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164 of 179 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars immensely powerful, but not flawless...
Bloody and controversial, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ isn't exactly what one would expect of a Biblical drama, but his deeply personal and profoundly moving film is certainly epic both visually and emotionally. Using "passion" in the original sense of suffering Gibson does not let his audience off lightly with his horrifically realistic depictions of Christ's...
Published on 7 Aug 2004 by Priyan Meewella

versus
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A warning about the subtitles
I purchased the 2-disc Director's Edition on eBay, barcode: 5039036030816, cover without the grey border, just a full-size image. No reason to believe it's not a genuine copy.
For some reason the English subtitles on the theatrical version are always in Hard-of-Hearing mode; that is, I get descriptive text as well as speech, eg. "#Sombre music plays#" or "Cock...
Published on 23 Jun 2009 by Miskatonic


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stations of the cross, 15 Sep 2004
By A Customer
Though American Evangelicals loved this film it only really makes sense if you think of it as the film expression of traditional Catholic devotions - the Stations of the Cross, the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. Gibson has presented us with what only makes sense as a kind of Ignatian meditation on the death of Christ. Start from that and it makes perfect sense. That is why the film lacks pace. That is why it seems to dwell on brutality. If the film seems brutal, take a look at some 16th and 17th century crucifixion paintings and imagine them as movies. They only seem acceptable now because time has erased their power to shock.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars where filmmaking cannot be separated from the story, 8 Sep 2004
By 
Joe Sherry (Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A film by Mel Gibson
"The Passion of the Christ" focuses on the last hours of the life of Jesus of Nazareth (Jim Caviezel). The film begins in the Garden of Getheseme where Jesus is betrayed by Judas for thirty pieces of silver. It ends with the crucifixion at Calvary. The bulk of the film is what happens in between Getheseme and Calvary and it focuses on Jesus' suffering. This is what sets "The Passion of the Christ" apart from every other film made about the life of Jesus. Many deal with the life of Christ, and others with his teaching. "The Passion of the Christ" deals with one very short, and particular, period in his life: those last hours, the Passion. The American Heritage Dictionary includes as one of the definitions of "passion" as "The sufferings of Jesus in the period following the Last Supper and including the Crucifixion, as related in the New Testament", and that is exactly what this film is about. This is Mel Gibson showing us what Jesus went through and at times I could almost hear Gibson saying "This. He went through this for us."
While "The Passion of the Christ" is a very brutal movie, and perhaps half of the film features in some way the beating that Jesus took on the way to Calvary, it isn't the violence that has stuck with me after the movie ended. What I found particularly memorable were some of the smaller moments: the flashbacks that showed Jesus with his mother (Maia Morgenstern), Jesus teaching, Jesus with the apostles. Just as memorable, though, were the moments of betrayal: the look between Peter (Francesco De Vito) and Jesus after Peter denied Jesus for the third time, Mary (the mother) and Mary Magdalene (Monica Bellucci) together weeping at the torture Jesus is suffering, and any time we saw Satan (Rosalinda Celentano) moving through the crowd, or tempting Jesus. Lastly, Mel Gibson's handling of the Resurrection was particularly moving. It is a mix between beautiful and simply powerful moments that allow this movie to rise far above what could otherwise be called (and has been) nothing more than two hours of Jesus being beaten.
What makes reviewing this movie a challenge is that it is very difficult to separate the story from the filmmaking. As a Christian, the story is one that is very familiar to me and is also one that I personally believe in. As a reviewer, I have questions about Mel Gibson's storytelling. If I knew nothing about Jesus of Nazareth and was not familiar with the story of Easter Week, would I understand what is happening in "The Passion of the Christ"? The film lets us know that this is a man named Jesus who is being persecuted, that it is the Jewish Pharisees of Jerusalem which have brought charges against Jesus to the Romans, and they feel that he is blaspheming God. For this they wish Jesus to be put to death. What the film does not go into is why. Are these Jewish leaders just blood thirsty? Are they threatened by Jesus' teaching? Is there a serious law that he has, in fact, broken? Why are they pushing so hard for his death? "The Passion of the Christ" does not answer these questions. Someone who does not know the story of Jesus may not know why he is being brutalized to this extent and what promises Jesus' life and death, and resurrection bring.
Viewing the film from my perspective, the lack of that detail being in the film did not affect what I think of it. "The Passion of the Christ" is a bold, moving, powerful film and the fact that the subject of the film is so central to what I believe only makes it more so. I cannot speak to what a non-Christian would feel about "The Passion of the Christ" because an emotional response is so personal and subjective, and that emotional response is exactly what "The Passion of the Christ" taps in to. The combination of how skillfully Mel Gibson has crafted his film (excepting that little issue with exposition) and the emotional response that it encourages, this is arguably one of the best films of the year so far and may very well be a contender for Best Picture come Oscar Season.
The one criticism that I would like to address here is the charge, of some, of anti-Semitism. It is one that I do not understand. At the beginning of the film, when Satan is tempting Jesus, Satan mentions that carrying the full burden of sin is too much for one man. The suggestion is that Jesus (and therefore God) is choosing to do this, and that Jesus knows what is coming. In fact, Jesus says as much in the flashbacks throughout the movie. Moreover, while it is true that it is the Jews who turn Jesus over to the Romans, there were some Jews who spoke up against their leadership saying this was wrong. It was also only in the power of the Romans to condemn Jesus to be crucified and the film shows Pilate symbolically "wash his hands" of the whole affair, which was a cop-out. Pilate made the decision. It is also the Romans who are brutally whipping Jesus as punishment before he is to take up his cross. The implication here is not that the Jews nor the Romans who are specifically guilty, but rather: All are guilty. All. With Gibson's hand being the one that drives the nail into Jesus, he includes himself in the "all."
-Joe Sherry
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What was the Cost, 14 Jun 2013
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I want the younger generation that I know who are coming to know Jesus to know what the cost was and this film does that in a powerful way
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely film, 30 May 2013
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It is such an excellent and haunting adaptation of the story. I love the fact that it has subtitles as this only increases the aura of the whole film
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Four star movie, two star DVD, 14 Dec 2008
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I have awarded this DVD (the two disc Director's Edition) of this very good film with only two stars because the only English subtitles are for the hard of hearing. This means that annoying phrases like SENTIMENTAL MUSIC PLAYS and JESUS SIGHS keep appearing on the screen if you want subtitles and they are in big letters at the bottom of the image rather than below it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The passion is what Christ gives us, 12 Sep 2014
By 
Great White "GW" (Leicester, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Now i myself am a Agnostic, i do believe in god but i don't feel that he should be worshiped like most people, However that was until I saw this film. I have seen many portrayals of Jesus in movies but I have got to say that Jim Caviezel's is indeed the best. This is the story of our lord Jesus Christ and it's a no holds barred version of the torment he went through for mankind. The moment that makes this stand out from other adaptations is that this shows all of the torture and violence that Christ experienced before being hung on the cross..........and it is very hard to watch. This film brought me to tears as I watched the full bloody aftermath for Jesus' punishment. Yes ok so people says that this scene was inaccurate as the Jews were not to blame for Jesus' crucifixion, whether it was true or not was not important to me, what was important to me was that Jesus allowed that to happen for us, and I couldn't help but wonder why. Over these years has mankind done anything to honour his sacrifice? In my mind NO! We are constantly at war, there's rape and murder in the streets, so why did he choose to give his life for ours when our lives were not worth the sacrifice. After watching this it made me think, what was the purpose of it all? The film brings a harsh reality that has never been shown like this. Not even the Last Temptation of Christ was this brutal. This film made me change my mind about the whole religious path and I now go to church because of this film. This is a modern horror story that should be watched by all Atheists and agnostics out there because it WILL change your stance on God and Jesus forever. be warned this film is not for the squeamish or faint hearted or children. It is a brutal and revealing if not eye opening look at the hardship that Jesus went through to get us where we are today. I just can't help but think Why?
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5.0 out of 5 stars A cinematic experience, 20 Nov 2008
So, here's another review of one of the most controversial films ever. I'll begin saying that as a movie this is great but not perfect. The use of slow motion is not as accurate as in Braveheart (where it added an extra bit of tension before some key moments), some of the acting is not particularly good, and I didn't like the music. But James Caviezel is awesome (it's not acting, it's more like a living portrait) as the Christ, as well as the Devil. The reconstruction of the time in clothing, scenery, and so on, is excellent, and the use of latin and aramaic is bold, as well as effective. The blood and gore are one of the main problems for some people, but hey, what was to be expected? We all know that it was a brutal punishment, a gruesome torture inflicted on many occasions in innocent people, for sure (well, it happens today, doesn't it? Why not years ago?) Some negative reviewers say that they were disgusted with it and say that they don't see the point of depicting it. Well, that was the moment when I decided to write this review. You may or may not be a believer, but no-one in this world should deny that the death of this man in the cross (and that is well documented) was one of the turning points in History. In fact, our account of History is divided in Before Christ and After Christ. The moment when this man died, after terrible sufferings, even wondering why his father had abbandoned him, and then forgiving the men that inflicted such brutal torture on him, well, that should move everyone, no matter what your believes are. This was one of the cinematic experiences of my life, and took me to reflection and wonder some important questions, questions that perhaps wouldn't have been raised if I hadn't watched the movie, like the fate of Judas. I mean, if God knows it all, did He condemn one of His creations on purpose to fulfil His design? I read Paradise Lost, where there the fall of Man is depicted in a similar way. Was it all bound to be? Then Judas should raise as much pity as Jesus himself, since Judas is in Hell (in the ninth and deepest Circle of Dante's Inferno) suffering for what he did to send Jesus to the cross, and save us all. Do I like to believe in a God that condemns one man for all eternity to save the rest of His creations?.
I believe Jesus Christ was the Son of God, I was raised as a Catholic, and although there are lots of issues where I disagree with my church I guess I still can be considered a Catholic. But that has nothing to do with my review, like some of the criticism. Lots of people say that this is not the truth, but Mel Gibson's account of the facts. Well, OF COURSE!!! But since the money spent was his, he has all the right to make the film as he likes. The Lutheran church protested because the scenes with Mary can lead to Mariolatry. All right, then they should film their version, without these annoying scenes (Anyway, those are not precisely the best of the movie), and we all would have another version of the story. Come on, Jason Voorhess (Friday the 13th) has more than 10 films (many of them awful) dedicated to his person, so I'd say that one of the most important turning points in human history deserve as many as we can produce. Especially if they are this intense, this inspiring, even this painful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brutal - Disturbing........Masterpiece, 27 Mar 2008
By 
laineyf "widnes" (warwickshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
First of all, I have read so much about this film, criticism from both sides, believer and non-believer, that I watched it expecting to be completely confused! As a non-believer myself, I was extremely sceptical about the whole thing, and expected to be totally unmoved by it. How wrong can you be?
I wasn't bothered about the language barrier, and didn't mind the subtitles. After all, we all know the story don't we? I actually think that it was more effective because it was in Aramaic, rather than English. It is just so SAD, so WRONG!! I just can't believe that one man could be treated like that by other men for nothing. I've never really given it any thought at all before watching the film, it never really seemed relevant to me, but all I can say is if that's what happened to God's son, no wonder the world is in the lousy state that it is. - Payback!! It is very graphic, very disturbing, very brutal, but you can't take your eyes off Jesus for one second. Jim Caviezel as Jesus is just incredible- exactly how I think Jesus was. I sobbed my heart out for poor Mary, as a mother myself, I could totally empathise with her. I am not a great Mel Gibson fan, but I think that this film is absolutely brilliant, a modern day masterpiece, not at all entertaining, but totally mesmerising. I don't want to get into the whole religious thing, I'm not qualified to comment, and anyway, I think everyone has their own opinion, and that's fine. However, I have to say, it made me think - a lot.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant atmospheric and a sheer touch of brilliance, 9 Aug 2004
I began to watch this film with an open mind particularly not wanting to get drawn in because of all the controversy that has surrounded it. Yet the film on it's own has an immediate way of drawing you in and engaging you in the last 12 hours of Christ's life.There are some clever cinematic techniques, where you almost feel as though you are watching a documentative account of this practically universal story.Gibson was attacked for the graphic amount of violence within the film, yet it is not unecessary and I feel it is not out of place within the films context. I admire Gibson because of his refusal to portray a glossy superficial of image Christ ,instead he does show the extreme brutality that Christ suffered in the last hours of his life in a film which is both poignant, atmospheric and palpable.Using relatively unknown actors too, is a touch of genius as it means that no star status distracts from the story itself.My parents found it very difficult to bear because of the depiction of the violence Christ endured and the fact that we were not given a sanitized version as previously shown many times.The soundtrack adds to the atmosphere and the imagery is startling.This is one of those rare haunting moments in film that will stay with you and resonate in your mind forever...
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars beware poor subtitles, 13 April 2009
The Passion Of The Christ (2 Disc Director's Edition) [2004] [DVD]

This is great looking film and the picture quality on the DVD is top notch - just a shame the subtitles ruin it!

The only English subtitles are for the hard of hearing - which means if you don't speak Aramaic you have to use the DVD subtitles. These subtitles are awful - it almost spoilt the film for me. As well as the English translation you also get descriptions for all other sounds including music - so if there's an emotional scene you get text on screen "emotion music playing".
This is just awful - why is there not a standard English subtitles?
Whoever put this DVD together obviously didn't watch the film with the subtitles on!
I had hoped the DVD had the standard English subtitles in the print of the film (not selectable from the menu but permanently there on screen) and that those who needed Subtitles for the hard of hearing could simply turn those on or off.
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