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Parents' Guide to

Black Nativity

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Christmas musical is feel-good story of faith, forgiveness.

Movie PG 2013 93 minutes
Black Nativity Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 9+

A different kind of Christmas movie. Good gospel music, inspiring lyrics and good actors!

age 10+


My oldest son watched a little bit of it and hated it! Why, just why!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Families that celebrate Christmas and appreciate gospel music are in for a feel-good treat in Black Nativity. Featuring a mix of gospel and Christmas music, the film is a touching modernization of the nativity tale within a prodigal-child framing story. Hudson's voice is far superior to everyone else's in the movie -- with the exception of fellow professional R&B singer Mary J. Blige as a Christmas pageant angel and Hudson's impressive on-screen son Latimore. Whitaker's voice isn't on the same level, but he makes up for it with his performances as a well-known Harlem preacher who can't figure out how to reconcile with his uncommunicative daughter.

Parents who attend the movie with their children should take full advantage of the many references to Hughes' poems like "Dream Deferred" and traditional spirituals like "Motherless Child." In addition to being a Christmas story, the movie provides a context for the historical importance of Harlem to African Americans as well as references to the civil rights movement. This is not a perfect movie: parts are a bit too convenient to believe and others are overly sentimental, but those flaws can be forgiven considering it's a holiday film. The Christmas musical will appeal foremost to gospel lovers and practicing Christians, but anyone who sees it should appreciate the vocals and the family-first message.

Movie Details

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