Movie Review: The Nativity Story

Hollywood has often attempted to portray Biblical, historical narratives with less than satisfactory results. Often the majesty and accuracy of the scriptures are diluted with creative license or an attempt to avoid the controversy that the Bible often presents by its very nature.

 This time, they got it right.

I took my family to see the new release, “The Nativity Story”, last night. I really didn’t know what to expect, having only seen the trailer and read a fairly comprehensive review of the screening by Dr. Al Mohler.

The movie tells the story of Mary and Joseph in the two years leading up to the birth of Christ. As much as is possible, it stayed with the narrative that is provided by the Gospel writers with only minor variations. A good deal of background is inserted to make the story fluid, but the material is consistent with what we know of the events of that era.

The scriptwriters did a very good job of presenting the characters of Mary and Joseph. I had been a little concerned that perhaps Mary would be given a status that she did not deserve, but I was very happy to see that this was not the case. She was clearly presented as a virgin with child by the Holy Spirit, but in no way was she idolized or deified. I particularly liked the presentation of Joseph based on what little we know about him.

The only deviations from the biblical account in no way took away from the key doctrines of the virgin birth, the deity of Christ or His purpose of redemption.

I recommend this movie for family viewing with this caveat, it may not be suitable for younger children. While there is nothing objectionable in the movie, there is some subject matter (childbearing, circumcision) to which some parents may not be ready to expose their children. In addition, there are fairly significant parts of the dialogue which would probably be over the heads of most small children.

I left the theater feeling very inspired and with a deeper appreciation of the Incarnation of Christ than ever.


11 responses to “Movie Review: The Nativity Story

  1. You beat me to the punch. We saw it today, and I was going to post a review on my blog. I still may, since I think I still might have one or two readers who didn’t find me through your blog! 😉

    In short, I agree with your review. I have a couple of other comments I’ll make in my review, but once again, you and I are in agreement! 🙂

    steve 🙂

  2. Pingback: Theological Musings » Review: The Nativity Story

  3. I plan on seeing the movie next weekend, but I did see watch Ebert and Roeper this past weekend with Peter Sagall from NPR sitting in for Ebert. Sagall gave it a thumbs down due to the fact that the story was [paraphrasing], “The same old biblical run down of the birth of Jesus – nothing new or exciting.” Not exactly sure what he was looking for, but to me it sounds like he wished the director and writers would have just made some more stuff up. I just found that interesting.

  4. I’ll be waiting for this one to come out video. But your review makes me look forward to it a bit more.

  5. Steve, that was a well-written review you gave.

    Misawa, that is interesting. I will admit, it is the old story, but I wouldn’t characterize it as rundown. I hope you enjoy it.

    DK, I probably will purchase the video of this one when it comes out. I foresee watching this one every Christmas for years to come.

  6. I would like to see that movie, but will wait for it to come on tape!

  7. Tim A. Blankenship

    From your review and others I can hardly wait to see it. Yet, I will probably wait until it comes out of DVD.

  8. You may be interested in this site:

    It’s Angela Hunts’ blog.


  9. We went with our middle school youth group. I liked it alot.

  10. Janice and TA, you are in for a treat.

    Thanks for the link Diane. It’s interesting.

    Glad you enjoyed it Daniel.

  11. My wife and I saw it Saturday. I echo this:

    “I left the theater feeling very inspired and with a deeper appreciation of the Incarnation of Christ than ever.”

    Many scenes moved me at a very deep level and engaged me emotionally. Watching Joseph help Mary give birth to Jesus was an amazing experience. Seeing the responses of Mary and Joseph to angelic visitations was moving. Watching Joseph tell Mary that he believed her and would be a father to Jesus was spectacular.

    I also reviewed it on my blog.

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