Rated 4.0

John Patrick Shanley directed the film adaptation of his Pulitzer Prize-winning one-act, Doubt, with mostly positive results. Although he shows a writerly inclination toward obvious visuals (canted angles to suggest emotional imbalance, windstorms symbolizing spiritual turmoil, etc.), he also has a rare, nonslavish respect for the material; Doubt retains the intimacy of a stage production while never feeling stagy. Shanley smartly keeps the focus on his actors, especially Meryl Streep, acting the fuck out of her role as a martinet nun on a quasi-righteous witch hunt against a kindly priest (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Streep’s Sister Aloysius accuses the priest of improper conduct with an altar boy with no proof, just a deep-seated, possibly misguided faith in his guilt.