Picks and Pans Review: Doubt

updated 12/22/2008 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/22/2008 AT 01:00 AM EST

Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman | PG-13 |

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It's the Meryl and Phil show. Doubt, the movie version of the 2005 Tony-and Pulitzer-winning Broadway play, provides two top talents the chance to rock and roll righteously. Adapted and directed (shakily) by John Patrick Shanley (Joe Versus the Volcano), Doubt is about a stern nun (Streep) who, in 1964, confronts a progressive priest (Hoffman) whom she suspects is molesting a boy at the school where she is principal. In making its point about the ambiguity of certitude, the film keeps you guessing throughout as to which of these two is right. Doubt's intellectual trappings seem thinner here than onstage, but Streep and Hoffman are both so superb it is pure delight just to watch 'em work.


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