Passion Play


Passion Play

Critics Consensus

Passion Play has a terrific cast, but don't be fooled - the only real question at the heart of this misbegotten mystery is what its stars were thinking.



Total Count: 33


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,741
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Passion Play Photos

Movie Info

A terrific cast will hold you spellbound in PASSION PLAY, a one of a kind seductive thriller from Mitch Glazer, the screenwriter of The Recruit. The last thing washed-up jazz musician Nate Pool (Academy Award (R)-nominee Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler) wanted to do was betray sinister gangster Happy Shannon (Academy-Award (R)-nominee Bill Murray, Lost in Translation). But it may be the last thing he does unless he can deliver Lily (Megan Fox, Transformers), a beautiful and mysterious carnival sideshow attraction. The stakes can't get any higher for the two lovers as they try to elude the merciless killer who will stop at nothing to keep Lily for himself. Kelly Lynch (Drugstore Cowboy) and Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill) costar in this gritty and unpredictable tale of redemption in the hard-boiled tradition of classic film noir. -- (C) Image

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Mickey Rourke
as Nate Poole
Bill Murray
as Happy Shannon
Kelly Lynch
as Harriett

News & Interviews for Passion Play

Critic Reviews for Passion Play

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (12)

  • Mickey Rourke recently made headlines for dubbing Passion Play "a terrible movie," a proclamation that's ultimately most notable for its understatement.

    May 12, 2011 | Full Review…
  • This underworld fairy tale is so soggy and sentimental it's like a new genre: Hallmark noir.

    May 11, 2011 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
  • The net effect is as if someone had set out to imitate a David Lynch movie without ever having seen one, or as if it had been directed by Wim Wenders (which is approximately the same thing).

    May 8, 2011
  • "It's like a movie," someone says at some point. Yeah, like one. But not quite.

    May 6, 2011 | Rating: 0/4 | Full Review…
  • Conjuring magic, it goes abracadabra and snaps its fingers, but nothing happens.

    May 6, 2011 | Rating: 1/5
  • You can do worse than a movie that features Megan Fox stripped down to her tattoos and Bill Murray as a pinstriped gangster who says things like, "Kill him and bring her back here."

    May 6, 2011 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Passion Play

  • May 17, 2014
    The film strikes out, big time. It feels like the director was trying to make a David Lynch or Terry Gilliam type of movie here. He even tries copying their styles and it doesn't work. In a weird way the film kind of reminded me of the movie, Indecent Proposal. The special effects weren't good here. The flying sequence and Megan Fox's wings looked too cheesy and fake. There is a lot of miscasting here. I think they casted Rourke cause of Angel Heart. He was better in that film than this one. He has no on screen chemistry with Fox. Megan tries to do the best that she can on screen. Rhys Ifans is way over the top in his role. Bill Murray happens to be the best one here. He makes the film, watchable. I like when he plays villain roles, like in Mad Dog and Glory and Kingpin. If you see this movie, then watch it for Bill Murray's performance.
    Sol C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 14, 2012
    In "Passion Play," Nate(Mickey Rourke), a down and out trumpet player, would be dead if not for the intervention of a group of American Indian ninjas who are still rude enough not to give him a lift back into town. Hours later, he stumbles across a traveling sideshow. Only wanting to know where a telephone is from Sam(Rhys Ifans), the barker, he gets more than he could have ever bargained for in the person of Lily(Megan Fox), a winged wonder. Upon realizing that her wings are real, Nate also discovers Sam and several others behind him meaning to do him harm. Instead of it being ninjas this time, it is Lily who rides to the rescue in a pickup truck. In gratitude, Nate has Harriet(Kelly Lynch) set up a deal to further preserve his skin with Happy Shannon(Bill Murray). "Passion Play" is an oddly beguiling throwback to the days of burlesque joints, traveling carnivals, vinyl and mobsters.(Is it any surprise that a key late scene is set in a museum?) Fitting in perfectly with that theme is Megan Fox with her classic good looks, possibly proving that she was born 60 to 70 years too late. In fact, despite the vast difference in their ages, Mickey Rourke and Megan Fox, both Hollywood outcasts, make a fine pair.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 24, 2012
    Passion Play is a freakishly bizarre film. It's a fantasy tale that doesn't feel like fantasy; when a washed up musician falls in love with a carny that has angel wings, he attempts to free her from the hustlers and gangsters that are out to control her. The cast is impressive, Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox, and Bill Murray, but Rourke doesn't have a feel for the material and Murray is underused. Rourke and Fox have no chemistry, and the entire relationship seems forced. And that's really the problem with the entire film, nothing is in sync; the tone, the music, the acting, the settings, everything is off. Yet there's something strangely alluring about the bizarreness of Passion Play. Still, the film as a whole doesn't work.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 29, 2011
    You would think that a movie where a jazz musician (Mickey Rourke) gets in trouble with a mobster (played by Bill Murray!) and while on the lam he discovers a girl (Megan Fox) with angel wings working in a circus sideshow would be interesting. How could you go wrong with all those interesting elements? Mobsters, circus freaks, angels, Mickey Rourke! Well Passion Play found a way, a triumph of failure. This would-be parable just sleepwalks from scene to scene, rarely making much of its fantastical sci-fi elements. Fox swears she's no angel, just a girl born with bird wings, and people let this be a conversation ender. Rourke's character is a pathetic coward who nets little empathy. Not reverent or weird enough, Passion Play was the passion project of writer/director Mitch Glazer but the movie feels devoid of anything approaching passion. The actors seem bored, the romance between Fox and Rourke is a non-starter, and the lame ending borrows a page from An Occurrence at Owl Creek as a last-ditch attempt to interject some meaning into this unholy mess. The only reason I can foresee (sober) people watching this is for the mistaken belief that they might glance upon some heavenly nudity from Fox. Sorry boys, the gal keeps her purity. The entire production is just so wrong-headed and listless; I can't even work up a good dose of bile to proclaim its utter inanities. This is a terrible, silly, puzzling, dopey movie made even worse by its pseudo-intellectual twist ending. Nate's Grade: D
    Nate Z Super Reviewer

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