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Imagine That 2009

Critics score:
40 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Ben Lyons, At the Movies: [A] misguided, poorly executed family disaster. Read more

Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader: Director Karey Kirkpatrick mines laughter from human fallibility, aided by a strong supporting cast that includes Martin Sheen as the boss and Thomas Haden Church as an office rival. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Murphy rises to every occasion, not only with the crisp wit that has long been his hallmark, but with restraint and tenderness that serve him well. Read more

Tom Keogh, Seattle Times: If there were any doubts that Murphy can still be as boldly funny and charismatic in the flesh as he has been when providing the voice of Donkey in the Shrek franchise, Imagine That helps allay them. Read more

Scott Tobias, AV Club: Given his growing track record of odious kiddie fare, it's no surprise to see Eddie Murphy squandering his talents as another in a long line of movie dads who are too wrapped up in their jobs to pay attention to their kids. Read more

Suzanne Condie Lambert, Arizona Republic: The actor's scenes with movie daughter Shahidi have an undeniable sweetness, and Shahidi is adorable in a role that easily could have seemed manipulative. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Eddie Murphy in another mediocre family comedy? Imagine that. Read more

Gary Goldstein, Chicago Tribune: Fortunately, the picture's not-so-secret weapon, star Eddie Murphy, gives this uneven effort a reason for being. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Unfortunately, Evan's transformation rings tinny. The music guides us to the appropriate moods (This is magical! This is goofy!), because Murphy's performance doesn't. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Imagine That is a benignly didactic kiddie movie that at once benefits from and gets buried under Eddie Murphy's skittery, overeager inflections. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: For the first time since The Nutty Professor, Eddie Murphy successfully mixes his adult and kid-film personas -- imagine that. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: Cutesy? My pain was acutesy as the entire plot yawned before me. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Murphy's goofy, bug-eyed hysterics seem played out and overly familiar. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: Shahidi's and Murphy's scenes together have such warmth, tenderness, and joy that they elevate this cookie-cutter comedy into homemade fun. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: I laughed once during Imagine That's interminable 107 minutes, and the longer I watched Murphy's desperate, embarrassing attempts at provoking laughter, the worse I felt. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Imagine That is amusing without ever being break-out funny. Read more

Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle: Imagine That has a few nagging problems, none of which is Eddie Murphy's fault. Read more

Kevin C. Johnson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: A little more than what you'd expect. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Given the movie's early creative promise, the ending is disappointingly trite. Read more

Linda Barnard, Toronto Star: Here's a summer movie that kids will laugh at and parents can take them to without worrying about sex, violence, language or projectile vomiting jokes. Read more

Vadim Rizov, Time Out: This is another loathsome family comedy in which a busy father is made to feel like a horrible parent until he abandons earning money and conforms to his child's every whim. Read more

Trevor Johnston, Time Out: Murphy at least tries to stay in character rather than overdoing the silly voices and physical knockabout, but maybe the material was so blah that he felt it wasn't worth the effort. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: It's too bad there's little to distinguish this predictable tale from any other comedy about an overly busy father who finally connects with his child. Read more

Joe Leydon, Variety: Arguably the most innocuous pic of Eddie Murphy's career to date, Imagine That is an undemandingly pleasant, mildly amusing fantasy. Read more

Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice: If memory serves, kiddies like whatever movie you drop them off at but, for the record, Drop Dead Fred remains the vastly superior film. Read more

John Anderson, Washington Post: A movie that takes a major step toward reasserting Murphy's place as the comic heir not just to such obvious models as Richard Pryor but to Groucho Marx. Read more