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Whitney

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom, USA

2018

Rated R • 2h 0m

Director Kevin Macdonald

Starring Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown, Cissy Houston, Clive Davis

Genre Documentary, Music

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Filmmaker Kevin Macdonald examines the life and career of singer Whitney Houston. Features never-before-seen archival footage, exclusive recordings, rare performances and interviews with the people who knew her best.

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WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

60

The Guardian by

It’s a film principally and poignantly focused on the absence of Whitney, an aching void felt as much in life as in death. Many of us missed Whitney even before she left; this imperfect documentary preys calmly and effectively on that longing.
75

Washington Post by Ann Hornaday

Although Whitney follows a familiar structure, Macdonald infuses it with artful editorial choices, marking the chapters of Houston’s life with brief but vivid montages of the times in which she lived.
83

The A.V. Club by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

Whitney herself remains a figure of some mystery, her rise and fall refracting the hopes and anxieties of the people around her, with a tragic echo in the death of her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, in 2015.
83

The Playlist by Jordan Ruimy

Stripping the “I Will Always Love You,” singer away from sensationalist tabloid dirt that marred her life, MacDonald’s thoughtfulness is arguably its standout element. The finesse with which he crafts his doc makes for, quite simply, an absorbing and moving portrayal of an unforgettable heartrending figure.
88

The Seattle Times by Moira Macdonald

It’s hard to watch young Whitney, knowing what lies ahead, but it seems important to do as the film does: take a moment, and just listen to her sing.
70

Screen International by Tim Grierson

Whitney is strongest when it connects Houston to the larger history of Black America, illustrating how this glamorous performer grew up in poverty and never entirely escaped the obligation of helping to pull up her underprivileged family members.
60

The Telegraph by Tim Robey

The film is oddly unmoving as a memorial, but as with Amy Winehouse, it inspires a collective mea culpa for the feeding frenzy of public judgement that only turned to sympathy when it was far too late.

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