Movie Review: The Star

Full disclosure, I'm usually not a fan of "religious" movies, but with The Star's huge voice cast of A-listers, I was interested in seeing it. I'm glad I did as it ended up being a very cute film.

The Star tells the story of Mary (voiced by Gina Rodriguez) and Joseph (Zachary Levi), and how her son Jesus comes to be born (aka the first Christmas). At the beginning of the film, a voice and accompanying light comes to Mary, saying that she has been chosen to bear the Savior, and shortly after, she becomes pregnant. She marries Joseph without him knowing, but after she tells him, he's of course on board with it, though a little nervous. At the same time, a donkey (Steven Yeun) escapes from his cruel master, and ends up in the care of Mary and Joseph, where she renames him Bo.

Soon after, Mary and Joseph have to travel to Bethlehem for the census, even though Mary is 8-9 months pregnant at this point, and complications soon arise.

All of the voice cast was great, and I was shocked to learn that it's Steven Yeun (TV's The Walking Dead) who voices Bo the donkey—it sounded nothing like him. If you listen closely, you'll recognize Kristin Chenoweth as Abby the mouse; Tyler Perry, Oprah, and Tracy Morgen as the camels; Christopher Plummer as King Herod; Keegan-Michael Key as Dave the dove; and others in smaller animal roles, including Patricia Heaton, Kris Kristofferson, Ving Rhames, Anthony Anderson, Mariah Carey, Gabriel Iglesias, Aidy Bryant, and Kelly Clarkson. My favorite animals were probably Ruth the sheep, and the goat, as they provided a lot of comic relief, as well as Bo.

Yes, see this movie. It's very family-friendly (it's rated PG), so it's a nice movie to take kids to see, as well. Although I only know the basics of the Jesus, Mary and Joseph story, they took a lot of creative licensing with it (they admit this at the end, too) and made it into an educational, yet interesting story. I'd even recommend this film for those that aren't really religious or see religious-themed movies (like myself), as it's very cute and, with a runtime of about an hour and 25 minutes, doesn't overstay its welcome either.

The Star is in theaters today, November 17th, and is rated PG with a runtime of 86 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.

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