Box art for The Nativity Story

The Nativity Story

children & family, drama

In a cruel time, families struggle to survive and a young woman's faith is put to the test. Join Mary and Joseph on an incredible journey of hope and discovery.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 10
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
0 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
0 out of 5
3 out of 5

The Bible on the big screen: New take on old tale.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that most kids probably won't be clamoring to see this serious biblical drama. It includes references to stoning, rape, and the slaughter of innocent people. Mary endures whispers and looks from neighbors (she's pregnant but hasn't had sex -- they wonder how this can be). She and Joseph embark on a difficult trip to Bethlehem, enduring thieves, harsh weather, sandstorms, a perilous river crossing, and a run-in with a snake. The takeaway message (for Christians and non-believers alike) is that hope and faith go a long way toward getting you through life's rough patches.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how Mary and Joseph react to their extraordinary situation. Even though they had doubts, they didn't shy away from responsibility. Why do people call on faith and hope when times are rough? Also, when someone trustworthy tells you something that seems unbelievable, should you trust them? How realistic do you think the movie's portrayal of biblical times is? How do kids think the director did depicting this timeless story? How do they respond to seeing religion on the big screen? How do our modern values color the story of Mary and Joseph?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: It might not hook nonbelievers, but the choir might sing hosannas.

- Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, Friday, December 1, 2006


- Brooke Holgerson, Boston Phoenix, Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fresh: Yes, there is something about Mary. Something inspiring. Something hopeful.

- Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer, Friday, December 1, 2006

Audience Reviews

4 stars

this film has not been well recieved, but it was powerful. there were a few small inaccuracies as far as consitency to Scripture, but the film was well made and well played. I'll watch this every Christmas from now on.

- sanjurosamurai, Sunday, March 8, 2009

3 stars

Well, if you have ever sat through a Christmas play, you know the story already. The movie was OK - nothing earth-shattering. I didn't realize the middle east was as dry as this movie portrays it.

- Redlats, Tuesday, November 20, 2007

3 stars

Like a big ol' Christmas card, just as pretty and shallow. Kinda predictable, though...

- wbgoose13, Tuesday, November 28, 2006