75

Chicago Sun-Times

By Mary Houlihan
Lemmons and her cast, aided by some great music, have created an interlude sure to lift the spirit during the holiday season.
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68

Film.com

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.
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65

NPR

By Mark Jenkins
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.
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63

Movie Nation

By Roger Moore
Modestly entertaining and uplifting version of a “greatest story” that has proven as malleable as it is timeless.
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63

Chicago Tribune

By Michael Phillips
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.
Full Review
63

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
Black Nativity offers a whopping serving of Yuletide emotion. And it's a musical - with plenty of wailing and rapping on the side.
Full Review
63

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
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.
Full Review
60

Arizona Republic

By Bill Goodykoontz
The singing is terrific, particularly whenever Hudson belts out a number (and there is really no other way to describe her powerhouse vocals). But the story is trite and predictable, if heartfelt.
Full Review
60

Variety

By Justin Chang
Lemmons advances this story with straight-faced conviction, orchestrating narrative and spectacle with a grandiosity that proves easier to admire from a distance than it is to engage with onscreen.
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50

Entertainment Weekly

By Chris Nashawaty
While Hudson's and costar Mary J. Blige's soulful, stirring musical numbers are absolute dynamite, the rest of the film's story is larded with enough soap opera twists and heavy-handed schmaltz that you'll feel like you're being bludgeoned with a hymnal.
Full Review
48 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.