The Ultimate Gift 2006

Critics score:
32 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times: If The Ultimate Gift really wanted to embrace a powerful Christian message, it would've made Jason's ordeal truly threatening and genuinely transformative. Read more

Lou Carlozo, Chicago Tribune: There's an anti-abortion message jammed into one scene with all the subtlety of an avalanche. Just in case you miss it, it's repeated in the credits too. Some gift, eh? Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Read more

Boston Globe: Christian charity, in this movie, seems like a side-effect of capitalism. Read more

Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times: The film's values are fairly well encoded into the story, such that it feels less like a sermon and more like a film with a good, if somewhat sappy, heart. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: [James] Garner is good, and so is Brian Dennehy as a crusty ranch owner; Abigail Breslin, playing a leukemia patient, demonstrates that she was not a one-note wonder in Little Miss Sunshine. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: The Ultimate Gift is less a theatrical feature than a Sunday night made-for-TV movie brought to you by Hallmark. That sounds crueler than it is: The movie, directed by Michael O. Sajbel, has plenty of charm. Read more

Gregory Kirschling, Entertainment Weekly: The Ultimate Gift is kind of like a feel-good Saw for churchgoers, minus the sadistic games of death. Read more

Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly: It's The Pursuit of Happyness made from the ivory tower looking down, instead of from the street looking up. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: Well-meant, but impossibly obvious. Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: Has a mercifully light hand in selling its Christian-values themes, but its plodding story about a spoiled young scion who must complete 12 tasks assigned him by his late grandfather is still a slog. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: This new film moves along smoothly until Grandpa's most preposterous mission - which needlessly drags out the movie -- takes Jason to a severely caricatured Ecuador. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Funny and moving, and several steps above the Hallmark Channel pabulum that Fox Faith has mostly rolled out up until now. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Erin Clements, Time Out: If you missed the money-isn't-everything message, an end-credits recap outlines the story's salient points -- if you'd known, you could've skipped the rest. Read more

Joe Leydon, Variety: It soft-pedals its religious elements -- discussions of faith and God are fleeting, almost subliminal -- without stinting on the celebration of wholesome family values. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: Director Michael O. Sajbel too often succumbs to movie-of-the-week sentimentality and starchy pacing. Read more