Critic Reviews

52

Metascore

Based on 14 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
80
It aims simply to relate a great and enveloping story -- one that may lead us to ponder the things that unite (rather than distance) peoples of differing belief systems, and may compel us to marvel at the many wonderful and horrible endeavors undertaken in the name of religion.
80
Variety
Dramatically powerful, surprising in its strong narrative differences from previous cinematic tellings of "the greatest story" and bold in the extent to which it presents Jesus as a confrontational and threatening figure in the Judean context of the time.
75
Surprisingly robust.
70
The Hollywood Reporter
This well-made epic boasts carefully researched production values and the talents of classically trained actors, but by literally playing it by the book, the picture loses something dramatic in the translation.
60
Though it has loftier aims, it is in reality strictly a film made by believers for believers. It's like the Discovery Channel version of the Greatest Story Ever Told, an earnest, not particularly distinguished piece of work that has none of the touch of the poet that made Pasolini's "The Gospel According to St. Matthew" such a triumph.
50
It's interesting to see a movie of this kind based on a single gospel, with no additions or interpolations from other sources. But except for a few scenes that evoke the reverent beauty of Renaissance painting, the filmmaking and acting are awfully stiff -- certainly not worthy of the timeless story being told.
50
Chicago Tribune
Not a triumph or a tragedy, but faithful to its subject matter. And faithful, in this case, seems fitting.
50
Watching The Gospel of John is like listening to a religious audiotape while working a picture flip-book of the Bible.
42
Entertainment Weekly
Altogether too faithful to its source. The makers of this ponderously middlebrow Canadian production have re-created the Gospel of John in its pristine entirety -- word for word, miracle for miracle.
38
The Gospel of John is to "The Passion of the Christ" as tap water is to parboiled sacramental wine.

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