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Doubt Review Critics


Dave White Profile

...overacted, overblown Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Shanley turns out to have dismayingly few original cinematic notions to back up the basic did-he-or-didn't-he hook in his study of conviction and compassion.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The film is nothing if not provocative.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Doubt leaves none in one respect: John Patrick Shanley was the right person to direct this fascinating screen version of his celebrated play.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    By eloquently probing the state of uncertainty and its accompanying discomfort and confusion, Doubt compels viewers to examine their own assumptions as they become caught up in this fascinating tale.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Doubt reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Brooding, play-based drama isn't for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this brooding, play-based drama isn't for kids. It tackles questions about God, faith, and evil in a way that will most likely be either uninteresting or too complex for young audiences. Though children are in the cast, the movie's themes are mature -- particularly the question of whether or not a priest has abused a child and how doubt about what happened undoes three main characters. Another storyline examines the patriarchal nature of the Catholic church, despite its dependence on the good works of its (female) nuns. Though there's little swearing, violence, or drinking, the movie isn't meant for kids (and isn't particularly likely to interest them, either).

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages. What is it saying about religion? The Catholic church in particular?
  • Why do Sister Aloysius and Father Flynn clash? Who's right, and who'swrong? And what of doubt? Do you think Father Flynn is guilty orinnocent?
  • Whatcharacteristics do movies based on plays tend to have in common? Do plays always makegood movies? Why or why not?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The movie has complex, ambiguous messages about faith. A nun who rules a school with an iron fist accuses a priest of abusing a child, even though she has no proof. Adults subsequently discuss suspicions of pedophelia. A mother seems willing to turn a blind eye to her son's troubles. A novice gives her mother superior ammunition to destroy someone's reputation. Kids give a new student the cold shoulder and make fun of him in class.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Although the main characters are usually convinced that they're acting for the right reasons, the decisions they make have complicated, far-reaching consequences. They're too often ruled by manipulation and betrayal, as well as selfishness and fear.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: A nun and a priest have a fiery shouting match about guilt and innocence. A thin layer of menace hangs over the film when the plot reveals suspected child abuse. A woman talks about how her son is being beaten up by her husband.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false2

    Language: Little swearing. On one occasion, the word "bulls--t" is uttered by a child.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A priest smokes a cigarette, as does a student. A child is suspected of drinking some wine, which an adult may have given him.