‘Doubt’ is a provocative, pared-down work that in the theatre carried the subtitle "A Parable", and it has four outstanding performances. At the center are Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Once again, they prove capable of transforming themselves, creating persuasive characters without adopting excessive make-up or a battery of eccentric mannerisms.
They're supported by Amy Adams, who has several excellent scenes as Sister James, a young woman of transparent integrity, and by Viola Davis as Mrs. Miller, a loving mother attempting to maintain her personal decency under intolerable conditions. Davis is transcendent and makes an indelible impression in her single scene.
Intelligent and incisive, ‘Doubt’ is a credible attempt by John Patrick Shanley and his cast to adapt his play for the screen. Powered by finely tuned dialogue and performances, the result, while never explosive, is a gripping and engaging.