7. 48 Hrs. (1982)
How can we make a list of the best Eddie Murphy films and not include his debut film which also earned him a Golden Globe Nomination? 48 Hrs. is often credited as being the first buddy cop film. It stars Nick Nolte as a cop and Eddie Murphy as a convict who team up to track down and catch two murderers, and only have 48 hours to do so.
The film is more important than it appears. Not only did it introduce the buddy cop genre to the world of film making, but it also served as a platform for Murphy to show his potential on the big screen. As expected, the movie turned out to be a giant success.
6. Shrek (2001)
The Shrek franchise doesn’t need any introduction. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most successful movie series of all time, counting both the animated as well as live-action franchises. You all should also be aware of the fact how important Eddie Murphy is to this franchise.
He is the voice behind Shrek’s best friend and partner in crime Donkey. The first film in the franchise centers around the titular character who sets out on a journey with Donkey to rescue Princess Fiona in order to rid his swamp of magical creatures exiled by an evil lord. Little does he know that he would end up falling in love with the princess along the way. The entire Shrek franchise is packed with different fairytale characters which will surely make for a visual treat.
5. Dreamgirls (2006)
Dreamgirls is a movie about the rise of American R&B music during the 1960’s. The story is told from the perspective of a trio of black female soul singers who name their group Dreams. The film also captures their struggles.
Although Eddie Murphy has a supporting role in the movie who falls into depression as his popularity drowns with time, his portrayal of “Thunder” got him an Academy Award Nomination. Apart from telling a captivating story, the film made fans of Eddie Murphy believe that he could still deliver exceptional performances, provided that the script selection process goes right.
4. Boomerang (1992)
Boomerang featured an ensemble cast including the likes of Eddie Murphy (duh), Halle Berry, Martin Lawrence, and a young Chris Rock. The plot revolves around the character of Marcus Graham, an advertising executive and a serial dater.
Everything is going well for him until he witnesses the tables turning on him, courtesy of his new boss who is pretty much a female version of him. Graham finds himself at the receiving end of an unpleasant treatment that he had inflicted upon the women he had dated before. The film is packed with funny moments and fared well on the box office, despite of a mixed critical reception.
3. Dr. Dolittle (1998)
Most of the kids who know Eddie Murphy is due to the Dr. Dolittle franchise. The first film in the franchise contains all the tools required by a film to connect with the young audience. The film follows the life of a doctor who can talk to animals and the hilarious hassles he has to go through due to this ability.
The film didn’t receive extremely positive reviews upon release but scored well on the box office and spawned four sequels. When we revisit the film, that’s when it hits us that nobody could have played the titular character and portrayed the appropriate reactions and emotions better than Murphy.
2. Coming to America (1988)
As talented Eddie Murphy is in front of the lens, it seems like he is equally gifted behind the camera as well. The story for the 1988 romantic comedy Coming to America was provided by Murphy himself.
The plot revolves around the king of a fictional African nation who travels to New York in hopes of finding a soul mate. Although the plot seems a little “formulaic” now, it was a fresh concept back in the day. The film received positive reviews from the critics and smashed the box office as well.
1. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Thankfully, Sylvester Stallone passed the chance to star as the titular character in this action comedy film, or we wouldn’t have witnessed a picture-perfect portrayal of the sassy detective Axel Foley. The Beverly Hills Cop franchise cemented Eddie Murphy’s legacy as one of the best action comedy stars of the last century.
The plot itself is quite simple (a cop investigating the murder of his best friend). However, the way Murphy carries the film with his hilarious performance is what won the audience over. The film was a monster success and with time, has become a cult classic.
Did the list miss any of the best Eddie Murphy movies ever? Sound off in the comments section!