes off like Charlie Chaplin on crystal meth; he's strenuously unfunny to watch.

    Read Full Review

  • 25

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    In A Thousand Words the camera stays about two inches from Murphy's hyperactive face, and you start to see the strain and desperation in the actor's eyes.

    Read Full Review

  • 38

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The poster art for A Thousand Words shows Eddie Murphy with duct tape over his mouth, which as a promotional idea ranks right up there with Fred Astaire in leg irons.

    Read Full Review

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The concept is unoriginal, the scenarios aren't funny, and its message is banal. Plus, Murphy alternately hams it up and phones it in.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    The formulaic script by Steve Koren doesn't manage to exploit the absurd premise with any discernible wit or invention, and the star is left floundering.

    Read Full Review

  • See all A Thousand Words reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Disappointing comedy about self-reflection has sexy stuff.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that A Thousand Words is an Eddie Murphy comedy with some adult themes about family and marriage that may not interest or be appropriate for tweens. Language includes frequent uses of "s--t" and "ass," but there are no F-bombs. The nature of a marriage after a baby is discussed several times, and, in one sequence, a wife tries to seduce her husband by donning a dominatrix outfit and demanding that he "talk dirty." Starbucks is featured prominently in the film, and a barista is even a supporting character. On the bright side, there's a positive message about putting family first and finding inner peace and forgiveness.

  • Families can talk about A Thousand Words' message of work versus family life. Why do so many movies feature the same basic premise about a workaholic father who finally realizes his family should come first?
  • Starbucks is shown again and again. How do you feel about a brand being so prominently featured in a film?
  • What's the message about how people communicate? How does silence change Jack's perspective and attitude?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: A Thousand Words' basic messages are that people should think before they speak and not spout so many meaningless lies. As in most family dramas, the main character learns that he needs to be there for his son, unlike his own father. He also realizes that his job should come second to his family's needs. The benefits of being quiet and observing are also promoted.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Caroline is a wonderful mother and a generous wife who tries to work at her marriage and communicating with her husband. Jack goes from being a terrible role model to someone who's discovered the importance of self reflection, thinking before he speaks, and making every word count. He also realizes that he needs to be a role model to his son, even though his own father wasn't there for him.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: No overt violence, but lots of physical comedy, plus a moment in which Jack looks like he has died. Jack playfully slaps Aaron, and later Aaron tackles and pushes Jack to get him to be quiet.

  • sex false3

    Sex: One extended scene of humorous foreplay featuring Caroline in a dominatrix-style outfit. She handcuffs her husband (who's wearing only his boxers) and demands that he "talk dirty" and "naughty" to her. She makes suggestive comments about all she will "do" if he asks her. Throughout the movie, she wears sexy outfits and a cleavage-baring negligee. Caroline and a friend discuss whether her husband is "getting some" and "getting ass." Aaron makes comments about his "sexual hunger" for a furry fetish he and another assistant have indulged in at the office.

  • language false3

    Language: The words "s--t," "bulls--t," and "ass" are used frequently. Other language includes "damn," "d--k," "goddamn," "crap," "hell," "pecker," "oh my God," and the Spanish word "cojones."

  • consumerism false4

    Consumerism: Starbucks is so prominently featured in the movie that it might as well have produced the film. Jack is an espresso addict, and he goes to the same Starbucks daily. Many scenes take place at the Starbucks, and the barista is even a supporting character in the movie. Absolut vodka is shown briefly in one scene.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink hard liquor and cocktails at various lunch and dinner meetings, including vodka, martinis, beer, etc. Jack wants to get drunk in one scene and starts drinking straight from the bottle.

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