Box art for The Ultimate Gift

The Ultimate Gift

children & family

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 tasksor gifts.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 10
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
2 out of 5
Positive messages
4 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Faith-based movie with obvious but positive messages.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Ultimate Gift is a faith-based, message drama that includes several deaths and has some very sad moments. A very unlikable young man is awakened by his boss using a cattle prod, left without resources to fend for himself on the streets, and is captured, beaten, and threatened with death by drunken drug dealers. There is some mild cursing ("hell," "screw him"), and several scenes in which characters drink and smoke. Spoiler alert: A little girl with leukemia, in whom the audience is heavily-invested, dies off camera. Her death may be very upsetting to kids.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the change in Jason. What is the "ultimate gift" his grandfather teaches him? How do the various secondary characters -- his materialistic mother, the "bum" who steals in the park, the "amigo" in Ecuador -- help Jason learn his lesson? How does Emily provide Jason with a model for good behavior?
  • Is it obvious that this movie has faith-based messages? Why or why not?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 26
    see all The Ultimate Gift reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: Director Michael O. Sajbel too often succumbs to movie-of-the-week sentimentality and starchy pacing.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Thursday, March 8, 2007


- Dave White,, Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rotten: It's Self-Help: The Movie, and it stinks to high heaven.

- David Cornelius,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Heartwarming, Heartbreaking, tender and tough. This is a movie worth watching by anyone of any age. There truly is more to life than money.

- jmanard52, Monday, March 30, 2009

4 stars

Drew Fuller, Abigal Breslin, Ali Hillis, James Garner, Brian Dennehy, Bill Cobbs, Lee Meriwether 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 12 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. A great film about love, laughter, and grief. What life is all about really. A fun and sweet story with really great characters played very strongly by the actors. Got very caught up in the story very quickly. It's amazing when Hollywood puts out a clean movie that is not only good but also with great performances that keep you entertained. You feel for these characters because some of the story has affected one of us at one time in our lives or we know someone else who has dealt with it. So its very easy to connect with them. A great movie for the entire family. Not a lot of those out there unless they are animated or Disney related. But this one would be good for everyone. Probably could learn a lot from this film. Drew Fuller was great. Good seeing him doing something that he has a lead in so he can show how talented he is and that he has range. The acting from Abigal Breslin was amazing. Such a talented young girl who will go far in this business. I really liked Ali Hillis in this movie too. Thought she gave a great performance. This movie is going to have you laughing at one moment and then crying the next. A must see...

- LWOODS04, Saturday, December 26, 2009

4 stars

Really cute.

- dreamfaeries, Wednesday, August 20, 2008