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The Visual Bible: The Gospel of John (2003)

tomatometer

28

Average Rating: 5.1/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 13

No consensus yet.

audience

87

liked it
Average Rating: 4.3/5
User Ratings: 1,174

My Rating

Movie Info

Veteran British filmmaker Philip Saville directs the religious epic The Gospel of John, a production of the Canadian company Visual Bible International. This three-hour drama attempts to accurately follow the Gospel According to John, written sometime during the first century. The gospel contains four segments: an introduction to the nature of Jesus Christ; testimony by disciples and the presence of miracles; the Last Supper and crucifixion; and the appearance of the risen Christ. Henry Ian

PG-13,

Drama, Classics

John Goldsmith

Jul 22, 2005

$3.9M

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All Critics (52) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (32) | DVD (6)

It's a straightforward, unimaginative narrative, and thus not very memorable.

April 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The sad truth is that director Philip Saville and writer John Goldsmith have made a picture book rather than a film, one that leans so heavily on Christopher Plummer's placid voice-over narration as to be cinematically inert.

April 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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Events unfold as chronological vignettes, and there's little room for screenwriter John Goldsmith to reimagine scenes to mine their full dramatic potential.

April 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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Turns out to be surprisingly robust.

February 13, 2004 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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I found this Gospel long, dull and, for the most part, acted without apparent inspiration.

February 13, 2004
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although it might test the patience of the non-believer, for those who take their Christianity seriously, this probably is worth seeing.

February 12, 2004
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The "Word made flesh" has now become the Word made visible. In an age of visuals, it might just attract many who would never take the time to read John's gospel.

October 25, 2006
Christianity Today

...a mild, willfully inoffensive film focusing on Jesus' message of love.

December 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

A slugglishly painful, uninteresting film that might be of value to New Testament students who don't like to read words unless they come with pictures.

November 7, 2004 Full Review Source: Las Vegas Mercury
Las Vegas Mercury

Whatever this is, it sure isn't cinema. There's no adaptation, no reconfiguration of the material from one medium to another.

April 16, 2004 Full Review
Philadelphia Weekly

Henry Ian Cusick creates a persuasive Jesus, a savior as happy as often as he is solemn.

April 2, 2004 Full Review
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

An artful, well-made production.

April 1, 2004
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Despite claims to the contrary, The Gospel does come off as a three-hour long Sunday School lesson.

March 11, 2004 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

Emphasis on maintaining the text 'as is' universally renders the effort into an essentially passionless Bible story

February 15, 2004 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

as for the text itself that has the Jews egging Pilate on, well, it is what it is. And that would be less than philo-semetic.

February 15, 2004 Full Review Source: Killer Movie Reviews
Killer Movie Reviews

The performances are flat and lifeless (Cusick may look the part, but he has no real charisma), and even Christopher Plummer, as narrator, is less than lively, reading in an all too reverent monotone, suggesting even he's having a hard time staying awake.

February 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Sunday school by way of traffic school.

February 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

All due respect to the Bible, but just because a book is good doesn't mean it can be transferred directly to the screen without some streamlining, adapting and adjusting.

February 7, 2004 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

In the end, The Gospel of John opts for safe ground. Jesus' lines are delivered with Shakespearean flair and the villains are all familiar.

January 23, 2004 Full Review

A word-for-word adaptation of the New Testament book ... Nothing was added and nothing was omitted.

January 15, 2004
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Audience Reviews for The Visual Bible: The Gospel of John

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