The Nativity Story

New Line Cinema Released 2006


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Movie Summary

Catherine Hardwicke

The Nativity Story is a 2006 drama based on the biblical story of the birth of Jesus Christ. When teenage Mary (Keisha Castle-Hughes) travels back home to Nazareth after visiting her cousin Elizabeth (Shohreh Aghdashloo), the man to whom she is betrothed, Joseph of Judea (Oscar Isaac), discovers that she is pregnant. When Mary tells Joseph that she is still a virgin and she is carrying the son of God, he is reluctant to believe her claim. However, he soon becomes convinced of her purity when an angel visits him and says that her story is the truth. Soon, the government sends an edict that all men must go to their place of birth for the census, so Joseph and heavily pregnant Mary set out on an arduous journey to Bethlehem. Meanwhile, three Magi, Gaspar (Stefan Kalipha), Melchior (Nadim Sawalha) and Balthasar (Eriq Ebouaney), receive a visit from the angel Gabriel (Alexander Siddig) and learn that God's son is going to be born. The Magi also head to Bethlehem to give the child gifts after telling King Herod (Ciaran Hinds) of his existence, but the evil king has a treacherous plan for the baby.



Metacritic Score

  • 70

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    At its best, The Nativity Story shares with "Hail Mary" an interest in finding a kernel of realism in the old story of a pregnant teenager in hard times. Buried in the pageantry, i...

  • 50

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    This is not a chance to "experience the most timeless of stories as you've never seen it before" but just the opposite: an opportunity, for those who want it, to encounter this sto...

  • 50

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Memories of dreary Sunday school classes come flooding back courtesy of The Nativity Story.

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Religion & Spirituality