The Passion of the Christ Poster

The Passion of the Christ (2004)

Drama  
Rayting:   7.2/10 215908 votes
Country: USA
Language: English

Depicts the final twelve hours in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, on the day of his crucifixion in Jerusalem.

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

efenster-2 1 March 2004

A lot of critics I have heard disliked or even dismissed this movie. They seemed to think that the movie should have focused on Christ's ministry and his teachings, and not on the crucifixion and the events leading up to it. These critics miss the point of this movie. As with all movies, The Passion was directed at a target audience, in this case Christians. The point of the movie was simply this: to make Christians understand, in a visceral way, what they knew intellectually from reading the bible: that Christ endured a horrible and brutal death in order to save us from our sins. It was completely successful in this, and was, perhaps, the most powerful movie I have ever seen.

bigmike174 28 February 2004

The second the movie was over, I was dumbstruck, and I wasn't the only one. When the movie ended I thought there would be a big round of applause but when I turned around I saw that about half the audience was still in their seats. I looked at a couple of people, some were speachless and most were crying. Nonetheless I didn't hear a word. When I thought about it, i realized an applause would have been ridiculous.

When someone asked me how the movie was I was going to say it was amazing, but that wouldn't have done the movie justice. The movie was an extremely moving, emotional experience.

The cast was absolutely flawless, Jim Caviezel gave a powerful performance as Jesus, Maia Morgenstern as Mary brought me to tears, and even though Monica Bellucci spoke only a few lines, her performance and beauty astonished me. The score was incredible. It had a middle-eastern feel to it, and was timeless and beautiful.

Most aspects of the movie were perfect to me. Instead of a squeaky clean version of the life of Jesus it was a realistic and heartbreaking portrayal of his final hours. The Aramaic, Latin and Hebrew languages, and wonderful cinematography made you really feel like you were in first century Jerusalem. The flashbacks truly had an emotional impact on me.

While watching this movie I forgot about everything else in the world. Mel Gibson did an incredible job as a director and he truly was brave for taking on this project despite all the controversy.

As for the two main concerns of most people, the ultra-violence, and the alleged anti-semetism these are my views on the two.

Everything people are saying about the violence is true. It is brutal, gory, and quite possibly the most violent work in cinematic history. This R-Rating is very well justified and an NC-17 would have made sense. If you are the type of person that cannot bear violence, this is definately not the movie for you. Some scenes of torture last about 10 minutes when you feel you've seen enough after 30 seconds. But, the violence I feel was absolutely necessary. The movie is about the suffering/passion of Jesus, and turning the camera away would not have an impact on you. The movie shows what Jesus actually went through for all of mankind's sins (according to Christianity). Mel Gibson did not exagerate the violence or make it look like horror movie or Kill Bill violence. As Jay Leno said on his show the other night, when Jesus was hit it felt like WE were being hit as opposed to other violent movies were you feel like YOU are the one hitting the person. I don't think anyone can say that every single hit upon Jesus didn't affect him/her somehow.

As for the anti-semetism in the movie, I didn't find it was as bad as everyone is making it out to be. The thing that made me see why people were criticizing Mel Gibson for was that instead of spreading the blame somewhat on the Jewish high priests (Sanhedrin) and mostly on Pilate, 99% of the blame was put on the Sanhedrin, which seemed false to me considering that historically it is known that Pilate was a vicious monster, and in the movie he seems like a gentle person and reluctant to crucify Jesus. I simply didn't buy the fact that Pilate would be so nice. The movie can be considered anti-first-century-Romans, and anti-Sanhedrin, but I did not feel the movie was attacking the Jewish religion, or the entire Jewish people. But the movie is not anti-semitic for these reasons: 1. It is made evident that it was Jesus' prophecy and destiny

mstomaso 5 September 2005

This film is neither preachy nor pedantic, and was a welcome surprise for me. As a non-Christian who nevertheless respects the historical figure of Jesus Christ and the beauty of his philosophy and teachings, I found The Passion to be a powerful portrayal of much that I think is worthwhile about the Christ story. I know the film has been maligned for anti-semitic content (perhaps because Jews make mistakes in the film and are seen as persecutors instead of victims? - it could have been anybody!), and for various other problems - but let's face it - any movie portraying this subject was bound to face strong reactions. And kudos to Mel Gibson for not shying away from the subject by creating a sterile, gutless, Disney story out of what really was a good example of the everyday horror of life on the fringes of the Roman empire. Gibson invents a new genre with The Passion - that of historical horror.

The performances in this film are inspired. I felt that the film brought out the cowardice of the apostles very forcefully, and the courage and love of the two Maries in Jesus' life was palpable to the very end. The effect of Aramaic and Latin, with the moody soundtrack, was spellbinding. Again kudos to Mel Gibson for his courage and artistic integrity on the decisions involved in these elements of the film.

Final word - this is not a film for the whole family nor is it a feel-good film. Don't see it if you're not willing to confront the worst aspects of human nature up close. And don't go in looking for your own version of the story - it's not your film! This is what Mr. Gibson believes, and it's his own revelation, not necessarily to be shared by all.

diddykv 18 May 2015

I've seen a lot o people talking trash about this movie - even a lot of christians -, and I find it hard to understand why. Philosopher Peter Kreeft called it the "most beautiful movie ever made", and when I think about it in the light of the Christian faith, it's hard to disagree.

First of all, passion means suffering, and for all those people that complain about the violence in the movie, I think it's because they don't get Christ's Passion at all. The emphasis on violence is fundamental, as it's what reveals how much God suffered because of what I did. So I, the spectator, am experiencing with all my emotions what I can only imagine and reflect about when reading the Gospels. And I'm not the kind of person that reads about Jesus crucified and direct relates it to all the bad things I did to contribute to that moment, and even when I do, it's more like in a lucid, almost indifferent way, while the movie forces me to feel the burden that I've put on My Lord's shoulder.

This is of course from my Christian perspective, and I wouldn't even try to talk about what's great in the movie from a secular perspective. The lens through which one watches it it's what define its greatness. And that lens is faith. So I really don't think it's a big deal if an atheist doesn't like it; but if a catholic doesn't like it I'll be confused.

The way Jim Caviezel plays Jesus is so powerful. He seems very humble, very vulnerable, very soft, yet very strong and confident. When he talks to the people, you feel so much goodness in his tone; when he is accused of blasphemy you can feel his innocence even if nothing is spoken. When he is carrying the cross and falls, Mary runs to him and it's such a symbolic scene of how much she loves her Son, and how much she wants His suffering to end, even though she accepts the will of God.

Mel Gibson did a great job with all the symbolism in the movie: Mary's obedience; Judas' desperation; all the people shocked by Jesus' mere presence. There's so much of it, and it feels so natural.

I can only assume that christians that don't like The Passion of the Christ are those that didn't actually take their time to think about the Passion of Christ. The movie is a chance to do so. It's ugly and repulsive? Yes, but only for a moment. When you realize that it captures the essence of God's love for humanity, it becomes eternally beautiful. Jesus didn't have to do that. He did because of me, because of you; because He is the good shepherd that lays his life for the sheep.

So what if the reality of the Passion is full of gore and tears and injustice? We are the cause of that, and sometimes we better realize it by having it thrown on our faces, however hurt we may end up feeling. Just remember that our pain is nothing compared to our Lord's pain. I can only speak for myself when I say that my love for my Savior is very small; but I know very well that He loves me with a heart that is ready to bleed without hesitation, even though I'm not worth it.

ma-cortes 20 April 2004

The film centers about the Passion of Christ for twelve Hours That Changed the World . The movie, behind the greatest event in the history of the world. Dealing with one man changed the world forever. It is very strong ,the punishment is breathtaking . It begins in the garden of Getsemani where he's betrayed by Judas Iscariot in exchange of thirty coins.

He's led to governor Poncio Pilatos, but he washes his hands. Jesus Christ is condemned to die . Then the passion goes on : knocks, punches ,lashes, the blood drills along his skin. The experience of Christ suffering is overblown. He must carry the cross over his shoulders, but he's helped by Simon. He's crucified in the Golgota hill and there suffers new tortures. By his wounds, we were healed and Jesus gave his life for us .

The picture is very well played by James Cazievel as Jesus , Mia Morgenstein as Virgin Mary , Lionello as Judas and and Monica Belucci as Mary Magdalene . It packs a colorful and evocative cinematography by Caleb Deschanel . As well as a sensitive and exciting musical score by John Debney . The movie was stunningly directed by Mel Gibson who formerly made another great epic : Braveheart .

Rating : 8.5/10 , above average . Well worth watching . Essential and indispensable seeing .

ed2707 29 July 2004

It took me a long while to decide whether to see The Passion of the Christ. It had been my intention to since Mel Gibson first announced the project, but endless reports of the film's unflinching brutality made me fear it might be too much to bear. I eventually decided, however, that whether I really wanted to or not, this was a film I needed to see. It took me two viewings to really get a grip on it, so intense were the emotions it provoked in me. Even now, weeks later, re-examining it in detail is still deeply affecting. For those few still unaware, the film details the last twelve hours in the life of Christ. Its dialogue is entirely in Latin and Aramaic, with English subtitles, a remarkably bold decision by Gibson, and one that pays dividends. On one level it unites an international cast, sparing us any clashing accents, and gives the film a greater sense of authenticity. On another, it forced Gibson and his team into a very visual form of storytelling; even amongst the carnage there are shots of aching beauty.

Huge credit must go to the cast for mastering the language, and employing it in such universally excellent performances. As Jesus, James Caviezel has the immense task of embodying the most important figure in human history, and often doing so with little dialogue, and one eye swollen shut. Despite these handicaps Caviezel delivers a performance of great emotional depth, embodying quiet nobility and sacrifice. The performance that really stood out was that of Maia Morgenstern as Mary. The pain she conveys through her large and expressive eyes is heart-breaking, as she is forced to watch her child endure the most unimaginable suffering. Yet throughout the film she maintains an almost luminescent beauty, entirely befitting the mother of God.

One of the themes of the story emphasised by the film is the bond between Jesus and Mary. One flashback, found nowhere in the Bible, details the mundane routine of Jesus being called in from carpentry by His mother to eat. It was an immensely powerful reminder that for all He was the Son of God, Jesus was also the son of an ordinary woman, who He loved as any child loves its mother. It was also from this vein that the most powerful moment of the film sprang. As Jesus carries His cross, Mary begs John to get her closer to Him. She emerges into His path just as He fall under the weight of the cross. She runs to His aid, and as she does so the film cuts between this, and a similar moment when Jesus was a child and fell outside the house. While she could offer him protection then, now she is powerless; she weeps as the guards thrust her roughly away from her son, and so do we.

It is moments such as these that make the film so much more than the orgy of violence its detractors claim. For example, Peter's panicked betrayal, and subsequent horrified realisation of what he has done is handled in such a way as to move one to tears. There is also an immensely poetic moment near the film's end, in which the camera tracks the progress of a single drop of rain from miles above Golgotha, which falls as Jesus breathes His last: a teardrop from Heaven.

As a film, The Passion of the Christ is excellent; as a religious experience it is even better. Gibson has come under attack for focusing merely on Jesus' death, and omitting His message of love - this criticism is both unfair and ill-judged. In fact, he strikes the perfect balance, including flashbacks at pivotal moments of the film to events such as Jesus washing the disciples' feet, the Sermon on th

adamjschellenberg 19 February 2004

View from the Second Star: The Passion of the Christ (Adam watched this film at a special preview in January)

It's hard to walk into a picture these days without knowing every detail about the movie. Trailers have shown too much story, reviews have jaded your perspective, or friends have refused to see it - movies get spoiled. Yet, sometimes, knowing the story is a far cry from seeing the event. For many, the story of the crucifixion is something they've grown up with, lived with, as far back as memory serves. I tell you this, no matter what you've heard, no matter what you know - you will be stunned by The Passion of the Christ.

From the opening shot to the falling credits, this film demands full control of ones body and emotion. So visually spectacular and physically gripping, this film had me literally convulsing as I attempted to watch what was onscreen. Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, starring Jim Caviezel, is a retelling of the last hours of Jesus Christ. Believe me when I say that this production is more than a story, more than a movie; this film can only be described as an experience.

This movie is fantastically brutal. From beginning to end, blood drenched flesh is smeared across the screen in a ghastly fashion. Gibson defends his incredibly graphic depiction by noting that the bible states Jesus was beaten beyond recognition. I assure you, beaten beyond recognition hardly describes soft tissue being torn to be the bone as blood drips into puddles on the ground. The violence shown in this movie is unlike other Hollywood violence - it's uncomfortably personal. The scenes are so believable, the violence so real, that the scenes appear to take place in your very presence; imagine before you a man being torn to bloody shreds; your helpless to do anything, you're a spectator - utterly horrific.

As any appreciator of the finer things in film might see, The Passion of the Christ is artistic genius. Mel Gibson stated that his film follows the last 12 hours of Christ in accordance to the gospel, and although biblical scholars have confirmed this to be true, it is also true that a certain artistic license was taken to particular moments in the story. Nothing anti-biblical was added, but inside a sense deep meaning was inserted through symbols and actions not actually recorded in the gospels. This artistry serves to aid the story and engage the audience - artistically and culturally, expect nothing less that a film superbly crafted. Set your expectations high, this one can handle them.

Unless you've been avoiding the media in recent months you've heard accusations of anti-Semitism against this movie: its going to rekindle a hate for Jews, its depicting the Jewish leaders of the day as monsters, and its showing that the Jews were solely responsible for the death of Jesus. I trust that once the movie is seen by the general public all of these statements will fade into the shadows; this movies greatest defense will be itself. It is true that the Jews were involved in the crucifixion of Christ, just as it's said in the bible for nearly two thousand years. Hearing this story doesn't swell up a hatred for the Jewish race, no more than watching Schindlers List makes one hate current day Germans. This film is going to be many things to many people - anti-Semitic is not one of them.

No matter your background, no matter your race, no matter your beliefs on the afterlife, this movie needs to be seen. The art, the culture, and the magnificence - s

jakecamara 10 August 2004

Obviously there are some people who are rather ignorant about the words they use and what the Passion of the Christ actually is supposed to be. The one user who said "There is nothing passionate about this movie" obviously did not research the meaning of the word Passion. The English word has its roots in the Latin passio, which means, simply, "suffering."

A search on "Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary" turns up:

PASSION: Pas"sion, v. i. To suffer pain or sorrow; to experience a passion; to be extremely agitated.

People also seem upset that this movie did not portray the times in Jesus' life when he was deep in ministry. The Passion of the Christ is a centuries old tradition. I recently visited Oberammergau, Germany and saw the site of the Passion Play that has been performed every decade since 1634. The Passion Play ONLY portrays the suffering of Christ. It is meant to bring the what Christ did for our sins to the forefront.

marcosaguado 18 March 2004

You may have an experience like this in a movie theater, once in a lifetime. I haven't been able to take those images out of my mind. What an incredible achievement. It works in so many different levels that it would be impossible to list them. It touched me in a way no film has done before. It provoked such degree of hatred around my neck of the woods, that it goes to prove how the devil reacts to holy water. Most people I spoke to in Los Angeles had made up their minds about the film before actually seeing it. What's that all about? At the end of the day Mel Gibson had the last laugh or the right to have it, although I don't believe that he is laughing. He seems to be unafraid, fueled by his faith and convictions, a man of his word. That in itself must confuse the hell out of Hollywood. All religious considerations to one side this is an artistic masterpiece. You may agree or disagree, but why not to make up your own mind?

matthew-86 2 March 2004

Mel Gibson has done the impossible. He has created a tale of the Christ that works on three separate levels.

As a spiritual message, the film is overwhelming, bringing tears of renewal to the believers in the audience. Even if you are not a believer, though, I still think there is something in this for you.

As an historical observation, the film is brilliant, depicting the social and political dynamics of the Romans and Sanhedrin with clarity and accessibility. This is the most believable interpretation of what happened to Christ, and although I knew the story going in, I found myself getting caught in the narrative, hoping someone would realize that this was an innocent man and that the persecution would stop.

Finally, as a work of art, this film is unparalleled. Mel borrows from the works of Caravaggio, Puntarmo, Michelangelo and Leonardo et. al., as well as the Medieval Passion Plays. As one who was made to study this in college, it all came back to me in a graphic context, with production design so amazing that it felt like I was going back in time, that I was seeing Jesus and Pilate and Peter and Mary.

This film will rock your world, and that's an understatement. One of the most beautiful films I have seen.

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