Black Nativity

2013 PG 1h 34m Blu-ray / DVD

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Black Nativity

2013 PG 1h 34m Blu-ray / DVD
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Langston Hughes's play is the basis for this uplifting drama about an angry teen whose single mother sends him to spend Christmas with his grandparents. Frustrated by their strictness, the youth runs away and learns about faith during his journey.
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen 2.40:1
French, Spanish (Neutral), English SDH
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, English: DVS - Descriptive Video Service
Widescreen 2.40:1
French, Spanish (Neutral), English
English: DTS-HD Master Audio, English: DVS - Descriptive Video Service
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 9+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 9+
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age 9+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that the musical Black Nativity is a modernization of Langston Hughes' 1961 play of the same name with a gospel twist. There's nothing particularly alarming for younger kids, but there are a couple of scenes when a young man has skirmishes with the law (he's mistakenly arrested for pickpocketing when he was just trying to return the wallet) and later tries to rob a pawnshop at gunpoint. Hughes' poetry is recited (or sung) throughout the movie, as are traditional gospel songs. The story of Jesus' birth becomes the driving force for an estranged family's reunion in this holiday musical.

Sexual Content

A young couple embraces and holds hands. Adults make references to a teen pregnancy.


A minor takes a gun he's about to (illegally) buy and tries to hold up a pawn shop. A police officer holds a gun up to the underage suspect but lets the young guy go with just a warning. A teenager is arrested when he's caught holding a man's wallet (that he was actually trying to return). He stays in jail and nearly gets into a fight with a man.


Language/insults includes "damn," "hell," "punk," "Lunch Money," "no good," etc.

Social Behavior

There are plenty of positive messages about the importance of faith, family, and forgiveness. The story focuses on the possibility of redemption and the need for unconditional love between parents and children. There's also a strong Christian message about the birth of Jesus and the importance of being able to repent and forgive. Langston Hughes' poetry, which is sung/recited throughout the movie, also offers thought-provoking messages about empowerment, overcoming life's difficulties, and the sadness of delaying dreams.


Peter Pan bus lines; a Cadillac; Samsung, Starbucks, Hyundai, and various storefronts along 125th Street in Harlem.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Not applicable

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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