The Passion of The Christ (18) Reviews

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Summary

Starring: James Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern
Theatrical-Release: March, 2004
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★★★★★

“Directed by Mel Gibson Very sad and extremley...”

Written on: 11/04/2009 by mrsaragorn (16 reviews written)

Directed by Mel Gibson Very sad and extremley violent The passion and crucifixion of Christ .Including,what some believe would have truly happened. One of most violent films i've ever seen

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★★★★★

“Films, like books or music, are made for many reasons....”

Written on: 05/12/2004 by steerpyke (6 reviews written)

Films, like books or music, are made for many reasons. Entertainment, propaganda, controversy, are but a few and in this film there is something of everything. I am not a religious person myself, but am interested in the history of religion, and am, I feel, very broad minded and I think that is probably a required trait to get the most out of this film. As with most sensitive subjects, if you already have an unwaving opinion of the matter at hand you will not learn much from the experience. So it was with the requisite open mind that I sat down to watch what has become one of the most controversial films of the moment.

The film covers a very short period of the New Testament, only the last 12 hours of Christs life are covered in the story, the period from betrayal by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane, to the Crucifixion. One factor that has been much talked about is that the film has been made using the languages of the time, Aramaic and Latin, both dead languages as far as the modern listener is concerned. The film is subtitled in English and far from detracting from the film, it seems to add a dimension of reality to the portrayal of events. Much of the action is very apparent without the need for dialogue, and the story should be familiar to most in the western world anyway. These two factors mean that there is no real distraction from the screen events caused by the amount of subtitle involved, and it is much more favourable that having the usual mechanism of everyone speaking English but with an accent so that the audience know the Romans from the Jews, a most condescending approach, I feel.

The cinematography has a feel of beauty and horror at the same time. The settings and backgrounds are often visually stunning and in contrast, much of the action abhorent. I know that the story being portrayed here is a violent one, but one criticism of the film is that it does seem to dwell too much on the numerous beatings and punishments handed out to Christ. The message would still have reached the audience with only half the dedication to what ultimately pushes the film from the historical genre into the horror genre.

One of the controversial parts of the plot is the idea that the Jews and not the Romans were responsible for Christs treatment and eventual death, a point that has been argued over for the last two thousand years, and one of the main debates of this film. I suppose that what you need to take on board that the amount of information in the gospels regarding the events is fairly limited, and this means that they are open to various interperetation, and this like any film is only the directors personal view of events. This is where the need to be broad minded comes in. It's difficult in some respects to see what Gibson was trying to do with the film, if not only to provoke people. That said provocation leads to debate and that is always a good thing.

The cast is made up of people unknown in the mainstream cinema, but that seems to be a good move, as making this film with star names would have probably detracted from the story and made it less powerful. Satan in particular is a fantastic role who wanders like a ghost through the edges of the film. The film seems to move slowly through the plot, but at no point did i feel bored with the film. It is absorbing and holds you transfixed, often in that macarbe way, the I know I shouldnt look but can help it sort of way.

I would recommend this film to anyone. If you are open minded or non-religious then you should enjoy the film, and if you are set in your religious beliefs then it should provide no threat to you. Either way it is a film from which everyone will be able to take something. You may not agree with its portrayal of the story, but it is a film that could only have been allowed in the last few years and as such should be remembered for pushing the boundaries of film making forward.

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★★★★★

“The Passion of The Christ - This is an amazing,...”

Written on: 07/09/2004 by randomrabbit (3 reviews written)

The Passion of The Christ - This is an amazing, extremely accurate film showing exactly what would have happened at the crucifiction. It is horrific, but it shows what it would have been like. I think most people would either be in tears or in serious shock by the end of this film. VERY EFFECTIVE AND VERY GOOD.

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★★★★★

“I have seen The Passion of The Christ because there...”

Written on: 02/06/2004 by Charlesjmd (2 reviews written)

I have seen The Passion of The Christ because there was so much rubbish about it being anti this and anti that and too much of this and too much of that. Here is what I have to say to all you "nay sayers". BE QUIET!

I am a Christian and I know that God Lives. His son was Jesus Christ and if you had lived at the time of Christ you would not have said to the Roman Guards "That's too violent, can't you make it a 12A rated beating!"

In fact, what Christ suffered was far worse, and may be people might just get a glimpse of his suffering and why Christian people believe that this one event brought potential salvation for all mankind, not just Christians and made the physical resurrection of man and his immortality possible.

I am not a Catholic like Mel Gibson, but he put his money where his heart is, and made money and invested his own money and I think both financially and spiritually he is the richer for it.

The facts are Jews were there saying "crucify Him", but I don't hate Jews. Nazi's killed Jews but I don't hate Germans. White people held black slaves in bondage, but I don't hate my own white kind, people kill people, that is a sad fact but I hope that those that say this film is anti-Semitic will say "fact is fact" his life was taken by Romans at the request of "SOME" Jews and Satan plays the biggest part in enticing the hand of man to do evil.

One last thing, my sister who is lacking in faith went to the movie and said it helped to restore her faith in Christ. End of Argument.

A terrible but true testament of mans cruelty to man.

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☆☆☆☆☆

“Wow, Christians will love The Passion of The Christ,...”

Written on: 24/04/2004 by whovian222 (1 review written)

Wow, Christians will love The Passion of The Christ, but for people who do not believe that crytopagan human sacrifice is "love" all they will get out of it is 2+ hours of barbarism and gore. If you love seeing people beaten to a pulp, grab your popcorn and head down to the theatre for a "religious" experience you won't soon forget. Vile and forgettable in the extreme.

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Pnadin's Response to whovian222's Review

Written on: 25/05/2004

I am inclined to agree with your sentiments as I can't imagine anyone actually enjoying the film. As I believe the historical account of the events I decided to "put myself through it" in order to get a better appreciation of what happened.
<br>
<br>What does "crytopagan human sacrifice mean"? I think the Christian angle on this is that this was a God sacrifice rather than a human one.

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★★★★★

“Before I start the review of The Passion of The...”

Written on: 18/04/2004 by 80smetal4ever (22 reviews written)

Before I start the review of The Passion of The Christ, I must first issue a warning. I consider myself a veteran of the horror/gore/torture film genre. There has been no movie that I have seen in my 35 years that can compare with the bloody torture that Jesus endures in this film. The weapons used in the "Hellraiser" series come closest to what is used on him in this film. The violence and torture in this movie are shocking. This film is not for the weak of heart. This film is difficult to watch in it's entirety.

The movie begins in a garden, the evening before Good Friday. Jesus needed some time alone, and he asked a few of his disciples to stand guard and watch. In typical human fashion, they failed him and fell asleep. At this time, he was being tempted by Satan. While this is going on, Judas is selling out Jesus' whereabouts to the Jewish leadership. The guards come and find him in the garden. His top disciple, Peter starts wailing on the guards. He is a big man compared to all the others, he reminded me of Harrison Ford's sidekick in "Indiana Jones". He takes out about 4 guards until Jesus' asks him to lower his weapon, as those that live by the sword, shall also die by it.

Jesus is taken in front of the Jewish council to be judged. It is the middle of the night, so not all of the council is present. They beat on Jesus and spit on him, and decide to take him in front of their local Roman Governor, Pilate to be judged.

Pilate speaks with Jesus privately. He then tells the Jewish leaders that he will not condemn him to death, as they wish. Pilate will not judge him, and says that because Herrod is their King, he should judge any possible punishment for Jesus.

King Herrod comes off as a very effiminate man, like an ambiguously gay Dom DeLuise. He looks at Jesus, and asks him a few questions. He comes to the conclusion that Jesus is crazy, but that he shouldn't be punished for that. He sends him back to Pilate.

Pilate really doesn't want anything to do with the Jesus' situation. He has been in charge of this area for Rome for the past 11 years. He hates the fact that he has to be in this part of the world. He has been warned by Caeser himself that he must keep the peace in this area. He is torn, because if he doesn't punish Jesus, the Jews may revolt. If he does punish Jesus, his followers may cause an uprising. He is in trouble either way. Plus, his wife continues to plead in favor of Jesus. He finally tells the Jewish leaders that he will severly punish Jesus, but not kill him as they request.

The Roman guards in charge of Jesus' torture are sadistic pigs. These soldiers beat Jesus with countless weapons. They start off with just wooden reeds, but then graduate to the worst of all their torture devices. They use a whip on Jesus that has metal cleats at the end of the rope. This weapon rips Jesus' flesh away in chunks, exposing flesh and even bone. Any normal man would have passed out during this extended beating. Time and again, Jesus would rise up and stand to then receive more of this torture. He was more than half dead at the end of the session. A Roman officer stopped the beating, and could not believe how far it had gone. In fact, all throughout Good Friday, the officers of the army seemed to sympathize with Jesus. It was the grunts of the army that took pleasure in hurting him.

Pilate brings Jesus in front of the Jewish leadership and the assembled masses once again. He asks, "Is this not punishment enough"? The leaders are not satisfied, they call repeatedly for crucifixion. Pilate will not agree to put Jesus to death. They bring out a bowl of water to Pilate. He announces to the crowd, "I wash my hands of this situation. Do with him, what you will". He then orders the Roman guards to follow the orders of the Jewish council.

I believe that it is at this point of the movie that the misunderstandings can set in about blaming the Jews for Jesus' death. They did call for his crucifixion, that is true. However, multiple times during his beating, and carrying of the cross - Satan is shown to be there. He is at work, in this situation.

The way I interpreted the calling of Jesus to be crucified, was a pure fear move by the Jewish council. They feared his leadership power. Many humans have been killed because of their potential leadership power: Martin Luther King, Jr, President John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Hoffa, etc. It is an understandable move, but never a justified one.

How Jesus is still able to stand at this point can only be explained by the fact that he is the Son of God. They then make him carry his own cross. The cross that he carries could not be carried by a healthy Arnold Schwarzenegger, in his prime - let alone a man that has been beaten half to death.

During this entire saga, you feel a terrible sadness that Jesus' own mother and brother are witnesses to the entire day. They are but yards away during most of his torture and walk to calvary.

The Roman guards continue to beat on Jesus as he attempts to carry his own cross. You just can't understand how he is able to do it. He falls repeatedly during his efforts. At one point, a Roman officer claims that Jesus can no longer carry the cross. The guards then make another man help him. It takes three regular human beings to right the cross, when it was being carried by the 1/2 dead Son of God.

Jesus and the two thieves finally reach their destination on Calvary. The nailing of the men to the cross is very graphic. The sadistic Roman guard even dislocates Jesus' shoulder, as he attempts to stretch his arm to make it more painful when the nail goes in. These scenes are very difficult to watch.

You see Jesus repeatedly praying to God to "forgive these people, as they know not what they do". You just can't believe that Jesus is still conscious after all he has gone through over the past 15 hours. The final scenes of this movie are very powerful indeed, and the end is impressive. You will be moved by this movie, one way or another.

In a side note, there has been some issue with the fact that this movie uses subtitles. I was against it at first, but after seeing the movie - it was exactly the right thing to do. To hear the words in the native languages of the time, adds to the realism of the film. I give this movie a 9/10.

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447910_Tishafay's Response to 80smetal4ever's Review

Written on: 15/03/2009

What an excellent description of this movie. my church had a viewing in our youth & young adult center, (come one come all) any an everyone was invited to view this film together. I was so shocked y the brutality of it all, I almost felt like "this has to be fiction", even though I fully realize the suffering and existence of Jesus Christ. To watch the horrible beating an the true compassion Jesus showed to them in spite of them!
<br/>Satan's' appearance brought nothing but disgust to my inner being. Overall, this was a truly well made film. Hats off to Mel Gibson, and surely so if he indeed asked gods' guidance in making it.

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★★★★☆

“The Passion of The Christ was very thin on plot, but a...”

Written on: 09/04/2004 by heckbulb (3 reviews written)

The Passion of The Christ was very thin on plot, but a nice way to spend two hours if you like this sort of thing. I'm not a Christian (nor a Jew for that matter), and I defiantly didn't feel any need to believe in a God or Jesus after watching it, so I don't see that many new Christians being 'born' because of this film. Also, I didn't leave the cinema thinking how much I dislike Jews now either, because I don't. It's really not as anti-semitic as the media make out. No more than the Bible itself anyway, which, lets face it, contradicts itself on a few occasions.

If you don't like to see someone being beaten and whipped for two hours, then this is not a film for you. If you like films to have deep and twisting plots, this is not a film for you. If you don't like having to read subtitles throughout an entire film, this is not a film for you. If you don't mind such things then go see it, you might like it, and you know what to expect.

The effects are damn good. Such as the nice little splash of blood that spirts up as the nail goes through the hand. The Satan character adds a really good touch to an otherwise very predictable story. And the music is supurb throughout. I see this film as a fun piece of over-the-top fiction.

Highly recomended to athiests, and fairly recomended to Christians. Enjoy.

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★☆☆☆☆

“Overall I have never been so disgusted and emotionally...”

Written on: 01/04/2004 by ruthieru (1 review written)

Overall I have never been so disgusted and emotionally torn apart by watching such a horrendous film The Passion of The Christ. Had I have wanted to watch over two hours of sheer and utter bloody torture where Christs body was literally torn to a pulp I would have rented out 'House of 1000 corpses' or 'Natural Born Killers', even so these would not have conveyed the sheer destruction of a human that The Passion of Christ brought to the screen. Being an anglo catholic and brought up as a christian I did not even feel it was an accurate account of Christ's death, it seemed more so an attempt at a poor gory and blood thirsty murderous film to beat all others. No real story I felt was told of Christ and important sentences told by Christ through his trial and death were not included which fundamentally showed no hope, love, freedom etc that christianity is all about. Jesus himself I felt was shown as a very weak being and as far as I was concerned the whole film showed nothing and told nothing but of barbaric torture and bloody mess. The film in my view was totally anti-semetic and this I feel in the world we live in now is very dangerous to portray especially when it is not even accurate. This film is far too graphic and as well as being anti jew I feel it is anti christian also, possibly this is a little harsh but certainly no message was put across in this film but one of sheer destruction and brutality. Any film of Christ's life and death should be, and by right be, powerful and emotional but this was to the extreme, so extreme that wrong messages were sent and as far as I'm concerned the only message sent was of torture, humiliation and barbarism, and I for one will ceratinly not be a fan of Mel Gibson in the future.

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Aiden Gallogly's Response to ruthieru's Review

Written on: 05/04/2004

Is it really that hard to believe that our lord suffered at the hands of men to the point of death for us? You say he would have been dead long before his crucifixion? duh he's the son of god for christ's sake, this was the ultimate sign from god that he loved us, even to the point of the destruction of his own flesh and blood, and look at the end of the film, his resurrection, you didn't mention that did you. God was with him through it all. I am both shocked and appauled by your attitude.

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★★★★★

“The Passion of The Christ is definately one to see....”

Written on: 25/03/2004 by Nienna (1 review written)

The Passion of The Christ is definately one to see. Watch in silence and reflect on Jesus life. This film renews faith. It was a brilliant portrayal of what happened to Jesus. It made me realise how much he went through for us all. Short clips reflect back on Jesus life showing us the basic beliefs he taught us.

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★★★★★

“I think The Passion of The Christ is a great movie. It...”

Written on: 08/03/2004 by eradean (1 review written)

I think The Passion of The Christ is a great movie. It comes to a point where you want to stand up and yell "No! Stop hurting him!" but it makes you realize what Jesus went through to die for us.

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