Whitney (2018)

# 14955 IMDb R 

Whitney (2018

taglineAll the music. All the stories. All the answers.

Director: Kevin Macdonald

Stars: Kevin Costner, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown, Bobbi Kristina Brown

Documentary, Biography, Music (2h)


Rated 7.2 after 3,865 votes, 75% postive reviews on 20-Feb-19.

1 win & 11 nominations


An in-depth look at the life and music of Whitney Houston.


Kevin Macdonald (director) Kevin Costner Whitney Houston Aretha Franklin Bobby Brown Merv Griffin Bobbi Kristina Brown

Kevin Costner (Himself), Whitney Houston (Herself (archive footage)), Aretha Franklin (Herself (archive footage)), Bobby Brown (Himself), Merv Griffin (Himself (archive footage)), Bobbi Kristina Brown (Herself (archive footage)), Dionne Warwick (Herself (archive footage)), Marvin Gaye (Himself (archive footage)), Nelson Mandela (Himself (archive footage)), Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds (Himself), Cissy Houston (Herself), Debra Martin Chase (Herself), Robyn Crawford (Herself (archive footage)), Clive Davis (Himself), L.A. Reid (Himself), Patricia Houston (Herself - Sister-in-Law (as Pat Houston)), Gary Houston (Himself (as Gary Garland-Houston)), Dee Dee Warwick (Herself (archive footage)), Rickey Minor (Himself - Musical Director), Michael Houston (Himself), Cinque Henderson (Himself - Writer), Bette Sussman (Herself), Steve Lapuk (Himself - Brownhouse Productions), Alan Jacobs (Himself - Bodyguard), Laurie Badami (Herself - Family Friend and Employee), John Russell Houston Jr. (Himself (archive footage)), John Houston III (Himself - Half-Brother), Drinkard Singers (Themselves (archive footage)), Ellin Lavar (Herself - Stylist and Friend), Keith Kelly (Himself - Family Friend), Joseph Arbagey (Himself - Arista Records (as Joey Arbagey)), Ellen White (Herself - Family Friend (as 'Aunt Bae')), Donna Houston (Herself - Former Sister-in-Law), Brad Johnson (Himself - Ex-Boyfriend), Mary Jones (Herself), Kenneth Gibson (Himself (archive footage) (as Ken Gibson)), Ray Watson (Himself - Bodyguard), Lynne Volkman (Herself - Publicist), Nicole David (Herself - Film Agent), Deforest B. Soaries Jr. (Himself - Family Friend (as Deforest Soaries))...

From the same director


Produced by

Jonathan Chinn (producer), Simon Chinn (producer), Will Clarke (executive producer), Nicole David (executive producer), Zanne Devine (executive producer), Sam Dwyer (archive producer), Lisa Erspamer (producer), Patricia Houston (executive producer (as Pat Houston)), Rosanne Korenberg (executive producer), Ann Lofgren (associate producer (as Ann Lofgren Satkoski)), Andy Mayson (executive producer), Joe Patrick (executive producer), Charlotte Rodrigues (associate producer), Mike Runagall (executive producer), Vanessa Tovell (co-producer)



Whitney is a documentary about the beautiful and immensely talented Whitney Houston. I don't think I've seen a documentary yet that I thought was bad. The goal of a documentary is to bring forth information about a person, place, time, or otherwise that you may not have known. That was definitely achieved in this documentary however speculative some of the things may have been.

I knew the inevitable ending of this documentary yet I still wasn't prepared. In fact, her death was made even more gut-wrenching after watching an hour of her tremendous ascendancy and another 50 minutes of her downward spiral. And this documentary was especially impactful to me because Whitney Houston was a staple in my house as a kid; it was her, Prince and Michael Jackson, then a little later it was George Michael... now all four are gone.

Watching this documentary you will be swelled with emotions as you listen to her amazing pipes as she was tearing up the charts in the 80's. Her voice brings chills and goosebumps it's so incomparable. And from that emotional high you really get dragged down to a supreme low as she is reduced to attempting a comeback tour in the 2000's and her voice is not even a fragment of what it once was; and there would be no comeback, only a passing away. We couldn't even witness a one last hurrah from this singing legend and that was probably the saddest thing of all.

I don't even know if I could recommend this documentary because it weighs so heavily upon the heart. You absolutely have to emotionally prepare yourself for this. If you think you can brave this documentary then by all means watch it. I only wish that her life ended differently.

Memorable quotes

[first lines]
Whitney Houston: There were times when I would look up to God and I'd go, "Why is this happening to me?" And then these dreams... I'd have these dreams about being on a bridge and the bridge going back and forth and swaying. There's a big storm coming... I'm always running from this giant. I'm always running from this big man. I know I can make it. I know I can make it. I know I can make it. My mother always says, "Oh, you know, that's nothin' but the devil; he's just trying to get you. He just wants your soul." And in a sense it's true. There's been several times the devil has tried to get me. But he never gets me. And it's funny, when I wake up I'm always exhausted, from running.

2 total 


Many of the interviews filmed wound up in the cutting-room floor, like Jennifer Hudson's. The director felt that much of its content was banal and uninteresting.

2 total 


1 win & 11 nominations 
Black Reel Awards • Cannes Film Festival • Critics' Choice Documentary Awards • Detroit Film Critics Society, US • Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards • Edinburgh International Film Festival • Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA) • Grammy Awards • Guild of Music Supervisors Awards • International Documentary Association • London Critics Circle Film Awards

Other titles

Whitney (Canada (French title); Spain; France; Croatia; Sweden; USA) • Vitni (Serbia)



Rated R for language and drug content


Australia:M / Canada:14A / Canada:PG / France:Tous publics / Hong Kong:IIA / Ireland:15A / Mexico:B / Netherlands:12 / South Korea:15 / Spain:12 / Sweden:11 / Taiwan:R-12 / United Kingdom:15 / United States:R


Lisa Erspamer Entertainment (presents), Lightbox (presents), Altitude Film Entertainment (in association with)


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