4.6/10
2,019
19 user 43 critic

Black Nativity (2013)

Trailer
1:57 | Trailer
A street-wise teen from Baltimore who has been raised by a single mother travels to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives, where he embarks on a surprising and inspirational journey.

Director:

Kasi Lemmons

Writers:

Langston Hughes (based on the play by), Kasi Lemmons (written for the screen by)
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Forest Whitaker ... Reverend Cornell Cobbs
Angela Bassett ... Aretha Cobbs
Jennifer Hudson ... Naima
Tyrese Gibson ... Loot / Tyson
Jacob Latimore ... Langston
Mary J. Blige ... Angel
Nas ... Street Prophet (Isaiah) (as Nasir Jones)
Vondie Curtis-Hall ... Pawnbroker (as Vondie Curtis Hall)
Luke James ... Jo-Jo / Joseph
Grace Gibson Grace Gibson ... Maria / Mary
Rotimi ... Officer Butch McDaniels
J. Mallory McCree ... Kyle
Henry Hunter Hall ... Snoopy (as H. Hunter Hall)
Michael Dale ... Innkeeper
Doug Willen ... Chic Man
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Storyline

In a contemporary adaptation of Langston Hughes' celebrated play, the holiday musical drama BLACK NATIVITY follows Langston (Jacob Latimore), a street-wise teen from Baltimore raised by a single mother, as he journeys to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives Reverend Cornell and Aretha Cobbs (Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett). Unwilling to live by the imposing Reverend Cobbs' rules, a frustrated Langston is determined to return home to his mother, Naima (Jennifer Hudson). Langston embarks on a surprising and inspirational journey and along with his new friends, and a little divine intervention, he discovers the true meaning of faith, healing, and family. Written by Fox Searchlight

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Family | Music | Musical

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material, language and a menacing situation. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker's second collaboration. Their first was "Waiting to Exhale" (1995), which Whitaker directed and in which Bassett starred. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Lady Gaga (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The First Noel
Traditional
Performed by Blondelle
Courtesy of Psychocandy Entertainment
See more »

User Reviews

 
Came out better than I thought at first
5 May 2015 | by k9gardnerSee all my reviews

Some critiques of this movie paint it as too cheesy or clichéd. It is those things. But the screenwriter was kind of between a rock and a hard place, as one often is in transcribing the work for one medium into another. It wasn't written as a screenplay, but the screenwriters had to walk the line between a full adaptation to film on the one hand, and staying as true as possible to Langston Hughes's vision on the other. It's a little rough in parts, and any time someone is singing in a bus station you gotta look at them askance... but still, the conveyance of the story, and the coming together of this family, in this very evangelical style (totally agreeing with Roger Ebert here), along with the star performances of these actors and singers, ensures that "its rough aspects are easy to forgive."

Not a great, great film, as films go. But for a theatrical adaptation of a play on screen, with music, and a voyage/story that speaks to many... Very much worth dedicating 90 minutes to.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 November 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Nativity See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,669,530, 1 December 2013

Gross USA:

$7,018,189

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,454,185
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | Datasat

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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