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Eddie Murphy Continues ‘Rotten’ Streak With Christmas Movie Candy Cane Lane


Summary

  • Eddie Murphy’s latest holiday movie, Candy Cane Lane, has received a low score of 40% on Rotten Tomatoes, continuing his streak of disappointing films.
  • Murphy’s highest-rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes is Dolemite Is My Name with a rating of 97%, while his recent films Coming 2 America and You People received rotten scores.
  • Critics have described Candy Cane Lane as “batty,” “lacking in spirit,” and “forgettable,” although some saw enjoyment in Murphy’s antics.


Hollywood icon and beloved comedian Eddie Murphy has unfortunately continued his “rotten” streak with this month’s holiday outing, Candy Cane Lane. Released on December 1st, Candy Cane Lane now has a score of 40% on the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, meaning that the movie has the dreaded green splat by its name.

However, this has not stopped the movie from taking the #1 spot on Prime Video in its first days on release, and setting a record as the most watched Amazon MGM Studios-produced movie ever in the U.S. As if this is not enough, the film immediately jumped into the list of the Top 10 worldwide debuts ever on the platform in the process. Murphy saw his Coming 2 America become the first Prime Video original movie to hit the #1 position on the platform back in 2021, as one of the most watched movies of the year. In a strange mirroring of Adam Sandler’s Netflix exclusive movies, it seems that despite taking a battering from critics, Eddie Murphy can still pull in an audience.

While Murphy saw something of a resurgence in critical quality with the 2019 biographical comedy Dolemite Is My Name, which achieved a rating of 97% and stands as the actor’s highest-rated movie ever on Rotten Tomatoes, his other recent ventures Coming 2 America and You People were given rotten scores of 49% and 40% respectively.

Prior to Dolemite Is My Name, Murphy has struggled to gain that sought-after red tomato, with the likes of Mr. Church, A Thousand Words, Shrek Forever After, Imagine That, Meet Dave, and more being largely disliked by both critics and audiences alike.

Sadly, Candy Cane Lane has not proven to be the new holiday favorite that many had hoped for, with critics decrying the movie for being far too “batty” and “lacking in spirit.” As Owen Gleiberman of Variety puts it…

““Candy Cane Lane” shows you that the Christmas movie as we’ve known it may be all used up, and that it has now entered its anything-goes surrealist phrase. ‘Tis the season to be batty.”

Benjamin Lee of The Guardian felt that, while Candy Cane Lane may stand out from other Christmas movies, it is still distinctly lacking.

“The bizarro plot might help Candy Cane Lane stand out from the bland, busy crowd of new seasonal movies but it’s just as limp and lacking in spirit as the rest of them. Murphy and Ross deserve better, and so do we, and so does Christmas.”

Ultimately, Lovia Gyarkye of The Hollywood Reporter found Candy Cane Lane to be unforgivably forgettable.

“The narrative careens through uncompelling territory before ending on a forgettable note.”

RELATED: 12 Eddie Murphy Movies We Couldn’t Live Without


Some Critics Found Much to Enjoy in Candy Cane Lane

Candy Cane Lane

Release Date
December 1, 2023

Rating
PG

Studio
Amazon Studios, Eddie Murphy Productions, Imagine Entertainment

Writers
Kelly Younger

However, despite the rotten score, there are some who found enjoyment in Eddie Muphy’s antics in Candy Cane Lane. One such critic is MovieWeb’s own Greg Archer, who even suggests it could become a new holiday favorite for some audiences.

“In the meantime, enjoy Candy Cane Lane. It’s fun, funny, inventive, filled with feel-good charm, and in time, just might become a holiday classic for some people.”

James Dyer of Empire Magazine rates Candy Cane Lane 3/5, though did think it could have fared better as a horror movie…

“A madcap medley of deranged ideas that somehow manage to coalesce into a messy but half-decent Crimbo comedy. Just spare a thought for the far more interesting horror film straining to break through.”

Eddie Murphy stars in Candy Cane Lane as a man on a mission to win his neighborhood’s annual Christmas home decoration contest. After he inadvertently makes a deal with a mischievous elf named Pepper to better his chances of winning, she casts a magic spell that brings the 12 Days of Christmas to life, and wreaks havoc on the whole town.

Directed by Reginald Hudlin, written by Kelly Younger, and starring Eddie Murphy, Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish), Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street), Thaddeus J. Mixson (Creed III), Ken Marino (Party Down), and Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), Candy Cane Lane is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. Check out the trailer below:



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