Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter Source:
New Line Cinema
New Line Cinema's The Nativity Story chronicles the arduous journey of two people, Mary and Joseph, a miraculous pregnancy, and the history-defining birth of Jesus. The dramatic and compelling film traces the perilous journey of a young couple who must travel from their home in Nazareth to Bethlehem, Joseph's ancestral home, to register for a census ordered by King Herod. It is a journey of over 100 miles, through treacherous terrain, made much more difficult by the fact that Mary is nine months pregnant.
This is truly the original love story; God's love for mankind is revealed in this spectacular film! "The Nativity Story" stays true to the Biblical account of events leading up to the birth of Jesus. Writer Mike Rich incorporates subtle moments of humor which work well. One example is when two young boys watch as baby John is circumcised. They hear his painful cry and with a look of terror, they flee the house. And again as Joseph and his pregnant wife prepare to leave town for the census, the skeptics and gossips eye them warily, wondering who fathered Mary's baby. Joseph whispers, "They will miss us!"
The cinematography in this film is breathtaking and the acting is solid throughout, with Keisha Castle-Hughes making a lovely and caring young Mary. The scene at the manger could make the perfect Hallmark Christmas card. In a fitting ending, "Silent Night" is played before the credits roll. This film is recommended for ages twelve and above due to some violence, and the fact that very young children might find the movie a bit slow moving. This is a film for the family to experience more than once during the holiday season, and we are pleased to award "The Nativity Story" 5 Doves, our highest rating.
Content Description: Sex: Speculation about Mary's pregnancy; childbirth pain for Elizabeth and Mary. Language: None Violence: Two scenes, one a flashback, of Roman soldiers seeking to kill infants; two scenes with three men each on crosses and some blood is shown; soldiers kidnap girl to work to pay off father's debt; the pain of circumcision; implied violence with men picking up stones to throw. Drugs: None Nudity: A quick glimpse of naked baby Jesus. Other: Snake surprises the donkey and Mary falls into the river; the wisemen use astrology; a lady reads Mary's palm.