Critic Review - Chicago Reader

If I were a Christian, I'd be appalled to have this primitive and pornographic bloodbath presume to speak for me.

March 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (75)
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Gideon Anema

The only thing that's primitive here is you're view on the matter.

Ancient Roman torture and crucifiction was a very violent and bloody matter, and Mel Gibson did an excellent job portraying the reality of that.

It's too bad you can't handle the real violence that is a part of our world.

You should stick to the happy, and aparently Non-Christian movies. Oh, and it might be good to stay away from anything derived from a violent history (or 'myth', if you will).

Apr 30 - 02:32 PM


alex chirgadze

hmmm thats the thing you aren't Christian, so hence your unerstanding of the importance of this movie is far below par and need to STFU

Jul 22 - 09:57 PM

Ian S.

Ian Steffy

I'm reviving an extremely dead thread but w.e
"hmmm thats the thing you aren't Christian, so hence your unerstanding of the importance of this movie is far below par and need to STFU"

Say's the "true christian." that's very christian of you; BELIEVE ME OR SHUT THE **** UP.

Jan 5 - 10:02 AM


m gathman

Apr 29 - 03:10 PM

zach r.

zach rodriguez

Of course he doesn't understand he doesn't realize that primitive violence is the lifeblood of Christianity, that's how so many people are Christian.

Jan 26 - 10:49 PM

Cody H.

Cody Halpert

Excuse me? What the hell are you smoking? The message of Christianity is love. You can be an atheist and still understand that. But, my guess is that you just let every little idiotic thought in your mind escape onto the keyboard.

Sep 23 - 09:06 PM

Cody H.

Cody Halpert

Oh yeah. What was that quote? "God so LOVED the world.." that sounds really violent and primitive. Do some research the next time you start to let your ignorant brain do the talking.

Sep 23 - 09:45 PM

Caleb Smith

Caleb Smith

You left out the part about "that he gave up his only son"

Sep 28 - 07:36 PM


Riley Bounds

Do us all a favor and go **** yourself, Rosenbaum.

Jul 27 - 03:50 AM


jj l

such vitriol against one person's opinion. I had a similar reaction to the movie; it solely focused on the suffering and brutality, and not at all on the actual teachings of Christ.

Lots of people have suffered and died throughout history, some even for no reason whatsoever. It would have been nice if the movie had focused on why we should care about this man's suffering, instead of the gruesome details of it.

Aug 3 - 04:45 PM

Matthew Fisher

Matthew Fisher

maybe if you'd stop concentrating on the violence and listen to jesus when he's talking then you would understand that jesus's most important sermons were in this movie. the sermon on the mount etc.. this was a great film. jesus's PASSION was greatly shown in this movie. and please everyone calm down, ther's no need for all this hate. obviously jonathan rosenbaum is lost like we all are. one day we will all see the Light

Dec 24 - 02:38 PM

Caleb Smith

Caleb Smith

Lots of people know that he was crucified, but they dont know what he went through before that.

Sep 28 - 07:40 PM


Matt Le Grave

while it may have had too much brutality and not enough of the lord's teachings, this was all of the things Jesus went through. The only reason it may seem primitive is because the methods of torture are 2000 years old. And by the way, what do you mean by pornographic, I saw none of that in this film.

Aug 3 - 07:47 PM

Caleb Smith

Caleb Smith

He says this so parents wont let their children watch it and see what their lord and savior went through for them

Sep 28 - 07:41 PM


Matt Le Grave

while it may have had too much brutality and not enough of the lord's teachings, this was all of the things Jesus went through to save us. It shows all of the hardships God's son had to go through because people wouldn't believe. The only reason it may seem primitive is because the methods of torture are 2000 years old. And by the way, what do you mean by pornographic, I saw none of that in this film.

Aug 3 - 07:48 PM


Jonathan Schwarzbach

Pornographic in the sense that it exploited excessive amounts of violence.

And as a strong Christian, I still thought that the film was too much-- I completely agree that the sadism outweighed whatever message was being sent. It was a guilt trip into faith, relying on fire and brimstone than actual faith teachings. I think it can be used well in terms of showing the suffering, but it has to be balanced with the actual life of Jesus too, otherwise it's just saying he died brutally, and not bringing up any actual teachings--which is what his life was about.

I'd rather watch The Passion of the Jew than this again, which either says something bad about this movie, or something good about SP.

Oct 11 - 10:28 AM

aaron w.

aaron wiggins

in responce to vagrant_hippo, you need to realise that the film's focus was not just about his brutal death, but about his great love for mankind. If the film had more of the teachings of Jesus, it wouldn't have balanced it out at all. It would shift the focus of the movie on to what he wants us to learn from what he said. But that's not what Mal Gibson was trying to emphasize. And if you really are a strong christian you would know that it's a movie of God's love. If you can't see love in the realistic suffering Jesus did for us then you obviously don't understand much about what this movie or the bible teaches us.

Feb 6 - 01:24 AM

andy h.

andy howcroft

it'd be interesting to know how many of you are actually religious (and that doesn't include hollywoodism...)
have any of you actually read the bible? do you really know what you are talking about? i can't claim to myself.

mr. rosenbaum, i am neither christian, nor jewish, nor hindu or even buddhist, but how dare you start "if i were a christian..."!!

Surely as a "critic" you have to take a sideline approach to every review you make. ok, this film didn't portray the jewish faith in a good light (please see previous comments regarding none prejudice before anyone starts getting their knickers in a twist!) but how dare you start your review with "if i were a christian, i'd be appalled...".
as far as i'm concerned this wasn't necessarily about any kind of religion, it was about faith in the goodness of mankind (omg i'm almost making myself puke about the righteousness bulls**t i may be spouting). i repeat I AM NOT RELIGIOUS. I AM NOT PREJUDICE. i just felt this was a film that showed the true strength of humanity etc etc. (puke vomit puke). surely that's the point.....isn't it mr. rosenbaum?

PS. pornographic???

Apr 1 - 08:23 AM

andy h.

andy howcroft

PPS. very correct 'majaia' the torture that 'jesus' incurred was very realistic to the kind of scenes you would see back then, if maybe even worse, so get yer 'oh too violent' stick out of yer mouth cos we are all very lucky to be living right now. some of the comments about this film would result in worse floggings than little J got - thank god for freedom of speech (albeit it in an anonymous way,eh...)
PPS. got to get off my high horse now and sink into the depths of jack daniels...

Apr 1 - 08:35 AM

Mary P.

Mary Pooler

People, this movie is called "The Passion". Meaning, the last days and the death of Jesus. "Passion" comes from the latin word "pati", to suffer. This is not a biography on his life. We're lucky if we see any important moments in his life, which we do. If you paid attention to anything except the violence, you would notice "The Sermon on the Mount", "The Last Supper", "The Woman Taken in Adultery", as well as scenes of Jesus with Mary. In fact, I thought these scenes really stuck with me. The cinematography was beautiful, the dialogue was flawless. And the story never jumped unexpectedly or confused me. The movie kept my attention from beginning to end.

The violence in this is not meant to disturb us. It is meant to call to mind the amount of love this man had for humanity. You're a movie critic. Shouldn't you actually take the time to look into deeper meanings in film. Casablanca isn't about the war, or a bar owner helping an ex-girlfriend because he still likes her. It's about a man who cares so much about someone, that he sacrifices his own happiness for hers. If all you can say about this film is that you couldn't see past the violence, then you've been stricken by bias ignorance. This man suffered greatly, and rarely do people see how much he suffered. You can't feel the agony by looking at a crucifix or a painting. This movie makes real something that people seem to have trouble grasping, and that is the amount of suffering Jesus Christ underwent for humanity.

Saying that you expected less suffering from this, is like saying you expected more zebras in Planet of the Apes. The title speaks for itself. It focuses on what it was meant to focus on. If you were a true Christian, you wouldn't be appalled. Which is why your review has no foundation.

Apr 7 - 01:13 AM

Estrian D.

Estrian Danzell

I saw your comment, and as a fellow Christian and believer in Jesus Christ myself, I can understand the gravity of The passion that God has for us> When God sent His son, it was to be a SACRIFICE, & this reviewer not being a Christian can never understand God's love or Christ's passion! Only when you accept His salvation, and the veil of this world is removed from your eyes, you would BEGIN to understand the depth that was portrayed in this film! A lot of people were blinded by the traditional Easter films where Christ is still "clean" after His death on the cross, But God's word clearly contradicts that picture! This is as close to the truth that any crucifixion film has ever come, Hopefully, when you get to know God, all this will be revealed to you! As for you Mary P! WELL SAID!

Jun 14 - 10:40 AM

Andy Anderson

Andy Anderson

You've got to be joking.

A omnipotent being sets up a situation where it will torture its creations for eternity because a couple of people ate a piece of fruit, decides to change his mind; in order to do so he incarnates himself into human form so he can die horribly as a sacrifice to himself so he won't torture humanity forever.

Basically, God sacrificed himself to himself to save us from himself. And now it's in the form of a movie just *barely* above the level of a straight-up snuff film.

And you expect to be taken seriously. Shame on you.

Jan 28 - 12:24 AM

Mike Petitto

Mike Petitto

The Bible isn't meant to be taken word for word, it's a guidelines to follow in order to live life the way God wants us to. The Bible uses metaphors for the purpose of teaching followers of the time who were uneducated and were illiterate. IE: It's easier to teach someone who is uneducated that God told the 'originals' not to eat fruit and show the consequence of their disobedience then to try to teach them all of the morals of the situation. The way Adam and Eve disobeyed God could've been anything, but remember, the Bible was written by humans in order to spread the faith and to teach lessons.

Feb 17 - 07:15 PM

Ryan Kramer

Ryan Kramer

If only Mike, the thousands of sects the world over could make up their minds on which parts are to be taken literally and which aren't.

Jul 26 - 12:34 AM

Cody H.

Cody Halpert

I think if God created everything, then he knew what he was doing. And please don't try to interpret the Bible when you clearly don't believe it, you just come off as an idiot.

Sep 23 - 09:11 PM

Michael M.

Michael Myers

Well you are to stupid to realize this is what happened and please tell me how the heck it's pornographic, please tell me. Oh wait you cant, because your non chistian beliefs are blocking your mental capacity to know a gosh dang thing so dont post anything if you dont know anything.

Jun 18 - 10:51 AM

Ian S.

Ian Steffy

'Well you are to stupid to realize this is what happened and please tell me how the heck it's pornographic, please tell me. Oh wait you cant, because your non chistian beliefs are blocking your mental capacity to know a gosh dang thing so dont post anything if you dont know anything. "

More ignorant christian babble -_-. Did you ever think that someone didn't chose to be christian because they were educated in Christianity and saw all the flaws you're people have had in the past (starting wars, oppression, some of the bible's author's being more morally fuc ked up than a lot of atheists, etc.) and just merely chose to go down a different past. It's ignorant to assume that just because someone doesn't chose your beliefs that they're not educated enough on the topic. Did you have think that it may actually be the opposite way around? hmmmm.

Jan 5 - 10:11 AM

Cody H.

Cody Halpert

I love how Ian can just spout random accusations but can't give an example of any. True Christians don't start wars. The ones who were involved in the Cruades were not following the Bible. They were what a modern mind would call a false Christian (False, meaning not true, in case you were wondering).

Sep 23 - 09:15 PM

Cold Injected

Richard Beachley Jr

I completely agree. The attitude was never meant to be a spiritual film but a snuff film to con everyone into giving all of their soul to Mel Gibson.

Jul 7 - 12:38 AM

Cody H.

Cody Halpert

Wow. I had no idea that Mel Gibson wanted our souls. Tha'ts very eye opening.

Sep 23 - 09:17 PM

Patrick S.

Patrick Spiker

I happen to be Christian and I absolutely agree with him.
I don't like stressing the parts of our Saviors life that brought him the most pain. We should focus on his works and life not his horrible death.

Nov 10 - 11:32 PM

The Stunner

Tiago Paulo

he's my favourite critic. i strangely understand everything he says.

Jan 3 - 07:04 PM

Bree C.

Bree Christoffel

Im the only christian in my family and i battled with my parents and sibling to be able to watch this movie and they all have the same mid set as you. For you to say "if i were a christian i'd be apalled" breaks my heart and makes me ill to the core. Im probly 1/15th of your age and i clearly have a better understanding of the reason why were here; you i and everyone else! I had to turn this movie of at half way because the reality of it made me ill. This person WHO YOU HAVE NEVER EVEN MET (and never will with your discusting attitude towards christians clearly) GAVE HIS LIFE SO YOU COULD LIVE WITHOUT SIN. Would you ever have one millionth of the bravery and love to go through those horrific events that he did for you, how dare you be so ingratefull! Maybe before you speak in the point of veiw of a christian, you should have a better understaning of the word! The movie was intended to shock and horrify the audience; its so that you can understand what he really went through for you! He went through torture and death, could you imagine giving your ONLY SON for the human race, so that people like you can be so unapreciative? You really anger my sir.. maybe you should attend a church sevice or two so that you can get your life priorites in order ey? Your a modern day replica of an antichrist..
GET A LIFE! But always remember its never to late to get saved.. maybe you need it more than anyone else on this earth with comments like the ones you wrote?

Jan 24 - 06:34 AM

Sam B.

Chris Elric

I respect your beliefs, but to thrash a person because he does share your beliefs is just downright immature. And I agree with Rosenblaum; you shouldn't try to showcase a religon with a film about an innocent man getting tortured. If Mel Gibson was going to make a movie about Jesus, he should make about his life, not just his death.

Apr 12 - 02:38 PM

Andy Anderson

Andy Anderson

I don't respect your beliefs. They're ridiculous.

God sacrifices himself to himself to save us from himself. And we're supposed to be grateful for this 'sacrifice'. What sacrifice? A guy dies as depicted in the film, is dead for three days, and then returns to life and 40 days later levitates up into the sky to go back to BEING GOD.

A sacrifice is when you give up something precious.

Jan 28 - 12:26 AM

Joe Sandoval

Joe Sandoval

God sacrificed his only son to obsolve everyone from their up your only son and letting him go through such torture sounds like a good enough sacrifice to me...or wouldn't you agree?

May 1 - 07:37 PM

Andy D.

Andy Derrick

Why he couldn't just absolve us without torturing Jesus? He's the master of the universe. He makes the rules, which presumably included the rules regarding sacrifice. So why couldn't he just say "okay, I've decided to end that law, so I will." You talk about these things as though the god of the Bible is also subject to them, like he's trying to find a loophole for us. Why should he have to find loopholes or escape clauses? The whole concept of sacrifice here makes no sense.

Jun 26 - 08:00 AM

Cody H.

Cody Halpert

You really sound like an idiot right now. Do you know why? Because you don't understand the story. I don't want to explain this because I'm 100% sure it's going to go in one ear and come out the other, but here we go. God loves mankind and he wants us to go to heaven, but we cant do that because we're sinners. So, Jesus took our place and suffered more than anyone on this comment page has suffered or will ever suffer. Considering that Jesus was perfect and did not deserve to go through all that, don't you think he deserves to go back to 'being God' as you put it? Again, in one ear and out the other, I know. But, I just felt I had to say that. Do with it what you will.

Sep 23 - 09:26 PM

Cody H.

Cody Halpert

Ok, I know this is going to go in one ear and come out the other, but I'll say it anyway. God loves mankind, and he wants us to be with him in heaven. But that can't happen because we're sinners. So he sent Jesus to die for us. He went through more suffering than anyone on this comment page will ever go through, and he died in the most humiliating way. After enduring that and being faithful to God the Father, I think that warrants him to be able to go back to 'being God' as you so ignorantly put it. So please don't insult people who believe this. Again, I know that this is going in one ear and out the other, but I had to say it.

Sep 23 - 09:33 PM

Bree C.

Bree Christoffel

Oh and by the way, i made an account just to comment on your filth reveiw. You should be very proud!

Jan 24 - 06:42 AM


Jake Moss

@Bree, I find it very interesting for someone to hate someone else with a religion that teaches not too hate for a silly movie opinion on the internet, and yet you tell this critic to "GET A LIFE" for doing his job and what he does.

It seems to me this critic isn't the one that should be "getting a life".

Jan 29 - 06:52 AM

sss s.

sss sssss


Jan 26 - 11:11 AM

Kevin P.

Kevin Pedraza

LOl i saw this on The amazing atheist video.

Jan 26 - 05:08 PM

Arthur M.

Arthur Martirosyan

most agreed. its an idiotic film, worse than the comments posted below mine.

Jan 26 - 06:15 PM

Nick K.

Nick Kinkade

I absolutely agree with this review. Anyone who cannot see that this is a blatantly offensive exploitation film in every sense, is simply mislead.

Jan 30 - 03:04 PM


George Robbins

The truth is never exploitation.

Apr 22 - 11:05 PM

Izy N.

Izy Nkandu

this review is pathetic but then again, so is this movie (christian)

Feb 3 - 12:18 AM

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