(PG-13) ★★★☆☆

Already known as Whitney Houston’s swan song, this remake of the original actually works. Sparkle (Jordin Sparks) is one-third of a singing sister act who writes her own material and has to hide it from her God-fearing mother (Houston). The mother, Emma, is a heartbroken vocalist, who chased her dreams at a young age but ran into bad luck and worse men. With deft direction and pleasantly restrained dramatics, as well as the performances, the film does its source material proud.

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