Coming to America

Silly, curse-happy '80s Eddie Murphy vehicle.
  • Review Date: November 10, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1988
  • Running Time: 114 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

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.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

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

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.

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

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:January 1, 1988
DVD release date:March 9, 1999
Cast:Arsenio Hall, Eddie Murphy, James Earl Jones
Director:John Landis
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Run time:114 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language and sex.

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written bymcmovie123 July 10, 2010
age 13+

dont have to watch the R rated version

If ur kid wants to seethis movie than theres a pg version that has no f words and that sex seen is taken out.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written bycolt45copman April 9, 2008
age 0+

Funny stuff

Funny, little known gem!
Teen, 17 years old Written byDirectedbyjpc April 9, 2008


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