The film's heroine is extraordinarily gifted. The film itself, not so much.
The question at the movie's heart is: What is best for Mary? The answer Gifted chooses is predictable, but that doesn't stop the movie from messing with your tear ducts.
Unfortunately, Gifted's cutesy classroom scenes are not quite up to the task of digging into how Mary fits in with her classmates, and the film quickly gives way to increasingly caricatured depictions ...
A good-hearted entertainment that manages its plot curveballs, and everything else, with a show of compassion.
One supposes Nicholas Sparks will eventually get around to making his Kramer vs. Kramer or Little Man Tate, but until that happens, we'll have to make do with Gifted.
The story has a few dubious turns and cliched bits, to be sure, but it all hangs together because the characters are fully three dimensional.
Movies like Gifted often drift into a quagmire of manipulation and over-the-top histrionics. For the most part, however, Webb avoids this path.
The sensitive performances here deserved a better vehicle.
Webb takes a well-crafted script by Tom Flynn and raises it up, spinning a tale so filled with wit, poignancy and authenticity that when the emotional sparks do fly, the audience is ready ...