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      TV-MA 2015 2h 0m Drama Biography Music List
      91% Tomatometer 32 Reviews 68% Audience Score 500+ Ratings Blues singer Bessie Smith (Queen Latifah) rises to fame in the 1920s to become a musical legend. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Consensus

      Strong performances, led by Queen Latifah, overpower a middling script in the entertaining and informative Bessie.

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (32) Critics Reviews
      Gabrielle Rivera Autostraddle Queen Latifah ever so capably maneuvers Bessie from any sort of static strong-Black-woman archetype and weaves a palpable vulnerability, an ache for love, into her portrayal and it's glorious. Aug 12, 2021 Full Review Neil Genzlinger New York Times Bessie shows us an assortment of moments from that life but doesn't really make us feel it, despite Queen Latifah's best efforts. Dec 3, 2015 Full Review Ed Bark Uncle Barky It fleshes out Bessie Smith to a degree but certainly not in full measure. Latifah and Rainey can sure sing out, though. It's a pleasure to watch and hear them wail in a film that otherwise doesn't quite cut it. Rated: B- Dec 3, 2015 Full Review Michael Cuby them. Bessie is a biopic worthy of its subject. Sep 26, 2022 Full Review Terry Staunton Radio Times This gritty biography... celebrates the singer's extraordinary talent and confronts the prejudices of the era that stood in her way. Rated: 3/5 Nov 9, 2021 Full Review Jen Colletta Philadelphia Gay News It's an unforgettable journey. May 26, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (46) audience reviews
      Alex Z Ik was zeer onder de indruk van Bessie haar voeten. Haar teennagels waren mooi glanzend afgewerkt met een wit randje. Het was alleen een beetje aan prijzige kant voor wat je krijgt ( 3 foto's ) vandaar 4 uit de 5 sterren. Maar over de kwaliteit valt niet te klagen! Zeker een aanradar! Rated 4 out of 5 stars 10/19/23 Full Review Audience Member The movie had a great mix of fun and soul searching moments that will continually raw you in. The imagery and music was captivating. The movie also shinned light struggles of mental health, gender and racial bias. Bessie is encouraging and relateable as she experiences heart break and dissapointment while chasing her dreams. I loved Queen in this movie but Monique was also a star. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/14/23 Full Review Audience Member Absolutely fantastic! Some plot points felt a tad rushed and so a bit disjointed, but overall the film was strong in it's, script, visual choices and acting. As always Rees and Latifa are always making powerful choices that draw the audience into the emotions of the story. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review tom m Okay. The story seems somewhat common … rise, fall, recovery. It was interesting to watch this after watching "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" since Ma Rainey played a supporting role in this story. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Queen Latifa is an untapped genius. Her charisma is 100%. This is a beautiful movie. The acting, cinematography, editing are all spot on. I was mesmerized! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Audience Member She was no church choir girl, but a foul mouthed licentious drunk. Every song she wrote sounded just like the last one. It was the musicians that made the songs sound better. This movie is filled with hard to like characters including Bessie. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/05/23 Full Review Read all reviews

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Blues singer Bessie Smith (Queen Latifah) rises to fame in the 1920s to become a musical legend.
      Dee Rees
      Ron Schmidt
      Dee Rees, Christopher Cleveland, Bettina Gilois
      Production Co
      HBO Films
      Drama, Biography, Music
      Original Language
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Nov 20, 2016
      2h 0m
      Most Popular at Home Now