Parents' Guide to


By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Intimate, frank doc reveals insight behind icon's addiction.

Movie R 2018 122 minutes
Whitney Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 18+

Whitney 2018

Whitney donned a vote Obama bennie which wasn’t part of the documentary. Whilst the New Jersey riots were used to portray racial tensions from Whitney’s childhood. The people surrounding Whitney spoke without shedding a tear and to me looked more interested in being on camera. Whitney had been to Rehabilitation clinics This wasn’t documented, and during periods of sobriety Whitney had mentors to turn to, we didn’t hear from them. We saw footage of Whitney under the influence looking the worse for wear, and Kevin Kostner stuck to the Bodyguard with a sweet antidote. Bobby Brown explained that Whitney’s drug usage was not relevant to the documentary. If you believe you need to know about the drugs to understand Whitney. I believe you need to know about the physical and mental damage drugs cause and Whitney suffered the consequences of drug use. I don’t believe Whitney would have accepted a bag of weed and a bit of coke for her Sweet 16th. Whitney’s 26th Birthday was a stark contrast to this claim by her brother, pictured with Whitney using soft focus to illuminate a glow. I didn’t get to the end of the documentary, it got too much when footage of Kensington Palace was used. Subliminal racial message, WH crossed a stereotypical racial boundary as allegedly did PD perpetuated by none other than, you guessed it a white male. President Obama did not attend Whitney’s funeral in 2011.

This title has:

Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 16+


The movie was very distrurbing. Bobby Brown was instrumental in ruining Whitney's career. The movie exposed the family as a bunch of leeches. Cissy was a fraud, the dad was a snake and an opportunist, the movie showed how the family sucked Whitney dry. Then when she died they went after Bobby Christina which explains why Nick was able to manipulate her, this is not love by no stretch of the imagination. Whitney was deeply troubled from her childhood being left by her mother and molested for only God knows how long which explains her struggle with identity, it also explains why she attracted to and had a relationship with Robin. Whitney was surrounded by demons including her mother. The movie exposes Cissy as an adulterer, she cusses like a sailor, she was competitive and lived vicariously thru her daughter because her career never reached the heights of Whitney. These people did not know the true meaning of love, poor Bobby Christina did not stand a chance. Bobby Brown was jealous and did everything he could to sabatoge her career because his was over. Clive Davis had created this image and Bobby could not wait to show the world that Whitney was just as ghetto has he was, he was a poor excuse for a husband and a worst father. I suspect that Whitney was molested for years and probably by multiple people, while her mother was out chasing fame, she neglected her child. Whitney would later do the same to her daughter. They all played a part in Whitney's death even Pat. Pat knows more than what she is saying in this movie, Pat knew what happened in the room in her interview with Oprah she said she walked slowly down the hall, she heard Mary screaming why did'nt she run, because she knew what was being done to Whitney by Nick Gordon. Nick Gordon was the scapegoat, they must have promised him something for him to kill both Whitney and Bobby Christina. They all know exactly what happened to Whitney, she sent Mary out for cupcakes, really, I smell a rat named Pat. Whitney was worth more dead than alive ssince she had no money. This movie exposes the family as the vultures they all are, Leola Brown was right her family killed her and now they are still making money off Whitney in her death. Whitney clearly had some kind of mental disorder, she was manifesting two personalities Nippy/Whitney they ignored the warning signs of a nervous breakdown, this was unnecessary, Whitney Houston should still be alive, they got rid of Robin because Robin kept Whitney together and had influence, they want to have her legs broken, but Robin cared about Whitney so they got rid of her so they could have control. When Bobby came his insecurity and jealousy of her career caused him to chip away at the image Clive created so he could salvage his career. Very distrurbing movie and a horrible family starting with the mother. Trying to keep up a false image killed Whitney.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (2):

Macdonald should make some room on his mantle: This documentary may just earn him another Oscar. Whitney delivers the thing its audience wants most: answers. We want to understand why someone who appeared to be on top of the world would trip, fall, and choose to stay in the mud until it became quicksand -- and by the time the credits roll, we will. Macdonald starts by introducing a Whitney everyone can relate to: an everyday girl who could be anyone's daughter, or even the viewer herself. He takes audiences through her meteoric rise, shows why the world fell in love with her, and addresses the ensuing tabloid headlines. Then, we ride her descent. It's heart-wrenching, but in a true feat, Macdonald allows Houston to retain her dignity. Through archival footage, personal video, never-before-released materials, and interviews with the people in her world, Macdonald allows the public to see the real Whitney Houston and her demons.

Whitney will satisfy most audiences. Music fans will thrive on nuggets like a capella renditions of Houston's hits and trivia about how she came to reinvent "The Star-Spangled Banner." Parents will be engrossed in the missteps and red flags that Houston's family inadvertently made and missed. And teens will soak up the story of the Pop Queen turned Movie Star turned Drug-Addled Diva; hopefully it will leave them feeling that, when the story is all laid out, Houston's inner chaos and ultimate demise were, sadly, predictable.

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