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The Nativity Story is a dull retelling of a well-worn tale with the look and feel of a high-school production. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Betrothed to much-older Joseph (Oscar Isaac), Mary (Keisha Castle-Hughes) must remain a maiden for one year, but she subsequently receives a visit from the angel Gabriel, who tells her of her destiny. When Joseph and now-heavily pregnant Mary journey to Bethlehem for the Roman census, they face a threat from King Herod, whose obsession with an ancient prophecy endangers soon-to-be-born Jesus.

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Critic Reviews for The Nativity Story

All Critics (131) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (49) | Rotten (82)

Audience Reviews for The Nativity Story

  • Dec 26, 2014
    A faithful adaption of the biblical account of Jesus Christ's birth, The Nativity Story is a powerful telling of this classic tale. Director Catherine Hardwicke does a remarkable job at creating a visual style that feels authentic to the time period; with detailed costumes and sets designs. Additionally, Keisha Castle-Hughes gives an impressive performance as Mary that's subtle yet conveys volumes through looks and movements. Also, the script is quite good, with a strong focus on characters. A well-crafted film that honors the true meaning of Christmas, The Nativity Story is emotionally compelling and spiritually uplifting.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 30, 2010
    I wasn't sure what to really expect from this, especially given how I was hesitant to ever see it...and that was before I knew who Catherine Hardwicke was, and way before Twilight. I finally sat down and watched it (not much better to do when one can't sleep a day or two after Christmas)..truth is...this actually isn't too bad. It's not a great movie, but it's decent enough, and worth a watch once in a while. Tjis is actually a quite faithful and thoughtful take on the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. It's powerful, and moving, and all of that sentimental stuff, but that doesn'ty take away from the fact that even then, it's got some good camera work (although I wish the film didn't look so washed out), okay performances, and is very accessible. Also, there's a lot of great anthropological/cultural/historical type stuff on display, and not only is it done well, I was surprised it was there (in a good way). This is no masterpiece, but it does the story justice.
    Chris W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 30, 2010
    Christmas Move Review Mania Episode #1: The Nativity Story It's the last day of November and people around the world are preparing for the Christmas season. I am to and welcome to Christmas Movie Review Mania! I will be writing reviews of Christmas movies up until the big day. This won't be a daily thing. To start off, I will review a film that promotes the true meaning of Christmas: The Nativity Story. The film is a retelling of Mary and Joseph story. Despite the fact that Mary is a virgin, God makes her the mother of Jesus Christ. Her and her arranged husband, Joseph travel to Bethlehem in order to pay their taxes and give birth to the child as well. Meanwhile, the Wise Men are on their way to meet the child and King Herod make a plan to massacre baby boys and the Son of God himself. The cinematography is amazing and realistic and Catherine Hardwickes's direction (she also helmed Twilight) is wonderful. The acting is good. I don't see why many critics hated it. Mary's actress added much emotion into her character. Oscar Isaac was awesome as Joseph. The supporting cast delivers as well. A beautiful film that everyone needs to see this season. I mean it! "I wonder if I will even be able to teach him anything."
    Bentley L Super Reviewer
  • Dec 25, 2009
    I thought it was pretty good. Well acted, not really 100% accurate, but still a nice family film to celebrate Christmas.
    Mondo M Super Reviewer

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