The Passion of the Christ - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Passion of the Christ Reviews

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April 14, 2017
The first review on RT's sample of critiques of The Passion of the Christ is very telling. Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader says, "If I were a Christian, I'd be appalled to have this primitive and pornographic bloodbath presume to speak for me."

Therein lies the problem. The overwhelming majority of dislike - or more often hatred - of the Passion comes from reviewers who admittedly are not Christians and who find overt expressions of faith to be distasteful. They don't get why Christians believe what they believe, and they clearly don't share Christian viewpoints. So is it possible for non-Christians to objectively review overtly Christian films? I believe it is, but it requires a level of empathy and objectivity that a surprising number of professional journalists struggle to exercise.

In the case of The Passion of the Christ, what Mr. Rosenbaum does not grasp is that for a Christian, the actual passion of Jesus Christ, while being horrific in its nature, is a beautiful thing because it provides the Christian with their salvation. Without Jesus going through the barbaric Roman torture, there would be no foundation for the Christian faith.

So is Mr. Rosenbaum's argument with the movie or with the faith? Or is it with both? The Passion of the Christ, frankly, doesn't go as far in its depiction of the Roman act of crucifixion as it could have gone. For example, the scourging of Christ very likely left much less flesh on his body than the movie showed. And if the actual crucifixion had been accurately shown, Jesus would have been fully naked instead of being left with a meager loincloth. The unadulterated crucifixion would have resulted in an NC-17 rating instead of the movie's eventual R rating.

Whether Mel Gibson is an antisemite or not, those views are not transmitted through this film, as others have opined. The historical record shows that Jews conspired to kill Jesus and that Romans carried out the execution. No one really came off well in the whole affair - not the Jewish religious leaders, not the Roman prefect, not the soldiers who abused him on the way to the cross, not the crowd and not his own disciples. The only hero in the film and in real life is Jesus himself, who in the film - and almost assuredly in real life - was barely recognizable by the time of his death.

Mr. Gibson, in his depiction of one of the worst moments in history, hoped to make a statement of his faith that he hoped others would be able to share. In my opinion, he was enormously successful. Every aspect of The Passion of the Christ is finely crafted, from the performances by its largely unknown cast to the amazing score by John Debney, the picturesque cinematography and the all-too-real makeup (all three of which were nominated for Academy Awards). The result is Gibson's finest work to date, with the possible exception of the recent Hacksaw Ridge (another movie that is both incredibly violent and yet incredibly brimming with faith).

The Passion of the Christ is not an easy film to watch, and for moviegoers wanting some light religious fare to enjoy during Holy Week, perhaps they should choose a less offensive film like The Greatest Story Ever Told. However, for those hoping to get the truest depiction of what Jesus endured on that first Good Friday, there is no finer film available.
April 14, 2017
With The Passion of the Christ Mel Gibson delivers a truly powerful and stunning masterpiece. Jim Caviezel plays as Jesus and he gives an amazing performance. Maia Morgenstern also plays a captivating Mary. When she is on screen I couldn't take my eyes off of her. It felt as if these things were being done to her own child. Though this film is just the story of Easter as everyone knows it, Mel Gibson's visual of it is something to behold
April 14, 2017
An amazing film. Mel Gibson had a very difficult job to do
And he surpassed all expectation.
Brutal parts. Biblically accurate.
I want to watch it every Good Friday, it is very hard to watch
at the end, but it is a part of history.
The Romans were brutal Godless people.
April 12, 2017
Although this film has been highly controversial and been called anti-smectic for its portrayal of the Jews, I think Mel Gibson did a brilliant job making this film and Jim Caviezel gave a fantastic performance as Jesus.
April 9, 2017
As you can tell, The critics rate this movie bad because they don't believe in God (which is their choice). But don't rate the movie poorly because you don't believe. Like conjuring I don't believe in demons that throw people around and kill them but it was an amazing movie.
April 8, 2017
Great depiction of the binle. Although the gruesome events that take place. Showing the torture he had undergone. As a Christian it is hard and hurtful to watch such details. But, this is our history our message in life as we see it. What other ways can we sugarcoat the life of Christ as we all have read it? I give Mel G a great review of this movie and cannot wait for the next one.
April 6, 2017
Overdramatic, excessively violent, and questionably accurate, but "Passion" attempts at portraying the last days of Christ's life in a way we haven't seen since Martin Scorsese's "The Last Temptation Of Christ."
½ March 28, 2017
Good production values can't make up for one of the most boring movies ever made. Might have worked if it was cut down to half an hour and only was the last part of the movie... not the entire movie.
March 20, 2017
Gibson's got a fetish, he likes bondage in a bad way. More than that, he's like that character from 'DaVinci Code' who keeps whipping himself, only... Gibson whips himself whilst masturbating over images of the crucified Christ. WHO THE HELL GIVES GIBSON MONEY TO MAKE FILMS!!!??
February 21, 2017
It's telling that most of the negative reviews are submitted by people who aren't Christians, or who are unfamiliar with the story. Graphic elements in the film are there because that's precisely how it occurred. While not 100% accurate and relying at times on other sources than the Bible, The Passion of the Christ is an honest and mostly factual account of the Lord's final 12 hours. Amazing and important film. For those put-off by the 'gore', imagine living through that instead of just watching it in a movie.
February 9, 2017
i shouldn't make fun of this movie because it's a movie about the Death of Jesus.... BUT THIS MOVIE WAS SO HORRENDOUS! It's just torture Violence and Nothing else
February 7, 2017
This is a classic biblical movie. It was depressing and a gore fest, but then again, so was the actual death of Jesus. I love how it starts with him deep in prayer in the Garden. The only flaw I can find is the fact that it WAS in a different language, so we did have to read the subtitles to understand it. But everything else about it, to me, makes it the best representation of the actual day of his death.
January 26, 2017
The torturous Passion serves to not only highlight what Jesus was speaking against; hypocrisy, deceit, sin, man-centered life - but to remind Christians the debt they owe which spurs them to follow in the footsteps of the most perfect man ever.
December 22, 2016
Intense and impactful transmitted from history that we want to tell in graphic style hard Gibson
December 14, 2016
I thought it was well made and it depicts really well what Jesus went through because of his love for humankind
November 12, 2016
I'm an atheist but this movie still amazed me because it's not about believing in God but about self sacrifice for greater good.
November 5, 2016
The Passion of the Christ is difficult to watch, and revels a bit in its violence, but Mel Gibson's talent as a director, and the power of the story, ultimately shine through.
October 9, 2016
"The Passion of the Christ" was undeniably a moving and emotionally galvanizing experience. To all the ethnic finger pointing, I am immensely persuaded that the deeper meaning of Mel Gibson's message got buried and no one seems to understand where to find it. This is not a film that you enjoy or are entertained by, you're either moved to the point of being more deeply imbued in the faith portrayed or disgusted by it's excessive violence. I've heard all my life Jesus proclaiming from the cross, "it is finished." However, Mel Gibson alters that phrase into "it is accomplished" and the impact of that is the reason why I love this film. This is a masterful piece of art from a masterful director.
October 2, 2016
This movie and my original review from 8 months ago crossed my mind recently. I was contemplating Christianity and the many interpretations of what it means to be a Christian and many interpretations of the right path, the Godly way.

I probably rated this movie fairly low primarily because it's not what I would prefer to see in a movie about Jesus. It doesn't quite fit my perspective on what is the most interesting and relevant contribution of Jesus.

Was his death the most important thing? Or his teachings? People followed him because words gave hope and guidance in a harsh and rigid world where Romans ruled and women were stoned to death for adultery, and punishments for various crimes were harsh. The Romans tortured and crucified a lot of people. Their empire was built on the backs of slaves captured in war. Many wars were fought solely for the purpose of bringing more slaves to the empire. Oops digressing.

Jesus was a Pacifist whose teachings bring to mind the achievements of Ghandi, Mandela, and Martin Luther King.

Love your neighbor as yourself. If someone hits your right cheek, turn and let him hit your left cheek also. Greater love has no man than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends. Do unto others as you would have done to you. It is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. (To a rich man) Give everything you have to the poor. All Jesus's words, not mine. If he lived in the modern day, what would Jesus probably say? Well, that's open to interpretation isn't it?

My original post from 8 months ago:
Jesus Christ of Nazareth has inspired a lot of movies.The Passion of the Christ is one of them, which happens to be one of the top-grossing movies of all time.

Well, this movie is Mel Gibson's take on the end of Jesus's life. Mel Gibson knows how to make torture and suffering look real.

History tells us the Romans really were that brutal.

I see an attempt to be true to the Biblical account. The three crosses scene, with Jesus and the 2 others to his left and right, seemed surreal and somehow very artistic. The lighting of the skies even made that scene look almost like a painting by one of the Great Masters. Jim Caviezel's classic Latin Jesus look contributes to the artistic effect.

But did I like it overall? No, not really. Unpleasantly brutal to watch.
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