Director: Brett Ratner
Starring: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy and Matthew Broderick
At some point in the 1990s, the Eddie Murphy we all loved died, only to be replaced by a man calling himself Eddie Murphy, looking like Eddie Murphy, but not at all acting like Eddie Murphy. Just when we'd stopped even hoping for a comeback, Brett Ratner – the man who created an entire franchise (Rush Hour) riffing off early Murphy – resurrects him, triumphantly. And it's joyous. Murphy himself approached Ratner with the germ of the idea for Tower Heist back in 2006. Multiple screenwriters and five years later, the film is a small miracle. Telling the tale of a Village People-esque gang of workers, led by Stiller, with Murphy as a thief who helps them steal back the money stolen from them by their Wall Street boss (Alan Alda), it's clearly the product of careful nurturing and development, sharper, subtler and funnier than the Rush Hour films, with Murphy's finest performance since Bowfinger. Add to that some extremely fortuitous timing and you get a funny, prescient, often thrilling and occasionally even touching comedy that's infinitely better than you'd ever expect it to be.