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Life (I) (1999)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  16 April 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 32,060 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 119 user | 74 critic | 20 from

The story of wrongfully convicted men (Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence) who discover the value of life after serving 65 years in prison.


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Title: Life (1999)

Life (1999) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hoppin' Bob
Goldmouth (as Michael 'Bear' Taliferro)
Can't Get Right
Superintendant Abernathy


In the mid-1990s, two inmates bury the burned bodies of two lifers at Mississippi's infamous Parchman Farm; a third old-timer relates their story. They'd served 65 years for a murder they didn't commit, framed by a local sheriff while buying moonshine whiskey for a Manhattan club owner to whom they owed money. In flashbacks we see this odd couple thrown together (Ray is a fast-talking con man, and Claude is a serious man about to start work as a bank teller), the loss of Ray's watch (sterling silver, from his daddy), the murder and trial, the hardships of Parchman, and the love-hate relationship of Claude and Ray as they spend 65 years bickering and looking for a way to escape. Written by <>

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Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and a shooting | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

16 April 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Até que a Fuga os Separe  »

Box Office


$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$20,414,775 (USA) (16 April 1999)


£1,266,689 (UK) (17 September 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Rayford (Eddie Murphy) is getting beat up in a fight, he says: "I know a bitch named Della who hits harder than you." This is a reference to Harlem Nights (1989), in which Murphy's character is beat up in a fight with a madame played by Della Reese. See more »


When Winston Hancock cuts Sheriff Pike's face, the cut goes from his ear towards his mouth. Later, when the sheriff meets Ray and Claude, the bandage is vertical, going from below his eye to the side of his jaw. See more »


Claude Banks: [on seeing a body bag being wheeled past] Looks like Jonesy got his walking papers.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Bloopers are shown during the closing credits. See more »


Featured in HBO First Look: The Making of 'Dr. Dolittle 2' (2001) See more »


New Day
Written and Produced by Wyclef Jean & Jerry 'Wonder' Duplessis
Performed by Wyclef Jean
Wyclef Jean appears courtesy of Ruffhouse/Columbia Records
Kenny G appears courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Finally, an Eddie Murphy worth watching!
12 July 1999 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

I found this film funny and inventive. Two adjectives that I have not been able to use for an Eddie Murphy film for a long time.

With a story line as good as this one, it was up to Eddie to see how he could develop it. If this film had a flaw, I think this was it. I believe had Mr Murphy decided to look really deeply into the role of Rayford Gibson, it could have been a possible "Oscar" role for him.

There are no doubts regarding Eddie Murphy's acting ability, yet sometimes I think he sacrifices the script and his role for a cheap laugh when it's not really necessary. It is possible that he is caught up in his own 'identity creation' of "Eddie Murphy: Comedy first, drama...maybe not!"

That said, Eddie Murphy and his worthy partner, Martin Lawrence successfully produce a comedy worth watching. I just hope that Eddie Murphy continues in this same vein. Please no more films like Beverly Hills Flop 3 and Holy Man!

Finally, a general point, which needs to be addressed, is that it is so strange how comedy films with far more substance, fail to do well financially. Moreover, there are films which fall short in quality, that can generate $100M+ for substandard, regurgitated, "comedy". "Life" which is struggling to reach the $65M mark falls into the former category. "Austin Powers: The Spy who Shagged Me" and "Big Daddy" definitely fall in the latter. The mind boggles!

Anyway, for those who have not seen "Life", go and see, you won't regret watching it.

42 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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