Joyful Noise

(PG-13) ★★☆☆☆

This serviceable musical contraption takes place in a hard-hit Georgia town, where the multiracial members of the Divinity Church Choir take their act to the competition stage. Vi (Queen Latifah) takes over the choir, and the direction of her standout daughter (Keke Palmer), whom the rebellious grandson (Jeremy Jordan) of the widow G.G. (Dolly Parton) really likes. The movie’s all right, if you can take its rampant artificiality. The cast is adequate in dealing with adequate material, at best, but the noise is more dutiful than joyous.

Suggested Next Read

Smokey Robinson


Smokey Robinson

By Jarret Keene

Always a poet, a punner, a master of metaphors and clever references, the Motown legend took the stage inside a giant Baby Boomer-stuffed ballroom and opened with “Going to a Go-Go.” Second song? “I Second That Emotion.” At 71, he dances like a fool, cracks jokes and tells stories about the salad days—when he used to compose tunes for another act (the Temptations) in his head while driving his own touring band the Miracles cross-country. Robinson told of when he attended a record-company Christmas party so Stevie Wonder could hand him a tape of music, asking Robinson to write lyrics.