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Despite its festive title, Salim Akil’s “Sparkle” comes to theaters shaded by sadness. We all know that this represents the last performance from Whitney Houston, who died three months after filming her role. There’s no denying that the picture’s off-screen history gives it an import it would otherwise lack. But a strong cast, empathetic direction and memorable soundtrack help create a movie that does everyone proud. Click here for more.

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