Box art for Sparkle (2012)

Sparkle (2012)


Sparkle is a timeless story of the bonds of family, the trials of success and the power of music.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 14
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
2 out of 5

Whitney Houston's final film has some mature elements.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sparkle is a remake of a '70s melodrama about the many travails that face those who seek fame and fortune in the music industry. Starring late pop superstar Whitney Houston (in her final film) and former American Idol champion Jordin Sparks, the period showbiz drama will appeal to both young Idol and older Houston fans. Like most showbiz industry tales, Sparkle has a fair amount of substance use (alcohol and drugs) and sexuality (passionate foreplay, revealing outfits, and discussion of adultery, premarital sex, and teen pregnancy). Even more unsettling is the portrayal of an abusive marriage that shows a couple hitting and hurting each other (the wife-beater is eventually killed in self defense). Despite the more intense elements, though, Sparkle is ultimately inspiring for young artists who want to reach for the stars.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about Sparkle's messages about the entertainment industry. How does a glimpse of fame and fortune change characters? Why does Sparkle respond differently to the prospect of the music industry than her older sister does?
  • How is domestic abuse portrayed here? Does the fact that a comedian plays the violent husband take away from the severity of the subject?
  • Emma is a strict mom, but she has her rules for a reason. How does her emphasis on family, faith, and education reach each of her girls differently? Do you think parents are stern for good reasons?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 20
    see all Sparkle (2012) reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: A bright and breezy musical that puts a breath of spring in this clammy late-summer season.

- Alonso Duralde, TheWrap, Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fresh: "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, Friday, August 17, 2012

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

- Bruce Diones, New Yorker, Monday, August 27, 2012

Audience Reviews

3 stars

I liked the music, costumes and plot. I don't think Jordin Sparks is that great of an actress to lead a movie all by herself though. She's not terrible by any means, by she needs improving. The best actress was probably Whitney Houston. I also felt that they rushed some of it. I mean we never really saw a relationship form between Sister and Satin. All of sudden, they were just like "He we're getting married". And we never saw much of a relationship form between Sparkle and Stix either. Overall, the film wasn't bad but could have been a lot better. Ended up feeling like a budget Dreamgirls.

- mrbicklethepickle, Tuesday, March 12, 2013

3 stars

I thought the actress who played Sister walked away with this movie (Carmen Ejogo). I thought Jordin was supposed to be the star in this, her debut movie. I love her voice; a beautiful girl, but one who should take acting lessons before she makes another movie. Whitney was just so...sad. I was sorry to see her like this. The music was pretty good, as well as the male actors. Dreamgirls was better, but this film made a good effort...

- itsjustme2004, Monday, May 20, 2013

5 stars

i just loved it from start to finish it's a wonderful remake of the original though i haven't see it yet i'd still want to see the original anyway because it was just that good rest in peace Whitney Houston

- antwanjjones, Friday, May 10, 2013