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Black Nativity Reviews

Black Nativity


Genre :

Drama, Family

Release Date :

November 27, 2013 (Limited)

MPAA Rating :


Director :

Kasi Lemmons

Starring :

Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Jacob Latimore, Tyrese Gibson, Rotimi, Mary J. Blige, Nas, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Luke James

REVIEWS RATE:  Critics  Nothing's perfect, but it's worth seeing.    Readers  Be the 1st!

“..the movie - seemed like such a good idea. But it struggles mightily. You can feel it..”
by Betsy Sharkey [LA Times]
2 of 5

“..the entire movie feels like a Nativity pageant, with heavily symbolic characters and equally evident spiritual messages..”
by Elizabeth Weitzman [NY Daily News]
2 of 4

“..soundtrack will be a welcome addition to a Christmas playlist, especially the assembled choir's roof-raising final number, Stevie Wonder's classic "As." It can't erase the bad vibes from the script, but it guarantees you'll leave the theatre smiling..”
by Linda Barnard [Toronto Star]
2.5 of 4

“..rousing musical numbers and a well-meaning, if predictable, story, marked by unlikely coincidences. Climactic revelations take place during a church service, something not often seen in Hollywood studio movies..”
by Claudia Puig [USA Today]
“..miscalculates by planting this African-American interpretation of the nativity story at the center of an angsty troubled-teen melodrama that, from mean-streets prologue to Christmas Eve climax, simply fails to inspire belief..”
by Justin Chang [Variety]
Review rate : B

“..looks a bit like a local holiday pageant featuring the best talent imaginable set on screen. It's both unique and completely appropriate..”
by Tom Long [Detroit News]
2 of 4

“..Kasi Lemmons's adaptation is a double disservice: Needlessly expanding on a simple but sensible conceit, the resulting film is both sickly sweet and about as exciting as squirming in a church pew while the most monotonous of ministers holds forth..”
by David Berry [The Montreal Gazette]
3 of 4

“..it's a sweet-natured tale that goes down smoothly, and Lemmons ("Eve's Bayou") has done an admirable job of putting a contemporary spin on the beloved Hughes seasonal favorite from the '60s..”
by Randy Myers [San Jose Mercury News]
“..is a just-OK feature film that, as an hour-long television special, could have had the makings of a classic..”
by Mick LaSalle [San Francisco Chronicle]
“..a first-rate cast enlivens this ambitious but syrupy holiday musical..”
by Stephen Farber [Hollywood Reporter]
Reviewed by Manohla Dargis [NY Times]

Reader's Reviews

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“..Home doesn't stand out as fresh or particularly funny. There are stretches that feel flat..”
by Linda Barnard [Toronto Star]


“..Hart and Ferrell may not be Pryor and Wilder, but they score several laughs in this slim comedy..”
by Rafer Guzman [Newsday]


“..lazy and contrived retread can ever hope to be..”
by Rodrigo Perez [The Playlist]


“..Ned Rifle is top notch quirk and really exciting to watch..”
by Mike Shutt [Rope of Silicon]


“..while the story falls a bit into melodrama, that can't chop away at the solid drama the stars and director build beautifully..”
by Joe Neumaier [NY Daily News]


“..in While We're Young, writer-director Noah Baumbach gets hold of a good satirical premise and does halfway well by it, maybe even two-thirds..”
by David Edelstein [Vulture]


“..it's all very familiar in that Blair Witch kind of way, with neither the characters nor situations proving remotely interesting..”
by Frank Scheck [Hollywood Reporter]


“..the way director Kornel Mundruczo got Body and Luke to run the gamut of emotions from face-licking adorableness to teeth-baring killers baying for blood is genuinely impressive..”
by Cath Clarke [Time Out London]


“..a nearly laughless comedy that doesn't do its writer/director/stars any favors..”
by Roger Moore [Movienation]


“..has some recognizable stars, but they are trapped in a slim story padded with lots and lots of flesh-eating..”
by Neil Genzlinger [NY Times]