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The Passion of the Christ (2004)
misses on both fronts
First, as a piece of film, I don't think this movie is a great success. Despite an amazing performance by James Caviezel as Jesus, and equally strong support in the roles of Mary and Magdalene, I was disappointed in the overall acting. I felt like you could tell the director had intended for this movie to be released without subtitles, and with that in mind, had instructed the actors to exaggerate their performances. The graphic depictions of violence are then left to carry the film. Violence is enough to gross me out and turn me off, not to keep me involved in a movie.
Second, as an evangelism, this movie is way off target. The sacrifice of Christ was given out of love. I felt this movie focused on hate. It focused on the persecution and torture. Mel Gibson wanted to present the pain and humiliation Jesus endured. This comes across, and the strength of this message drowns out the more important message of love and forgiveness. Jesus was sacrificed on the cross so we wouldn't have to remember the pain of sin. I was very disappointed and heart broken knowing that so many people would see this movie and see Jesus hurt so badly without more attention given to the real reason for his pain.