The rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom.

  • Released: 2021-08-12
  • Runtime: 145 minutes
  • Genre: Drama, History, Music
  • Stars: Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Mary J. Blige, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Tate Donovan, Skye Dakota Turner, Heather Headley, Leroy McClain, Lodric D. Collins, Brenda Nicole Moorer, Brandon Gilpin, Tangela Large, Albert Jones, Myk Watford, Gilbert Glenn Brown
  • Director: Liesl Tommy
  • bwmcg - 29 December 2023
    You'd better THINK!
    If Aretha Franklin's life had been as boring as this film she'd never have made it. Also the fact that she was raped was more or less glossed over. One minute she was 10 years old, the next she's in her twenties(?) with 2 sons. The family, her father being a preacher, didn't make any comment about these events. I can fairly assume that this was not the true reaction when she disclosed her first pregnancy at 12 years old.

    By the end of this flawed biopic I was even getting fed up with Aretha's fabulous music which I've loved since the 60s.

    The last hour was great for anyone suffering from insomnia.
  • Marshall84 - 30 March 2023
    Pretty good.
    Respect I don't think lived up to the title. It pretty much showed bits and parts of Aretha's story but not her whole story. The acting was good. The music was good. And you got a sense of how her career took off. The only downside is that they closed it midway through. And people who want to know what happened to Aretha as she got older. The ending provides details but that's about it. Otherwise it can be worth your time to check it out or not. And Forrest Whitiker was good too. I gave Respect a 7 out of 7. Not as good as Ray but not too shabby either. Watch Muscle Shoals for the real story..
  • abeachedwhale - 9 October 2022
    Music parts sound like TV show "The Voice", autotune glory and all
    Most everyone loves Aretha Franklins music, so clearly making a profit off of a movie about her live makes sense. On paper in the developing stages of it, seems like it might be pretty good. Got a Female Director with stage experience in Liesl Tommy. The DP for the very successful Game of Thrones (Kramer Morgenthau) might help in success too. Screenplay buy Tracey Scott Wilson (Emmy award winning writer for 'The Americans'). But..... it just wasn't good.

    If everything is to feel authentic, the music should feel that way too. But it felt and sounded more like I was watching "the Voice" not because Jennifer had been on the voice but there was a thin lifeless focus on singing, correctly. Very few blue notes that are so much a part of the feel. It's called soul for more than just the pentatonic 16th note licks. Scenes were universally a bit awkward (unintentionally).

    One thing I did like about this nearly musical biopic was the jamming in the studio had a pretty legit organic feel to it. Mixing was ultra modern though. Props to Kris Bowers for no doubt helping with that.

    Would I recommend movie this to anyone? ......Nah. Too long.
  • winedivanyc - 23 June 2022
    Formulaic and too long
    I wanted to like this film because I'm a huge fan of the Queen of Soul but, ironically it felt like it lacked soul. The movie didn't show her singing much until she starts to produce hits, which is about halfway into the movie, so I didn't get a sense of how Aretha built her craft. One of the best moments was when she created her song "I Never Loved a Man" but the scene ended too short and moments like those felt few and far between. The rest was the same story we've seen before - troubled childhood, rise to fame, downfall, redemption.

    I gave it five stars only because it was worth seeing Jennifer Hudson. Although nobody can replicate Aretha, Hudson came as close as anyone could have.
  • ezs121 - 23 May 2022
    Not as good as the History Channels version
    Confusing!! Did her father really slap her and pull a gun on her boyfriend? Did Dinah Washington (Mary J.), really pull that temper tantrum in that nightclub? I love Jennifer and Forrest, but the story is WAY to choppy. The writing on the History channel was way better, and Cynthia Erivo was just as awesome. There was no disrespect to Aretha and her legacy! Its just that I was obviously very spoiled by the effectiveness of the History Channel version.