Dreamgirls Reviews

Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
May 13, 2009
It compares to that other "legitimate" musical smash of recent vintage, Chicago. It just doesn't have the life or fun of Chicago.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
February 3, 2007
The opening rump-shaking immediately sets the tone: Dreamgirls pulses with sheer exuberance. When was the last time a musical, much less a huge Hollywood production, felt this alive?
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
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David Jenkins
Time Out
January 25, 2007
It reserves singing and dancing for the stage until Jamie Foxx just randomly bursts into verse while strolling down the street. Dreamgirls wants to be Effie but ends up as Deena: thin, smooth, unburdened by a personality.
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Dana Stevens
Slate
January 3, 2007
Watching Dreamgirls on the big screen feels like an event somehow. Maybe it's the conviction and passion that the actors bring to their roles.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
January 3, 2007
Dreamgirls is the entire musical package, a triumph of old school on-screen glamour, and we wouldn't want it any other way.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Albert Williams
Chicago Reader
January 3, 2007
Elegiac, filthy-minded, unsparing, and as deeply moving as you'd expect from any de facto story of Peter O'Toole's life.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
December 30, 2006
It's a product that promises magic, and yet gives us nothing to live on.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
December 29, 2006
...An uneven success.
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Scott Foundas
Village Voice
December 29, 2006
With a star turn like [Jennifer Hudson's] at its center, a movie doesn't need too much more, but Dreamgirls has plenty to go around.
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 29, 2006
Dreamgirls wraps you up in its music, like a velvet coat of sound, and when it's over you feel warmed, happy and thoroughly entertained.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 29, 2006
Flaws and all, Dreamgirls is certainly a lot more watchable than other recent adaptations of Broadway musicals like Rent, The Producers and The Phantom of the Opera.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 29, 2006
This glitzy, infectious and unusually heartfelt musical doesn't always hang together as a satisfying narrative -- too many characters compete for too little screen time -- but its pleasures are numerous enough to override its flaws.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
December 29, 2006
Joy is defined as Dreamgirls, an ecstatic dose of pure top-down Motown tight-harmony effervescence that takes a hit Broadway musical about a Chicago girl group and turns it, miraculously, into a Hollywood delight.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
December 29, 2006
It's fun. It's candy. With colorful costumes, often effervescent tunes (the original production's Henry Krieger wrote four new ones), it's a champagne cocktail.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lawson Taitte
Dallas Morning News
December 29, 2006
Dreamgirls sizzles most of the time, giving us a slightly Broadway-ized look at an important part of the history of American pop music.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
December 29, 2006
Any director hoping to capture racism, catfights, and urban decay with music this square, and filmmaking this haphazard, is a fool.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
December 29, 2006
Dreamgirls is like a really fabulous party. The next morning, you don't remember anything special that happened, but you know you had a blast.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 28, 2006
Bill Condon's screen adaptation of the 1981 Broadway sensation is, if possible, as dazzling and energizing as its source.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 28, 2006
If what you value in a movie musical is visual extravagance and a show-stopping performance or two, Dreamgirls will leave you with a feeling of absurd, unreasoning happiness.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
December 26, 2006
How many of us have a chance to visit Broadway and see an A-quality show? That's the experience with Dreamgirls, and there's something to be said for it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
December 22, 2006
Dreamgirls may come up short in terms of originality and killer songs, but it wears its big, drippy camp heart on its sleeve.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
December 22, 2006
This is the first important movie musical in decades about African-Americans and the first to deal with the revolution in civil rights and the mainstream success of black pop music.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
December 22, 2006
Dreamgirls is a knockout, no two ways about it, a sizzling adaptation of the successful Broadway musical that is bound to leave audiences howling with pleasure.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
December 22, 2006
Condon has gotten terrific performances from almost everyone here. Knowles lives up to the promise she's shown in her earlier big-screen warm-ups. And Hudson proves to be as good in her dramatic scenes as she is in the musical ones.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
December 22, 2006
Full of strong performances and outsize musical energy, Dreamgirls has all the makings of a big-time holiday hit, and it deserves to become one.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times
December 22, 2006
As much as I appreciated the performances from the terrifically talented cast -- as much as I liked Dreamgirls -- I didn't love it. Maybe it was just a little too slick and over the top for its own good.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 21, 2006
An "American Idol" rejectee with no prior screen experience, [Jennifer Hudson's] presence in this film is itself the stuff that musical dreams are made of.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 21, 2006
Condon knew what he wanted, and got it: a smooth, shiny showbiz fable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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David Denby
New Yorker
December 18, 2006
Fulfills the ecstatic promise inherent in all musicals -- that life can be dissolved into song and dance -- but it does so without relinquishing the toughest estimate of how money and power work in the real world that song and dance leave behind.
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
December 17, 2006
[Director] Condon paints with such broad, familiar strokes that the film feels generic; in setting out to tell everyone's story, Condon ends up telling no one's.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 15, 2006
I've been going to the movies a long time. This is the first time I ever saw people sit during the closing credits, just so they could cheer when a performer's name came up.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 15, 2006
Film director Bill Condon keeps that story on track, while cramming the screen with wonderful visual touches.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 14, 2006
Jennifer Hudson is the heart and soul of Dreamgirls. When she's on the screen, the movie shines. When she's not, the whole endeavor suffers.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 14, 2006
When Jennifer Hudson sings, all's right with the world.
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 14, 2006
Audiences who go to Dreamgirls will have a good time, but theyll be going for old times sake rather than to encounter anything vital or new.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
December 14, 2006
[Dreamgirls proves] again that transforming a hit Broadway musical into an equally spectacular movie is one of the most confounding tricks in show business.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
December 14, 2006
The corn may be as high as Beyoncé Knowles' gravity-defying wigs, but you'll be so carried away by the penny-arcade clamor of light, rhythm and song, you really won't care.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
December 14, 2006
With a star turn like that at its center, a movie doesn't need too much more, but Dreamgirls has plenty to go around. Its sense of showmanship is overflowing.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
December 13, 2006
Dreamgirls is the rare movie musical with real rapture in it.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
December 13, 2006
I have to admit that the film's spectacular performances and production values will blow you away much of the time -- and for that, Mr. Condon and his many colleagues deserve to be commended.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
December 13, 2006
Flashy, flamboyant and ferocious, Dreamgirls is just plain socko!
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 11, 2006
Dreamgirls is a wonderful entertainment: a musical that, while not skimping on the music, delivers a multi-layered storyline featuring complex characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
December 11, 2006
This is Hudson's movie all the way.
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TIME Magazine
December 11, 2006
It's great to see a movie musical with a smart sense of the genre.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 11, 2006
There's so much excitement around the opening of Dreamgirls... that I know I'm going to bring down the room by saying I think it's just okay. Well, Jennifer Hudson is more than okay.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
December 11, 2006
My guess is that fans of the musical will love it. But it's a little short on heart and soul, and it is deeply conventional.
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
December 6, 2006
When she sings 'And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going' -- one of the most heartfelt cries of pain ever written for a musical -- Hudson inscribes her name on an Oscar.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
David Ansen
Newsweek
December 4, 2006
The movie belongs to Hudson as the proud, self-destructive Effie. When she's center stage, Dreamgirls transports you to movie musical heaven.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
December 1, 2006
A musical with energy and talent to burn but missing its heart.
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David Rooney
Variety
December 1, 2006
Stays true to the source material while standing on its own as a fully reimagined movie.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 23, 2006
This baby dazzles like nothing else anywhere.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4