Archive for March 2nd, 2004

Reviews for “Passion of the Christ”

Mar 02, 2004 in Film

Everyone is undoubtedly familiar with the controversies and subject matter surrounding the new Mel Gibson flick. While evangelical Christian congregations are buying up tickets for entire screenings and using the film as a recruiting tool, film reviewers are more divided in their opinions.

Most reviewers agree that the film is well made and acted, with stunning cinematography and an epic storyline. Roger Ebert gave it four stars, but added that ” This is the most violent film I have ever seen.”

I have not seen the film, and will probably wait until it comes out on video. But theological considerations and allegations of anti-Semetism aside, the sheer amount of violence in this film has made for some interesting reviews:

  • Dustin Holloway, a gore film reviewer for Fangoria gives his review. And this post on soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm reviews “Passion” from a BDSM standpoint. (via
  • A list of negative reviews from film critics, magazines and newspapers (from Rotten Some highlights:

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

    “It’s as if Gibson is measuring God’s love by the amount of blood he shows on the screen.”

    “If this were any other film and any other subject, The Passion would have been slapped with an NC-17 rating faster than you can say “Council of Nicaea.”

    “SEE the hunks of flesh ripped from Jesus’ side! EXPERIENCE the stations of the cross like never before! HAMMER the nails into Jesus’ hands! WITNESS the crucifixion in all its blood-and-guts glory! Bring the kids!”

    “Gibson has made a movie for nobody, really, but Gibson.”

  • Personally, I liked the New York Times review which opens with a mention of the Simpsons episode where Homer edits Mel Gibson’s film to make it more violent.