Eddie Murphy’s new film A Thousand Words has been slated in America with headlines speculating whether it is ‘the worst film of all time’.

Comedian Murphy, who turned 50 last April, made his name with films such as Beverly Hills Cop and voiced Donkey in the hugely popular Shrek films but his latest movie, filmed in 2008, is attracting damning verdicts.

On Rotten Tomatoes - the American review aggregator website - A Thousand Words has earned a 0 per cent rating (the percentage of critics who have given the film a positive review), based on 41 reviews. Few films have previously sunk that low - examples being Roberto Benigni’s Pinocchio and Heather Graham’s sex flop Killing Me Softly.

Murphy, who has made fine films in the past such as Trading Places, plays a vain, fast-talking literary agent called Jack McCall, who learns to love his family again thanks to humbling lessons dished out by a magic tree. Michael Phillips in the LA Times wrote: “In A Thousand Words the camera stays about two inches from Murphy’s hyperactive face, and you start to see the strain and desperation in the actor’s eyes. Without saying a word, those reaction shots — the film is a 100-minute reaction shot unto itself - says: I am in trouble here, yet I remain a big bad wolf of comedy. I will huff and puff and get a laugh. Somehow.”

Variety’s Justin Chang wrote: “A Thousand Words springs from the seed of an interesting idea: that the ideal Eddie Murphy movie might be one in which the actor keeps his mouth shut. Alas, even Murphy’s largely wordless, physically adroit performance can’t redeem this tortured exercise in high-concept spiritualist hokum”.             –TG