Harlem Nights - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Harlem Nights Reviews

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April 6, 2018
Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, and Redd Foxx all in the same movie is pretty awesome.
March 14, 2018
Richard Pryor runs a successful nightclub with his adopted son Eddie Murphy. Gangster Michael Lerner tries to shake them down for protection money with the help of corrupt cop Danny Aiello, but Pryor pulls an elaborate con on him. So the big draw here is that it's Murphy's debut as a writer/director and he co-stars with both Pryor and Redd Foxx. Quite a few things go wrong here. First of all, Murphy goes to quite some length to create a believable period setting, and then most of the actors just act and speak like contemporary folks. It's like a big game of dress-up and it's pretty distracting. The pace is also oddly sluggish and it simply isn't funny. Pryor in particular just seems completely off his game here. (He had just been diagnosed with MS, which he was keeping secret. He subsequently claimed that his preoccupation with his diagnosis threw him off.)
February 2, 2018
The biggest problem is...it is boring. The film never gets going and wasting Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy is a sin.
½ January 3, 2018
There were a few moments where laughs could be had, but this movie seemed to lose focus way too often. Also, it never got as funny as I was hoping a movie with both Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor in it should be.
April 28, 2017
This Movie Turned 25 Years Old In 2014 When 2010 Was 4 Years Old.
April 13, 2017
Like so many movies that critics pan but are entertaining and become classics, Harlem Nights showed Eddie Murphy was a cinematic force in front and behind the scenes. The acting is great, story is enticing, comedy is off the charts. It was a superb film upon its release and holds up just as well today.
March 20, 2017
You'd think any movie starring Eddie Murphy in his prime and Richard Pryor would be the best thing ever but it's not really that great. Very disappointing really when you think about it.
March 14, 2017
The movie seems like it's not sure if it wants to be serious or a comedy. And it's a little mean spirited in spots, whatever though, I had a blast watching it. Three generations of comedy together in one film? It's worth it enough for that.
March 4, 2017
Harlem Nights (1989) C-116m. ?? D: Eddie Murphy. Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx, Danny Aiello, Michael Lerner, Stan Shaw. Gangster-epic comedy (set in New York about illegal gambling house owner and his associates who deal with strong competition--both criminals and corrupt police--in order to stay in business) written and directed by a great comic actor -- and the result? A disappointment. Lethargic and unsuccessfully directed by Murphy. Cast gives it a push, but it's a misfire.
October 28, 2016
Excessive comedy in tone, with a fine period styling, and whilst it's by no means the two lead's finest big screen outings, it's an enjoyable gangster yarn.
June 6, 2016
Funny how the critics review is 21% and the audience score is 81%. Harlem Nights is a classic if you want comedy. It's not the Godfather. It's not Goodfellas. It's not even Trading Places. But it's funny and that's all we want. Every Eddie Murphy fan and every Richard Pryor fan knows this is classic, but if you're a movie buff you'll look for flaws and you'll find them.
May 30, 2016
loved it, generation of comedy
April 26, 2016
First and foremost, any critic that rates this spectacular movie with anything less than 90% is either one of two things. First, a crystal meth head with horribly rotting teeth or just a straight up racist.

Murphy did his thing directing this movie with a superb cast of A list actors from this generation and times past. An awesome comedic flow to release anyone's tensions from a hard days work. So just sit back relax and laugh out loud! Enjoy!
March 2, 2016
The first decline of Eddie Murphy, with only a handful of performances/films since Harlem Nights being watchable or actually good, and the debut and only film to date he has directed is somewhat hilarious and watchable at best.
January 18, 2016
good period pic & & another lost review
December 31, 2015
Black Movie Excellence!
½ December 3, 2015
Critics Ratings show the stark contrast in how some view black comedies compared to most Americans. Most critics are out of touch.

A Great fun comedy.
½ November 27, 2015
A great cast pulled together just right.
November 25, 2015
A window into the Harlem renaissance. Classic. I could watch it again and again.
July 19, 2015
I'll be kind because I love Eddie Murphy, but this movie sucked.
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