Best R-rated comedies of all time
20. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Key players: Martin Brest, Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, Ronny Cox, John Ashton, Harold Faltermeyer
Why it's great: "48 HRS." was all about the chemistry between Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte, but with "Beverly HIlls Cop," it was all Murphy. He was front and center, and he was instantly one of the biggest movie stars on the planet. Movies have gotten much louder and faster and in your face since 1984, but when this was released, it seemed like it was a new style of movie comedy. It blended the hard-edged action that made so much money for guys like Joel Silver with the freewheeling improv comedy that made "Saturday Night Live" feel so edgy week after week, and it landed just as many punches and gunshots as punchlines. None of the sequels were able to figure out or recapture the chemistry of the original, and Murphy has never seemed more excited about the sheer freedom of playing a character than he did here.
- Drew McWeeny