The Nativity Story - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Nativity Story Reviews

July 9, 2007
Of course there is nothing inherently wrong with preaching to the converted -- secular Hollywood does it all the time. But I confess I wish the movie had some of the passion of The Passion of the Christ.
February 3, 2007
Full Review | Original Score: 1/6
December 4, 2006
We just haven't had too many films that concentrate on this story.
December 2, 2006
...a filmed Sunday-school lesson that favors a dry, by-the-Book approach over even a suggestion of dramatic interpretation. It's more Christmas pageant than movie.
Read More | Original Score: C+
December 1, 2006
I have to hand it to Hardwicke: I was a lot less bored by The Nativity Story than I feared I'd be.
December 1, 2006
It's not exactly the dullest story ever told, but it's certainly not the greatest.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 1, 2006
The Nativity Story may prove just idiosyncratic enough to alienate the doctrinaire believers but not quite weird enough to appeal to revisionists, cultists or regular holiday moviegoers.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 1, 2006
The Nativity Story has a quiet sincerity to it that's sometimes quite moving, and sometimes just too quiet.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 1, 2006
One of the incidental points of the film, particularly powerful, is that doing the right thing isn't easy, even in the face of divine assurance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 1, 2006
Yes, there is something about Mary. Something inspiring. Something hopeful.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
December 1, 2006
This is the movie Mel Gibson should have made, a simple tale simply titled and sweetly told.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
December 1, 2006
While Mel Gibson's epic was a divisive film, it had a visceral impact the new movie lacks.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 1, 2006
Even some of the many nuns at the screening I attended were shifting uncomfortably in their wimples.
Read More | Original Score: 1/4
December 1, 2006
Dull and inert.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 1, 2006
True believers deserve better than this lazy lump of holiday coal.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
December 1, 2006
It might not hook nonbelievers, but the choir might sing hosannas.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 1, 2006
Don't expect a Caravaggio, but if your taste turns to Hallmark, this is a good bet -- a straight-up Nativity story as safe as death and taxes.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 1, 2006
Hardwicke and her cast and crew do remind us that the birth of Jesus is one of the most lyrical and emotionally resonant stories in all of religious literature.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
December 1, 2006
I'd call the results of Hardwicke's efforts mixed.
Read More | Original Score: C+
December 1, 2006
The movie itself is not a miracle. But it's working with pretty good material.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 1, 2006
For families looking for a Christmas outing, it should not disappoint.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
December 1, 2006
A refreshingly unadorned example of straightforward storytelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 1, 2006
At the very least, it's refreshing to see a holiday film that doesn't involve Tim Allen wearing 80 pounds of rubber padding.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 30, 2006
Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider) makes an appropriately soulful Mary, and the movie's most engaging scenes involve her mortified parents and mystified husband, Joseph (Oscar Isaac), trying to come to terms with her miraculous pregnancy.
November 30, 2006
This is not a chance to 'experience the most timeless of stories as you've never seen it before' but just the opposite: an opportunity, for those who want it, to encounter this story exactly the way it's almost always been told.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
November 30, 2006
The best of intentions and a 2,000-year-old heartbreaker of a story are not enough to make a compelling film. You need a point of view and something to say.
November 30, 2006
... The Nativity Story sticks to the familiar details of the narrative and dramatizes them with sincerity and good taste.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
November 30, 2006
The Nativity Story becomes the anti-Passion, a movie that makes a statement against violence rather than exploiting it.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
November 30, 2006
This drab exercise in glum piety slumps where it should soar, sapping the story of its mystery and transcendence with an overriding sense of literality.
November 30, 2006
The Nativity Story is refreshingly original, an inspiring version for our age and, maybe, for the ages.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 30, 2006
It's a rather lifeless re-telling of the Nativity, with greeting-card imagery and stiff performances.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
November 30, 2006
Nativity is a movie that may not take full advantage of its tale but doesn't betray it either.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
November 30, 2006
[The Nativity Story has] little to offer besides a pageant with TV-style melodramatic flourishes.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
November 30, 2006
The proceedings come across as quite a bit less than the greatest story every told.
Read More | Original Score: C+
November 29, 2006
The Nativity Story is a film of tame picture-book sincerity, but that's not the same thing as devotion. The movie is too tepid to feel, or see, the light.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
November 29, 2006
For those who are not pulled to this movie for its religious slant, there's no reason to go. There's nothing here for a serious movie-goer. Despite the sizeable budget, this is little more than a glossy Christmas tract.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
November 28, 2006
In their silken robes, the wise men -- like everyone else in The Nativity Story -- feel like participants in an elaborate high school production, one that looks authentic but has no soul.
November 28, 2006
The Nativity Story does only so much to enliven a drama that has been playing out in Sunday schools and on suburban lawns for centuries.
November 22, 2006
Hollywood is in a born-again mode with its rediscovery that Biblical epics can bring manna at the boxoffice. In New Line Cinema's The Nativity Story we have the first smart, artistically and spiritually satisfying film to emerge from this trend.
November 22, 2006
Memories of dreary Sunday school classes come flooding back courtesy of The Nativity Story.