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Dreamgirls Reviews

Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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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 Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 4/5

May 13, 2009
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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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 Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 4/6

February 3, 2007
David Jenkins
Time Out
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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.

Full Review Source: Time Out

January 25, 2007
Dana Stevens
Slate
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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.

Full Review Source: Slate

January 3, 2007
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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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 Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

January 3, 2007
Albert Williams
Chicago Reader
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Elegiac, filthy-minded, unsparing, and as deeply moving as you'd expect from any de facto story of Peter O'Toole's life.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

January 3, 2007
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
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It's a product that promises magic, and yet gives us nothing to live on.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

December 30, 2006
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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...An uneven success.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

December 29, 2006
Scott Foundas
Village Voice
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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.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

December 29, 2006
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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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 Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 29, 2006
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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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

December 29, 2006
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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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 Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

December 29, 2006
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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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 Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 4/4

December 29, 2006
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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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 Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3/4

December 29, 2006
Lawson Taitte
Dallas Morning News
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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 Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B

December 29, 2006
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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Any director hoping to capture racism, catfights, and urban decay with music this square, and filmmaking this haphazard, is a fool.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2/4

December 29, 2006
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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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 Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: B+

December 29, 2006
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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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

December 28, 2006
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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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

December 28, 2006
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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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 Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 3.5/5

December 26, 2006
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
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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 Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 22, 2006
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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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 Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 4/4

December 22, 2006
Tom Long
Detroit News
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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 Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B+

December 22, 2006
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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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 Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 3/4

December 22, 2006
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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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+

December 22, 2006
Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times
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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 Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

December 22, 2006
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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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 Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B

December 21, 2006
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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Condon knew what he wanted, and got it: a smooth, shiny showbiz fable.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

December 21, 2006
David Denby
New Yorker
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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.

December 18, 2006
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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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 Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

December 15, 2006
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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Film director Bill Condon keeps that story on track, while cramming the screen with wonderful visual touches.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 15, 2006
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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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 Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3/4

December 14, 2006
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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When Jennifer Hudson sings, all's right with the world.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

December 14, 2006
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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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

December 14, 2006
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
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[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

December 14, 2006
Jan Stuart
Newsday
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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 Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 14, 2006
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
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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.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

December 14, 2006
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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Dreamgirls is the rare movie musical with real rapture in it.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B+

December 13, 2006
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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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.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

December 13, 2006
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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Flashy, flamboyant and ferocious, Dreamgirls is just plain socko!

Full Review Source: New York Observer

December 13, 2006
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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Dreamgirls is a wonderful entertainment: a musical that, while not skimping on the music, delivers a multi-layered storyline featuring complex characters.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 11, 2006
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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This is Hudson's movie all the way.

December 11, 2006

TIME Magazine
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It's great to see a movie musical with a smart sense of the genre.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

December 11, 2006
David Edelstein
New York Magazine
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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.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine

December 11, 2006
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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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.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

December 11, 2006
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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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 Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 4/4

December 6, 2006
David Ansen
Newsweek
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The movie belongs to Hudson as the proud, self-destructive Effie. When she's center stage, Dreamgirls transports you to movie musical heaven.

December 4, 2006
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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A musical with energy and talent to burn but missing its heart.

December 1, 2006
David Rooney
Variety
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Stays true to the source material while standing on its own as a fully reimagined movie.

Full Review Source: Variety

December 1, 2006
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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This baby dazzles like nothing else anywhere.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 23, 2006
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