Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 29
  2. Negative: 4 out of 29
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Mary Houlihan
    Nov 26, 2013
    75
    Lemmons and her cast, aided by some great music, have created an interlude sure to lift the spirit during the holiday season.
  2. Reviewed by: Eric D. Snider
    Nov 27, 2013
    68
    While the film certainly targets a particular audiences, those viewers who don’t fall squarely into that demographic should nevertheless find the film pleasant enough, its pastoral ambitions compensating for its lack of finesse.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Dec 2, 2013
    65
    Like "Eve's Bayou," her best-known movie, Kasi Lemmons' Black Nativity presents a child's view of a troubled family. The latter film is sweeter and slenderer, but that's only to be expected.
  4. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Nov 27, 2013
    63
    Black Nativity offers a whopping serving of Yuletide emotion. And it's a musical - with plenty of wailing and rapping on the side.
  5. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Nov 27, 2013
    63
    Sensory pleasures abound in Black Nativity, which is grounded by Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett’s performances as Langston’s strict, God-fearing grandparents.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Nov 26, 2013
    63
    Anchored by a topnotch ensemble cast, it's toe-tapping holiday fare that's also a potent reminder that family resentments and hardened hearts serve no one.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Nov 26, 2013
    63
    Whitaker's performance is the rock here. Even when the confrontations and evasions get a little ridiculous, he's neither wholly saint nor sinner, but something like a human being.
  8. 63
    Modestly entertaining and uplifting version of a “greatest story” that has proven as malleable as it is timeless.
User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. Dec 9, 2013
    3
    This was low B grade movie. There were stellar performances from Vondie Curtis Hall, Tyrese Gibson, Luke James, Grace Gibson and Mary J.This was low B grade movie. There were stellar performances from Vondie Curtis Hall, Tyrese Gibson, Luke James, Grace Gibson and Mary J. Blige. Otherwise the sentimentality at times became so cloying and contrived. Jennifer Hudson made merely cameo appearances in the movie and howled violently through all her singing lines. Some guys down in the front row began to openly mock her which caused other movie goers to let out a few chuckles they had been holding in. The kids I took with me were enjoying it so I stayed for the whole movie but wanted to leave. I was curious how they would weave Langston Hughes's Black Nativity story into the movie itself but it was barely spoken about except for a brief showing mid movie. Overall I got the impression that this movie was merely a vehicle for Jacob Latimore who sang his parts very well. I found it hard to empathise with his character though. I kept hoping that he'd get caught, shot or arrested so that we could finally get past his dredged up problems to the Nativity. Full Review »
  2. Nov 27, 2013
    7
    That sentiment pretty much sums up Black Nativity: ungainly in execution, yet still infused with enough passion and reverence for Hughes’That sentiment pretty much sums up Black Nativity: ungainly in execution, yet still infused with enough passion and reverence for Hughes’ original work to be more success than failure. Moviegoers looking for seasonal entertainment that is accessible and family-friendly (without also being treacly and/or bland) this is a Christmas show that you might want to check out. Full Review »