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Black Nativity review

A lesson learned is a lesson sung...

A somewhat disorienting jumble of narrative invention and stage-y musical, Black Nativity adapts Langston Hughes’ 1961 ‘gospel-song-play’, itself an urbanised adaptation of the Nativity.

Seventeen-year-old pop/R&B singer Jacob Latimore stars as Langston, a moody teen forced to leave his Baltimore home and financially struggling mom (Jennifer Hudson) to stay with his relatives in Harlem for the holidays.

His booming grandfather (Forest Whitaker) and gentler grandmother (Angela Bassett) have many lessons to teach the wayward young man, and they do it with much singing and carrying-on.

The well-worn platitudes and pained moralising are a bit much, but the music is tremendous.

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Ken McIntyre

Ken McIntyre is a freelance writer who has spent years covering music and film. You'll find Ken in the pages of Total Film and here on GamesRadar, using his experience and expertise to dive into the history of cinema and review the latest films. You'll also find him writing features and columns for other Future Plc brands, such as Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazine.