Eddie Murphy's A Thousand Words and the Elusive Perfect 0%

Congrats are in order to Eddie Murphy, who with his latest comedy A Thousand Words joins the heralded ranks of filmmakers who've achieved perfection, of a sort -- the perfect 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It's the white whale of film criticism, a feat so rare that only films like One Missed Call or last year's Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star have earned the distinction. So let's raise a glass to A Thousand Words' now-guaranteed eventual Razzie nomination and remember a few of the best-worst films to earn the double zero distinction!

Distinction, you ask? Surely not! But consider: Even titles that have reigned at the bottom of the pile in past years have gone on to see their snake eyes ruined by an errant positive review or three. Basic Instinct 2, Alone in the Dark, and many other once-zero percenters have made it out of the depths in the years since release -- even Corky Romano, that comedy classic, no longer can claim its rightful place in the 0% club.

One great title that held its 0% over the years, with no indication that it'll ever make it out, is the Lucy Liu-Antonio Banderas spy flick Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. 108 reviews to date, and none of them good!

Some films, mostly of the sequel or direct to video kind, were always destined for the single digits or low tens; it may come as no surprise that Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 sits at zero on Rotten Tomatoes, for example. But Roberto Benigni's live-action Pinocchio, with Benigni directing and starring himself as the titular wooden hero? Ten years after release it still can't get a single critic to sign off with an even mixed-positive endorsement.

So take heart, Eddie, and know that you're in the rarest of company! While the Thousand Words reviews are still rolling in, my fingers are crossed that the ever-elusive career low remains intact. Still, I fear for an upset because really -- is it possible that any movie could be worse than The Adventures of Pluto Nash (6 percent) or Norbit (9 percent)?


  • The Winchester says:

    Paging Mr. White! Mr. Armond White! You're needed in 5... 4... 3... 2...

    • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

      Surely it is just a matter of time.

      • dukeroberts says:

        Yes, good ol' Armond will come to the rescue in good time. I just know it.

        • Yashar says:

          Wow, the first thought that came to me after seeing the headline was Mr. White. Has he really become a famous legend when it comes to pure scores (100 or 0)? Is he even for real or just a myth created by RottenTomatoes execs?

          • Al Benedict says:

            Our Mr. White has been banned from Rotten Tomatoes. So, someone else will have to step forward.

    • MartiniShark says:

      Mr. Murphy benefits from fortuitous studio release whims here. Just as the Academy, and the public, have displayed their affinity -- via "The Artist" -- for the most pure form of the craft, known as physical acting, Murphy's comedic, albeit quiet, tour de farce arrives to receive the baton and takes us the next furlong. The screenplay serves as a deconstruction of the script form, and by reducing the actor to his physical fundamentals, sans written cues, Murphy rises phoenix-like as a screen presence, and he carries us aloft with him.
      --A. White

  • Tharr says:

    Armond White wasn't really kicked off Rotten Tomatoes. White's former publication, the New York Press, stopped Publishing, and he moved to CITYarts, which RT doesn't include in in its list of publications, at least not at this date.

    • Al Benedict says:

      I've read that statement from Rotten Tomatoes as well. I'm not buying it. They've spent more time publicly denying that he was kicked off than it would have taken to add him back in. Also, the site is organized around critics, not publications.

      They're clearly tired of being used as someone else's bully pulpit. And who can blame them?