The ambiguity at the core of the film (and hence the 'doubt') really acts in the movie's favour. The script and direction are both tense and flawless, and the beautiful New York locations chosen to illustrate The Bronx in 1964 help air the play out, and give it more cinematic scope. It features some of the finest work I have seen from Philip Seymour Hoffman (though my favourites will always be 'Happiness' and 'The Master'), Meryl Streep (my most-esteemed works of hers are 'The Deer Hunter' and 'The Devil Wears Prada') and Amy Adams (this is her finest performance IMHO) as well as a breakthrough role for Viola Davis, who steals every scene she's in. This easily holds up well even with Shanley's Oscar-winning screenplay for 'Moonstruck', and, though dark and depressing, is thoroughly recommended for those who can stomach its subject matter, and peer into that abyss without flinching, as these fine exemplars of 21st-century American cinema so easily do here.
That it didn't win any of its five Oscar nominations is almost as ghastly, to the cinephile, as the misdeeds insinuated here are to the community at large. Must have been a strong year for film, methinks.
I think 'Doubt' is a tremendous drama that uses the three powerhouse names behind it (Streep, Hoffman, & Adams) brilliantly, as each character is a mystery in itself and yet the film still fits in an intriguing dynamic around how the characters interact with each other.
It's clearly a theater adaptation and it can feel held back by this at times- when you are ready for things to heat up, you're likely just going to be served with some clunky, heavy dialogue. Still, the premise has such weight to it and it's handled by such a strong cast that I think all of this can easily be overlooked.
This is absolutely 'my kind' of film! However, that may be more of an insult than a compliment. Let's just say... I have my doubts...