Rated 4.0

Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Hudson and Beyoncé Knowles blow the roof off the joint with their performances in this slick, highly entertaining screen adaptation of the Broadway show. Murphy and Hudson are surely in line for Oscar nominations as a James Brown-like fading star and an ostracized girl-group singer, respectively. Loosely based on the rise of The Supremes and Motown, the movie might lack depth but, quite honestly, it doesn’t really need it. This show is about the music and the performances, and both are first rate. It’s so nice to see Murphy putting his talents to work in a film that deserves him rather than the silly, sometimes amusing stuff he’s been turning out for the past 24 years. While he and Hudson are getting all of the hype, Beyoncé shouldn’t be overlooked for her fine work here. Her role calls for her voice to be somewhat repressed, but she lets us have it late in the film with a number that shows off her stuff.