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Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 25 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: When his wealthy grandfather dies, trust fund baby Jason Stevens anticipates a big inheritance. Instead, his grandfather has devised a crash course on life with twelve tasks – or "gifts" – designed to challenge Jason in improbable ways, sending him on a journey of self-discovery and forcingWhen his wealthy grandfather dies, trust fund baby Jason Stevens anticipates a big inheritance. Instead, his grandfather has devised a crash course on life with twelve tasks – or "gifts" – designed to challenge Jason in improbable ways, sending him on a journey of self-discovery and forcing him to determine what is most important in life: money or happiness. (20th Century Fox) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. It's a well-made little inspirational drama featuring both a familiar older star (James Garner) and a new one (Abigail Breslin).
  2. 70
    There's nothing wrong with the moral of The Ultimate Gift's story; in fact there's everything right about it. But director Michael O. Sajbel too often succumbs to movie-of-the-week sentimentality and starchy pacing. Still, Breslin's captivating performance reminds you why she was recently nominated for an Oscar.
  3. Garner is good, and so is Brian Dennehy as a crusty ranch owner; Abigail Breslin, playing a leukemia patient, demonstrates that she was not a one-note wonder in "Little Miss Sunshine."
  4. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    50
    Directed with accomplished impersonality by Michael O. Sajbel ( One Night With the King), The Ultimate Gift means well, but in the end it's "The Pursuit of Happyness" made from the ivory tower looking down instead of from the street looking up.
  5. 50
    More watchable for secular audiences than the handful of earlier films released under the Fox Faith label, this one actually has a sense of humor, a politically progressive point of view and a solid cast including the ever-reliable James Garner.
  6. 50
    The message is clear almost immediately: charity not vanity.
  7. Reviewed by: Toddy Burton
    20
    The story, based on the novel by motivational speaker Jim Stovall, throws every emotional stimulus into the pot, and the result is a deep desire for those Hollywood execs to remember that Christian doesn't have to equal brain-dead.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Sep 14, 2010
    10
    I am captivated by this movie. Its moral and archetypal themes are timeless, the plot is well-paced, and the acting is superb, especially DrewI am captivated by this movie. Its moral and archetypal themes are timeless, the plot is well-paced, and the acting is superb, especially Drew Fuller. The rich family is an absurd caricature, but still really funny. Expand
  2. JerryR.
    Sep 9, 2007
    10
    A good example of why critics are called critics, as most of them would have given only 1 star to "It's a Wonderful Life", and A good example of why critics are called critics, as most of them would have given only 1 star to "It's a Wonderful Life", and moviegoers are called moviegoers. A most uplifting drama with a star-studded cast. Highly recommended. Expand
  3. JimL.
    Mar 9, 2007
    10
    An amazing film that goes straight to the heart!
  4. StephenW.
    Sep 24, 2007
    10
    Awesome movie. It seems that critics enjoy trashy films more than this well made inspirational movie. Great message and well acted.
  5. Mike
    Mar 12, 2007
    9
    If you, like me, have discovered that 'feel good' movies tend to make you feel good, then you have to see this movie. Not a dry eye If you, like me, have discovered that 'feel good' movies tend to make you feel good, then you have to see this movie. Not a dry eye in the house. I also noticed that NOBODY stirred during the credits as the 'gifts' were reprised. I left the theater feeling uplifted and was quick to start telling friends to go see this largely unadvertised movie. Enjoy! Expand
  6. DarylL.
    Aug 9, 2009
    9
    This was a fantastic movie. Well acted and directed, and edited. This will not appeal to the "progressive" types I suppose, but the long This was a fantastic movie. Well acted and directed, and edited. This will not appeal to the "progressive" types I suppose, but the long proven values represented here were woven together to make a great little story. Expand
  7. KevinL
    Nov 13, 2008
    2
    Painful to watch. Characters are undeveloped one-dimensional. The movie is WAY TOO preachy!!

See all 16 User Reviews

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