The Star (U)



Comedy (2017)
86mins US

Starring: Gina Rodriguez, Kristin Chenoweth, Zachary Levi
Director: Timothy Reckart
Writer(s): Carlos Kotkin
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

An angel visits Mary to inform her that she will bear the messiah. Three months later she falls pregnant and informs husband Joseph of the miraculous news. They embark on the long and arduous journey from Nazareth, unaware that King Herod has dispatched two dogs, Thaddeus and Rufus, to track and kill the newborn. When Bo the donkey and his dove pal Dave learn of Herod's plans, they warn Mary and Joseph, and join the animal caravan heading for Bethlehem.

Seen that movie? Leave a comment / review here >>

LondonNet Film Review
The Star (U)

At the end of director Timothy Reckart's computer-animated road trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem, a title card materialises bearing a solemn apology to anyone offended by the artistic licence or sense of fun of this reimagining of the Nativity. The filmmakers, we're earnestly informed, strived in every digitally-crafted frame to adhere to the "spirit and values of the greatest story ever told". It's hard to imagine many people taking umbrage at this family-friendly dramatisation of the birth of Jesus, glimpsed through the eyes of talking four-legged and feathered critters, who will eventually congregate around the holy manger...

The Star. Copyright: 2017 CTMG, Inc. Caption: Felix (voiced by Tracy Morgan) and Cyrus (Tyler Perry) in The Star. Photo: courtesy of Sony Pictures Animation. All Rights Reserved.Admittedly, very young children might be scared by a sword-wielding henchman and his snarling dogs, who are dispatched to slaughter pregnant Mary before she can give birth. However, in almost every respect, Carlos Kotkin's faith-heavy script is piously and politically correct to a fault, lightening a reverential mood with groansome gags that wouldn't be out of place as Christmas cracker mottos. Competently executed set pieces, including a frantic marketplace chase, are accompanied by an uplifting soundtrack of festive cheer that begins with a cappella group Pentatonix harmonising perfectly on Carol Of The Bells and reaches a crescendo with Mariah Carey's full-volume trill of the title track.

Nine months, BC, and an angel visits Mary (voiced by Gina Rodriguez) to inform her that she has been chosen to bear the Messiah. A few months later, Mary shares the miraculous news with her incredulous husband, Joseph (Zachary Levi). Subsequently, they embark on the long and arduous journey to Bethlehem to register for a census. The couple are blissfully unaware that King Herod (Christopher Plummer) has dispatched a hulking underling and bloodthirsty dogs Thaddeus (Ving Rhames) and Rufus (Gabriel Iglesias) to track down the unborn. "This new king is a problem," Herod snarls. "Get rid of the problem!" When Bo (Steven Yeun), the miller's donkey, and wisecracking dove buddy Dave (Keegan-Michael Key) learn of Herod's nefarious plan, they try in vain to warn Mary and Joseph. Bo and Dave join the ramshackle caravan, guided by the light of a new star. En route, a kind sheep called Ruth (Aidy Bryant) befriends the travellers. Meanwhile, three wise men head towards Bethlehem aboard trusty camels Cyrus (Tyler Perry), Deborah (Oprah Winfrey) and Felix (Tracy Morgan) - carrying gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

The Star is geared towards Christian congregations, but audiences of all faiths will be able to engage with a menagerie of cute protagonists, who play instrumental roles in the birth. Key comes closest to a scene-stealing vocal performance, but he is repeatedly reined in - with that end credits apology clearly in mind. The script preaches thanksgiving, peace and good will to all (wo)men. Those sentiments, if not the quality of the filmmaking, merit a hearty hallelujah.

- Kim Hu

The Star. Copyright: 2017 CTMG, Inc. Caption: Felix (voiced by Tracy Morgan) and Cyrus (Tyler Perry) in The Star. Photo: courtesy of Sony Pictures Animation. All Rights Reserved.


London Cinemas

From Friday 9th February
To Thursday 15th February

Not showing at any
London cinemas this week.
From Friday 16th February
To Thursday 22nd February

Not showing at any
London cinemas this week.


« Back to Index

Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 9th February
To Thursday 15th February

- Gorey, [email protected]
From Friday 16th February
To Thursday 22nd February

Not showing at any
UK cinemas this week.


« Back to Index