The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) - Rotten Tomatoes

The United States vs. Billie Holiday2021

The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021)



Critic Consensus: Although The United States vs. Billie Holiday often falls shy of its subject's transcendence, Andra Day's performance offers brilliant compensation.

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Movie Info

The legendary Billie Holiday, one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, spent much of her career being adored by fans across the globe, all while the Federal Department of Narcotics targeted her with an undercover sting operation led by black Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher, with whom she had a tumultuous affair. Inspired by her life story, THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY intimately examines her struggles with addiction, fame and heartbreaking love.


Andra Day
as Billie Holiday
Leslie Jordan
as Reginald Lord Devine
Natasha Lyonne
as Tallulah Bankhead
Dusan Dukic
as Joe Glaser
Trevante Rhodes
as Jimmy Fletcher
Miss Lawrence
as Miss Freddy
Koumba Ball
as Lucille
Kate MacLellan
as Working Class Woman
Kwasi Songui
as Working Class Man
Adriane Lenox
as Mrs. Fletcher
Erik LaRay Harvey
as James Monroe
Orville Thompson
as Auditioning Sax Player
Garrett Hedlund
as Harry Anslinger
Jeff Corbett
as Congressman JP Thomas
Robert Alan Beuth
as Congressman J. Rankin
Randy Davison
as Senator J. McCarthy
Melvin Gregg
as Joe Guy
Kevin Hanchard
as Louis Armstrong
Jono Townsend
as Guitar Player
Morgan Moore
as Bass Player
Ray Shell
as Carl the Drummer
Furly Mac
as Elevator Attendant
Blake DeLong
as Agent Carter
Andrew Zadel
as Agent McDermott
Tristan D. Lalla
as Mr. Jordon Green
Don Anderson
as Judge Ganey
Evan Ross
as Agent Williams
Sylvia Stewart
as Stink-Eye Inmate
Daphne Archer
as Jail Dishwasher
Anita Lee
as Fighting Couple
Tony Chao
as Fighting Couple
Linda Sauve
as Receptionist
Alain Goulem
as Ed Fishman
Ramona Clyke
as Miss Mona
Laurent Beaudin
as Ed Fishman's Assistant
Alika Autran
as Martha Anslinger
Kim Feeney
as Lady in Audience
Diana Carmen Ratycz
as Carnegie Fan
Tone Bell
as John Levy
Richard Jutras
as Uptown Restaurant Matire'd
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Critic Reviews for The United States vs. Billie Holiday

All Critics (180) | Top Critics (61)

Andra Day outclasses and saves an otherwise humdrum movie.

June 4, 2021 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Andra Day is spellbindingly good as the jazz legend whose anti-racist song "Strange Fruit" made her an enemy of the racist U.S. government, but the film built around her isn't worthy.

May 2, 2021 | Full Review…

Day is simply dazzling in the role, and more than makes up for some of the film's other shortcomings, which include the rather ponderous direction.

April 23, 2021 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Lee Daniels' new movie is the first clear-eyed look at her life that we've seen on screen. And this time, there's plenty of grit with the glamour.

April 22, 2021 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

"Lady Day's" pain and incomparable talent feel authentic, thanks solely to Andra Day. Everything around her feels so shamefully inauthentic that it dishonors both.

March 27, 2021 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

Andra Day is amazing, and she is far and away the best part of this movie.

March 10, 2021 | Full Review…

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