Critic Reviews

80

Metascore

Based on 18 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Here is a film that engaged me on the subject of Christ's dual nature, that caused me to think about the mystery of a being who could be both God and man. I cannot think of another film on a religious subject that has challenged me more fully. The film has offended those whose ideas about God and man it does not reflect. But then, so did Jesus.
100
Powerful, haunting, and at times very moving, The Last Temptation of Christ presents its account of the events and conflicts of Christ's life with a depth of dramatized feeling and motivation that renders them freshly compelling.
90
Variety
A film of challenging ideas, and not salacious provocations, The Last Temptation of Christ is a powerful and very modern reinterpretation of Jesus as a man wracked with anguish and doubt concerning his appointed role in life.
90
Los Angeles Times
It would seem impossible that anyone looking into the heart and the clear intent of the film would fail to see Scorsese's passion for his subject. And if our world is becoming so dangerously constricted that we're forbidden even to look, that is something we should all worry about. [12 Aug 1988, p.1]
88
Chicago Tribune
Dafoe manages to draw us into the mystery, anguish and joy of the holy life. This is anything but another one of those boring biblical costume epics. There is genuine challenge and hope in this movie. [12 Aug 1988, p.A]
75
Boston Globe
It could have been shorter, some of its exchanges misfire, but I respect The Last Temptation of Christ, and I'm much more for it than against it. It's the most spiritual biblical movie of our times. [2 Sep 1988, p.25]
70
Salon.com
It's a lovely, measured and deeply earnest work. It balances a realistic view of first century Palestine against a sincere consideration of how an ordinary man might learn he is divine.
70
despite such maladroit moments, The Last Temptation of Christ finally exerts enormous power. What emerges most memorably is its sense of absolute conviction, never more palpable than in the final fantasy sequence that removes Jesus from the cross and creates for him the life of an ordinary man.
70
Temptation is visually and aurally stupendous. But the most obvious strength in this commendably bold project is Willem Dafoe's performance as Jesus.
70
The Last Temptation of Christ, Martin Scorsese's provocative, punishing, weirdly brilliant adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis' novel, has a feverish intensity. And undeniably, there's a prodigious greatness on display here. But just as undeniably, it is failed work.

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