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68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 126 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: It's 1964, St. Nicholas in the Bronx. A vibrant, charismatic priest, Father Flynn, is trying to upend the school's strict customs, which have long been fiercely guarded by Sister Aloysius Beauvier, the iron-gloved Principal who believes in the power of fear and discipline. The winds of political change are sweeping through the country, and, indeed, the school has just accepted its first black student, Donald Miller. But when Sister James, a hopeful innocent, shares with Sister Aloysius her suspicion that Father Flynn is paying too much personal attention to Donald, Sister Aloysius is galvanized to begin a crusade to both unearth the truth and to expunge Flynn from the school. Now, without a shred of proof or evidence except her moral certainty, Sister Aloysius locks into a battle of wills with Father Flynn, a battle that threatens to tear apart the Church and school with devastating consequences. (Miramax) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. 100
    Doubt has exact and merciless writing, powerful performances and timeless relevance. It causes us to start thinking with the first shot, and we never stop. Think how rare that is in a film.
  2. Reviewed by: Matthew Sorrento
    90
    Exhausting yet invigorating, it's a drama one witnesses more than just views.
  3. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    88
    By eloquently probing the state of uncertainty and its accompanying discomfort and confusion, Doubt compels viewers to examine their own assumptions as they become caught up in this fascinating tale.
  4. Shanley seems to have lost a certain amount of faith in what he'd written. As a director he's ended up pushing the drama harder than he needs to. He hasn't done anything fatal, but he has tampered with and hampered it.
  5. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    60
    Doubt cast a long moral shadow on Broadway but seems blunter on screen, largely because Shanley's fussy directorial notions ... are less nuanced than the religious and moral arguments he's given his principal characters.
  6. 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

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 48
  2. Negative: 3 out of 48
  1. 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. Expand
  2. 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! Expand
  3. 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. Expand
  4. 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. Expand
  5. 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 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
  6. 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. Expand
  7. 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. Expand

See all 48 User Reviews

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