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"THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST"
(2004) (James Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Extreme Extreme Extreme Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Minor Moderate None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor None Heavy Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: The last twelve hours of Jesus' life are portrayed from His arrest through His Crucifixion.
PLOT:
The Last Supper has just occurred and Jesus Christ (JAMES CAVIEZEL) is in the Garden of Olives praying and trying to resist the temptations offered Him by Satan (ROSALINDA CELANTANO). He succeeds at that, but one of His apostles, Judas Iscariot (LUCA LIONELLO), betrays his location to Caiphas (MATTIA SBRAGIA) and other Jewish high priests who promptly have him arrested.

Accusing him of heresy and other religious crimes, Caiphas wants Jesus executed, but lacks the authority to make or carry out such an order. Accordingly, he brings his demand to Roman Governor Pontius Pilate (HRISTO NAUMOV SPOPOV) as he's the only one with authority to call for a crucifixion.

Initially not swayed by Caiphas' accusations and heeding the suggestion of his wife, Claudia Procles (CLAUDIA GERINI), to spare Jesus, Pilate orders that Herod Antipas determine Jesus' fate, but the Judean leader sees no threat posed by the Prophet.

Thus, he's returned to Pilate who allows the Jews to decide whether Jesus or a convicted murderer should be set free. They choose the criminal and thus Pilate orders that Jesus be scourged, but allowed to live. To the horror of his mother, Mary (MAIA MORGENSTERN) and the healed Mary Magdalene (MONICA BELLUCCI), the Roman guards flog Jesus within an inch of his life.

When Jesus is returned to Pilate, the Governor asks the people one last time what should be done with the Messiah and they call for his crucifixion. He orders it to be and Jesus is then forced to carry his own cross to his point of execution.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens might be interested in its religious and/or controversial aspects, but parents should note that this is an extremely intense, violent and bloody experience if they're thinking of taking younger kids along.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For sequences of graphic violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JAMES CAVIEZEL plays Jesus Christ, the Jewish teacher and prophet who's condemned to death by Caiphas and Pilate and must suffer the horrible physical beatings and crucifixion.
  • MAIA MORGENSTERN plays his mother who must watch her son be brutalized and killed.
  • MONICA BELLUCCI plays the former sinner who similarly must watch the atrocities.
  • MATTIA SBRAGIA plays the Jewish high priest who hates everything about Jesus and pushes for his execution.
  • HRISTO NAUMOV SPOPOV plays the Roman Governor who's hesitant to crucify Jesus, but eventually gives in to the demands of the Jewish leaders and crowd.
  • CLAUDIA GERINI plays his wife who wants her husband to spare Jesus' life.
  • LUCA LIONELLO plays one of the apostles who betrays Jesus.
  • ROSALINDA CELANTANO plays an androgynous, humanized form of Satan who repeatedly tries to tempt Jesus and make him give up His faith.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Violence consists of many instances of brutal and sadistic violence inflicted upon Jesus, ranging from being beaten and hit or kicked, flogged and eventually crucified.

    All of that material has extremely bloody and gory results and will likely be quite disturbing, disgusting and/or horrific to many viewers. Some scenes featuring an androgynous and creepy-looking Satan may have the save result to some viewers.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some viewers may see the film as being anti-Semitic. Other topics to talk about are present, as are a handful of colorful phrases. Some drinking is present, including a man passing out from having too much. Meanwhile, a mother must watch in horror as her son is beaten and eventually killed.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Miscellaneous people drink in Herod's chamber, and one man falls to the floor, passed out (others laugh about this).
  • A goblet of unknown liquid is poured for Pontius Pilate.
  • We see a flashback to Jesus at the Last Supper with wine and urging another to drink it.
  • A guard drinks what's presumably alcohol of some sort.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see blood on a man's hand and a lot on the side of his head after his ear has been cut off.
  • Jesus has some blood on His face.
  • We see more blood on Jesus' face.
  • Judas has a little blood on his face and teeth.
  • Judas has more bloody marks on His face.
  • We see a dead donkey or mule that's rather decomposed and has maggots crawling around in and on it (accompanied by the sound of flies).
  • Guards shackle Jesus to a large post and then proceed to flog Him quite severely on the back and legs, leaving many bloody marks on His back. After quite a bit of that, Jesus slowly stands, prompting the guards to use something resembling cat-o'-nine-tails to flog Him repeatedly. That results in additional bloody cuts and gashes on His body. The end of one such weapon impales Jesus and the guard yanks it out, ripping out a chunk of Jesus' flesh (with bloody and gory results). As a result, Jesus is very bloody and a guard flogging Him has blood splatter on his face.
  • Jesus is then turned on His back so that the guards can now flog the front of His body and we see a great deal of sprayed blood on the ground around Him. Later, there's even more blood around His body and a tremendous number of bloody lacerations on His body. When the guards drag Him away, they leave a smeared trail of blood from the site. Mary then proceeds to wipe up some of the blood with a towel.
  • We see a flashback where Mary Magdalene has blood on her face.
  • Blood drips down from Jesus onto the ground.
  • Jesus is extremely bloody and His skin is ravaged by an enormous number of wounds.
  • We see many more shots of Jesus' bloody and badly ravaged body.
  • Jesus is tied to the cross, a large nail is placed into the palm of His hand and it's then repeatedly pounded in (with bloody results, including some squirting out).
  • Blood drips and then pours through a hole in Jesus' cross as His ankles are nailed to it (during which we see some blood splatter from the impact).
  • Blood drips down from Jesus' body.
  • We see more blood dripping down from Jesus' body.
  • The other men crucified with Jesus are somewhat bloody, but nowhere to the point that He is.
  • A crow repeatedly pecks at a crucified man's face (while he's alive), eventually getting his eye (seen in quickly edited shots, with resultant blood on the crow and the man's face).
  • Blood runs down Jesus' cross.
  • Mary has Jesus' blood on her face.
  • A guard reluctantly stabs a spear into Jesus' side to see if he's alive (he's not), resulting in a lot of blood coming out.
  • Others have Jesus' blood on them as they lower Him down from the cross.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some viewers may and likely will view the film or at least parts of it as anti-Semitic.
  • Judas betrays Jesus to Caiphas and the others for a payment of silver.
  • One of Jesus' followers states that he doesn't know the man (when others accuse him of being a disciple and thus potentially endangering his life).
  • Caiphas and other priests along with other Jewish commoners are not kind to Jesus and want Him crucified.
  • The Roman guards who punish and then crucify Jesus are cruel to Him and laugh at His misery and pain throughout the film.
  • A freed prisoner defiantly wags his tongue at a guard.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" will likely be disturbing, suspenseful and shocking to many viewers.
  • We see a creepy, humanized version of Satan (including what looked like just the tip of a tale of a serpent going back up his nostril) lurking about Jesus and he sends a serpent toward Jesus who's kneeling on the ground.
  • A figure briefly turns monstrous in the woods at night (first heard and then briefly seen).
  • Two young boys briefly turn demonic while taunting Judas and one bites his arm. The following morning, many more kids are chasing after, taunting and grabbing at him. They're then replaced by the creepy and androgynous Satan.
  • We see Satan carrying a large and creepy looking infant.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Whipping & Flogging tools/Knives/Spears: Carried and/or used to inflict wounds on Jesus and others. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You toothless vermin," "Shut up," "You idiot," "Damn you," "Stupid fool" and "Idiots."
  • Judas takes a rope, wraps it around a tree branch and hangs himself.
  • A freed prisoner defiantly wags his tongue at a guard.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A door suddenly opens.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "damn."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Jesus and two other prisoners are seen in the equivalent of loin clothes during their crucifixions.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Mary must watch the entire episode of Jesus being brutalized and then crucified.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Whether the film is anti-Semitic as some have charged.
  • The life, death and resurrection of Christ.
  • Gibson's version of the Gospels.
  • Whether the film is historically accurate.
  • Satan's questioning of whether one man can carry the burden of all men's sins.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A person stomps down on a serpent.
  • Men struggle with and hit various other men who accompany Jesus. That includes knives used to attack others, including cutting off one man's ear (with bloody results).
  • Various men grab Jesus, tightly wrap a rope around His neck and then hit Him with a chain as they lead Him away. Later, we see them hitting Jesus as they return Him to Caiphas and the others. One such incident sends Jesus falling off a bridge where He lands hard on the ground before being hoisted up by the chains constraining Him.
  • A guard punches Jesus, knocking Him to the floor, while a high priest spits on Him.
  • Various high priests strike and/or spit on Jesus.
  • Two young boys briefly turn demonic while taunting Judas and one bites his arm. The following morning, many more kids are chasing after, taunting and grabbing at him.
  • Judas takes a rope, wraps it around a tree branch and hangs himself. At first, we only see his twitching and swaying feet, but then see a full shot of his dead body hanging from the tree.
  • Guards wrap a chain around a prisoner's neck to restrain him.
  • Guards shackle Jesus to a large rock and then proceed to flog Him quite severely on the back and legs, leaving many bloody marks on His back. After quite a bit of that, Jesus slowly stands, prompting the guards to use something resembling cat-o'-nine-tails to flog Him repeatedly. That results in additional bloody cuts and gashes on His body. The end of one such weapon impales Jesus and the guard yanks it out, ripping out a chunk of Jesus' flesh (with bloody and gory results). As a result, Jesus is very bloody and a guard flogging Him has blood splatter on his face. During this, the camera also focuses on Mary watching it, but we still hear the sound of the repeated and brutal flogging.
  • Jesus is then turned on His back so that the guards can now flog the front of His body and we see a great deal of sprayed blood on the ground around Him and a tremendous number of bloody lacerations on His body.
  • Roman guards place a crown of thorns on Jesus' head and then push it deeper into His scalp with sticks. One then hits Him with a stick. They then slap and spit on Him.
  • There's some struggling and hitting during a scuffle between Roman guards and Jews.
  • Guards flog Jesus as He carries His heavy cross, while others throw stones at Him. A guard then pushes Jesus who falls to the ground.
  • As Jesus falls, the cross He's carrying lands hard on Him.
  • Various people kick Jesus while He's on the ground.
  • Guards flog Jesus as well as a few bystanders and then do so again.
  • More people kick at Jesus when He falls to the ground, while a guard kicks a cup of water from a woman's hands.
  • Guards push a man to the ground and then flog Him once.
  • A person kicks Jesus as He kneels in pain on the ground.
  • Jesus is tied to the cross, a large nail is placed into the palm of His hand and it's then repeatedly pounded in (with bloody results, including some squirting out). A guard then shows the correct way to nail a hand to a cross. He takes a rope and strains hard on Jesus' arm, resulting in the sound of something inside breaking or dislocating. He then pounds another large nail through Jesus' other palm. We then see a large nail placed at Jesus' crossed ankles and hear the repeated sound of it being pounded through them and the cross. The cross is then turned over and we think it's going to crush Him beneath it, but He's left suspended from it without any impact with the ground.
  • A crow repeatedly pecks at a crucified man's face (while he's alive), eventually getting his eye (seen in quickly edited shots, with resultant blood on the crow and the man's face).
  • Jesus dies from his many wounds (but is later resurrected).
  • A drop of rain (symbolic of God's tear) lands on the ground and causes a large earthquake that results in destruction of the Jewish Temple.
  • Guards take large mallets (and possibly axes) and strike the legs of the two other crucified men (who are still alive). A guard then orders another guard to check if Jesus is alive. That guard reluctantly stabs a spear into Jesus' side, resulting in a lot of blood coming out.



  • Reviewed February 23, 2004 / Posted February 25, 2004

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