We are in the middle of an Eddie Murphy renaissance and the world is a much better place for it. It actually started back in 2019 when after a number of years of inactivity, Murphy was back in fine form with Netflix’s Dolomite is My Name. Murphy then went on to host Saturday Night Live before returning as Prince Akeem in Coming 2 America.
There is more on the docket for Eddie Murphy, including a return trip to Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley. This film will also see the return of Beverly Hills Cop favorites Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Paul Reiser, and Bronson Pinchot. For now, though, if you are looking for an Eddie Murphy fix, Netflix has three hilarious Murphy films ready and waiting.
Eddie Murphy Films on Netflix
Tower Heist (2011)
Teaming up Eddie Murphy with Ben Stiller in 2011 was a no-brainer. The result was Tower Heist, an uneven comedy that had critics raving about Murphy’s performance as Slide, a petty crook who is approached by his childhood friend Josh Kovacs (Stiller), who needs help with a little law-breaking.
Kovacs is the building manager at an upscale apartment complex called The Tower. This building houses Arthur Shaw, a Wall Street billionaire, in the complex’s penthouse. Kovacs has given Shaw the hotel staff’s pension to manage (with their approval) and that is where the trouble begins.
Shaw, as it turns out, is the leader in a Ponzi scheme and is now under house arrest by the FBI for embezzling $2 billion. This embezzlement is going to cost Kovacs and his staff their entire pensions.
After meeting with FBI agent Claire Dunham (Téa Leoni), she drunkenly suggests that Josh steal back the money from the safe in Shaw’s penthouse. Now it is up to Kovacs, Slide, and the rest of the inexperienced hotel staff to break in, open the safe, and get what is rightfully theirs.
Tower Heist is directed by Brett Ratner, who made a comedic name for himself when he directed the 1998 Jackie Chan/Chris Tucker action comedy, Rush Hour. That film was so successful for Ratner that he followed it up with 2 more in the franchise with talks of a possible Rush Hour 4. Ratner directed Tower Heist from a script co-written by Ted Griffin and Jeff Nathanson.
Click here to watch Tower Heist.
Dolomite is My Name (2019)
Eddie Murphy again stepped away from Hollywood, this time for 3 years. He had been seen in the little-known dramedy, Mr. Church in 2016 when he decided to take a break. It wasn’t until 2019 that he made his triumphant return in the Netflix original, Dolomite is My Name.
The movie is a biographical comedy set in the early 1970’s telling the story of Rudy Ray Moore, a stand-up comic who became a filmmaker. Rudy Ray is a struggling artist working at a record store to pay the bills. In the evenings, he is an MC at a local club. One day at the record store, inspiration rambles in the form of a homeless man who begins to spout off wild stuff. One of the things that catches Rudy Ray’s ear is the name “Dolomite.”
Rudy Ray then turns the name into a character for his stand-up routine that audiences love. Borrowing money from his aunt, Rudy Ray records a comedy album that sells out quickly. Not one to rest on his laurels, Rudy Ray takes his pimp-clothes-wearing, cane-walking, Dolomite character to even bigger heights. He makes a kung-fu blaxploitation film, Dolomite.
Dolomite is My Name was written by the writing team of Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (The People vs Larry Flynt) and directed by Craig Brewer. The film was a massive hit for Netflix and showed that Eddie Murphy could still do comedy.
Click here to watch Dolomite is My Name.
You People (2023)
You People is a Kenya Barris romantic comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Jonah Hill. The film, written by Barris and Hill, tells the story of a 35-year-old Jewish man, Ezra Cohen (Hill), who falls in love with an African American woman, Amira (Lauren London) much to the chagrin of her father, Akbar (Murphy). The movie becomes a study (sometimes funny, sometimes not) of interracial and interreligious relationships.
The couple first meets when Amira finds herself parked in front of Ezra’s work building. Believing that she is his Uber, he jumps in the back seat, setting up an extremely awkward exchange.
To smooth over the misunderstanding, Ezra takes her to lunch where they discover they have more in common than not, despite the fact he is Jewish, and she is the daughter of a devoted follower of the Nation of Islam. This difference is what sets up the hilarious tension between Ezra and Akbar.
Barris began his feature film career as a writer. His resume includes Barbershop: The Next Cut, Shaft, Soul, the 2022 remake of Cheaper by The Dozen, and the newly released remake of White Men Can’t Jump. He also co-wrote the Eddie Murphy sequel, Coming 2 America.
Although the film received lukewarm reviews, it was noted for Murphy’s performance. He has not lost his sense of comedic timing, and this is apparent in his on-screen interactions with Jonah Hill. You People also stars David Duchovny, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Nia Long.
Click here to watch You People.