Critic Reviews

49

Metascore

Based on 16 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
It's a well-made little inspirational drama featuring both a familiar older star (James Garner) and a new one (Abigail Breslin).
70
There's nothing wrong with the moral of The Ultimate Gift's story; in fact there's everything right about it. But director Michael O. Sajbel too often succumbs to movie-of-the-week sentimentality and starchy pacing. Still, Breslin's captivating performance reminds you why she was recently nominated for an Oscar.
70
Variety
Although cynics likely will reject The Ultimate Gift as warmed-over Capra-corn, this predictable but pleasant drama based on Jim Stovall's popular novel may be prized by those with a taste for inspirational uplift and heart-tugging sentiment.
50
Village Voice
Directed with accomplished impersonality by Michael O. Sajbel ( One Night With the King), The Ultimate Gift means well, but in the end it's "The Pursuit of Happyness" made from the ivory tower looking down instead of from the street looking up.
50
Chicago Tribune
The plot, though of the made-for-TV ilk, makes for good discussion fodder if you're trying to impress life's lessons on children or others you love. That said, be prepared to be hit over the head by the message, edifying as it is.
50
The film constantly teeters on the fulcrum of its own treacly good intentions and simplistic parable-like storytelling, and the extent that it stays balanced is largely thanks to its agile cast.
50
New York Daily News
This drama from Fox Faith Movies has a mercifully light hand in selling its Christian-values themes, but its plodding story about a spoiled young scion who must complete 12 tasks assigned him by his late grandfather is still a slog.
50
New York Post
More watchable for secular audiences than the handful of earlier films released under the Fox Faith label, this one actually has a sense of humor, a politically progressive point of view and a solid cast including the ever-reliable James Garner.
50
It is message filmmaking so blunt you might be tempted to root for the parasitic reprobate over the saintly old man, and that's just not right.
40
Reeking of self-righteousness and moral reprimand, Michael O. Sajbel’s Ultimate Gift”is a hairball of good-for-you filmmaking.

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