Movie Review: The Passion of the Christ

Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (C+) is a peculiar cinematic work: a re-creation of the bloody death of Jesus Christ, which we presume is intended as an exercise to depict the intensity of personal sacrifice suffered by man’s ultimate martyr. As played by Jim Caviezel, the actor doesn’t get much opportunity to act the part but rather to be the part. Gibson should be applauded for authenticity in filming  on location and in the Aramaic language, although he throws in some bizarre effects and lingers on some strange exchanges that could play into charges of religious intolerance. The overall film is graphic and punishing and technically quite an accomplishment in its nightmarish depiction of brutality; but in telling the story of the life of one of the most remarkable figures to have ever walked the earth, it is a curious choice to hone in on only the torture that ended that life.

I've reviewed films for more than 20 years. Current movie reviews of new theatrical releases and direct-to-video or streaming films are added weekly to the Silver Screen Capture movie news site. Many capsule critiques originally appeared in expanded form in my syndicated Lights Camera Reaction column.

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Posted in 2004
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  1. […] a bit of a hollow center that may actually be symbolic. A hodgepodge hybrid of Apocalypse Now, Passion of the Christ and Salò with awkward narration and a needlessly lugubrious patchwork pace, it’s a film that […]

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