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A Thousand Words (2012)



Average Rating: 3.2/10
Reviews Counted: 54
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 54

Dated jokes (A Thousand Words was shot in 2008) and removing Eddie Murphy's voice -- his greatest comedic asset -- dooms this painful mess from the start.


Average Rating: 3.2/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 21

Dated jokes (A Thousand Words was shot in 2008) and removing Eddie Murphy's voice -- his greatest comedic asset -- dooms this painful mess from the start.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 74,381

My Rating

Movie Info

Eddie Murphy is Jack McCall, a fast-talking literary agent, who can close any deal, any time, any way. He has set his sights on New Age guru Dr. Sinja (Cliff Curtis) for his own selfish purposes. But Dr. Sinja is on to him, and Jack's life comes unglued after a magical Bodhi tree mysteriously appears in his backyard. With every word Jack speaks, a leaf falls from the tree and he realizes that when the last leaf falls, both he and the tree are toast. Words have never failed Jack McCall, but now


Drama, Comedy

Jun 26, 2012


Paramount Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on A Thousand Words

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All Critics (54) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (0) | Rotten (54) | DVD (3)

The high concept breeds lowbrow gags.

March 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Does Eddie Murphy actually have any range, or is it just an illusion created by a few early edgy roles and, later, a lot of CGI makeup and fat suits?

March 9, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture | Comments (2)
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Eddie Murphy should have just said the word "No" to this tired, formulaic comedy.

March 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter | Comment (1)
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It makes you want to see Murphy team up with Judd Apatow, or even take on a dead-serious dramatic role - do anything but star in another movie like this one.

March 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Follows directly in the footsteps of Bruce Almighty, Click, Liar Liar, Groundhog Day and any other post-Freaky Friday high-concept redemption story that inevitably crossed Tim Allen and Adam Sandler's desks at some point.

March 9, 2012 Full Review Source: | Comments (23)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What you don't have is a funny movie.

March 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A thousand words? Try two words: stay away. Murphy does a pretty good job keeping up with the various indignities heaped on him but the movie as a whole ends up sinking.

September 15, 2012 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

a poorly conceived and startlingly miscast comedy that works to every one of its stars' weaknesses.

August 30, 2012 Full Review Source: The National
The National

You've got one of the funniest verbal actors in the business in Eddie Murphy, and you put him in a movie where he can't talk. It's already a recipe for disaster.

June 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Comments (3)
Movie Metropolis

'A Thousand Words' is not unspeakably awful.

April 21, 2012 Full Review Source: Quad City Times (Davenport, IA) | Comments (2)
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

The sort of awful formulaic crud that 30 Rock brilliantly mocked just before Leap Day.

March 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

Hopelessly underwhelming from start to finish...

March 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Murphy, without the words to go along with his bug-eyed double-takes and the mugging, is lost here... He's never been a silent comic, and never will be.

March 23, 2012 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service | Comment (1)
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

... equal parts labored allegory without resonance and forced comedy without laughs ...

March 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Like a bad penny, Eddie Murphy is back again, in a family-friendly PG-13 comedy that nobody wants to see.

March 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI) | Comments (3)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

There is something almost poignant in the way Eddie Murphy so palpably desires to make a meaningful film about enlightenment. The almost comes from the difference between that aspiration and the painfully ill-conceived follow-through

March 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Killer Movie Reviews
Killer Movie Reviews

The idea of Murphy, that famously motormouthed actor, suddenly tongue-tied is not a punchy enough punch line to carry a whole film.

March 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

This lame, wannabe comedy is an unmitigated disaster.

March 15, 2012 Full Review Source: SSG Syndicate | Comment (1)
SSG Syndicate

Maybe Murphy should give future scripts a less cursory perusal.

March 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

A Thousand Words ends up incomplete and disingenuous, and worse, not a frame of it is funny.

March 13, 2012 Full Review Source:

Not the worst Eddie Murphy movie but certainly not his best either

March 12, 2012 Full Review Source:

It isn't a horrible movie, at least not in comparison to Norbit from the same star and director, but it is a dispiritingly dull and cynical one.

March 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Beliefnet | Comments (3)

Sometimes it's hard to tell quite where the incisions start and stop throughout this already uneven creation.

March 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

While not descending to the level of Murphy's worst work--'Pluto Nash' still stands unchallenged--it's a bland, negligible example of the 'becoming a better person through magic' scenario.

March 11, 2012 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Makes The Adventures of Pluto Nash look like Beverly Hills Cop!

March 10, 2012 Full Review Source: | Comments (3)

It suffers from being too broad.

March 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Comments (2)
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for A Thousand Words

It may be better and have more heart that some of Eddie Murphy's recent live action films, but "A Thousand Words" is surrounded by laughable performances, a horribly written script (seriously, a 10-year-old could have written this), and sloppy direction. Eddie Murphy is fine in this role and the whole second chance at being a good person is presented well, but that's about it. Any obstacle he tries to prevent himself from talking is thrown out the window because some of it actually counts as him talking which makes no sense and contradicts the films' "comedy." I chuckled a few times in the beginning when he actually spoke, but once his voice drops, so does the movie. It may not be a terrible film, but it is still very very bad. With tacked on emotional moments and cliched dialogue to make you feel for the characters, this film falls flat on it's face and had me staring at the film when it was trying to be funny and laughing when it was trying to be serious. This film is unsure of what it wants to do, but I'll give credit to the broad idea that the film has. "A Thousand Words" is a very bad, but watchable film.
July 11, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Eddie Murphy. What happened to your taste in movie roles? This was the stupidest movie..not funny at all. Just stupid.
April 5, 2013

Super Reviewer

Its amazing how far and low Eddie Murphy has fallen, this guy used to be an action/comedy star, now he churns out straight to DVD rubbish. This film was made in 2008 yet due to major studio issues it wasn't released until last year 2012! now that's unlucky.

To be honest the film isn't all that bad, there is a nice spiritual Buddist/Hindu flow through the plot which is simple yet effective. Its an easy going 'Scrooge' type affair really, Murphy is a fast talking slick literacy agent ('Jack') who stretches the truth to make his deals. He gets his comeuppance when he tries his usual spiel on an Indian Guru and ends up getting cursed.

The curse being a Bodhi tree appearing in his garden, from there on every word 'Jack' utters a leaf drops from the tree, the tree dies as the leaves drop...and so does 'Jack'. Once 'Jack' realises his situation the tree only has 1000 leafs left, thus he must try not to speak anymore and hilarity prevails.

Seen something like this before you say? yep you would be right, the plot is very much like Jim Carrey vehicles 'Liar Liar' and 'Yes Man'. In fact this film could have easily been a Jim Carrey vehicle, the plot is perfect for him, its virtually 'Liar Liar' all over again, to a degree. Murphy is wasted here as his best asset is his loud mouth, without it he's rather dull. The problem is Murphy doesn't have the rubber faced skills of Carrey (who would have fitted this much better) to fall back on.

The laughs are very predictable as you can imagine but as said Murphy can't really pull them off very well, he's not that kind of visual comedian. The plot is sweet but again incredibly predictable and ends up being very very mushy towards the end, in fact I still don't quite know what Murphy's character really achieves to reverse his curse. Cliff Curtis as 'Dr. Sinja' is a nice cast choice but you almost feel the role could be given to Morgan Freeman as the character is pretty much the same as his 'Bruce Almighty' role. Lets be honest the whole cast of 'Bruce Almighty' or even 'The Truman Show' could replace the cast for this film and it probably would have done much better.

Its nice to see some Hindu/Buddist imagery and religious culture in this film but that can't really save it. A bad choice in casting lets the film down hugely, on one hand it could have been a sensible emotional drama, on the other a great comedy. In the end its neither and simple below average, its annoying as there is a nice story in here too.
February 8, 2013

Super Reviewer

Pretty sad to see just how bad Eddie Murphy's acting has become. This film was a complete disappointment. If you have 1 hr 31 min to waste then this is your film. 2 stars 8-24-12
September 20, 2012
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

    1. Jack McCall: Dickhead's one word!
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (22 months ago)
    1. Jack McCall: Hel-lo.
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (22 months ago)
    1. Annie McCall: Life's not worth living with out family. Right? Right?!
    – Submitted by Jose C (23 months ago)
    1. Jack McCall: [standing in front of father's grave] I forgive you.
    – Submitted by Christina W (23 months ago)
    1. Annie McCall: I like cake! Don't you Jack?
    – Submitted by Christina W (23 months ago)
    1. Jack McCall: I want my baby back baby back baby back baby back I want my baby back baby back ribs!
    – Submitted by Christina W (2 years ago)
View all quotes (15)

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