Coming to America

Movie review by
Common Sense Media Editors, Common Sense Media
Coming to America Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Silly, curse-happy '80s Eddie Murphy vehicle.
  • R
  • 1988
  • 114 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 15 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Cartoonish scuffling in several scenes.


Bare breasts are lingered upon just minutes into the movie; contact between the movie's royals and their servants is discussed explicitly.


More f-words and other epithets than you can shake a stick at.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters are shown drinking cocktails and beer at a bar and at home.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's plenty of foul language and some negative female stereotypes to watch out for here.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bycrankylibrarian January 3, 2014

Unexpectedly sweet romance

The language is a bit raw (this is Eddie Murphy after all) yet overall this is a surprisingly sweet, romantic tribute to love between equals. Murphy's weal... Continue reading
Adult Written byredazaleas June 9, 2020

Very promiscuous, but some funny moments

His father, a married king, admits to having sex regularly with his bath attendants while being married. It's implied the protagonist has had sex with them... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old February 4, 2016

Hilarious yet raunchy Eddie Murphy comedy has lots of swearing, plus nudity; teens+

This hilarious comedy can be pretty crude and profane, but should still be OK for mature teenagers. In the end, the movie even has some heart, and the character... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bycolt45copman April 9, 2008

Funny stuff

Funny, little known gem!

What's the story?

COMING TO AMERICA centers around pampered African Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy), heir to the throne and fabulous riches. He's reached marriageable age, and his parents have found him a suitable bride. But Akeem wants a woman who loves him for what he is, not what he has, and he travels to America with his valet Semmi (Arsenio Hall) to find his soul mate. He finds one in the person of Lisa (Shari Headley), the daughter of a Queens restaurateur whose jealous boyfriend is the scion of a chain of African-American hair products called Soul-Glo.

Is it any good?

Despite some sexist and racist quirks, COMING TO AMERICA comes through as a funny trip back to the comedy stylings of 1988. Everything about the film is fairly predictable. Lisa and Akeem get together in the most standard boy-meets-girl/boy-loses-girl/boy-gets-girl-in-the-end way possible.

The movie has its moments -- Murphy and Hall play multiple roles in the movie, and certainly Murphy was in his prime. Some sexist and lurid overtones are cringe-worthy, but it's small potatoes compared to the fat-suited Murphy of today

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the role of women in society -- what's your view? Do you think it's something to joke about like they do here? They could also discuss the pros and cons of arranged marriages, and the way other countries view Americans.

Movie details

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