The Nativity Story - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Nativity Story Reviews

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May 4, 2016
thankyou for this awesome movie and i just want to say "this is a real christian movie" without atheis director like noah and exodus :D
April 10, 2016
From an overall perspective the nativity story is a good movie probably one of the most famous events in human history. . The Nativity story mainly centers around Joseph and Mary and their lives together before birthing Jesus of Nazareth. Joseph didn't speak much in scripture, so that was something I felt was difficult to know, but we did see Joseph acting, and that is important. We are told that Joseph was a righteous man and a God fearing man. The movie brings visual setting of the Jewish world at the time of Jesus. Key things in the movie that I remember were the conflict between Mary and her parents and Joseph about her pregnancy. While a popularly arranged marriage in the beginning, the town sees Mary's pregnancy as a disgrace and embarrassment so her family was ashamed of her. Threats/threat of stoning was even mentioned. Her Friends turn against and rebuked her. Joseph after having a deep dream, decide to be Mary's husband and began to protects her. His choices are not always easy. In one scene, a woman suggests that the baby will not resemble in physical features of Joseph, at which he frowns at the thought.
The journey to Bethlehem is difficult, especially for a pregnant mother Mary. They sit around a fire with others or alone. They went down to the Jordan River, cross, then through Jericho and back up to Jerusalem. The road is rugged and dangerous. Food isn't always available. Jerusalem is an exciting place for the couple who might never have been through it before the birth of Jesus. When Joseph passes the Temple and sees the money changers and sellers, he comments on what should be a place of worship. We should not be surprised that others saw what Jesus saw as well.
When they arrive in Bethlehem, it was night time. Mary is ready to deliver and Joseph desperately was seeking to find a place to stay though there was no inn, finally settling in a cave with animals in it, the traditional idea of the manger was born. After Jesus was born, a star shines brightly over the manger and the shepherds from the field and the Magi all appear to see and worship. .
This movie relates to world religions I thought it captured the cultural aspects very well. Such might surprise some. Biblically, where it quoted scripture, it was accurate. Like when everyone came to the manger is traditional but not Biblical yet this scene doesn't take away from the power of the movie. They compress the events after the birth of Jesus into a few scenes. So to reiterate scenes with precision and accuracy through scripture I feel tis movies was a good movie for Christian beliefs
April 8, 2016
The Nativity Story puts a human spin on the Divine. The story starts out with Mary, a young girl loved and looked up to by her peers in her small town. Her world is shaken by two events. The first being betrothed by her family to a older man Joseph and then by the pronouncement of her upcoming pregnancy by an Angel. Both aspects correlate quite well with the story as described in the book of Luke in the Scriptures.
What differs is the human struggle Mary and Joseph face as they get ready for the arrival of the Messiah. Joseph feels betrayed by Mary after she returns from a long visit with her family Elizabeth and Zechariah and he sees the she is definitely pregnant. The town begins to shun her and makes her feel like an outcast. Even Joseph has a dream of stoning her to death for her betrayal. Joseph is approached by the Angel and informed that it was all ordained by God.
An decree is issued from Caesar that all heads of households are to return to their country of origin for a census. King Herod finds out about the coming King from a group of traveling wise men from the East, informing the King about the prophecy, he plots to have the child killed.
Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem helps the viewer to see inside the thoughts of a young couple who are ordained by God to help deliver the Savior of the world. Neither feels qualified to take on such a task and even Joseph, in a moment of connection with Mary, wonders "If I will be able to teach him anything."
The arrival of Jesus comes and the wonder and amazement of the new birth brings hope from the lonely, outcast shepherd to the wise men. A beautiful picture of the arrival of the Savior is the climactic centerpiece of everyone's journey. A very emotional, stirring hope is born and the realization that something special has occurred is realized by all.
While the acting is not all that special, the story and humanity side of it put the emotions and thoughts of those who lived during that time on display to make the viewer realize a whole new perspective on what went down leading up to, and including, the birth of Jesus.
February 7, 2016
Did professionals make this film?
½ January 24, 2016
While not the finest feature-length adaptation of the beloved story by Hollywood (if ever there was one), this is still every bit a worthy holiday movie that will make believers burst in tears.
December 22, 2015
A very well made movie.
December 20, 2015
The story of the nativity. Great sets, & acting for such a wonderful story
December 19, 2015
People are missing the point. The movie expresses the moving realization that Mary was a simple girl that was chosen to have the most amazing job in the universe! Joseph was not chosen because he was a Hero/Warrior. This is about the fact the the real story wasn't about hype and sensationalism. The actors and actresses reflect the beauty of the simple way life was at the time. Things were harsh and simple, not glitzy and spectacular. I for one, was ecstatic that they didn't "Hollywood" this one up like they did "Noah"! Thank goodness they didn't turn it into a disaster / psycho killer / thriller like they did that one! Reality may be boring for thrill seekers, but maybe they should focus on the idea that Joseph and Mary were heroes of a different kind. When was the last time you had to walk across the desert in hard sandals or ride a donkey while heavily pregnant? The simple beauty is well worth the watch!
December 7, 2015
It wasn't bad, although I was expecting something a lot more glorious. There are some beautiful shots, but a lot of the movie is underwhelming and kind of dull. I liked the casting of relatively unknown actors, but the production was poor. (First and only viewing - 12/4/2015)
November 15, 2015
Overall, the movie was a decent interpretation of what occurred in the birth of Jesus. Mary as a young girl was married to Joseph unwillingly, by her father. As a sacred part of the marriage, Mary and Joseph could live together but were not allowed to have sexual relations for at least a year. Early within the marriage, Mary was approached by an Angel who instructed her to carry a child, and call him Jesus the son of God, even though she had never been with a man. Mary was skeptical at first but agreed to this command. Shortly thereafter, she learned her cousin Elizabeth was also with child and she decided to find a way to live with Elizabeth during the pregnancy. Mostly, Mary was afraid what people what think of her and that Joseph would not believe the reason of how she got impregnated. After Elizabeth had her child, Mary returned home and initially was scorned by her family. Joseph even though she betrayed him until the Angel appeared to him in a dream. Joseph accepted the child as his own and did everything possible to protect his wife and child, by traveling and moving to Bethlehem. Once baby Jesus was born, the Three Wise Kings approached him with gifts. The Angel approached Joseph one more time telling him to move his family to Egypt and kept the child there until he appeared again.

In relation to World Religions, the movie shows where Jesus was born in Bethlehem but didn't go as far as to mention him living in Nazareth throughout most of his life. In text, there is also mention of Mary conceiving the child while being a virgin. The four gospels attested to the Spirit of God/Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus at his birth. Our textbook doesn't go into much detail on the birth of Jesus as it is portrayed in the movie. Although, all the religions we have reviewed have a belief in a higher power whether named Jesus or some other deity.

Brodd, Jeffrey. "Christianity." Invitation to World Religions. Instructor's ed. New York: Oxford UP, 2013. Print.
November 15, 2015
In this movie there were a lot of humbling moments from the Bible that were portrayed during the birth of Jesus. The Roman Empire were collecting taxes on the lands and had been questioning those who were believed to not have paid them yet. Joseph noticed many Mary at the time of collection where he was afraid she might be one who would be taken away. As he saw her parents holding her, he realized she was being released back to her family and he could not have been more thankful. Mary was greeted by an angel telling her that she would be with child and he would be the Son of God. Mary was scared at first but then learned to trust in the Lord. As she began to get farther into her pregnancy, Joseph and her made their way to Bethlehem. As they were coming up on the town, Mary told Joseph that it was time to conceive the child. As they found shelter in Bethlehem, she conceived Jesus. The Roman Empire heard of the birth and told all of the soldiers to take all males under two and present them to the King. God's voice came to Joseph and told them to flee to Egypt until the time He tells them it's okay to travel once again. Joseph and Mary do not return to Bethlehem, instead they travel to Nazareth in fear of Herod's oldest son. The movie showed many valid consistences of the story of the birth of Christ and what happened leading up to it. In the New Testament gospels were recorded well in this movie with how they portrayed the movie to follow the chronological order of the way the Bible was written. World Religion is seen through this story because it is one of the most important stories of the entire bible, it is showing how the savior of the Christian world came to be here on Earth. Much has been learned from the Nativity Story and without World Religion we wouldn't be able to enlighten other religions and even Christians themselves of the birth of Christ.
November 15, 2015
My first reaction to The Nativity Story was that is was bit of a slow starting; but after a few scenes it got more interesting. The Nativity story is a classic tale that I think everyone knows but this depiction of the story made it a bit more refreshing and it seems more accurate then past movies. One reason is that they did not have a bunch of Caucasians playing the characters. I love how someone who probably doesn't believe that the Angel came to Mary and gave her a magical blessing can get a sense of truth; because it was so believable. Speaking of Mary's blessing; I think the reaction from Joseph in the scene when Mary comes home with a pregnant belly is amazing and the father's was as well. Another reason I feel it is a great representation is because of the scenery. From the dull skies to the sandy hills. This movie is a bit serious as one assumes it to be; being that it is telling the story of Mary. But the wise men brings some comedy here and there. Another great scene is when Mary and Joseph arrive in Bethlehem; they are in Bethlehem because they were ordered to go back by King Herod, so they arrive and the place is filled with guards, thieves, and civilians and it looks chaotic. Despite how it looks now it was meant to be a holy place, so from that I got how corrupted King Herod has mad Bethlehem. Every actor makes the story very believable. We all know how the story ends/ begins from here. So for someone who would like a better and clear understanding this is a great movie to watch.
½ September 1, 2015
Dull and pretty cheap looking for the most part, it isn't a faith based film that tries to hammer it's values on to others like most, but rather tells a story about these two characters that hasn't been discussed before. That's the most this movie has going for itself. Keisha Castle-Hughes and Oscar Isaac are bland and forgettable (mostly because the script doesn't allow two talented people really give a range of emotion).
March 29, 2015
December 29, 2014
Cannot understand the written critics consensus. "Dull retelling" - so they wanted the story changed - I don't think that's going to happen. Maybe they wanted more violence. "The look and feel of a high-school production" - absurd. The stupidity of critics sometime amaze me.
½ December 29, 2014
Unlike more current Biblical features, this film opts for simplicity instead of spectacle which brings to light the humanity of these characters for this quite, understated drama.
½ December 27, 2014
Interesting to see in detail, but some not accurate as expected.
Super Reviewer
½ December 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.
December 22, 2014
While it has some biblical inaccuracies, this is still a very good movie. It tells the story of Christ's birth from a little different perspective. I enjoy how they focus on both the cultural context and growing relationship between Mary and Joseph.
December 18, 2014
This is a complex story to tell and I think any director would be hard pressed to tell it well. That being said, I think it was fairly well produced and didn't take any major liberties with the plot (like the recent production of Noah). I liked the threads of the Wise Men, and King Herod which were artfully woven through the story. The Wise Men were portrayed in a very human light, and King Herod's paranoia was well portrayed in his suspicion of his own son and desire to not repeat the mistakes of his father. I didn't give it five stars because it lagged in a few places but overall a great watch--especially during Christmas.
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