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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]

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“..Ari Folman, however, is a filmmaker who, almost to a fault is, determined to make movies in his own inimitable way..”
by Jordan Hoffman [Film.com]


“..is the typical Hallmark Channel movie with a light-hearted story, some beautiful people and some OK acting..”
by [Movieman's Guide to the Movies]


“..overly familiar spy film serves its star well..”
by John DeFore [Hollywood Reporter]


“..sibling filmmakers Peter and Michael Spierig offer a skillful and atmospheric adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's 1960 short story " - All You Zombies - ," and if it's better in the intimate early stages than in the more grandiose later passages..”
by Justin Chang [Variety]


“..thanks to Saville's tightly controlled direction and a superlative cast, the mere exchange of glances builds as much suspense as the kinetic action sequence that opens the pic..”
by Ronnie Scheib [Variety]


“..the action sequences are competently directed, but exhibit virtually no flair or invention, as Patric simply stands there shooting at waves of anonymous henchmen until they all fall down..”
by Andrew Barker [Variety]


“..the ham-fisted script is incapable of a multilayered approach, while the helming and editing are at the level of mediocre TV..”
by Jay Weissberg [Variety]


“..a bland version of Liam Neeson's Taken..”
by Sukanya Verma [rediff.com]


“..so is this terrific movie..”
by Joe Neumaier [NY Daily News]


“..the movie often feels like a full-length ad for a great workplace, which just happens to stash whips and chains in the stationery closet..”
by Elizabeth Weitzman [NY Daily News]