Movie and DVD Guide

Find Movies and Tickets

Choose Your Movie

All movies
or
Imagine That (2009) In Imagine That , Eddie Murphy, as a finance wizard, is supposed to be a father woefully out of touch with his inner child. But… 2009-06-12 PG PT107M Comedy Sci-fi and Fantasy Thomas Haden Church Eddie Murphy Nicole Ari Parker James Patrick Stuart Paramount Pictures
Movie Review

Imagine That (2009)

MPAA Rating: PG

Find theaters showing Imagine That in your area

Eddie Murphy, Imagine That | LOST IN THOUGHT Eddie Murphy and Yara Shahidi in Imagine That
Image credit: Bruce McBroom
LOST IN THOUGHT Eddie Murphy and Yara Shahidi in Imagine That
EW's GRADE
C+

Details Release Date: Jun 12, 2009; Rated: PG; Length: 107 Minutes; Genres: Comedy, Sci-fi and Fantasy; With: Thomas Haden Church and Eddie Murphy; Distributor: Paramount Pictures

In Imagine That, Eddie Murphy, as a finance wizard, is supposed to be a father woefully out of touch with his inner child. But Murphy turns the role into a one-man Romper Room. He minces, he contorts his face into twitchy grimaces, he collapses into fits of mock hysteria so intense that the mock all but falls away. And that's before he learns that his daughter (Yara Shahidi) is communing with a set of imaginary playmates — three princesses and a queen — who offer insider stock tips that never fail. (Is this sort of information legal when it's delivered by a child's made-up companions? The movie never says.) At that point, Murphy really starts to act up.

To retrieve the tips, he must play along with his daughter by pretending to visit her friends in their fairy kingdom. This requires him to explore, for the first time, his parental imagination; it requires him to have fun with his child. Imagine That is a benignly didactic kiddie movie that at once benefits from and gets buried under Eddie Murphy's skittery, overeager inflections. He can often be a bit much, like his idol Jerry Lewis. That said, there's something sweet about the way that Murphy throws himself into this piffle. Thomas Haden Church does too, as Murphy's rival, a corporatized Native American who talks about finance in fake-Indian gobbledygook. At times, he almost makes sense. C+

Originally posted Jun 10, 2009 Published in issue #1052 Jun 19, 2009 Order article reprints