January 08, 2007 12:00 PM

>Eddie Murphy Regains His Mojo

Murphy, 45, is back with a vengeance. After years of ambling through forgettable family films (excepting 1999’s Bowfinger and the Shrek duo), in Dreamgirls he comes alive as James “Thunder” Early. To portray this hip-shaking soul singer, Murphy—now a Golden Globe nominee—draws on the ferocious energy familiar from his comic heyday but layers on a desperate, sorrowful edge. Bravo.

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