Mr. Church (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

Mr. Church (2016)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Set 1965 Los Angeles, Mr. Church begins with a stranger arriving on the doorstep of 10-year-old CHARLOTTE "CHARLIE" BRODY and her single mother MARIE BRODY (40), who is battling breast cancer. They soon learn that the quiet man, HENRY CHURCH (40), has been hired by Marie's recently deceased former lover to cook for them and help maintain the household. As Mr. Church's time with the Brodys extends from months into years, he becomes a father figure for Charlie during her formative years, nurturing her love of literature and making a lasting impact on her life. Even as Mr. Church tries to keep his own life separate from the Brodys, he eventually learns that the connection he feels to Charlie is what family is all about.

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Eddie Murphy
as Henry Church
Britt Robertson
as Charlotte
Lucy Fry
as Poppy
Lincoln Melcher
as Young Owen
Madison Wolfe
as Young Poppy
Thom Barry
as Frankie Twiggs
Natalie Coughlin
as Young Charlotte
Adriana Leonard
as Checkout Girl
Darius Cottrell
as Bus Driver
Dora Winifred
as Charlotte's Roommate
Michael Leone
as Student Michael
Paul Archer
as Diner #1
Shawnee Witt
as Cashier
Tatum Abbott
as College Student
Nick Austin
as College Student
Dakota Lustick
as Charlotte's College Boyfriend
Wyatt Carnel
as Kid on Skateboard
Roger E. Reid
as Stand-In Mr. Church
Kathleen McMartin
as Mrs. Dickerman
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Critic Reviews for Mr. Church

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (14)

Man, this type of role is really out of pocket for Eddie Murphy. He isn't funny, and he isn't particularly interesting.

January 1, 2017

It's repugnant for its dehumanizing view (however unintentionally so) of a black man, and repugnant for its emptying-out of one of the great black performers of the time into a sanitized symbol of acceptable blackness.

September 22, 2016 | Full Review…

After helming this, an episode of Roots and Best Picture-winner Driving Miss Daisy, Beresford should be forced to join 'Subservient Cinematic Negroes Anonymous.'

September 16, 2016 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Murphy's low-key but affecting performance is filled with loaded and loving glances. And the restraint becomes the 55-year-old star. If only the film were better.

September 16, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

Eddie Murphy gives a thoughtful, nuanced, sensitive performance in a film that suffers from a too-predictable script and suffers even more from very bad timing.

September 15, 2016 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Top Critic

Murphy is fine as the title character, although his performance consists mostly of suppressing all of his usual shtick. He certainly doesn't endow Mr. Church with any unexpected depths. But then neither does the script.

September 15, 2016 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mr. Church

This is a rare film in the sense that it is probably one of Eddie Murphy's best performances in a very, very long time. That says something. The story was enjoyable, heartfelt and heartwarming and I really enjoyed it.

Ian Walker
Ian Walker

Super Reviewer

While Mr. Church might have initially been looked at as something of a return to quality movie-making for star Eddie Murphy it is more a return to the realm of inoffensive movie making than anything else. Mr. Church is certainly no Pluto Nash or Norbit...hell, it's not even Meet Dave (which I admittedly never finished), but it isn't the high-reaching piece of transcendent cinema that encapsulates all the major themes of one's life that illustrates mistakes made and identities redeemed that it seemed to want so badly to be in its trailers either. Rather, Mr. Church is a pleasant enough distraction about a kind-hearted man that is largely elevated by the credible performances of its two leads. Both Murphy and Britt Robertson (Tomorrowland) deliver the necessary sympathies to draw on audience emotions that keep us invested in the sometimes tedious story that strings us along for decades with large stretches where little to nothing happens or is revealed. Fortunately, it isn't really the narrative that is meant to drive Mr. Church though, but rather the core relationship that forms between Murphy's titular character and Robertson's Charlotte Brody which remains the reason we become and stay as invested as we do throughout the sometimes tepid 100-minute runtime. The film, which comes from TV writing veteran Susan McMartin in her first feature film credit, feels rather episodic as a result with director Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy, Double Jeopardy) doing little to add any filmmaking flairs as, at the age of seventy-six, seems to be on auto pilot. In that way, Mr. Church is very much a competently made and sometimes even emotionally affecting film, but most of the time it feels like a Hallmark movie that is emotionally manipulative for reasons of knowing it has little else to offer by way of connecting with its audience. It is a holiday Hallmark film that escaped the clutches of such a fate by appealing to talent such as Mr. Murphy by being a project not typically offered to the comedian and thus an opportunity after an intentional hiatus to do something different. Murphy, while doing his best to salvage this sappy if not occasionally comforting piece of melodrama can't rescue the project from total mediocrity, but he puts forth a valiant effort and that is duly noted. read the whole review at

Philip Price
Philip Price

Super Reviewer

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