Bless the Child

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This article is about the 2000 film. For the 2003 Hong Kong film, see Bless the Child (2003 film). For the Nightwish song, see Bless the Child (song).
Bless the Child
Bless the Child film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Chuck Russell
Produced by Mace Neufeld
Screenplay by Tom Rickman
Clifford Green
Ellen Green
Based on Bless the Child
by Cathy Cash Spellman
Starring Kim Basinger
Jimmy Smits
Angela Bettis
Rufus Sewell
Christina Ricci
Holliston Coleman
Music by Christopher Young
Cinematography Peter Menzies Jr.
Edited by Alan Heim
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • August 11, 2000 (2000-08-11)
Running time
107 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $65 million
Box office $40,443,010[2]

Bless the Child is a 2000 American horror-thriller film[3] directed by Chuck Russell, starring Kim Basinger, Jimmy Smits, Angela Bettis, Rufus Sewell, Christina Ricci, and Holliston Coleman. It is based on the novel of the same name by Cathy Cash Spellman.


Maggie O'Connor's (Kim Basinger) life revolves around her job as a nurse at a busy New York hospital, until one rainy night, her sister Jenna (Angela Bettis) abandons her newborn autistic daughter, Cody, at her home. Maggie takes Cody in, and she becomes the daughter she never had.

Six years later, Jenna suddenly re-appears with a mysterious new husband, Eric (Rufus Sewell), and abducts Cody (Holliston Coleman). Despite the fact that Maggie has no legal rights to Cody, FBI agent John Travis (Jimmy Smits), an expert in ritual murder and occult-related crime, takes up her case when he realizes that Cody shares the same birth date as several other recently missing children.

Cody, it soon becomes clear, is more than simply special. She manifests extraordinary powers that the forces of evil have waited centuries to control, and her abduction sparks a clash between the soldiers of good and evil that can only be resolved, in the end, by the strength of one small child and the love she inspires in those she touches.



Bless the Child received almost universally negative reviews from critics, with Rotten Tomatoes giving this film a 3% rating and is ranked #29 on their worst-reviewed films of the last decade.[4]

Film critic Bruce Kirkland felt that Bless the Child was mocking Scientology in the guise of the fictional cult "The New Dawn".[5]

Box office[edit]

The film opened at #7 at the North American box office making USD$9.4 million in its opening weekend. It went on to gross only $40.4 million worldwide, below its $65 million budget.[2]


The film was nominated for one Razzie Award, Worst Actress for Kim Basinger, along with I Dreamed of Africa, but lost to Madonna for The Next Best Thing.[6]


  1. ^ "Bless the Child". British Film Institute. London. Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Bless the Child at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ Bless the Child at AllMovie
  4. ^ Bless the Child at Rotten Tomatoes
  5. ^ Kirkland, Bruce (August 11, 2000). "Spawn of Hollywood". The Toronto Sun. 
  6. ^ "Twenty-First Annual RAZZIE® Awards (for 2000)". Razzie Awards. December 4, 2005. 

External links[edit]