Sparkle Reviews

  • Houston's performance proves that this could have been the first step not merely in a comeback but in a major re-invention. She had the instincts of a superb character actress.

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • If the film is a sudsy show-business Cinderella story in which Emma's youngest daughter, Sparkle (Jordin Sparks), ascends to glory, Houston's presence makes it a cautionary tale.

    Stephen Holden — New York Times

  • The melodramatic story is familiar, though the talented cast makes the most of rather tired material.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • "Sparkle" trafficks in the same gorgeous Motown style -- sonic and visual -- that made the original film, and "Dreamgirls" after it, such delectable fun.

    Ann Hornaday — Washington Post

  • It's a better movie than what's inspired it, but that fails to explain much. It's like preferring the line at the concession stand to the one for the bathroom.

    Wesley Morris — Boston Globe

  • The forebear's underwritten melodrama has been supplanted by Tyler Perry-like soap operatics and much jawing about the Lord, riots in the Motor City, marriage proposals, and maternal heartbreak and disapproval.

    Melissa Anderson — Village Voice

  • A strong cast, empathetic direction and memorable soundtrack help create a movie that does everyone proud.

    Elizabeth Weitzman — New York Daily News

  • ...the movie is an unholy mess of awkward staging, uneven pacing, and contrived 'big scenes'...

    Glenn Kenny — MSN Movies

  • Noteworthy only for featuring Whitney Houston's last screen appearance.

    Bruce Diones — New Yorker

  • "Sparkle" isn't blindingly original but it delivers solid entertainment, and despite the cliches I was never for a moment bored.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • You know what? It works.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • Where the original Sparkle was a ghetto melodrama with equal parts mob and music, the Akils have refashioned it into a saga of family rupture and reconciliation.

    Carrie Rickey — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • As the insecure, innocent ingenue, Sparks, 22, seems a bit tentative at first. But like her character, she gains her footing.

    Jon Bream — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • It's nice that "Sparkle" honors the memory of Motown's heyday; if only it could have lived up to those standards.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • "Sparkle" is pure melodrama, but it's a high-powered, well-acted, entertaining melodrama. You may not always believe it, but you won't be bored.

    Randy Cordova — Arizona Republic

  • Sparkle deals in such well-worn rise-and-fall music-bio tropes that it's hard to blame it for simply coasting on narrative shorthand at times. But the lackadaisical storytelling can inch toward outright laziness.

    Andrew Barker — Variety

  • Often seems like a flat, straightforward Supremes biopic in its adherence to seemingly pointless scenes and exposition.

    Sara Stewart — New York Post

  • Tika Sumpter [is] the best actress of the three ...

    Linda Barnard — Toronto Star

  • Generally improves on the source material as much as possible while still succumbing to some of the same hoary showbiz beats.

    William Goss —

  • Anyone who has seen Dream Girls, What's Love Got To Do With It? or even The Doors will find themselves in familiar (if inferior) territory here ...

    Courtney Shea — Globe and Mail

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