I think the film overreaches in casting Simone as a standard-bearer against racism and sexism, but it's filled with mesmerizing clips from throughout her performing career as well as numerous interviews with Simone, both audio and on film.
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor, 2015-06-26
As music and cultural critic Stanley Crouch says, "You only have to hear her once. No one sounds like her except her."
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, 2015-06-25
It may not answer What Happened, Miss Simone?, but it does tell us why the question must be asked and will be asked, for a very long time.
David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle, 2015-06-24
"What Happened" features some of the best concert footage and musical performances in recent music doc memory, even if it never quite answers the question in its title.
Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com, 2015-06-24
An often electric, bracingly urgent documentary ...
Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 2015-06-23
A most satisfying rendering of a complex cultural legacy ...
Scott Foundas, Variety, 2015-01-23