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Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer, Jeremy Jordan#58128, Dexter Darden ... see more see more... , Courtney B. Vance , Jesse L. Martin , Kirk Franklin , Angela Grovey , Andy Karl , Dequina Moore , Kris Kristofferson , Paul Woolfolk , Francis Jue , Roy Huang , Judd Derek Lormand , Karen Peck and New River , Ivan Kelley Jr. , David Dwyer , Stevie Ray Dallimore , Kevin Bulla , Ziah Colón , Hajji Golightly , Rana Kirkland , Bruce Williamson , Maurice Johnson , Jeremy Jordan (IV) , Chloe Bailey , Steve Warren

The small town of Pacashau, Georgia, has fallen on hard times, but the people are counting on the Divinity Church Choir to lift their spirits by winning the National Joyful Noise Competition. The choi... read more read more...r has always known how to sing in harmony, but the discord between its two leading ladies now threatens to tear them apart. Their newly appointed director, Vi Rose Hill (Latifah), stubbornly wants to stick with their tried-and-true traditional style, while the fiery G.G. Sparrow (Parton) thinks tried-and-true translates to tired-and-old. Shaking things up even more is the arrival of G.G.'s rebellious grandson, Randy (Jeremy Jordan). Randy has an ear for music, but he also has an eye for Vi Rose's beautiful and talented daughter, Olivia (Keke Palmer), and the sparks between the two teenagers are causing even more heat between G.G. and Vi Rose. -- (C) Official Site

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66% liked it

28,298 ratings


33% liked it

120 critics

PG-13, 1 hr. 58 min.

Directed by: Todd Graff

Release Date: January 13, 2012

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DVD Release Date: May 1, 2012

Stats: 1,483 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (1,483)

  • November 27, 2012
    "Joyful Noise was indeed joyful. I liked it. I thought it had an essence of Glee and Sister Act going for it. The movie had a lot of emotions going on in it. You had mourning, joy, silliness, humor, and a lot of the times, heartfelt scenes. I thought everyone did a great job. I c... read moreouldn't believe the Queen put Ms. Dolly in a headlock. That was pretty funny. It's something to watch with the kids. I enjoyed the singing and the ribbing Dolly and the Queen gave each other. I would probably see this again."
  • October 14, 2012
    Corny, sappy and predictable, but I expected that. Big payoff at the end, which I expected and enjoyed. The rest of the movie was average at best. Dolly Parton's face is quite comical....
  • July 21, 2012
    I'd like to say the premise is something new, but I feel I've somehow seen it before. Not much about it seems original, and maybe that's because it's a bit of a concert behind-the-scenes movie, with gospel music. It's a loose analogy, I'm aware, but you could easily call it This ... read moreIs Gospel Tap. Of course, the religion-oriented twist would allow the story only mild ridicule and would be more targeted at those who much prefer visiting churches than rock concerts. G.G. Sparrow (Dolly Parton) is a sassy, sprightly, southern woman, the grandmother of a teenager named Randy (Jeremy Jordan). At church, she participates in a competitive choir and rivals massively with the director, Vi Rose Hill (Queen Latifah), the underappreciated mother of perky teen Olivia (Keke Palmer)-also a participant in her mother's choir-and Asperger's-suffering Walter (Dexter Darden)-who blames his disability on God and thus refuses to listen to gospel music or participate in church. During that competition, Olivia finds herself hopelessly falling in love with Randy, as he befriends Walter and teaches him the piano.

    reeeaaad iiiit aaaall aaaat
  • fb100000145236770
    June 6, 2012
    Who would have ever said "man I wish Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah made a movie together"? Well, someone did and they did. This is a dramedy/musical. Story of a church choice trying to get their act together after a death in their church, while trying to win a choir competiti... read moreon. Parton and Larifah are obviously opposites and their characters reflect their real life persona's and they clash. While they glass Parton's grandson and Latifah's son start a romance, adding a good dynamic to the story. However the movie is filled with chiche's, a mix of good and odd musical choices, and cheesy performances. Definitely a chick flick, guys skip this one.
  • May 19, 2012
    Formulaic entertainment that suffers whenever Queen Latifah or Dolly Parton is off the screen. They are both in fine voice although it's a horror show what Dolly has done to her face. Enjoyable but forgettable and minor.
  • January 23, 2012
    God loves bad movies. Kris Kristofferson, who briefly co-stars in this movie, had the right idea of dying within the first minute of "Joyful Noise".

    Witten and directed with kid-gloves by Todd Graff (Bandslam) and starring what turned out to be one of the most annoying femal... read moree duos in recent movie history in Queen Latifah (Chicago) and Dolly Parton (Nine to Five, Steel Magnolias), "Joyful Noise" is a film where I could attempt to explain how truly bad the acting was, or how hardly-there the script was or how corny and ill-advised this entire concept was to begin with, but rather than tell you (right away) I will show you, by giving you a sample line of dialogue (verbatim) used during the film, that was so corny, if doesn't make you want to steer clear of "Joyful Noise", there is not much more I (as a film critic) can do for you.
    The Set-up: So Dolly Parton plays this woman in a gospel choir named G. G. Sparrow who doesn't really like Queen Latifah's angry black woman character by the name of Vi Rose Hill. Suffice to say, they fight a lot. During one of their countless fights Vi Rose and G.G. embark on this cringe inducing back and forth:

    "G.G. Sparrow: Well, I am who I am.

    Vi Rose: Well, maybe you were...five procedures ago!

    G.G. Sparrow: Who cares if I've have a few little nips and tucks? God didn't make plastic surgeons so they could starve!"

    And with dialogue like that who needs dialogue. Ok, so I won't hold it against you if that last bit has caused you to not want to read further (or killed reading for you indefinitely). But if you wish to read on, the rest of this review will be more of the same I assure you.
    Synopsis: In a seemingly small Southern town that lives and dies not with their wavering employment rates or the fact that family owned businesses are going out of business left and right, but with how many national church choir championships they accumulate, the story follows G.G. Sparrow after the death of her husband (played by Kristofferson) and Vi Rose Hill as they jockey for position of the lead in their church choir. There is also a side story which involves Vi Rose's teenage daughter and G.G.'s hokey to the extreme nephew, in a Disney Channel-esque forbidden love story. Ok, so even though "Joyful Noise" is nothing but (harmless) fluff (or the film equivalent of a purity ring) filled with enough poorly written God-talk to give Tyler Perry a run for his money, how can anyone take the wholesome /overall "holy message" this film is attempting to put forth seriously when Parton is standing there looking like the kid from "Mask". Seriously though, with a script filled with horrible transitions, scene after scene of corny southern metaphors and inexplicably nonsensical and awkwardly unfunny running gags (one including a female member of the choir who develops an unsavory reputation after having slept with a man and the man promptly dying) everything about "Joyful Noise" (excluding the singing, which is actually quite good, aside from a few ridiculous songs) is God-awful.

    Final Thought: If you want to see small children speaking in tongues in silly and overblown fashion for the Lord, witness a Jesus is my homie rendition of Usher's hit song "Yeah" or see Dolly Parton who, with the help of some radical plastic surgery, has turned herself into a Muppet of a woman, then "Joyful Noise" is the movie you have been waiting for! And even if the only reason you want to see "Joyful Noise" is because you are a huge Dolly Parton fan, "Joyful Noise" may do nothing more than give you a woeful headache, not from the singing mind you, but because of the aforementioned asinine storyline and cringe inducting acting (excluding Latifah, who actually has a decent performance) that seems to allow this joyless film to overstay its welcome and then some. This is a Hallmark Channel movie at best, which may be the worst thing one could say about a movie.

    Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland

    Please visit my page on and leave any comments you have about this or any review. The more hits I get the better. Thank you.

    Follow me on Twitter @moviesmarkus
  • April 28, 2012
    This musical, starring Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer, Courtney B. Vance, Francis Jue, and introducing Jeremy Jordan was written and directed by Todd Graff, with gospel-infused music by Mervyn Warren. It is made for a certain type of audience and it won't be popular al... read morel around the globe. If you like religious tones and find joy in listening good singers give 100%, it is a perfect way to spend joyful afternoon. On the other hand, if you like a real story, not just carefully assorted choice of feel-good clichés, maybe you should choose something else in your nearest video store.

    There is not much to say about the plot of this movie: After the untimely death of the church choir director (Kris Kristofferson, very strong minded no-nonsense mother of two - Vi Rose Hill (Queen Latifah) takes control of the choir nurturing traditional Gospel style that their Pastor Dale (Courtney B. Vance) approves of, while the director's widow, G. G. Sparrow (Dolly Parton), the main benefactor to the church, believes she should have been given the position...

    Most of the music is very good, very entertaining numbers, and when you have stars like Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton it is not a problem enjoying it. But, even with their chemistry, they score just enough for a "fresh tomato" if you are a fan, and not enough if you are in other group. I'll quote Richard Corliss of Time magazine who wrote "the critic in me can authoritatively declare that the film is crap. The fan in me sent his shirt to the dry cleaners for tear removal." I wasn't crying but I could understand those who did.

    If you are ready for something with lots of beat in it, no high art, some folk wisdom, check it out - and have some faith before turning on the player!
  • January 15, 2012
    The film isn't bad, but it isn't great. It felt like Sister Act 2, which I thought was a much better film that this. Some scenes in the film also reminded me of the Footloose remake. It was great seeing Dolly Parton on the big screen again. I liked her in 9 to 5 and Straight Talk... read more. One of the best scenes in the film is her confrontation with Queen Latifah in the restaurant. Queen Latifah also did a great job, as did Keke Palmer. Jeremy Jordan reminded me of Chris Pine. Jesse L. Martin was great in his supporting role, but they should have given him more to do. The music is really good in the film. I could see this being adapted for Broadway.
  • January 21, 2012
    I have to admit, it has some charm and spirit, and some decently good acting, but it didn't give a whole boast and is entirely predictable and corny, it got some little joy, but it wasn't that joyful. C-
  • January 21, 2012
    The past has offered very similar films like this, and "Dream Girls" is probably as decent as they're going to get. With horrible films like the "Hairspray" remake and "Fame", I wasn't expecting much from this. The film introduces the typical main character. A young girl with a h... read moreidden talent. In this case, singing. I want to take this time to talk about the music industry. While all music has been essentially ruined by auto-tune and ridiculous lyrics, this film tries to offer up a different kind of music that requires you to actually use your voice instead of rely on Soundtrack Pro all the time. But, then again, if this kind of music isn't your taste, you won't like the film. I don't know who the film was directed towards, but I'm just going to say what I think. African-American teenagers. Come one, you know I'm right! I can't imagine an Asian liking this. I mean, I'm Asian and my taste in music is more instrumental. The film is just so cliched that all the plot points just seem staged. I guess America likes watching fresh minds achieve greatness, but really; do we actually need another singer? I mean, all music sounds the same these days anyway, so what's the point? The fact that these people call themselves, "artists" is just sickening. Art has nothing to do with auto-tune and sound software and talking along with a beat. Art is beyond all that, and if conveyed correctly, you can make something good and enthralling. But this? This is just a bunch of shlock. The characters are stale, the film is butchered with corny dialogue, and is full of music-industry stereotypes. "I'm gonna give this kid her big shot" kind of thing. Overall, a bad movie.

Critic Reviews

Guy Lodge
June 27, 2012
Guy Lodge, Time Out

[A] mostly sweet-natured rehash of 'Sister Act 2' by way of 'Glee'... Full Review

Colin Covert
January 17, 2012
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Joyful Noise" is a sort of Wal-Mart movie, not exactly trendsetting but a decent enough offering for the heartland. Full Review

David Edelstein
January 15, 2012
David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture

You'll find yourself rolling your eyes, but you'll have more fun if you try to roll them in time with the rollicking numbers. Full Review

Eric D. Snider
January 15, 2012
Eric D. Snider,

Has the good fortune of being acted with enthusiasm by a very appealing cast, or else it would be completely unbearable instead of just mundane. Full Review

Richard Roeper
January 13, 2012
Richard Roeper, Richard

This movie is a cloying, over-the-top, cheesy sing-a-long that makes "Glee" seem subtle. Full Review

Glenn Kenny
January 13, 2012
Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies

[It] bears almost all the liabilities one gets from current studio product, including bloating. Full Review

Peter Travers
January 13, 2012
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Lots of talented young singers decorate the scenery, notably Jeremy Jordan who has vocal and acting chops that shine even in this bucket of Glee Goes Gospel cornpone. Full Review

Adam Graham
January 13, 2012
Adam Graham, Detroit News

It wants to be a charming, down-home good time, but it struggles to hit the right notes. Full Review

Lisa Kennedy
January 13, 2012
Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

Much worse things could happen to a movie than to have these two full-figured gals hold forth. Parton's willing and able to despense the Southernisms. Latifah's fierce when she needs to be. Full Review

Stephen Whitty
January 13, 2012
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

My, is there corn. But you'd have to be holding on very tightly to a bad mood to walk away from this meal with a frown. Full Review

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    • G.G. Sparrow: Bernie, you old son of a baptist.
    • G.G. Sparrow: Get your butt off my table, I eat there.
    • G.G. Sparrow: Well, I am who I am.
    • Vi Rose Hill: Well, maybe you were... five procedures ago!
    • G.G. Sparrow: Who cares if I've had a few little nips and tucks? God didn't make plastic surgeons so they could starve!
    • Vi Rose Hill: We are gonna go out there and we are gonna win this thing!
    • Vi Rose Hill: You better treat my snorin' like a Marvin Gaye song.

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