Box art for A Thousand Words

A Thousand Words

comedy, drama


Fast-talking agent Jack McCall has set his sights set on New Age guru Dr. Sinja. But after a mysterious Bodhi tree appears in his backyard, Jack realizes he better mend his ways before the last leaf falls from the tree or he's a goner.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    N/A
  • Audience Score
    47%

common sense

ON for kids age 14
Consumerism
4 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
1 out of 5

Disappointing comedy about self-reflection has sexy stuff.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that A Thousand Words is an Eddie Murphy comedy with some adult themes about family and marriage that may not interest or be appropriate for tweens. Language includes frequent uses of "s--t" and "ass," but there are no F-bombs. The nature of a marriage after a baby is discussed several times, and, in one sequence, a wife tries to seduce her husband by donning a dominatrix outfit and demanding that he "talk dirty." Starbucks is featured prominently in the film, and a barista is even a supporting character. On the bright side, there's a positive message about putting family first and finding inner peace and forgiveness.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about A Thousand Words' message of work versus family life. Why do so many movies feature the same basic premise about a workaholic father who finally realizes his family should come first?
  • Starbucks is shown again and again. How do you feel about a brand being so prominently featured in a film?
  • What's the message about how people communicate? How does silence change Jack's perspective and attitude?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    N/A
    reviews counted: 19
    see all A Thousand Words reviews
  • Audience

    47%

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: The high concept breeds lowbrow gags.

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

Rotten: A Thousand Words marks yet another lazy, "family-friendly" comedy in which Murphy phones it in -- remember when this guy was dangerously funny? -- and wastes the talents of a supporting cast that also includes Allison Janney and Jack McBrayer.

- Alonso Duralde, TheWrap, Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rotten: 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.

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

Audience Reviews

0 star

Taking away Eddie Murphy's voice was a terrible idea to begin with, and to top it off A Thousand Words is completely unfunny and formulaic. With a concept this poorly thought out the idea itself might as well be a joke, and it would be a much funnier joke than any of the ones you'll find in the movie. I really wish Eddie Murphy would just choose a good movie to star in; Tower Heist was okay, but he really needs to take a step back and think before he signs himself on for another movie.

- fb804722839, Friday, December 28, 2012

2 stars

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 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.

- phubbs1, Friday, February 8, 2013

2 stars

Eddie Murphy. What happened to your taste in movie roles? This was the stupidest movie..not funny at all. Just stupid.

- itsjustme2004, Friday, April 5, 2013