Coming to America

Critics Consensus

Eddie Murphy was in full control at this point, starkly evident in Coming to America's John Landis' coasting direction.

67%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 42

85%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 267,841
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Movie Info

Coming to America casts comedian Eddie Murphy as pampered African prince Akeem, who rebels against an arranged marriage and heads to America to find a new bride. Murphy's regal father (James Earl Jones) agrees to allow the prince 40 days to roam the U.S., sending the prince's faithful retainer Semmi (Arsenio Hall) along to make sure nothing untoward happens. To avoid fortune hunters, Prince Akeem conceals his true identity and gets a "Joe job" at a fast-food restaurant. Murphy and Hall play multiple roles, and there are innumerable celebrity cameos peppered throughout the proceedings -- including the Duke Brothers (Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy) from Trading Places. Coming to America made further headlines when humorist Art Buchwald sued the film's producers for plagiarizing one of his works. Buchwald carried the case to trial, where he won a sizeable judgement against the film's producers. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Eddie Murphy
as Prince Akeem, Clarence, Saul, Randy Watson
Arsenio Hall
as Semmi, Morris, Révérend Brown
James Earl Jones
as King Jeffe Joffer
John Amos
as Cleo McDowell
Madge Sinclair
as Queen Aoleon
Shari Headley
as Lisa McDowell
Calvin Lockhart
as Col. Izzi
Allison Dean
as Patrice McDowell
Eriq La Salle
as Darryl Jenks
Jake Steinfeld
as Cab Driver
Don Ameche
as Mortimer Duke
Ralph Bellamy
as Randolph Duke
Garcelle Beauvais
as Rose Bearer
Victoria Dillard
as Bather/Dancer
Feather Simon
as Rose Bearer
Stephanie Simon
as Rose Bearer
Sheila Johnson
as Lady-in-Waiting
Raymond D. Turner
as T-Shirt Hawker
Billi Gordon
as Large Woman
Cuba Gooding Jr.
as Boy Getting Haircut
Ruben Hudson
as Street Hustler
Paulette Banoza
as Soul Glo Woman
Clyde R. Jones
as Soul Glo Man
Patricia Matthews
as Devil Woman
Mary Bond Davis
as Big Stank Woman
Clyde Jones
as Soul Glo Man
Kara Young
as Stuck-up Girl
Carla Earle
as Tough Girl
Lisa Gumora
as Kinky Girl
June Boykins
as Strange Woman
Janette Colon
as Fresh Peaches
Vanessa Colon
as Sugar Cube
Monique Mannen
as Boring Girl/Dancer
Karen Renee Owens
as Ex-Siamese Twin/Dancer
David Sosna
as Cartier Delivery Man
Vondie Curtis-Hall
as Basketball Game Vendor
Sharon Renee Owens
as Ex-Siamese Twin / Dancer
Samuel L. Jackson
as Hold-Up Man
Dottie
as Dottie Dog
Arthur Adams
as Mr. Jenks
Montrose Hagins
as Grandma Jenks
Tonja Rivers
as Party Guest
Mindora Mimms
as Awareness Woman
Elaine Kagan
as Telegraph Lady
Cynthia Finkley
as Awareness Woman
Michael Tadross
as Taxi Driver
Steve White
as Subway Guy
Helen Hanft
as Subway Lady
Jim Abrahams
as Face on Cutting-room Floor
Birdie M. Hale
as Elderly Passenger
Shaun Earl
as Dancer
Vanessa Bell
as Imani Izzi
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News & Interviews for Coming to America

Critic Reviews for Coming to America

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (14)

  • This comedy is generally tame and sappy... what we get is homogenized Eddie Murphy, drained of his kinetic comic charm and smiling sass.

    Jun 29, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Murphy has dealt audiences the movie equivalent of a royal flush and he is now clearly Hollywood's reigning king of comedy.

    Jul 7, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The director is ... rather distracted; John Landis seems to be browsing through the scenes rather than gobbling them down.

    Jun 6, 2009 | Full Review…
  • Starts on a bathroom joke, quickly followed by a gag about private parts, then wanders in search of something equally original for Eddie Murphy to do for another couple of hours.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Superb comic timing, a satirical edge, and Murphy's extraordinary gift for mimicry lift it right out of the trough of mediocrity to which it is all but consigned by its utterly predictable storyline.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A screenplay that seems to have escaped its doctors before it was entirely well.

    May 20, 2003

Audience Reviews for Coming to America

  • Apr 12, 2019
    Hasn't aged flawlessly, made some stylistic decisions that probably would have come across as weird even at the time, and not the sort of thing (American comedy) that typically appeals to me. But I can still absolutely see why Coming to America is remembered as fondly as it is. I liked it by and large more than the most similar offerings of today.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 15, 2018
    Aside from a rushed ending Coming to America's hilarious chops, charm and regalia is a prime showcase of Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall at the height of their comedic careers that's both timeless and influential. 4.35/5
    Super Reviewer
  • Jul 07, 2013
    John Landis teams up with Eddie Murphy once again for the wild and crazy comedy Coming to America. The story follows Prince Akeem of Zamunda, who decides to come to America to find an independent woman to marry, who won't just love him for his money or title. Starring Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, and James Earl Jones, the casting's pretty good. And the comedy is quite funny, with a lot of fish out of water type humor. Still, the hard R parts seem a bit unnecessary, and Murphy's obsession with playing multiple costumed characters can be distracting at times. Overall, Coming to America is a rather formulaic comedy, but it still delivers a lot of laughs.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 21, 2012
    Quite funny in places, A good story, Eddie Murphy does a good job and the film goes at a good pace but it just falls flat in the last half hour, Samuel L. Jackson's cameo was brilliant and makes me laugh every time, Could of been better but could of been worse too.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer

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