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The Preacher's Wife (1996)

The Preacher's Wife


Average Rating: 5.9/10
Reviews Counted: 43
Fresh: 26
Rotten: 17

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 11
Fresh: 8
Rotten: 3

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 29,251


Movie Info

In an impoverished area of New York City, Reverend Henry Biggs struggles to keep St. Matthew's Baptist Church afloat. Funds are low, and Henry begins losing his faith. He prays for help, which comes in the form of Dudley, a handsome man who falls in love with Henry's neglected wife.

Drama , Romance , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Aug 13, 2002


Friend Ratings

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Critic Reviews for The Preacher's Wife

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (17) | DVD (2)

There are many good reasons for going to see The Preacher's Wife.

Full Review… | September 24, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

The Preacher's Wife qualifies as old-fashioned Hollywood movie making at its corniest and most saccharine. But the mostly African American cast puts an engaging spin on the chestnut, and it works beautifully.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

For a movie that might have offered a new twist of the mistletoe, The Preacher's Wife delivers the Scrooge-like acceptable market minimum.

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The Preacher's Wife is one Christmas picture that actually is in the spirit of the season. It's warm, sentimental, amusing yet serious, bringing fantasy to bear upon the painfully real.

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

This movie could have done more, but what it does, it makes you feel good about.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Has a big heart, but no sense of pace and conflict to sustain the viewing experience for an unnerving two hours.

Full Review… | February 18, 2013

While the sheer force of Washington's charisma keeps his otherwise monotonous character watchable, the same can't be said for the late Houston, woefully flat in a malnourished role.

Full Review… | September 13, 2012
Creative Loafing

The music, the chemistry between Houston and Washington, and minor characters that make us smile make this film worth watching-especially around Christmas, when this is set.

Full Review… | August 6, 2012
Movie Metropolis

Denzel's Christmas angel meets Whitney's voice.

Full Review… | December 18, 2010
Common Sense Media

Houston's inevitable chart-toppers aside, the film mainly sells the values of cooperation and good-samaritanism.

Full Review… | September 5, 2009
Boston Phoenix

Definitely not Denzel Washington's finest hour.

July 14, 2005
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)

Generally pleasant and unobjectionable, if not rather bland.

July 10, 2003

Lukewarm update of the superior "Bishop's Wife."

May 15, 2003

Reminds us to cherish the ones we love for they are the presence of God in our lives.

Full Review… | August 28, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

A sweet, sentimental, well-intentioned spoonful of holiday cheer that's pleasant enough as long as one doesn't take too close a look at how little of it really makes any sense.

Full Review… | June 5, 2002
Boxoffice Magazine

All the singing make for a slim plot and slimmer characters. Neveretheless, if you like Houston, you'll love The Preacher's Wife.

Full Review… | April 17, 2002
Film Scouts

There are so many Whitney Houston singing opportunities here that the filmmakers might just as well have thrown caution to the wind and made a full-blown musical.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Dudley seems a bit too mortal here, not quite otherworldly enough.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Examiner

While it sounds like standard promotional overstatement, it makes sense: even if Washington has top billing, our Miss Thing is the film's (and the CD's) major asset, no question.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Philadelphia City Paper

Audience Reviews for The Preacher's Wife


Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer


Saw this one a few times when it was new. Liked it a good bit. Now I know it was right before Whitney turned crazy and as far from being like a preacher's wife than anything.

Jason Owens

Super Reviewer

Nice christmasy, heart warming movie. I think this was one of the first movies I'd seen Denzel in. He has a great smile. Great music by Whitney. Her voice is amazing.

Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

great movie

danny d

Super Reviewer

The Preacher's Wife Quotes

Julia Biggs:
If the policeman saw your mama come walking down the street and he yelled, '"Break it up."
– Submitted by Alyssa B (14 months ago)

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