Critic Reviews



Based on 32 critic reviews provided by
In playing a man who was so clearly among his comic ancestors and influences, we see, for the first time in a long time, Murphy’s sheer joy of performance, the thing that made his early work in films like “48 HRS.” and “Beverly Hills Cop” so electrifying.
A celebration of Rudy Ray Moore, the creative process, and black creativity, Dolemite Is My Name is an absolute joy to watch.
A total motherf—kin’ blast. ... You might have to go all the way back to the ’80s to find a Murphy performance driven by this much pleasurable funky verve.
Essential to the film’s success is Murphy, clearly having his best time in a long time as Moore, who adopted a flashy pimp-esque persona that would eventually take the blaxploitation landscape by storm.
An enjoyable star vehicle that provides the beloved comic with one of his most substantial roles.
In spite of the adult material, it’s a genuinely affecting underdog story, and a rallying cry to anyone who has ever dreamed big. Most of all, Dolemite is a heartfelt tribute to a genuine auteur who spent his life spreading laughter and joy, and who made movie magic by always staying true to himself.
Unfolding like a slaphappy cross between “Baadasssss!” and “Bowfinger,” “Dolemite Is My Name” may not be quite as spirited or hilarious as any of its most obvious reference points, but its big-hearted buoyancy keeps it afloat, and the movie doesn’t slow down long enough for you to really care that it’s following a timeless formula.
Odd, then, that [Brewer and Murphy's] Dolemite Is My Name is such a conventional-feeling biopic, one with its share of laughs and surprising anecdotes but little of the enduring strangeness that kept the 1975 Dolemite rattling around in our cultural memory
It feels at times like a Tracy Jordan spoof of a movie, and not always for the better. But that doesn’t stop Dolemite from being funny, or from giving Murphy room to do the things he likes to do.
Dolemite Is My Name sadly coasts on a reliable biopic structure and handsome production values.

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