The United States vs. Billie Holiday

131 mins
Poster for The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Andra Day delivers a Golden Globe-winning performance as the great Billie Holiday in this biographical drama from Oscar-nominated... More

Where to watch The United States vs. Billie Holiday

The United States vs. Billie Holiday is available to stream... More in Australia now on YouTube and Google TV and Apple TV Store and Prime Video Store.

The United States vs. Billie Holiday | Ratings & Reviews

"What’s shocking about this movie... is how thin and wooden it is, how cautiously attached to the conventions of its genre."

The New York TimesThe New York Times

"It wallows in cruelty, misery, and degradation without providing insight into the historical personages who are so thoughtfully depicted by its cast."

"A plodding series of episodes held together only by its central performance."

Vanity FairVanity Fair

"A disjointed, oddly structured movie, which derives its high notes from Andra Day's showstopping performance..."


"The whole movie smudges into an overlong blur of stuff, with Day in the middle, fighting to be heard."


"A crudely voyeuristic portrayal of the renowned jazz singer - a commanding performance by first-time actress Andra Day notwithstanding."


"(Andra Day) shines. It’s a pity the film she’s in is so messy."

Associated PressAssociated Press

"Here it is: Your annual average biopic boosted by a sensational leading performance."

New York PostNew York Post

"Sometimes overwrought but searing and memorably impactful..."

Chicago Sun-TimesChicago Sun-Times

"Day's performance is truly its own narrative. The movie surrounding it, directed by Lee Daniels, never quite meets the high bar she's setting, which is aggravating."


"Day captures the singer’s high and low moments, public and private, in a way that feels vital and lived-in."

Time MagazineTime Magazine

"Surprisingly inert and forgettable..."


"Sorely lacks for nuance and a clear focus."

Little White LiesLittle White Lies

"“Billie Holiday,” a brutally thin sketch of the woman, is all the movie is prepared to give us."

Rolling StoneRolling Stone

"The United States vs. Billie Holiday isn't quite worthy of the performance at its core."

Seattle TimesSeattle Times

"Daniels' film is an uneven, unsatisfying and poorly assembled lump of a thing. And yet, some of its constituent parts are breathtakingly good."


"The film finds its purpose most pointedly when it zeroes in on the unambiguous relationship between Holiday and "Strange Fruit.""

Slant MagazineSlant Magazine

"This is gripping stuff, to be sure, yet the movie, volatile as it is, lacks a full dramatic center and the momentum that would flow out of it."


"Makes as strong a case for Holiday being a civil-rights pioneer as its stunning star does for potential Oscar glory."

USA TodayUSA Today

"The direction and storytelling are laborious, without the panache and incorrectness of earlier Daniels movies such as Precious (2008) and The Paperboy (2012)."

The GuardianThe Guardian

"Day mesmerizes even when Lee Daniels' unwieldy bio-drama careens all over the map with stylistic inconsistency and narrative dysfunction..."

Hollywood ReporterHollywood Reporter

"A sloppy, reductive take on the singer's life."


"This central thesis isn't enough to sustain 130 minutes' worth of movie."

A.V. ClubA.V. Club

"Hers was a life that often played like a melodrama - addiction, heartbreak, shadowy government conspiracies - and so Daniels largely chooses to portray it as one, often to messy and outsized effect."

Entertainment WeeklyEntertainment Weekly

The United States vs. Billie Holiday | Details

Award winner
Best Actress (Day) - Drama, Golden Globes 2021
MA15+, Strong themes, drug use and sex scenes
Drama, Music, True Story & Biography
Country of origin

The United States vs. Billie Holiday | Trailers