The Gospel of John (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Gospel of John (2003)

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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 Cusick plays Jesus and Christopher Plummer provides voice-over narration. The Gospel of John was shown in a special presentation at the 2003 Toronto Film Festival.

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Cast

Richard Lintern
as Leading Pharisee
Scott Handy
as John the Baptist
John Handy
as John the Baptist
Lynsey Baxter
as Mary Magdalene
Elliot Levey
as Nathanael
Diego Matamoros
as Nicodemus
Andy Velasquez
as Thomas the Twin
Alan Van Sprang
as Judas Iscariot
Stuart H. Fox
as Blind Man
David Meyer
as Lame Man
Nancy Palk
as Samaritan Woman
Diana Berriman
as Mary, Mother of Jesus
Nicholas Van Burek
as Young Levite
Cedric Smith
as Caiaphas
William Pappas
as Elderly Levite
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Critic Reviews for The Gospel of John

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (18)

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

Full Review… | April 2, 2004
Seattle Times
Top 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.

Full Review… | April 2, 2004
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Events unfold as chronological vignettes, and there's little room for screenwriter John Goldsmith to reimagine scenes to mine their full dramatic potential.

Full Review… | April 1, 2004
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Turns out to be surprisingly robust.

Full Review… | February 13, 2004
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

I found this Gospel long, dull and, for the most part, acted without apparent inspiration.

February 13, 2004
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top 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

Audience Reviews for The Gospel of John

The movie review of The Gospel of John by Leander Herring Wow! Go see it. See it twice. Tell your friends to see it. This movie both raises and sets the bar for religious films. Cusick's is the greatest film portrayal of the Jesus Christ of the Gospels ever, and reason alone to see this movie. However, the entire movie is excellent as well, especially considering the strictures the filmmakers set for themselves (i.e., to adhere to a faithful and complete word-for-word rendition of The Gospel of John). It is a great movie, and truly gives audiences the best version so far of "the greatest story ever told." I have never been so moved by a movie in my life. God anointed this movie. He will use it for His Glory. The actor that played Jesus did such a magnificent job at portraying His compassion and humanness. It was the first time that I have ever watched a movie about Jesus that I actually felt like it wasn't an actor acting. It brought me to tears on several occasions because it brought to life the meaning of some of the scriptures that I never really understood the context before. I especially was moved when Jesus washed the disciple's feet and when Jesus asked Peter if he loved him 3 times. It was evident that He did this to give Peter a chance to "undo" the personal damage that he had done to his own psyche when he denied Jesus three times. After the movie was over, I had to sit in the living room for a few minutes (even after the credits were done) and reflect. My family felt the same way, nobody wanted to get up and go home. We had been in "God's presence" and we didn't want it to end. The movie is rated PG-13 for the violence in the crucifixion but it entails only the breaking of the legs of the thieves and the piercing of his side. You hear him being whipped and you see them hanging on the cross which are both disturbing but truth. If you go see only one movie this year, I would say let it be this one. This movie relates to World Religion, on so many levels because this movie is World Religion. How Jesus was our savior and all that he done in this movie really brings all cultures together. I could look at this movie over and over because of the passion that Jesus Christ displayed for the people in this movie!!

Leander Herring
Leander Herring

The first time I watched this movie, I was captivated. I am hoping to purchase it soon. It is a must see for all believers the best one yet of The Gospel of John. I didn't watch it for entertainment. I watched it for enlightenment and knowledge. I have read the Gospel many times this film brought it to life for me. Henry Cusik did a fantastic job portraying Christ. One of the hardest people to portray ever. I enjoyed how it followed the scriptures word for word. The narration was completely understandable. Those who give this film a bad review were clearly looking for entertainment and not looking for a blessing. I was blessed from watching this. I pray many others will be blessed also.

Anne Kiser
Anne Kiser

Because it honors the text, I give it the highest possible rating. Critics who claim it fails because it does not re-interpret do so because they do not respect the words of a Gospel revered by millions across millenia. I watched it again and again, not because of the quality of acting or sets but because it presents the extraordinary words which can never be matched by a modern re-imagining.

Ben Thomas
Ben Thomas

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