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The Nativity Story (2006)

PG  |   |  Drama, Family  |  1 December 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 7,736 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 199 user | 121 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

A drama that focuses on the period in Mary and Joseph's life where they journeyed to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus.


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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stefan Kalipha ...
Alessandro Giuggioli ...
Farida Ouchani ...
Saïd Amadis ...
Mary's Friend


In Nazareth, teenager Mary is betrothed to the local carpenter, Joseph. Mary is visited by an angel and told that she will fulfill a prophecy and as a virgin give birth to God's son, the savior of the world. Mary's pregnancy brings her the scorn of the community and Joseph struggles to believe her seemingly outlandish story. Meanwhile, a census forces every man and his family to return to his place of birth. Joesph and Mary set out on a long and arduous journey to Bethlehem. This story is based on the Biblical account of the birth of Jesus Christ. Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One family . One journey. One child...who would change the world forever. See more »


Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 December 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nativity  »

Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$34,367 (New Zealand) (1 December 2006)


$37,617,947 (USA) (12 January 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Because it isn't specifically stated in the Bible itself, various sources have given different theories regarding which Wiseman gave Jesus which gift. In this case, Melchior is shown giving the gold, Balthasar the frankincense, and Gaspar the myrrh. See more »


Horse riders have stirrups, which were invented many centuries later. See more »


Joseph: "And you shall call his name Jesus, for it is he who will save his people from their sins." I know. Mary, God showed me. An angel came to me in my dream.
Mary: You believe me?
Joseph: I believe you. The child will need a father. I will declare him as my own.
Mary: People will not look at you the same. They will not look at us the same.
Joseph: You are my wife. I am your husband. That is all anyone need know.
See more »


Referenced in Smagsdommerne: Episode #4.18 (2006) See more »


In Rosa Vernat Lilium
(The Rose and the Lily)
Music by Mychael Danna
Lyrics by Elizabeth Danna
Performed by Azam Ali
Azam Ali appears courtesy of Six Degrees Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Perhaps the most authentic and accurate version you'll ever see
17 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you believe that Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus and everyone else in the actual events were white, Anglo-Saxon Europeans living in Central Park in New York or in California, you will be disappointed with this movie. If you want to see how people really appeared, lived and responded to the actual culture in Israel at the time of the birth of Christ, this is a work of art.

"The Nativity" is an excellent depiction of the actual events as we know them from the Bible. While it has very minor "flaws", these are buried under the number of things that make this film accurate and authentic.

Mary does not wear her piety on her sleeve and get hysterical and dramatic at every turn in the story. Instead she is accurately portrayed and played as a simple peasant girl in a very traditional culture with strict rules of behavior. She responds hesitantly but with faith to the events that focus on her.

Joseph is equally realistic as a young peasant just beginning life, and any man who has ever faced marriage for the first time will appreciate the dilemmas facing Joseph and his reactions to them.

Herod is an historically-accurate and ruthless jerk, but the movie does not overdo his part. The balance is just right; he's on camera enough to convey his wickedness and his part in the plot, but not enough to distract from the message.

The wise men are great! Instead of being simple plastic figures in a nativity scene on your mantle, they really come to life, add a lot of context to the movie, and provide a lot of information about how and why things happened as they did. The timing of the wise men's arrival may be off - but no one is 100% certain when they did arrive so this is not a big deal.

When the shepherds are visited by an angel to announce the birth of Christ, the angel is not followed visibly by "a heavenly host praising God" - but you can hear them.

I could go on and on and on, but the point is that this is an excellent depiction of events that occurred in Israel 2,000 years ago. If you want to learn about and marvel at what life was really like at that time, see the movie. It will bolster your faith. If you want to see Adam Sandler playing a Jewish Santa Claus to celebrate Christimas, this is probably not the movie for you.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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