The Passion of the ChristFebruary 25, 2004
A film detailing the final hours and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Release Year: 2004
Rating: 7.1/10 (108,446 voted)
Critic's Score: 47/100
Stars: Jim Caviezel, Monica Bellucci, Maia Morgenstern
A depiction of the last twelve hours in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, on the day of his crucifixion in Jerusalem. The story opens in the Garden of Olives where Jesus has gone to pray after the Last Supper. Betrayed by Judas Iscariot, the controversial Jesus–who has performed 'miracles' and has publicly announced that he is 'the Son of God'–is arrested and taken back within the city walls of Jerusalem. There, the leaders of the Pharisees confront him with accusations of blasphemy; subsequently, his trial results with the leaders condemning him to his death. Jesus is brought before Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor of Palestine, for his sentencing. Pilate listens to the accusations leveled at Jesus by the Pharisees. Realizing that his own decision will cause him to become embroiled in a political conflict, Pilate defers to King Herod in deciding the matter of how to persecute Jesus…
Writers: Benedict Fitzgerald, Mel Gibson
Francesco De Vito
(as Hristo Naumov Shopov)
Joseph of Arimathea
(as Olek Mincer)
Woman in Audience
Old Temple Guard
12 Hours That Changed the World
Release Date: 25 February 2004
Filming Locations: Basilicata, Italy
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $83,848,082
(29 February 2004)
(31 March 2005)
Did You Know?
According to Mel Gibson, the long shot of Jesus lying in Mary's arms after having been taken from the cross, was greatly inspired by Michelangelo's famous statue "La Pietà", a work of art that inspired many other depictions of this scene.
During the first half of the scourge scene, Jesus' hands are dark and bloodied by his shackles. Then a dramatic close-up shows them nearly blood-free.
Peter. You could not watch even one hour with me?
A movie like no others…
The second the movie was over, I was dumbstruck, and I wasn't the only
one. When the movie ended I thought there would be a big round of applause
but when I turned around I saw that about half the audience was still in
their seats. I looked at a couple of people, some were speachless and most
were crying. Nonetheless I didn't hear a word. When I thought about it, i
realized an applause would have been ridiculous.
When someone asked me how the movie was I was going to say it was
but that wouldn't have done the movie justice. The movie was an extremely
moving, emotional experience.
The cast was absolutely flawless, Jim Caviezel gave a powerful
as Jesus, Maia Morgenstern as Mary brought me to tears, and even though
Monica Bellucci spoke only a few lines, her performance and beauty
astonished me. The score was incredible. It had a middle-eastern feel to
and was timeless and beautiful.
Most aspects of the movie were perfect to me. Instead of a squeaky
version of the life of Jesus it was a realistic and heartbreaking
of his final hours. The Aramaic, Latin and Hebrew languages, and wonderful
cinematography made you really feel like you were in first century
Jerusalem. The flashbacks truly had an emotional impact on
While watching this movie I forgot about everything else in the world.
Gibson did an incredible job as a director and he truly was brave for
on this project despite all the controversy.
As for the two main concerns of most people, the ultra-violence, and
alleged anti-semetism these are my views on the two.
Everything people are saying about the violence is true. It is brutal,
gory, and quite possibly the most violent work in cinematic history. This
R-Rating is very well justified and an NC-17 would have made sense. If you
are the type of person that cannot bear violence, this is definately not
movie for you. Some scenes of torture last about 10 minutes when you feel
you've seen enough after 30 seconds. But, the violence I feel was
necessary. The movie is about the suffering/passion of Jesus, and turning
the camera away would not have an impact on you. The movie shows what
actually went through for all of mankind's sins (according to
Mel Gibson did not exagerate the violence or make it look like horror
or Kill Bill violence. As Jay Leno said on his show the other night, when
Jesus was hit it felt like WE were being hit as opposed to other violent
movies were you feel like YOU are the one hitting the person. I don't
anyone can say that every single hit upon Jesus didn't affect him/her
As for the anti-semetism in the movie, I didn't find it was as bad as
everyone is making it out to be. The thing that made me see why people
criticizing Mel Gibson for was that instead of spreading the blame
on the Jewish high priests (Sanhedrin) and mostly on Pilate, 99% of the
blame was put on the Sanhedrin, which seemed false to me considering that
historically it is known that Pilate was a vicious monster, and in the
he seems like a gentle person and reluctant to crucify Jesus. I simply
didn't buy the fact that Pilate would be so nice. The movie can be
considered anti-first-century-Romans, and anti-Sanhedrin, but I did not
the movie was attacking the Jewish religion, or the entire Jewish people.
But the movie is not anti-semitic for these reasons:
1. It is made evident that it was Jesus' prophecy and destiny is to die.
could probably have escaped from Gethsemane or even the cross (if he truly
had ''powers''). He was born to die, and there is no blame to be placed on
anyone. If anything, the Romans of that time are portrayed horribly
realistically), and they are the ones that made him suffer tremendously
before his death.
2. Basically all the ''Good Guys'' in the movie are Jewish. Jesus himself
was a Jew, Mary was, The man that helped Jesus carry the cross was Jewish,
Veronica the woman that brought Jesus water and wiped his face was, and
Jews were screaming in the crowd against the torture and crucifixion of
(Personally, I don't know why Pilate was portrayed so nicely. It's not
the Jews had the ultimate power. It was ultimately HIS decision to have
An aspect of the film that intrigued me was the character of Satan, and
the demons in the movie. When I first found out Satan was in the movie, I
was scared it would be a red man with horns and a pitchfork, but he/she is
portrayed subtly. Everything about him/her was very Eerie.
Mel Gibson deserves a lot of respect for making this film. He made the
movie the way HE thought it was and though most historians or even
figures would not agree completely to what happened, it is a general idea
to what those final hours were. When reading the new testament or hearing
the story of Jesus, it's hard to understand what it was actually like for
Jesus to go through all that pain, and what it was like for Mary to watch
her son get tortured and crucified. The movie really put things in
perspective for me.
Some people are criticizing him for adding things never written in the
gospels such as demons harassing Judas Iscariot, most scenes with Satan,
the torture from Gethsemene to the Jewish court, but he had to fill the
blanks in the Gospels with what he thought might have happened.
In conclusion, not everyone will like this movie. Some will love it,
some will hate it. But, I think that if you can endure the extreme
and torture you should at least see it before you judge
My opinion: 10/10