Critics Consensus

Dreamgirls' simple characters and plot hardly detract from the movie's real feats: the electrifying performances and the dazzling musical numbers.



Reviews Counted: 206

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Average Rating: 3.4/5

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Movie Info

Director Bill Condon brings Tom Eyen's Tony award-winning Broadway musical to the big screen in a tale of dreams, stardom, and the high cost of success in the cutthroat recording industry. The time is the 1960s, and singers Effie (Jennifer Hudson), Lorrell (Anika Noni Rose), and Deena (Beyoncé Knowles) are about to find out just what it's like to have their wildest dreams come true. Discovered at a local talent show by ambitious manager Curtis Taylor Jr. (Jamie Foxx), the trio known as "the Dreamettes" is soon offered the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of opening for popular singer James "Thunder" Early (Eddie Murphy). Subsequently molded into an unstoppable hit machine by Taylor and propelled into the spotlight as "the Dreams," the girls quickly find their bid for the big time taking priority over personal friendship as Taylor edges out the ultra-talented Effie so that the more beautiful Deena can become the face of the group. Now, as the crossover act continues to dominate the airwaves, the small-town girls with big-city dreams slowly begin to realize that the true cost of fame may be higher than any of them ever anticipated. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Jamie Foxx
as Curtis Taylor Jr.
Beyoncé Knowles
as Deena Jones
Eddie Murphy
as James `Thunder' Early
Danny Glover
as Marty Madison
Jennifer Hudson
as Effie White
Anika Noni Rose
as Lorrell Robinson
Keith Robinson
as Clarence Conrad White
Sharon Leal
as Michelle Morris
Loretta Devine
as Jazz Singer
Michael-Leon Wooley
as Tiny Joe Dixon
John Lithgow
as Jerry Harris
John Krasinski
as Sam Walsh
Ken Page
as Max Washington
Alexander Folk
as Ronald White
Esther Scott
as Aunt Ethel
Jordan Wright
as Teddy Campbell
Dawnn Lewis
as Melba Early
Jaleel White
as Talent Booker
Jordan Belfi
as Adam Brooks
Gilbert Glenn Brown
as Man with Gun
Yvette Nicole Brown
as Curtis' Secretary
Laura Bell Bundy
as Sweetheart
E.J. Callahan
as Older White Man
Luna Rocio Cantale
as Las Vegas Patron
Stephanie Owens
as Tania Williams
Thomas Crawford
as TV Director
Cleo King
as Janice
Jocko Sims
as Elvis Kelly
Daren A. Herbert
as Jimmy's Piano Player
Ivar Brogger
as David Bennett
Sybyl Walker
as Charlene
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News & Interviews for Dreamgirls

Critic Reviews for Dreamgirls

All Critics (206) | Top Critics (53)

The energy is so high in sequences like this -- and there are lots of them -- that it almost doesn't matter that we've seen this story before, in Ray and other film biographies about the "heartbreak" of musical stardom.

Jul 6, 2010 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It compares to that other "legitimate" musical smash of recent vintage, Chicago. It just doesn't have the life or fun of Chicago.

May 13, 2009 | Rating: 4/5

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?

Feb 3, 2007 | Rating: 4/6 | Full Review…

There is no single person or story to centre the drama around, and Murphy's performance, though widely liked and indeed now Oscar-nominated, is for my money flatly written with very little of the high comedy octane of which we know he is capable.

Feb 3, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

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.

Jan 25, 2007 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

[Condon] is one of those rare directors who can make theatricality work on film. Rather than stifling it, he embraces it, and the result is sheer exhilaration.

Jan 20, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dreamgirls


A colorful, lively, well-executed musical-film, Dreamgirls is a must-see spectacle. Jennifer Hudson steals the show with powerhouse vocals and a vulnerable debut performance. The film never lags, always entertains, and features beautiful music. It is an ultimately uplifting experience.

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


The definitive musical of the rise to fame and the fall from grace. Dazzling, engaging and wonderfully acted, it leaves me bewildered that ''Dreamgirls'' didn't get a Best Picture nomination in 2007.

Liam Gadd
Liam Gadd

Super Reviewer

Bill Condon directs an incredible cast in the movie version of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls. Let me say this before I say anything else: I was so stunned by the performances and musical numbers in this film that I literally had to tell myself to close my mouth. Jennifer Hudson got an Oscar for her role as Effie White, and did she ever deserve it. Beyonce was not far behind, but I have to say I prefer her singing songs like the Oscar nominated song "Listen" than "Run the World". This film also proves that Eddie Murphy can act. He just needs proper direction, and the right role. He was really great the role as James Early which got him an Oscar nomination. Overall, Dreamgirls features electrifying performances from the whole cast especially from Jennifer Hudson, and incredible musical number that sent shivers down my spine. Even though I felt that the ending was rushed a little, it was very moving and satisfying.

Raymond Wieser
Raymond Wieser

Super Reviewer

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