Film critics had some choice words for Eddie Murphy's new flick "A Thousand Words," and none of them are positive.
They roundly panned Murphy's turn as Jack McCall, a boorish literary agent and inattentive family man forced to examine his ways when a mysterious Bodhi tree suddenly pops up in his backyard. The tree loses a leaf for every word he utters, and a spiritual guide guesses that when its final leaf falls, Jack will die.
AP Movie Critic David Germain gave the film one and a half stars out of four, writing, "They strain to sow laughs out of this thin, pointless idea with dumb slapstick and pratfalls and a lot of wordless mugging by Murphy, who proves he can be just as insufferable when he's not talking as when he is." Germain concludes: "His story's not worth your time."
"Friends With Kids" fared better, though the comedy isn't a complete bundle of joy. AP Movie Critic Christy Lemire says Jennifer Westfeldt's directorial debut is well intentioned but often comes off as "reductive, cliched and even sitcommy." Lemire gave it two stars out of four.
Here's a look at how these movies and others fared on the top review websites as of Friday afternoon. Each score is the percentage of positive reviews for the film:
_ "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen": Metacritic, 60; Movie Review Intelligence, 71; Rotten Tomatoes, 62. Average: 64.3.
_ "Friends With Kids": Metacritic, 55; Movie Review Intelligence, 68; Rotten Tomatoes, 64. Average: 62.3.
_ "Silent House": Metacritic, 49; Movie Review Intelligence, 59.5; Rotten Tomatoes, 54. Average: 54.2.
_ "John Carter": Metacritic, 52; Movie Review Intelligence, 48.4; Rotten Tomatoes, 47. Average: 49.1.
_ "A Thousand Words": Metacritic, 26; Movie Review Intelligence, 36.3; Rotten Tomatoes, 0. Average: 20.8.