Cliff Curtis 'philosophical' about bad movie reviews

By James Ihaka

He's played a drug baron, a Colombian terrorist, a creepy uncle, a couple of Arab bad guys and an edgy FBI agent.

But it is New Zealand actor Cliff Curtis' role as new-age guru Sinja in A Thousand Words - an Eddie Murphy vehicle - that could make him famous for all the wrong reasons.

Every one of the 42 critic reviews on the Rotten Tomatoes website has declared the film "rotten" - meaning it got an aggregated rating of 0 per cent.

Curtis' New Zealand-based agent says the actor would likely remain philosophical and good-natured about the criticism.

Justin Chang's review for Variety magazine states: "A Thousand Words springs from the seed of an interesting idea: that the ideal Eddie Murphy movie might be one in which the actor keeps his mouth shut.

"Alas, even Murphy's largely wordless, physically adroit performance can't redeem this tortured exercise in high-concept spiritualist hokum."

Murphy stars as a fast-talking literary agent whose life changes after meeting Sinja and the mysterious appearance of a magical tree in his backyard.

A leaf falls from the tree each time he utters a word and when the last leaf falls both he and the tree will die.

Curtis' New Zealand agent Gabriella Larkin-Bruce said she was unaware of the criticism.

Ms Larkin-Bruce said she usually received movie scripts for Curtis.

"But this was one that was obviously picked up by his American agent - particularly if it was an Eddie Murphy movie," she said.

His next project is the TV drama Missing, which premiered in America overnight and co-stars Ashley Judd.

Only one film last year earned 0 per cent: Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, a comedy co-written by Adam Sandler.

WORSE THAN THESE?

* Birdemic (2009): A lingerie model saves the world from a plague of angry birds. Egregious effects, diabolical dialogue, cult hit.

* Leprechaun (1993): Jennifer Aniston is pitted against a psychotic, three-foot-nothing leprechaun. Imagine the result.

* The Room (2003): The "Citizen Kane of bad movies" - but so bad it's good and screenings still sell out in the US.

Watch the trailer for A Thousand Words:

- NZ Herald

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