Doubt is an uneven, unfulfilling film, but it does host two or three really good dramatic scenes. At these times the picture bubbles up with emotion and spills over. There's a scene between parent and Principal that sizzles -- great acting with juicy conflicts slowly revealed -- I loved it. There's also a strikingly superb moment between Principal and Priest near the end in which Streep's character fully releases her steam of anger, but it all too quickly, unbelievably quickly, unsizzles to vulnerability. So episodically, you'll enjoy some very powerful acting, but not on the whole and not enough to be Oscar-buzz worthy.
On the whole, the film lacks a consistent power of its promise. Tensions rise, but unfortunately, open spaces dominate, where the only emotion is anticipation for some emotion. Also, the innocent/nervous Sister to contrast the hard as nails/confident Principal feels a bit heavy-handed. Spoiler: If the theme is to keep your suspicions to yourself until you have proof, well, then the audience should have been shown the accused to be innocent. Personally, I think the point of the film was just to show off dramatic confrontations and leave the audience wondering in doubt. That said, I quite enjoyed the parable on gossip as related to the torn pillow.
Either way, the film put my girlfriend asleep, while it left me wanting more and wondering its point.
-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --