Dolemite Is My Name ★★★★½

Like DOLEMITE itself, this is a raucous, raunchy, boisterous piece if populist entertainment. It is genuinely hard to not to laugh and cheer along with the characters, or to respond to Eddie Murphy’s nuanced and surprisingly vulnerable performance. At the same time, you can watch this movie — about an aging performer out for the validation of the crowd — as a commentary on its star, Murphy. And as a more biographical film, it’s also compelling, with Murphy’s performance taking a whole new light. 

A few additional notes:

I am a sucker for any movie with this many black character actors. A true joy to see so many talented people on screen doing great work. 

Wesley Snipes is the MVP of this film, giving a great, hilarious comedic performance. Still disappointed he couldn’t have just paid his taxes. His cinematic absence was a real loss.

I watched this with my parents, who were teenagers when DOLEMITE hit, and it was a perfect viewing experience.