Skip to main content

Sidney: release date and everything we know about the Sidney Poitier documentary

Black and white photo of Sidney Poitier
Black and white photo of Sidney Poitier (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

On January 6, 2022, the world lost a behemoth of a talent in Sidney Poitier. While he is widely known for his incomparable acting ability and his historic accomplishment of being the first African American to win a Best Actor Oscar, he was also a pillar of The Civil Rights Movement in the US and served as a role model for many entertainers that came after him. As his fans and admirers continue to celebrate his life, Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Production aptly brings forth Sidney

The documentary pays homage to Poitier featuring a number of celebrities, including Denzel Washington and Halle Berry, both of whom have followed in his footsteps in winning Best Actor/Actress Academy Awards. This is undoubtedly a touching way for those that knew Poitier to pay their last respects. 

Here’s everything we know about Sidney.  

When is the Sidney release date?  

Sidney premiered exclusively on Apple TV Plus on Friday, September 23, in both the US and the UK. Those interested in watching the documentary need a subscription to the platform.

First reactions for the documentary are likely to come out of the Toronto International Film Festival, taking place September 8-18.

What is Sidney about?  

Sidney Poitier holding his Oscar

Sidney Poitier was the first African American to win the Oscar for Best Actor (Image credit: Graphic House/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Apple describes the synopsis of Sidney as the following: 

"From producer Oprah Winfrey and directed by Reginald Hudlin, this revealing documentary honors the legendary Sidney Poitier and his legacy as an iconic actor, filmmaker and activist at the center of Hollywood and the Civil Rights Movement. Featuring candid interviews with Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Robert Redford, Lenny Kravitz, Barbra Streisand, Spike Lee and many more, the film is also produced by Derik Murray, in close collaboration with the Poitier family."

Sidney trailer 

Take a look at the official trailer for Sidney. The nearly three-minute-long clip just scratches the surface when it comes to the importance of Poitier's legacy. 

Sidney reviews

As of September 23, the documentary had a Tomatometer score of 82% on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab)

Here are just some of the reviews from critics. 

"An assured, if unchallenging, intro to an imposing legacy."
-The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab)

"Sure, Sidney tends toward hagiography at times, but it’s also honest about the contradictions of this iconic figure."
- Variety (opens in new tab)

"Sidney does justice to Sidney Poitier's remarkable life and trailblazing career."
-CNN (opens in new tab) 

Sidney rating

Sidney has a rating in the US of PG-13, and in the UK it has been assigned a rating of 12A. 

Sidney runtime

Sidney has a runtime of one hour and 51 minutes. 

Sidney director 

On board as director of Sidney is Reginald Hudlin. Hudlin is certainly not a novice to Hollywood. Referring to IMDb (opens in new tab), he has roughly 50 directing credits to his name. Some of his most notable bodies of works include Netflix’s The Black Godfather, Chadwick Boseman’s Marshall, The Bernie Mac Show and the original House Party.  

Terrell Smith has a diverse writing background having penned material for a wide array of clients including the federal government and Bravo television personalities.  When he’s not writing as Terrell, he’s writing under his pseudonym Tavion Scott, creating scripts for his audio drama podcasts. Terrell is a huge fan of great storytelling when it comes to television and film. Some of his favorite shows include The CrownWandaVision, Abbot Elementary and Godfather of HarlemAnd a fun fact is he's completely dialed into the TLC 90 Day Fiancé universe.