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The Ultimate Gift (2006)



Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 59
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 40

Though The Ultimate Gift avoids religious speechifying like other Fox Faith films, it's dramatically inert with flat direction.


Average Rating: 4.5/10
Critic Reviews: 19
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 15

Though The Ultimate Gift avoids religious speechifying like other Fox Faith films, it's dramatically inert with flat direction.



liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 39,807

My Rating

Movie Info

Filmmaker Michael O. Sajbel explores the relationship between wealth and happiness with this spiritual-minded tale about a privileged young man who receives a most unexpected inheritance. Adapted from the best-selling book by author Jim Stovall, The Ultimate Gift opens as trust-fund baby Jason Stevens (Drew Fuller) prepares to receive a sizable inheritance from his late grandfather Red (James Garner). Though Jason is convinced that the money is about to come flowing in, he receives a sudden



Cheryl McKay

Aug 21, 2007


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All Critics (61) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (40) | DVD (6)

This new film moves along smoothly until Grandpa's most preposterous mission - which needlessly drags out the movie -- takes Jason to a severely caricatured Ecuador.

August 22, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I think urban sophisticates can be people of faith who want to see movies, occasionally, that don't have the four-letter words, and I do embrace religion, but I think they have to be better than this.

March 20, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If you missed the money-isn't-everything message, an end-credits recap outlines the story's salient points -- if you'd known, you could've skipped the rest.

March 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Christian charity, in this movie, seems like a side-effect of capitalism.

March 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[James] Garner is good, and so is Brian Dennehy as a crusty ranch owner; Abigail Breslin, playing a leukemia patient, demonstrates that she was not a one-note wonder in Little Miss Sunshine.

March 15, 2007 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Ultimate Gift is kind of like a feel-good Saw for churchgoers, minus the sadistic games of death.

March 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Ultimate Gift will put you in a diabetic coma.

September 9, 2007 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures | Comment (1)
7M Pictures

It's Self-Help: The Movie, and it stinks to high heaven.

August 21, 2007 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

I haven't even read the book, and I know it has to be better than the movie.

April 17, 2007 Full Review | Comment (1)
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

A parabolic film about one selfish young man's spiritual transformation.

March 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

The film squeaks by on a combination of reliable old pros...and appealing newcomers...

March 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

The result is a deep desire for those Hollywood execs to remember that Christian doesn't have to equal brain-dead.

March 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Veterans Garner and Brian Dennehy give convincing professional performances here, but Fuller is bland.

March 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Pretty much what one would expect: a sincere story of redemption delivered with all the low-key execution of one of those Hallmark-backed TV movies of the week.

March 15, 2007 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Wholesome and inspirational, it preaches a simplistic "prosperity gospel."

March 11, 2007 Full Review Source:

It is message filmmaking so blunt you might be tempted to root for the parasitic reprobate over the saintly old man, and that's just not right.

March 9, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

If anything, the film's uplifting moral tone seems more in line with a Frank Capra flick than a cinematic sermon.

March 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

It does telegraph its sentiments with all the subtlety of a greeting card.

March 9, 2007

Audience Reviews for The Ultimate Gift

Wonderful wholesome movie that grabs at your heart strings. The little girl Abigail Breslin (Emily Rose) is such a joy to watch. She has so much spunk, and talent, for such a young girl. The movie overall was great from beginning to end. I suggest you have a tissue box next to you when watching, though...definitely a tearjerker.
October 22, 2012

Super Reviewer

I vaguely remember seeing this, and it wasn't anything new. Just a typical family movie: cute kid, one parent gone, family issue, parent and other main character hook up. That's the gist of it. Sound familiar?
October 12, 2011

Super Reviewer

Drew Fuller, Abigal Breslin, Ali Hillis, James Garner, Brian Dennehy, Bill Cobbs, Lee Meriwether

When his wealthy grandfather dies, trust fund baby Jason Stevens anticipates a big inheritance. Instead, his grandfather has devised a crash course on life with 12 tasks--or "gifts"--designed to challenge Jason in improbable ways, sending him on a journey of self-discovery and forcing him to determine what is most important in life: money or happiness.
A great film about love, laughter, and grief. What life is all about really. A fun and sweet story with really great characters played very strongly by the actors. Got very caught up in the story very quickly. It's amazing when Hollywood puts out a clean movie that is not only good but also with great performances that keep you entertained. You feel for these characters because some of the story has affected one of us at one time in our lives or we know someone else who has dealt with it. So its very easy to connect with them. A great movie for the entire family. Not a lot of those out there unless they are animated or Disney related. But this one would be good for everyone. Probably could learn a lot from this film. Drew Fuller was great. Good seeing him doing something that he has a lead in so he can show how talented he is and that he has range. The acting from Abigal Breslin was amazing. Such a talented young girl who will go far in this business. I really liked Ali Hillis in this movie too. Thought she gave a great performance. This movie is going to have you laughing at one moment and then crying the next. A must see...
December 26, 2009

Super Reviewer

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