Dolemite Is My Name

Critics Consensus

In dramatizing Rudy Ray Moore's stranger-than-fiction story, Eddie Murphy makes Dolemite Is My Name just as bold, brash, and ultimately hard to resist as its subject.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 186

91%

Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 112
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Movie Info

Stung by a string of showbiz failures, floundering comedian Rudy Ray Moore (Academy Award nominee Eddie Murphy) has an epiphany that turns him into a word-of-mouth sensation: step onstage as someone else. Borrowing from the street mythology of 1970s Los Angeles, Moore assumes the persona of Dolemite, a pimp with a cane and an arsenal of obscene fables. However, his ambitions exceed selling bootleg records deemed too racy for mainstream radio stations to play. Moore convinces a social justice-minded dramatist (Keegan-Michael Key) to write his alter ego a film, incorporating kung fu, car chases, and Lady Reed (Da'Vine Joy Randolph), an ex-backup singer who becomes his unexpected comedic foil. Despite clashing with his pretentious director, D'Urville Martin (Wesley Snipes), and countless production hurdles at their studio in the dilapidated Dunbar Hotel, Moore's Dolemite becomes a runaway box office smash and a defining movie of the Blaxploitation era.

Cast

Eddie Murphy
as Rudy Ray Moore
Wesley Snipes
as D'Urville Martin
Keegan-Michael Key
as Jerry Jones
Mike Epps
as Jimmy Lynch
Craig Robinson
as Ben Taylor
Tituss Burgess
as Theodore Toney
Chris Rock
as Daddy Fatts
Snoop Dogg
as Jamaal Lewis
T.I.
as Tituss Burgess
Chelsea Gilson
as Carrie Mills
Luenell
as Aunt
Ivo Nandi
as Julius Bihari
Phil Abrams
as Lou Drozen
Aaron Craven
as Colton Silverman
Gerald Downey
as Bob Brooks
Jernard Burks
as Mr. Allen / Club Owner
Lanease Adams
as Dolemite's Girl
Garland Whitt
as Theatre Manager
Fatimah Hassan
as Movie Theater Worker
Mark Krenik
as Premiere Photographer
Anika C. McFall
as Dolphin Records Singer
Leon Bubba Ganter
as Heavyset Man
Adam Pepper
as Club Patron
Shannon Reynosa
as Dolemite Girl
Quartay Denaya
as Pretty Girl
Kyle Merryman
as Radio Station Engineer
Joshua Weinstein
as John McCarthy
Justin Gant
as White Boy #3
A.J. Tannen
as Randall Spade
Saudia Rashed
as Chantel Apodaca
Stephaun Pender
as Theater Guest
Michael Peter Bolus
as Lester Bihari
Eric Shackelford
as Groovy Theatre Guy
Joseph Beck
as Boring White Man
Alfonso Christian Lover
as Tallahassee Manager
Demetrius Hodges
as Movie Goer
Ro Lott
as Mississippi Waitress
John Michael Herndon
as Middle-Aged Actor / Warden
Valerie Hall
as Movie Theatre Patron
Henry Monfries
as White Boy #2
Denise Jaxon
as Club Patron
Lamar Usher
as Black DJ #1
Martel Shaw
as California Club Goer
Cliff Redding
as Dressy Patron
Chris Reese
as Customer (Baton Rouge Lounge)
Tiarra Dowell
as Movie Theatre Patron
deMann
as Prisoner
View All

News & Interviews for Dolemite Is My Name

Critic Reviews for Dolemite Is My Name

All Critics (186) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (180) | Rotten (6)

  • Moore was always bigger-than-life and that's how Murphy plays him. It's a strong performance of a character worthy of biopic treatment. Dolemite lives!

    Oct 27, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • It's an Eddie Murphy movie when all is said and done, though, and it's been far too long since we've had one worthy of his talent.

    Oct 23, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • Though "Dolemite is My Name" is a fairly lighthearted story, there was a lot in Moore's life for him to feel stressed about, and the movie shows that.

    Oct 21, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Eddie Murphy is the best he has been in years (at least since Dreamgirls), playing the comedian and blaxploitation star Rudy Ray Moore in this affectionate, funny, but soft-focus biopic (no warts, no all).

    Oct 14, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • It's a heartfelt, funny, satisfying film.

    Oct 11, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • We laugh every step of the way with Moore and his fellow fringe-showbiz hopefuls. We root for them to somehow break through. We care about them.

    Oct 10, 2019 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dolemite Is My Name

  • Oct 27, 2019
    Eddie Murphy was known as one of the greatest comedic personalities of all time by many, and is still remembered for being that great, but it's safe to say that his career took quite the nosedive in terms of the projects he was attaching himself to. I would argue that his last truly committed performance was in 2006's Dreamgirls, even though I enjoyed him in Tower Heist as well. Now, with a stand-up special on the way, Coming to America 2 and Beverly Hills Cop 4 in the works, he seems to be on his way back into the spotlight if those movies turn out great. We're not here to discuss his career though. Dolemite is My Name is one of the latest feature films to hit Netflix and Murphy is the shining star here in what may just be his best performance in decades. Following the tropes of many biopics, Dolemite is My Name follows Rude Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy) as his stand-up comedy/rap routines are winning audiences over. With a very niche audience that follows his work, people never believed his personality could translate well to the big screen. Determined to show his character Dolemite to the world, he sets out to fund his feature film on his own. With ups and downs throughout his career, this true story lends itself to a very formulaic movie as a whole. Thankfully, the care put into making this a great watch is very much present, leaving the issue of feeling like a retread by the wayside. Eddie Murphy delivers one of the best performances I've ever seen him give and the supporting cast in performers like Craig Robinson, Keegan-Michael Key, and even Snoop Dogg are all giving it their all. This movie needed to have a very specific type of feel in order to work and a lot of that weight was on the cast. Personally, I don't think a better cast of performers could've been put together for this particular story. From a bizarre drama like Black Snake Moan to the remake of Footloose (which I happen to prefer over the original), I've always enjoyed watching one of director Craig Brewer's films, who was also at the helm here. The way this film is visually presented, along with the great performances from everyone involved, it really seems like his best work yet as a director. I'm very excited that he is the one who will be taking on the role as director for the upcoming sequel to Coming to America. In the end, Dolemite is My Name has quite a bit of energy to it and the screenplay is very quippy, which made the run time not feel like the full two hours that it is. If you're a fan of Eddie Murphy, then I can't see why you won't be glued to the screen as I was. This character was pretty much made for him to play. I'm glad to see him making a comeback and having it work so well. This is a very, very good, funny, and engaging biopic that I feel a lot of people will get a kick out of. Come Oscar season, you may also hear some buzz about how good Eddie Murphy truly is here. This was a great watch.
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Oct 19, 2019
    I'm a sucker for behind-the-scenes movies on scrappy genre indies, following a band of creatives come together, build camaraderie, and serve as the underdogs we root for as they put on their fun show, so Dolemite is My Name is right up my alley. It's a biopic on Rudy Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy), who by the 1970s rebranded himself in his 40s when he began performing as an outrageous, rhyming pimp character named Dolemite. He recorded crude comedy albums, sold them out of the back of his trunk, and reached a new level of fame, but he sought a blaxploitation movie to get him to even further heights. This movie is akin to The Disaster Artist where we watch a lot of artists pull off a bad movie with little money, as well as 2004's Baadasssss!, where Mario Van Peebles recreating the making of his father's 1971 blaxploitation hit, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song. Chances are, if you enjoyed either of those two movies, or the hilarious blaxploitation spoof Black Dynamite, you will be smiling aplenty with this new Netflix movie (given a short theatrical run and soon to be widely available via streaming). The movie belongs to Murphy, who hasn't had a part in three years, and he comes roaring to life as Moore, a man who won't let anything stand in the way of his dreams. Murphy is fully captivating in every scene as he turns the Dolemite persona on and off, sharing moments of personal insight and fear, like when he's nervous over his physique with an upcoming sex scene for his movie. He's a determined hustler and it's hard not to fall for his grinning charm. The Dolemite movie has a special appeal because it was intended as a comedy, so the shoestring, scrappy nature of it works nicely with the good intentions of simply making a big, silly, kung-fu-filled action comedy with what audiences want. I'll confess I never found any of Moore's standup to be funny as the audiences at the time. However, the filmmakers have already answered this, as Moore and pals go see The Front Page, a movie dubbed by critics as a laugh-out-loud comedy, and the men sit stone-faced and confused throughout the pithy, erudite comedy that seems to be amusing the largely white, WASP-y crowd. Humor is subjective, but not only that it's the kind of entertainment with the shortest shelf life. It's naturally going to expire quickly. Comedy routines we found hilarious decades ago might not still be funny today, and that's okay. Dolemite came out at the right time and influenced other artists and filmmakers. A behind-the-scenes film is destined to be a movie with a definite ceiling. Moore is an interesting success story but there's only so much to be gleaned from this underdog tale. Thanks to writers Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander (Ed Wood, The People vs. O.J. Simpson) and the energy of Murphy, Dolemite is My Name is a fun two hours with a bunch of cut-ups. Nate's Grade: B
    Nate Z Super Reviewer

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