Movies

11.03.11

Why Eddie Murphy Still Isn't Funny

In our weekly video feature “Flick Picks,” The Daily Beast’s Ramin Setoodeh and Rolling Stone’s film critic Peter Travers debate the new movies opening at a theater near you. See which films get a “Yes,” “No” or “Maybe” from our critics. This week’s lineup includes Tower Heist, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas and Anonymous.

Tower Heist

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Do you remember the last time Eddie Murphy made a good comedy? Norbit, The Haunted Mansion, Daddy Day Care, I Spy, Dr. Dolittle 2 and The Adventures of Pluto Nash don’t qualify. (It was Bowfinger, all the way back in 1999.) But now he’s having a major comeback, hosting the Oscars and starring in Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist. Just one problem: Tower Heist stinks.

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

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This movie is so offensive even the Grinch would be grossed out. The White Castle boys are pushing 30, but they’re still creating a ruckus: burning down Christmas trees, nearly killing Santa Claus, and inadvertently getting a little girl high. Then there’s Neil Patrick Harris, who has a cringeworthy cameo as “himself.” He’s not really gay! He just pretends, so he can pick up chicks.

Anonymous

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Opening in wider release this week, the movie that takes down Shakespeare, by suggesting he wrote none of his plays himself. Anonymous stars Rhys Ifans as the Earl of Oxford—the supposed real author of Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, etc—and Vanessa Redgrave as Queen Elizabeth I. Yet the plot is so confusing you’ll wish the theater sold Cliffs Notes.

Cumulative scores:

Ramin: Yes, 9; No, 7
Peter: Yes, 7; No, 8; Maybe, 1