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4.2 out of 5 stars
The Passion of the Christ (Definitive Edition) [Blu-ray]
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Surprisingly I should give a movie that helped me on my way to Atheism more stars than one but my standards are much higher than most. Crucify me if you must.

Still and all; I walked into the theater with a tub of popcorn in hand on a somber Saturday morning the weekend this flick came out. I had some serious reservations & significant doubt regarding the Fundamental Evangelical interpretation of the Christianity that I had been raised in. But I figured most of the issues with the bible were better explained by reason: such as the inerrancy doctrine was overreach and some mistakes of course were made by the writers & transcribers and much of what the Fundies want to take literally were just metaphors (God didn't create the world in 7 days - but it ain't like the ancients woulda grasped the first chapter of Genesis if it read like the Origin of Species book now would it.)

But the principle I held to was that Jesus was & is God as God is God. That was the one plot of sacred ground for me. Then I saw this flick. I can quite honestly say that my immediate impression was, "Jesus done bamboozled us. This torture porn is so highly emotionally manipulative that I won't for a moment think that the short list of sins I've committed in my life (esp when compared to most) was responsible for the pain & trauma inflicted upon him." And to this day I hold firm to that.

See, if I'm wrong about all this. If there is a God and Jerry Falwell is wagging his finger at me on Judgment Day with his patented 'I told you so' sneer I have no intent on bowing down and being submissive to any of these lot. I'm looking right at Jesus and saying, "maybe I've done some people wrong. Maybe I didn't pay all my bills. Maybe I didn't need to jack the cable line for free HBO. Maybe I could have tipped more. But you dying on the cross is all on you. If the whole system plays out that my insignificant crimes against the universe so deeply offends God and he can't just get over it and he puts you to the torture rack then you two need to work out your issues and leave me out of it."
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2015
I purchased this for my adult reading class at my church. It's in Arabic with English subtitles. ????????
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2015
I read that this movie was supposedly life changing for some people. I was so disappointed, as for me this movie was not-believable and extremely boring to a fault.
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19 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2012
A few observations (without spoilers)

I finally saw this movie when it was released on home video. I went twice to watch it in theaters and was appalled by the "audience" awaiting admittance. The first time, I was walking from the parking lot to the box office when a small bus pulled up and a church Sunday school group that included roughly a dozen small children (ages 5 to maybe 8 roughly)hopped out with chaperones. I got in line behind them and listened to the adults talking about the number of times they had each seen the film and how much they were looking forward to discussing it with the children afterwards. Having been previously advised from numerous places of the "realism" of the torture sequences and crucifixion, I decided the greater "horror" for me would be in seeing these small children react to the supposedly graphic violence. I simply walked back to my car and went home. The second time (a few weeks later after the initial "rush" of people going to a new movie had died down a bit)I actually managed to purchase a ticket and was waiting in the lobby for the previous screening to let out. A few minutes later, the doors opened and the crowd began shuffling out. Once again there were several families with small children. While the parents attempted to masquerade their emotional reactions by blinking and talking about how the sudden bright sunlight was "tearing" them up, the children weren't old enough to be embarrassed about showing feelings in public. Most were openly sobbing, all had red eyes, and one small girl (perhaps 4 or 5 years old at most) was shaking so badly that her dad had to pick her up, console her, and carry her outside. Once again, I was so upset and angry I had to leave.

Now that I've seen it with my own eyes I can see why those kids were so freaked out.

Although I don't belong to one of the most commonly known denominations, I am a Christian. I am also a daily reader of the scriptures, and have lectured on biblical scripture and prophecy all over the Eastern U.S. in churches and seminaries, as well as on college campuses. In other words, while I wouldn't define myself as an expert on all things God, I'm a bit more spiritually "seasoned" than most laypeople.

The life of Jesus Christ, as depicted in the Bible, is centered around the final 3 years of his earthly life. His birth is depicted - especially in regards to the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies and Jewish traditions - and there is a brief mention of his youth in the book of Luke. There are literally dozens of events during the 3 years of Christ's earthly mission that are filmworthy. In fact, the sheer number of films made about his life stand as proof of that fact. Did the world truly need a story that not only focuses primarily on Jesus' final week, but uses every means of modern effects to splatter gore and depict the massive agony endured by the Son of God? Maybe I'm in the minority (apparently, I should say) but I don't need to watch Jesus writhe and scream with each strike of the lash in order to respect and understand the sacrifice such suffering represented. I didn't need to personally witness the nails being driven in, the biblical depiction sufficed. The Glory of Christ's sacrifice is not found in his willingness to endure pain and death in God's name. Literally hundreds of millions of ordinary people have done that before Christ's birth as well as after. The Glory of Christ is found in the Word of God that came from his lips and the power of the Holy Spirit that transformed the entirety of humankind.
We are asked to live the message and believe in Christ's name. We are not required to bear witness to the atrocities committed to his human vessel.

But most important of all, I deeply believe that forcing or allowing small children to endure the trauma of watching the torture and murder of someone they have been taught to love above all others is not only unnecessary, but borders on abuse. Learning of the Passion from the Bible or from suitable talks with parents, clergy, and Sunday school teachers should be enough education for a small child to understand that God loves them and that Jesus can live within their hearts.

Mel Gibson may have had the best intentions (my right to judge ends at the tip of my own nose) but I am of the opinion that the end result represents a massive and grotesque misjudgement.

Feel free to slam this review if that is your wont. But please take a moment to consider whether this film is age appropriate to your own children as well.

Thank you for your time.
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38 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2004
The first third of this movie is wonderful. The direction is nice, the visual and special effects are artful and the acting is adequate. However, as soon as the movie begins to show the lashing of Jesus, it dwindles into an overblown sado-masochist fantasy. I know the bible and the time period well, and there is absolutely zero reason to believe that this is a realistic depiction of how the christ was tortured, Yes, he was tortured, but The Passion shows Jesus enduring treatment that would have killed any living creature within the first ten minutes. You could see Jesus's ribs, for God's sake!

During and after the flogging, the worst that can happen does. I began counting the lashes, but lost count after 80-something, which is more than double what the Bible states Jesus was given. PLus, every time the man falls while carrying his cross, the cross falls on his back or he falls onto a sharp rock-any living creature would have long been dead, but Gibson carried it out for shock value. What could have been dramatic effect if used sparingly became an orgiastic festival of gore and violence.

In the hands of an unbiased director, this would have been one of the best films I've seen in years, but Gibson let his own passion blind him. I could practically hear Mel offscreen yelling, "Yes! More blood! More! MORE!!!"

Still, those who want to believe this is "realistic" will do so regardless of reality. My suggestion would be to watch the first 45 minutes or so, then stop when the flogging begins.
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55 of 108 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 9, 2004
If you are really serious about faith, grace, committment, what one is suppose to do in this world, how we are to respond and take care of others, Gibson's mindless Hollywood Smash here is useless and a gross waste of time. It reminded me of a Playstation or XBOX game come to life in the screen.

Jesus was a subversive a revolutionary, He wanted you to know his Father and what the Word of God means, and how one conducts himself in the beauty of one's faith. For a deeper understanding of what I am talking about please see Pasolini's "The Gospel According to St.Matthew". There all the Hollywood buzz,hype,blitz, zizztz is removed. This is a film from the early Sixties and Pasolini was quite brave to make it, portraying Jesus as a revolutionary, and giving one something to think about. With Gibson as most Hollywood films you check your brain at the Box Office before entering.

What does Gibson tell you here about Jesus, any new insight into belief and faith in our post 9/11 era?? Nothing at all, just gratuitous violence that is "Fun" for many unfortunately.
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24 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2004
I reject this movie for Christian reasons. I found it totally hideous and offensive to see a portrayal of Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior, cinematically degraded to the level of a pornographic snuff film. No, I did not expect a portrayal of the Crucifixion to be neat or dignified, but I did not expect it to be a horror ride through the ignorance and the superstition of the Bloody Middle Ages either. This is just graphic shock and bloody trauma.

This whole movie is an absurd distortion of the descriptions in the Gospels. I cannot believe that anyone equipped with a New Testament could compare the images in this movie with Biblical accuracy. All boundaries of biological, historical, and scriptural realities are broken here. (And WHY are Mary and Mary Magdalene dressed like a pair of 13th Century NUNS?)

I reject the satanic symbolism in this movie: a snarling wolfman; demonized children; a writhing maggoty corpse; a satanic baby; a blood thirsty raven--these are the images of a Hollywood horror flick and have no place in a Christian movie.

The one recognizably human moment is when Jesus falls down and Mary runs to comfort her son. That moment felt humanly real. The one recognizable Christian message here is that Jesus did God's Will and died for us, and he showed love and forgiveness even toward his tormentors. But, otherwise, no sane or sacred concept of God or Jesus or humanity had anything to do with this movie.
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5 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2014
Too too macabre. Yes, Jesus died a terrible death, but this was a very long and lingering focus on the crucifixion. Ten minutes of blood and gore and torment would have been enough, but it just went on and on. I realize many people like this film, and it has helped them on a spiritual path. Fine. But I think the movie skimmed over a remarkable life and skipped straight to the gore for the purpose of sensationalism. I was repelled rather than impressed.
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21 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2005
After so many glorious and watered-down depictions of the Passion, I was looking forward to a wrenching but realistic version - more historically accurate. But Gibson swings the fictional pendulum toward gratuitous and graphic violence, and the story as well as Jesus get flayed to a bloody mess. Gibson's vision may be powerful, but it's as deeply flawed as his previous films that have played fast and loose with American and Scottish history.
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24 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2004
What was Jesus' message? To love and forgive, and generally treat people the way you'd like them to treat you. What is this movie? An exercise in tight-focus sado-masochism, the effect of which is to send people out of the theatre roused to a frenzy of grief and rage that they then direct -- where? At anybody who's not a fanatical worshipper of the person they claim as their god. The thing has no value as a story -- no dramatic tension (yup, they're just gonna him him again until he's dead), no nuance, no depth, no nothing -- except the crazed wallowing in physical suffering that has characterized more than one of this distinctly kinked movie-maker's previous screen outings.

This movie is a bloody mess in every sense of the word. Seems to me that Jesus would be horrified and embarrassed by it. This isn't what he came here to communicate, but rather a lot of hysterical kerfuffle spun by lots of other people, who were or weren't there (which doesn't seem to matter to devoted -- self-styled -- "Christian" fanatics, who'll believe anything that comes with the world "Bible" attached to it, no matter how nutty). What a betrayal -- not by intention but because Mel Gibson has fixed on the screen such a twisted, blinkered vision of Christianity.

Jesus wept, and he's weeping still -- about the latest in a long line of perversions of his message.
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