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The Passion of the Christ

Oscar-winning actor-director Mel Gibson helms this controversial epic that focuses on the last 12 hours of Jesus's life -- from the betrayal, trial and death of Jesus to his brutal crucifixion and resurrection from the tomb. Starring Jim Caviezel as Jesus, Maia Morgenstern as Jesus's mother and Monica Bellucci as Mary Magdalene, The Passion is spoken entirely in Latin and Aramaic, and the violent Crucifixion scenes are incredibly graphic.
HD Available
Netflix Rating: 3.8
Rotten Tomatoes: Rotten 49%
Critics' score: 49   Audience score: 84   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

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

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

A negative and spiritually underwhelming experience. full review

Wally Hammond, Time Out

[Gibson's] film, virtually stripped of Jesus's incandescent views, is little more that a record of one of the thousands of barbarities committed by the Romans in Judea. full review

Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic

Mr. Gibson has gone to a lot of sweat and expense to make a movie that doesn't say much of anything new.

Rex Reed, New York Observer

Whereas the words say love, love, love, the sounds and images say hate, hate, hate. full review

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer

Puts us in a situation where we can't help but feel Jesus's pain. If only Gibson had taken the time to tell more of us why it mattered.

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post

A very dour, pedestrian picture. full review

Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com

This is a movie so singular, so intense, so overwhelming that it simply has to be experienced. full review

Phil Kloer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A film of artistic ambition and devotion. full review

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

Gibson makes many of the key scenes work.

Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News

There are scenes in The Passion that will remain forever with those who see it. full review

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press

A filmed bloodletting like no other on record, essentially a terribly graphic two-hour torture sequence.

Tom Long, Detroit News

Controversy aside, The Passion is ultimately a movie -- and a masterful one at that, obviously the work of an extremely talented filmmaker. full review

Bloody to the point of gruesome, moving without being inspiring. full review

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

Working with premier cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, Gibson effectively hurls us into Christ's living nightmare, creating a mesmerizing twilight zone that is creepy and utterly unforgettable. full review

Joe Baltake, Sacramento Bee

Instead of letting his reverence broaden him, Gibson uses his action-movie expertise to reduce the Crucifixion to something kinetic, literal and merely tragic. full review

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

The extreme violence does not teach a lesson; it's an end in itself, more suited to the S&M crowd than to anyone seeking an uplifting sermon on everlasting redemption.

Glenn Lovell, San Jose Mercury News

Gibson ultimately seems to be preaching to the choir, rejecting standard storytelling conventions such as introducing his characters, assuming his audience already knows everything he's about to tell us. full review

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

What graphic sex is to the use of the body in hardcore porno, graphic violence is to destruction of the body of Christ in this Passion. full review

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star

May have succeeded in exploiting Jesus's death for its most highly pitched emotion and drama. But in the process, for many believers, it may have served only to trivialize and further obscure the story's most central and sacred mysteries.

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
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