User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 134 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 134
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  1. Aug 25, 2014
    10
    When a film challenges you to think and question from the very start to the end, you find yourself wholly invested in the theatrical warfare on screen. Superbly brought from the stage to the screen, the film goes where many films fear to. The stirring showcase of actors only adds to the perfection. One of Streep's finest late-career performances.
  2. Feb 17, 2013
    6
    The film had good performances by everyone and the style of directing was interesting. The director made it fell like we were always eavesdropping and not suppose to hear what was taking place. But even with all the good performances it emerged as a strangely unsatisfying film which asked more questions than it answered.
  3. Nov 28, 2012
    8
    Seemingly testing what the audience knows just as much as what the characters do, "Doubt" effortlessly juggles provocative characters and ideas while seamlessly conjuring up some stellar storytelling.
  4. Jun 9, 2013
    8
    Now this was a tense movie. Meryl was excellent. She was so funny and ruthless at the same time. Amy and Viola were at the top of their game adding such freshness to the film. And Seymour was was Seymour. He is always good. A wonderful detective type film.
  5. Jun 11, 2014
    8
    This one was definitely an actor's showcase. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep, and Amy Adams, were all absolutely marvelous. It is hard to pick a standout, since they all stood out. The film is very successful in large part because of those actors, but not solely because of them. The film is slow at times, but never boring, as it manages to keep you hooked all the way through as youThis one was definitely an actor's showcase. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep, and Amy Adams, were all absolutely marvelous. It is hard to pick a standout, since they all stood out. The film is very successful in large part because of those actors, but not solely because of them. The film is slow at times, but never boring, as it manages to keep you hooked all the way through as you attempt to figure out whether the allegations are true or not. One of the films major successes is how it sets up its characters. All are very well developed in a short period of time and you feel like you begin to understand what is going on, but the film manages to keep the "Doubt" alive as the give little bits of information supporting both sides, allowing you to almost never truly figure out if the priest did as accused or not. Really, you find yourself picking sides at times, only to have the film throw you back into questioning once you think you figured it out. Director John Patrick Shanley certainly directed this one very well and while the performances of the three leads stand tall, the script and direction done by him were right there with the acting. Expand
  6. May 23, 2013
    9
    Based on a play, Doubt unveils its story much like a play; nothing plot wise is expressed in an obvious way and allows the audience to join in interpreting what is happening. This in combination with 3 stunning lead performances make Doubt one of the best films of 2008. Worth a watch.
  7. Jan 5, 2012
    10
    A little controversial but without a doubt an amazing film that left me speechless. Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman give untouchable performances no doubt worthy of the highest of awards. The story was great. The emotional release I got from this film reminded me of The Godfather. Truely an amazing and underrated film.
  8. Nov 22, 2011
    10
    Critics got this film so wrong. Yes it does center around a controversional issue (sexual abuse by priests of the catholic church) but its a fantastic film. Its interesting from start to finish, The main cast is excellent, and it features a satisfying ending. Go watch this film now!
  9. Feb 20, 2012
    8
    "Doubt" is one of the better acted films I've had the fortunate opportunity of seeing for quite a while. Every single actor in this movie pulls off spectacular performances in each of their quite unique and different roles. Once again Meryl Streep is the standout and her conduct is nothing short of spectacular. However more character development could have been further explored into the"Doubt" is one of the better acted films I've had the fortunate opportunity of seeing for quite a while. Every single actor in this movie pulls off spectacular performances in each of their quite unique and different roles. Once again Meryl Streep is the standout and her conduct is nothing short of spectacular. However more character development could have been further explored into the backgrounds of the three respective leads and the ending abruptly ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger without giving the audience closure. Expand
  10. Feb 23, 2015
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. hoffman is seemingly convincing as a good guy....and meril streep clearly has it out for someone I bet....you can tell by her face that shes mean....if this movie is sexual then I truly am going to stop even writing movie reviews and switch to porn reviews because thats clearly what people want......Amy Adams better be all the porn in this dam movie....i feel like there can't be a single movie ever without a hot girl the camera can capture being hot in the very way that she is hottest despite her eating something weird...Im feeling once again that i need to find an ugly person and just make sure that they don't show signs of having seen such things.....attractive people in the church is like ugly people giving a presentation at school.....it just doesn't add up....still i want in on this back story...."oh if they all turn you down you become a priest".....thats exactly what i wanted to hear...can't imagine that I'll have much more to say...ofcourse the person who said that will try to be discredited but i'm perfectly satisfied even if amy adams take a golden god **** all over father Flynn...i love the small talk between the super powers...i love how flynn asks for three sugars....ok i'm skipping ahead to see what hes done to that poor boy..........-JRA Expand
  11. Apr 13, 2011
    6
    Excellent performances by Streep, Hoffman and Davis still couldn't lift what emerged as a strangely unsatisfying film which asked more questions than it answered. As an adaptation of a stage play it had that faintly awkward, limited feel of a story that had been shrunk to fit the scenery.
  12. Dec 29, 2013
    8
    Doubt is a very slick film, being atmospheric and very good-looking, as well as masterfully written and then manipulated by John Patrick Shanley. Everything seems perfectly in place, apart from, of course, whodunit? This film is so cleverly layered that every viewer comes out with a different interpretation, which makes this a thought-provoking movie. However, the subtlety and impressivelyDoubt is a very slick film, being atmospheric and very good-looking, as well as masterfully written and then manipulated by John Patrick Shanley. Everything seems perfectly in place, apart from, of course, whodunit? This film is so cleverly layered that every viewer comes out with a different interpretation, which makes this a thought-provoking movie. However, the subtlety and impressively stark realism of the writing suggests that this film is 'not inviting a guessing game'. This film is more complex than 'who do you think did it', and has more to say, as shown by the morals preached at us by Philip Seymour Hoffman and the questions raised by Meryl Streep's remarkably acted character Sister Aloysius Beauvier. On the surface, everything about this film is slick, attractive, atmospheric and almost conventional, but underlying is a great sense of tension, meaning and dimension. This film makes us doubt our doubts? What are we supposed to be doubting? Who knows, but all I know is that I doubt you'll find a more thought-provoking film from that year. Expand
  13. TonyB.
    Jun 1, 2009
    7
    An extremely well-acted film for audiences who are up to the challenge, "Doubt" lacks the power it had on the stage, but is nevertheless quite effective.
  14. SteveB
    Jan 1, 2009
    5
    Great acting by all three leads, and a thought-provoking story, but no character development or insight into motivations of the characters makes for a shallow, disappointing experience. Could have been a much more engaging story. Abrupt unsatisfiying ending only underscres this. Proves again that great performance(s) don't necessarily make a great movie.
  15. FilipeM.
    Oct 3, 2009
    8
    The plot isn't that good; but with the perfomances of Streep, Adams, Hoffman and Davis, not even a lousy story like this turns to be a bad thing to watch.
  16. CathyC.
    Feb 1, 2009
    1
    Only comes in at a one as I happen to like Streep, so giving it a 0 would'nt be kind! Thank god, the theatre had comfortable seats otherwise I would have likened this to Penance after confession in the good old days of Catholic education.
  17. HollyC
    Apr 20, 2009
    8
    Tightly written, wonderfully acted, well plotted and beautifully shot. Overall, definitely worth the rental if you haven't seen this already. Streep gives an amazing performance and of course, the story itself leaves you questioning what real virtue is (as it should).
  18. MacD.
    Dec 30, 2008
    10
    A superb cast with the usual breathtaking performance by Meryl Streep. The plot keeps you involved right up to the very end.
  19. TonyC.
    Jan 3, 2009
    3
    I loved the play. The language was sharp, the drama satsfying, and the characters heightened. The direction of the movie was lame with Shanley successing briliantly on the stage and failing on the screen by telegraphing emotion with cheap effects instead of letting the characters speak for themselves.
  20. SParsons
    Jul 10, 2009
    8
    An engrossing and at times moving film carried by the performance of two of the acting world's finest talents in Hoffman and Streep.
  21. MarkC.
    Dec 29, 2008
    6
    Ill give them credit for not adhering to cliche intellectual takes on Catholicism (and/or Christianity), but in the end I felt like the movie was trying too hard to be open ended. No Country, last year, executed an irresolute ending marvelously. They might has well have had PSH say, "Did I touch the boy or didn't I?" Along with a few other ambivalent situations as well. Acting was Ill give them credit for not adhering to cliche intellectual takes on Catholicism (and/or Christianity), but in the end I felt like the movie was trying too hard to be open ended. No Country, last year, executed an irresolute ending marvelously. They might has well have had PSH say, "Did I touch the boy or didn't I?" Along with a few other ambivalent situations as well. Acting was solid. I felt liek the movie could have been better. Just a little too strident in its attempt to be ponderous. Expand
  22. CarolT.
    Dec 29, 2008
    8
    I loved this movie !. Exceptional acting plus more importantly it makes you question what is really going on here, the answer being different deopending on who you ask but of course I feel I really know for sure.
  23. [Anonymous]
    Dec 30, 2008
    10
    2nd favorite after Wall-E this year. The acting is flawless.
  24. WillN.
    Jan 1, 2009
    8
    As satisfying as the play.
  25. KathyS.
    Jan 1, 2009
    9
    Outstanding performances from all, including Viola Davis, who plays the boy's mother. Needless to say, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep are always first-rate, but this time Streep has outdone herself.
  26. JoeR
    Jan 12, 2009
    6
    Great performances by Hoffman and Streep, but this film lacks something that i just can't put my finger on.It just never takes off. When it felt like Shanley had finally found a rhythm to the film, the credits rolled.
  27. DanS.
    Jan 10, 2009
    10
    Amazing movie. Enough said. Wait not enough said actually, one of the most thought provoking movies of all time. This is a movie classic that it is a mystery, drama and suspense rolled into one amazing movie.
  28. MattV.
    Jan 17, 2009
    3
    I'm all for a thought-provoking, intellectual movie but I also need to be entertained! Great acting performances by Adams and Streep but the wrong part for Hoffman's considerable acting talents!
  29. ChrisC.
    Jan 2, 2009
    9
    Despite some minor missteps, this movie shines. It's a subtle examination of a complex issue, but also a terrific showcase for three amazing performers.
  30. EO
    Jan 27, 2009
    7
    Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Viola Davis were all amazing, and the movie, more than any other I've seen this year, was an intellectual mystery that kept me thinking long after the credits. That said, the direction was extremely over-the-top (slanted camera angles, thunderclaps at every dramatic moment) and Amy Adams was merely OK, definitely not Oscar-nom-worthy.
  31. HyperS
    Feb 13, 2009
    8
    Not a simple black or white film by any stretch of the imagination. It is unique in its topic -- a topic which certainly needs covering -- but I suppose just as easily as one person finds it a very effective movie another viewer could be bored with its pace and methods. Strange in that just as the movie started becoming interesting instead of delving into the deep end it instead chose for Not a simple black or white film by any stretch of the imagination. It is unique in its topic -- a topic which certainly needs covering -- but I suppose just as easily as one person finds it a very effective movie another viewer could be bored with its pace and methods. Strange in that just as the movie started becoming interesting instead of delving into the deep end it instead chose for an abrupt end. I guess without such an ending the movie couldn't be called "Doubt", but considering I had committed to the story I left the movie feeling incomplete and desired for a deeper inspection of the process and relationship(s) involved in the tricky topic that is this movie. Expand
  32. JackP.
    Feb 20, 2009
    7
    Not a perfect film, but a pleasant and yet strong film. Meryl Streep is an excellent screen presence. Also, let's not forget the three other great performances by Amy Adams, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Viola Davis.
  33. RobinR.
    Apr 14, 2009
    4
    Despite the many high ratings and high reviews I believe they are based on Meryl Streep's past works. However that fact that she can go from intensely angry to desperately sad within 5 seconds does not show off her acting skills. Doubt has no resolution and it does not end in a cliff hanger that makes you wonder and want more. It ends in a cliff hanger that makes you frustrated and Despite the many high ratings and high reviews I believe they are based on Meryl Streep's past works. However that fact that she can go from intensely angry to desperately sad within 5 seconds does not show off her acting skills. Doubt has no resolution and it does not end in a cliff hanger that makes you wonder and want more. It ends in a cliff hanger that makes you frustrated and also makes you feel like you wasted your time and money. Expand
  34. JayH
    Apr 2, 2009
    9
    Brilliant period detail and feel for the Catholic school experience of the time. The cast is incredible, they are all superb. Well written and directed. Excellent art direction and cinematography. Magnificent character development.
  35. SeanL.
    Dec 13, 2008
    10
    Incredible acting and thought provoking!
  36. KevitivityS
    Dec 19, 2008
    7
    This is NOT the simple minded Catholic bashing film you would expect from Hollywood. Great acting by Streep (as usual).
  37. MaxwellH
    Dec 26, 2008
    7
    Hoffman and Streep both play their roles spot on, among the rest of the very well chosen cast. There did seem to be something lacking, the movie a little flat in parts. However what was developed in the plot kept you second guessing. The movie's title was evident at the conclusion of the movie. How certain are we of what really happened?
  38. DaveF.
    Dec 29, 2008
    9
    Terrific acting by the entire ensemble.
  39. IanG.
    Dec 30, 2008
    10
    It's sad that I've simply become so jaded that I assume who don't delve as obsessively into film as I do can't enjoy a movie like this; fortunately, I was proved wrong. Both of my fellow theater patrons enjoyed 'Doubt' immensely. This is an intense, extremely well-acted and directed drama. It takes serious talent to pack such visceral emotion into a single It's sad that I've simply become so jaded that I assume who don't delve as obsessively into film as I do can't enjoy a movie like this; fortunately, I was proved wrong. Both of my fellow theater patrons enjoyed 'Doubt' immensely. This is an intense, extremely well-acted and directed drama. It takes serious talent to pack such visceral emotion into a single scene without emotionally wringing-out the audience. This is one not to be missed. Expand
  40. JonB.
    Jan 16, 2009
    8
    The nun (Streep) is a strict, cruel, no non-sense conservative heavy. The priest (Hoffan) is a likable liberal lead. What I like is in the end the nun might be the hero and the priest downright evil.
  41. JeffO.
    Apr 21, 2009
    6
    Great acting by Streep, the rest of the movie is kinda flat and bland, despite being well done.
  42. Lizziebeth-1
    Jun 22, 2009
    5
    Doesn't know how to end a talky yet bereft argument! Only 5/10 for this indie., 20 January 2009 This is still just a quickie based on 2 viewings. Clearly the filmmakers intended Doubt(208) to be at least self-referential for the audience, that is, they never had any intention of settling the priest's guilt with the plot. I went in expecting that. However it was a rude shock to Doesn't know how to end a talky yet bereft argument! Only 5/10 for this indie., 20 January 2009 This is still just a quickie based on 2 viewings. Clearly the filmmakers intended Doubt(208) to be at least self-referential for the audience, that is, they never had any intention of settling the priest's guilt with the plot. I went in expecting that. However it was a rude shock to see this perenially talky movie offer only homilies couched in a few sentences of priestly sermon about gossiping being a sin, and valuable truths being easily dissembled into flying feathers that you can never collect again. The topic isn't explored in more detail on film than it was on stage, and suffers not only from insufficient adaptation for the screen, but also from half-heartedly approaching its subject matter itself. This is a good one-note premise inadequately realised, with only one screaming match argument and one honest mother. Unfortunately, the film doesn't go anywhere, and then it ends. There is a little bit of throwaway hindsight in the shape of Meryl Streep's mother superior finally regretting (or being afraid of) her own unsupportable certainty; and the information that what happened in this case too was that the accused priest was just moved on but never dealt with. On the contrary he was promoted in another parish for having suffered her accusations. But of course nothing was decided then, nor is it in this movie; and its unenlightening jip is just too frustrating. The cast is universally very good, but Viola Davis blows Hoffman or Streep away as the Afr-Am tormented mother. She is just WONDERFUL as she cries about her bullied-at-home only son, who is suspected of being gay in a world that refused to understand. The 1960s period recreation is great, too, as many reviewers have remarked. However the unexamined possibilities of the other schoolboys' stories is INFURIATING. I have no patience for movies which deliberately hide certain points of view in order to set up their meagre case. It's playing "God" with the fourth wall, and I riled against this with Batman_Dark Knight as well (the grossly manipulative interrogation scene). I maintain that if the story remains this poorly developed in order to make its case, then it simply hasn't made it. None of us need or want this type of confusing, mired "vision" over such an already confused and brutal reality repeated on film for no good reason. If you're going approach this subject-matter at THIS late stage of the game, then you have to be prepared to reveal more. Scott Rudin and John Patrick Shanley (Writer/Director) - are just letting their fans down. Other reviewers seem to be upset at the critique of Catholic priests, which is just being defensive--the critiques need to happen and result in some wisdoms. But THIS ISN'T THAT WISDOM, despite its Golden Globes and Oscar noms. Deserves very little.(5/10) Expand
  43. GraziB
    Dec 12, 2008
    7
    Very good acting and tone.
  44. GeorgeM.
    Dec 17, 2008
    7
    Streep, Hoffman, and Viola Davis turn in terrific performances. (Davis goes head to head with Streep at a critical part that will be career making.) Amy Adams, not so much. Part of it is the role, most of it is she really doesn't understand why a woman would want to join a religious order and it shows. All the elements are there to portray a gripping story but you get the sense that Streep, Hoffman, and Viola Davis turn in terrific performances. (Davis goes head to head with Streep at a critical part that will be career making.) Amy Adams, not so much. Part of it is the role, most of it is she really doesn't understand why a woman would want to join a religious order and it shows. All the elements are there to portray a gripping story but you get the sense that it is an acting study rather than a movie. Still worth your $10. Expand
  45. PatS
    Dec 19, 2008
    10
    For the most part, DOUBT recaptured the feel of parochial schools in the 1950s-1960s. Streep's character was finely drawn: underneath her bluff and authoritarian exterior is kindness and worldly wisdom. She is strict with the students because she cares that they succeed morally and intellectually. She tries to protect the blind nun and, in my opinion, her motivation in going after For the most part, DOUBT recaptured the feel of parochial schools in the 1950s-1960s. Streep's character was finely drawn: underneath her bluff and authoritarian exterior is kindness and worldly wisdom. She is strict with the students because she cares that they succeed morally and intellectually. She tries to protect the blind nun and, in my opinion, her motivation in going after the priest is not based on a personal power struggle (as some critics have suggested), but out of concern for the young black boy. How much easier it would have been for her to let it go "unnoticed." Having been a principal in a Catholic school where abusive situations were taking place and having sought unsuccessfully for hierarchical involvement in remedying the wrong, I identify strongly with Sr. Aloysius. Her dilemma is so difficult because the evidence is so tenuous. Like her, I've had parents excuse clerical misbehavior. You cannot imagine how lonely it feels to fight for children whose parents won't (whatever the reason). The ambiguity is at the heart of this movie. How do we make a moral choice when the evidence is not conclusive and when any action (of omission or commission) has such horrendous consequences? All of the actors did a wonderful job; Steep, in particular, was superb in not caricaturing the authoritarian nun. What range she has! From Mamma Mia to this! Incredible. Expand
  46. WexlerR.
    Dec 27, 2008
    8
    Shanley delivers his play to the screen intact and a great cast packs a wallop in scee after scene. As with the play, one leaves the theatre with much to discuss and each actor stays with us.
  47. AAM.
    Dec 27, 2008
    6
    Thoughtful and provocative. Some simplistic visual/sound effects.
  48. BillyS.
    Dec 28, 2008
    8
    I'ts been 26 years and 10 nominations since Meryl Streep last won an Academy Award, as Sister Aloysius in Doubt, she will undoubtably earn a record 15th acting nomination and join Katherine Hepburn, Walter Brennan, Ingrid Bergman and Jack Nicholson in that select group of 3 time winners of acting Oscars. Don't believe some of the reviews out there, nobody steals this movie from I'ts been 26 years and 10 nominations since Meryl Streep last won an Academy Award, as Sister Aloysius in Doubt, she will undoubtably earn a record 15th acting nomination and join Katherine Hepburn, Walter Brennan, Ingrid Bergman and Jack Nicholson in that select group of 3 time winners of acting Oscars. Don't believe some of the reviews out there, nobody steals this movie from Ms. Streep, the other actors are all very good but it is Meryl's movie from beginning to end credits - how could it not be, let's face it, she is the greatest actress of all time! Expand
  49. LarryS.
    Dec 31, 2008
    10
    Brilliant film. Outstanding performances by Streep, Seymor-Hoffman and Adams and Great casting. Outstanding writing. A thought provoking film.
  50. Feb 6, 2014
    10
    Watching the first sermon about doubt is without doubt liberating. I have enjoyed every moment of this film. The cast gave an outstanding performance. Top notch.
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. Shanley turns out to have dismayingly few original cinematic notions to back up the basic did-he-or-didn't-he hook in his study of conviction and compassion.
  2. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    50
    Doubt stirs up a lot of stormy theatrical weather, but the stolid transfer from stage to screen does Shanley's play no favors.
  3. 30
    Streep can do anything. She is, of course, wasted on this elephantine fable; if only Doubt had been made in 1964, shot by Roger Corman over a long weekend, and retitled "Spawn of the Devil Witch" or "Blood Wimple," all would have been forgiven