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Imagine That (2009)



Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 115
Fresh: 46 | Rotten: 69

Despite a promising turn by newcomer Yara Shahidi, Imagine That is another pedestrian family comedy that squanders Eddie Murphy's comedic talents.


Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 29
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 15

Despite a promising turn by newcomer Yara Shahidi, Imagine That is another pedestrian family comedy that squanders Eddie Murphy's comedic talents.



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Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 263,609

My Rating

Movie Info

A powerful financial executive whose career was sent spiraling down the drain due to sudden lack of confidence finds the answers to his inexplicable setback in an imaginary world dreamt up by his young daughter in a fantasy comedy starring Eddie Murphy and co-scripted by Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson (the writing duo behind Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey). ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi



Ed Solomon, Chris Matheson

Oct 6, 2009


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All Critics (117) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (46) | Rotten (69) | DVD (4)

Murphy at least tries to stay in character rather than overdoing the silly voices and physical knockabout, but maybe the material was so blah that he felt it wasn't worth the effort.

August 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a fairly likable family comedy.

June 15, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[A] misguided, poorly executed family disaster.

June 15, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cutesy? My pain was acutesy as the entire plot yawned before me.

June 12, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Fortunately, the picture's not-so-secret weapon, star Eddie Murphy, gives this uneven effort a reason for being.

June 12, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Imagine That has a few nagging problems, none of which is Eddie Murphy's fault.

June 12, 2009 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's silly enough that its target audience should get a kick out of it and its bearable for adults, and as far as family films go that's a lot better than you can usually expect.

March 27, 2011 Full Review Source:

You might chuckle a couple of times, but it is literally a couple, and that's nowhere near enough humour, especially for kids.

April 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

[Murphy] continues to treat his career like it were a game of limbo, as Imagine That sees the once gifted comedian stoop to a horrendous new low.

October 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Moviedex

Imagine That is an embarrassment from which only Thomas Haden Church emerges unscathed, because he is the only one to commit fully to his eccentric character.

October 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Unknown2

Murphy struggles to find work in other genres, but given the way he indulges himself with funny faces and voices, it's equally possible that he genuinely likes acting alongside children.

September 17, 2009 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

An uncharacteristically restrained performance by Eddie Murphy, a sharply funny supporting role filled by Thomas Haden Church, and a beguiling new child actor, Yara Shahidi, make this fantasy-comedy about the power of imagination agreeable enough.

September 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Courier Mail (Australia)
Courier Mail (Australia)

Ham fisted and formulaic, Imagine That nevertheless has some endearing qualities to save it from the trash can %u2013 notably Yara Shahidi, the cute little bundle whose smartly innocent presence and likeable little face are so loved by the camera that dir

September 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Eddie Murphy, in his hyperactive comedic guise, is in fine fettle in this family-friendly comedy, although he is largely upstaged by his enchanting 7 year old co-star Yara Shahidi, who steals scenes as quickly as Murphy talks.

September 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Twenty years ago it would've been hard to imagine that the typical formula for an Eddie Murphy vehicle would have changed so dramatically.

August 31, 2009 Full Review Source:

It's a sad reflection on Eddie Murphy's career that the best thing you can say about Imagine That is that there aren't any fat suits.

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Washington Times
Washington Times

[A] characteristically laboured comedy.

August 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

It's anodyne stuff and not funny enough.

August 17, 2009 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Imagine That is a sweet surprise of a film that goes some way to restoring Murphy's reputation.

August 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Short of laughs, sense and morality, this is an awkward, peculiar, peculiarly American, endeavour.

August 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4

You're left with the feeling that the film-makers don't see a conflict between the profit motive and paternal love.

August 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

There really isn't a spark of genuine humour or life in the entire thing, and the movie grinds its way to a syrupy finale.

August 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Guardian

Yet another example of a movie that's had all the life sucked out of it by the Hollywood studio system. In the end it isn't very funny, clever or engaging.

August 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

Ultimately, if you want to watch a dire attempt at comedy revolving around a misguided father and troubled daughter then go off and rent Curly Sue. It's a cut above Imagine That, but that's hardly a compliment.

August 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

The dubious combination of business, buffoonery and child manipulation makes Imagine That a tough sell.

August 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Audience Reviews for Imagine That


Shahidi is an extremely promising young actress who i'm sure will blossom her career with great success however it seems to be going in the opposite direction for Murphy at the moment with the exception of returning to his roots in Tower Heist. On the other hand, from what i've seen this is Eddie Murphy's best family film. It's very formulaic and forgettable but the direction is good and the film like Murphy for once, has it's heart in the right place. It's not another Norbit or Daddy Day Care. It's better than that but it's not great either.
March 31, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

it couldve been funnier, but its a safe family friendly comedy film that is entertaining for the whole family
May 22, 2011
michael e.
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

A horrid family film. While the child star is convincing, Eddie Murphy was so bad in this film. He was both a terrible father and buisnessman! A film so bad, it makes "The Game Plan" look like "Raiders of the Lost Ark"!

When your career is down the drain, make kids movies!
January 8, 2011
Movie Monster
Bentley Lyles

Super Reviewer

There aren't too many movies with Eddie Murphy that I don't like and I really like the movies with him and kids. Daddy Day Care = awesome.
Anyway, this movie was adorable. You really hate Eddie in the beginning, he's so selfish and business minded. But when his daughter's blanket gives him stock tips, he starts to open up. I thought it was cute and funny. Yara Shahidi is so cute, I want to squeeze her to death.
September 6, 2010

Super Reviewer

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  • Dans ses reves (FR)
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