A Thousand Words


A Thousand Words (2012)


Critic Consensus: 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.


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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 he's got to stop talking and conjure up some outrageous ways to communicate or he's a goner. -- (C) Paramount

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Eddie Murphy
as Jack McCall
Kerry Washington
as Caroline McCall
Cliff Curtis
as Dr. Sinja
Clark Duke
as Aaron Wiseberger
Allison Janney
as Samantha Davis
Ruby Dee
as Annie McCall
Emanuel Ragsdale
as Tyler McCall
Alain Chabat
as Christian Leger de la Touffe
Lennie Loftin
as Robert Gilmore
Phil Reeves
as Don Parker
Eshaya Draper
as Young Jack
Darcy Rose Byrnes
as 10 Year Old Girl
Sarah Scott Davis
as Young Annie
Jill Basey
as Woman in Starbucks
Greg Collins
as Construction Worker
Robert Lequang
as Starbucks Customer
Michael G. Wilkinson
as Starbucks Customer
Lyndsey Nelson
as Starbucks Customer
Brad Michael Gilbert
as Starbucks Customer
Lou Saliba
as Shrink
Mitchell Fink
as Male Agent
Edi Patterson
as Young Female Agent
Emily Burton
as Crying Student
Tracy Mulholland
as Young Student
Brad Keimach
as Sinja Aide
Dilip Jha
as Sinja Aide
Jorge Álvarez
as Mariachi Band Leader
Jack McBrayer
as Starbucks Barista
Thierry Segall
as French Businessman
Noel Courteblanche
as French Businessman
Sara Holden
as Hostess
Jeff Kahn
as Waiter
Matt Winston
as Kid Space Teacher
Daniel Hepner
as Sensitive Dad #1
Eric Archibald
as Sensitive Dad #2
Philip Pavel
as Overly Enthused Dad
Raquel Bell
as Kid Space Mom
Kamala Jones
as Hotel Employee
Daniel Saltos
as Gaudencio Assistant
Ted Kennedy
as Homeless Man
Skip Richard Crank
as Ice Cream Vendor
Floyd Levine
as Man On Pier
Bunny Levine
as Woman On Pier
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Critic Reviews for A Thousand Words

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (21)

The high concept breeds lowbrow gags.

Mar 9, 2012 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top 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?

Mar 9, 2012 | Full Review…

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

Mar 9, 2012 | Full Review…

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.

Mar 9, 2012 | Rating: D- | Full Review…

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.

Mar 9, 2012 | Full Review…
Top Critic

What you don't have is a funny movie.

Mar 9, 2012 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Thousand Words

Another free library rental that I wouldn't have paid full price (actually, anything) for. Wasn't expecting a great deal, but this was okay to watch once. Ending is enough to make you vomit, but leading up to it is okay with some amusing situations and characters. In particular I liked Jack Mcbrayer as the barista. Quite an original idea for this genre. Sounds ridiculous on paper, but actually it does work. I do agree with the comments that Eddie does not have the facial expressions to pull off silence.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


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.

KJ Proulx
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.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

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.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

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