Beyoncé stars as Etta James in movie

Movie: "Cadillac Records"

When: Opening Friday at local theaters

Cast: Beyoncé Knowles, Jeffrey Wright, Adrien Brody, Gabrielle Union, Cedric the Entertainer, Mos Def, Columbus Short, Emmanuelle Chriqui

Director: Darnell Martin

The story: In 1950s Chicago, ambitious Polish immigrant Leonard Chess hires an up-and-coming blues band featuring guitar prodigy Muddy Waters, prompting Chess to found a record label where future legends, from Chuck Berry to Etta James, would find a musical home.

The buzz: Beyoncé as Etta James, Mos Def as Chuck Berry, Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters, Cedric the Entertainer as Willie Dixon ... the soundtrack alone should make this a must-see. (Or at least a must-hear.) And if you like the story, stay tuned: Another Chess Records movie, "Who Do You Love," also is in play, with Alessandro Nivola as Leonard Chess; Leonard Chess' son Marshall served as a technical consultant for both movies.



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