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Eddie Murphy, Kerry Washington, Cliff Curtis, Clark Duke, Allison Janney ... see more see more... , Ruby Dee , Emanuel Ragsdale , Kayla Blake , Winston J. Rocha , Bethany Dwyer , Alain Chabat , Lennie Loftin , David Burke , Phil Reeves , Brian Gallivan , Steven M. Gagnon , Katheryn Cain , Eshaya Draper , Darcy Rose Byrnes , Sarah Scott Davis , Justin Robbins , Miles Robbins , Brian Norris , Jill Basey , Greg Collins , Robert Lequang , Michael G. Wilkinson , Lyndsey Nelson , Brad Michael Gilbert , Lou Saliba , John Gatins , Mitchell Fink , Edi Patterson , Emily Burton , Tracy Mulholland , Brad Keimach , Dilip Jha , Jorge Álvarez , Leonard Earl Howze , Jack McBrayer , John Witherspoon , Thierry Segall , Noel Courteblanche , Sara Holden , Jeff Kahn , Matt Winston , Daniel Hepner , Eric Archibald , Philip Pavel , Raquel Bell , Kamala Jones , Kharrison Sweeney , Daniel Saltos , Lauren Schuchman , Ted Kennedy , Jane Bartelme , Skip Richard Crank , Floyd Levine , Bunny Levine

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 ... read more read more...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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74,035 ratings

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54 critics

PG-13, 1 hr. 31 min.

Directed by: Brian Robbins

Release Date: March 9, 2012

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DVD Release Date: June 26, 2012

Stats: 2,042 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (2,042)


  • fb733768972
    July 11, 2013
    fb733768972
    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 t... read morehis 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.
  • April 5, 2013
    Eddie Murphy. What happened to your taste in movie roles? This was the stupidest movie..not funny at all. Just stupid.
  • February 8, 2013
    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... read more 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.
  • September 20, 2012
    Pretty sad to see just how bad Eddie Murphy's acting has become. This film was a complete disappointment. If you have 1 hr 31 min to waste then this is your film. 2 stars 8-24-12
  • September 2, 2012
    Once upon a time, Eddie Murphy was a spectacular comedian. As with many other comedians, his career began in the 1980s with still critically and publicly acclaimed hits such as Beverly Hills Cop and Coming to America. That all changed in 1998, when Murphy began veering his come... read moredy more toward family territory. The result: several flops such as a Doctor Dolittle remake, Dr. Dolittle 2, Daddy Day Care, The Haunted Mansion, Meet Dave, and Imagine That. We've forgotten most, if not all of these existed despite their recency; looking at how well that page out of Encyclopedia Craptastica was received by critics in general, those six films average out to a decimal slightly below 31% approval, with scores of 44% at best and 13% at worst. Last year we were taken by surprise. Many of us may have gotten used to Murphy's newfound lack of true comedy and skipped Tower Heist, a film in which he was ironically the standout. I still consider buying the film on DVD from time to time, just to have access to those laughs we haven't seen since his motor-mouthed days of stand-up comedy and Saturday Night Live, before remembering that his Atlas-esque ability to carry the entire film over his own two shoulders, was virtually the only reason that movie was commendable. Needless to say, Tower Heist was all too promising. Perhaps it was a way to get our hopes up for another Murphy movie, even if that meant he, an actor known best for his hilarious characters who don't know when or how to shut up, has to abide by silence for almost an entire movie. Thankfully the film has something to joke about in its concept, if nothing else, but that joke is all on Eddie Murphy, who heavily succumbs to it. Let's call this A Thousand Turds for the sake of aptness.

    A Thousand Words tries its hand at awe-inspiring quirk several times, only to go in a direction completely unintended. You can't expect Eddie Murphy to star in a moving dramedy that uses a thought-provoking script to have an audience make sense of things themselves. For better or for worse, that was realized, and the film acts instead in the drag of a (Austin Powers fans, I believe this would be the perfect moment for "Mini-Me" air quotes) "cooo-meee-dyyyy" that tosses characters and events out so randomly, it makes the deus ex machina tactic seem brilliantly unconventional and genuine. We start with Jack McCall (Eddie Murphy), a hard-working family man devoted to his beautiful wife (Kerry Washington) and adorable toddler son (Emanuel Ragsdale). He is an important figure at an oh-so-busy publishing company, and in some of his spare time, he visits a psychiatrist. The scenes depicting his psychiatric support are intended to make us laugh, but somehow, the throwback to the classic motor mouth is downright annoying. Jack is visited by a genie-type figure and a tree with a thousand leaves that has suddenly grown in his garden. The genie soon hints at why the tree is there: some sort of spiritual nonsense along the lines of, "We, the gods, hereby declare that we are sick and tired of you and we want you to shut up for just three days." His life, for the next three days, relies on the tree, and whatever happens to it, happens to him as well, and whatever the tree feels, he feels as well. You could correctly guess that on several occasions, we find him humiliating himself in front of his co-workers, when squirrels dig themselves into the tree or people come by and spray it with fertilizer. What really holds Jack's life by a thread is that whenever he speaks a word, a tree loses a leaf (once he's discovered this, at least two-hundred leaves have already vanished), and when there are no leaves left, he dies as well. I guess it's crucial to repeat that this itself is essentially a one-joke movie, but even amongst the poor acting and script, it's even worse because of how terrible that one joke is. We want Eddie Murphy to speak. The short little snippets and nonsense words he blurts out when necessary (if you couldn't predict that his character gets begged to speak throughout the entire movie, you probably haven't seen very many movies at all) simply are not enough. It's like watching an Olympic swimming match on TV, with a camera that is constantly cutting over to shots of Michael Phelps sitting out in a wheelchair. We begin to lose interest at the rate the leaves fall.

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  • fb100000145236770
    July 20, 2012
    fb100000145236770
    I've always been an Eddie Murphy fan, but I must say, his movies lately have really stunk. "A Thousand Words" is the latest example of that, as this movie aims to be funny, sweet, and charming, and fails miserably. Murphy stars as Jack, a literary agent trying to sign a new age... read more guru, Dr. Sinja(Cliff Curtis). Then a tree grows in Jack's front yard, and every time he speaks a leaf falls. Once all the leaves fall, the tree dies and so does Jack. Stupid? Very! Murphy tries to make the movie funny as he tries to communicate in weird ways. But, he never writes a note or sends a text message, something like this makes this movie with no logic, even more hard to believe. The acting is terrible as the supporting cast are all bad, and Murphy just looks like he is going through the motions and doesn't resemble the same guy he used to be. I'm all for comedians doing more family friendly movies, but at least make them entertaining. I doubt even kids like this movie. Heck, it has 0% on the rotten tomato meter. That alone should tell you to stay away, far away from this.
  • July 11, 2012
    Despite what the trailer might have lead on to believe, A Thousand Words isn't really a comedy about a how hard it is for a business man not to talk. Instead it's a frustratingly tedious poem brought to the big screen where everyone's made out to be the bad guy always jumping to ... read moreconclusions ultimately having the constant miscommunication ruin the protagonist's life. And as angry I got at the cast and script for squeezing my head the whole movie, Eddie Murphy's epiphany at the end aggravated me the most.
  • June 28, 2012
    I wouldn't say this was the best but it was a decent comedy movie and I actually liked the ending where Jack McCall used his last words wisely.
  • June 21, 2012
    He only has 1000 words left to discover what matters most.

    Surprisingly better than what I expected! Overall, A Thousand Words is a decent comedy, not the best or the crudest mind you, but still decent. The nice balance of drama and comedy, on top of some good character developm... read moreent and clever use of props and the environment were very entertaining for me. Yes, it's the same predictable Eddie Murphy movie you have seen in the past, but it's finally getting back to his comedic roots, while still providing some dynamic emotion that I haven't seen him do in a while. Great message!

    Jack McCall, played by Eddie Murphy, finds an unusual tree in his yard after an encounter with a spiritual guru. After discovering that with each word he speaks, a leaf drops off of the tree, Jack refuses to speak at all, as doing so will keep the tree, and him, alive. However, his work, marriage, and friendships are all affected by his choice. Can Jack figure out an alternative method of survival? Or will he simply have to live the rest of his life to the fullest?
  • fb100000716838411
    April 3, 2012
    fb100000716838411
    There are literally a thousand words that I can use to describe this disaster. Some of the following include asinine, redundant, tedious, chauvinistic, presumptuous, despicable and just plain ridiculous.

Critic Reviews


A.A. Dowd
March 9, 2012
A.A. Dowd, Time Out New York

The high concept breeds lowbrow gags. Full Review

Frank Scheck
March 9, 2012
Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter

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

Owen Gleiberman
March 9, 2012
Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

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. Full Review

William Goss
March 9, 2012
William Goss, Film.com

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... Full Review

Stephen Whitty
March 9, 2012
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

What you don't have is a funny movie. Full Review

Liam Lacey
March 9, 2012
Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail

The idea of taking one of Hollywood's best-known motor-mouths and reducing him to mugging and charades is definitely novel - and utterly misguided. Full Review

Kyle Smith
March 9, 2012
Kyle Smith, New York Post

Even 2003 Robin Williams would have thunked this script in the fireplace by page 50. Full Review

Mark Jenkins
March 9, 2012
Mark Jenkins, Washington Post

Even when "A Thousand Words" is counseling us to just be quiet and in the moment, it can't just be quiet and in the moment. Full Review

Andy Webster
March 8, 2012
Andy Webster, New York Times

In the simplicity of its premise it embodies the notion of high-concept entertainment. In its execution it demonstrates how technical efficiency can drain the life from a story. Full Review

Justin Chang
March 8, 2012
Justin Chang, Variety

Even Murphy's largely wordless, physically adroit performance can't redeem this tortured exercise in high-concept spiritualist hokum. Full Review

Critic ratings and reviews powered by RottenTomatoes.com

Fresh (60% or more critics rated the movie positively)

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Facts


    • Jack McCall: Dickhead's one word!
    • Jack McCall: Hel-lo.
    • Annie McCall: Life's not worth living with out family. Right? Right?!
    • Jack McCall: [standing in front of father's grave] I forgive you.
    • Annie McCall: I like cake! Don't you Jack?
    • Jack McCall: I want my baby back baby back baby back baby back I want my baby back baby back ribs!

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  • in what movie is the quote "a pictures worth a thousand words; and you've got two!"  Answer »

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