The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
Norbit is a tour de force in which Murphy plays three distinct characters, two of them to the hilt. In fact, the only thing that makes Norbit good rather than great is that the title character is a bit bland.
Murphy looks like he's in pain, and he probably is -- latex cellulite can't be fun to wear -- but his anguish is as much existential as physical, trapped inside a lumbering vehicle that offers a morbidly obese harpy as the main comic attraction.
This borderline-PG-13 comedy demands the sort of sociological scrutiny that often has the moviegoer looking for a fun night out rolling her eyes. And granting Norbit consideration feels like swinging a sledgehammer at a microbe.
Surely some humanitarian organization will recognize the selflessness with which Murphy has taken three of the movie's major roles, thus saving two other actors from a nasty black mark on their résumés.
What seemed an inventive and engaging stretch of Murphy's comedic resources 11 years ago has congealed into predictable, processed fare. The prefabricated naughtiness of Norbit is guaranteed to drag the laughs out of you whether you like it or not.
This dismal comedy joins a growing pile of Murphy disasters (The Haunted Mansion, Daddy Day Care, I Spy, The Adventures of Pluto Nash), which may have made his Oscar nomination for Dreamgirls a foregone conclusion -- if not now, when?
Hopefully the awards and acclaim Murphy has received for his work in Dreamgirls will inspire him to think twice from now on about puerile pictures like Norbit. The combination of the two speaks to his versatility, if not his pride.