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The Passion of the Christ (2004)

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Depicts the final twelve hours in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, on the day of his crucifixion in Jerusalem.

Director:

Mel Gibson

Writers:

Benedict Fitzgerald (screenplay), Mel Gibson (screenplay)
Popularity
1,744 ( 64)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 28 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Mel Gibson
Stars: Jim Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern, Francesco De Vito
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Caviezel ... Jesus
Maia Morgenstern ... Mary
Christo Jivkov ... John (as Hristo Jivkov)
Francesco De Vito ... Peter
Monica Bellucci ... Magdalen
Mattia Sbragia ... Caiphas
Toni Bertorelli Toni Bertorelli ... Annas
Luca Lionello ... Judas
Hristo Shopov Hristo Shopov ... Pontius Pilate (as Hristo Naumov Shopov)
Claudia Gerini ... Claudia Procles
Fabio Sartor ... Abenader
Giacinto Ferro Giacinto Ferro ... Joseph of Arimathea
Aleksander Mincer Aleksander Mincer ... Nicodemus (as Olek Mincer)
Sheila Mokhtari Sheila Mokhtari ... Woman in Audience
Lucio Allocca Lucio Allocca ... Old Temple Guard
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Storyline

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 prefect of the Roman province of Judaea, 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. However, Herod returns Jesus to Pilate who, in turn, gives the crowd a choice between ... Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

By his wounds, we were healed. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sequences of graphic violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

Aramaic | Latin | Hebrew

Release Date:

25 February 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Passion See more »

Filming Locations:

Basilicata, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Icon Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the Roman soldier who pierced Christ with a spear is Cassius, as we heard Abenader shout his name when giving him a spear. This is a reference to the Catholic tradition that the name of the soldier who pierced Christ's side was Cassius Longinus, who was later believed to convert to Christianity and is venerated in Roman Catholicism as a saint. See more »

Goofs

Latin and Aramaic are spoken throughout, but Greek is not spoken or used at all. Greek was the common language of the eastern Roman Empire. The accusation on the Cross of "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" was written in Greek as well as Aramaic and Latin; the sign is shown, but no Greek. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jesus: Peter. You could not watch even one hour with me?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The movie doesn't begin with credits, but only with a verse from the Bible: "He was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; by His wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53; 700 B.C. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Passion of the Ass (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Azeri
Written by Göksel Baktagir (as Goksel Baktagir) and Yurdal Tokcan
Performed by Göksel Baktagir (as Goksel Baktagir) and Yurdal Tokcan
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Film making at its most powerful
29 July 2004 | by ed2707See all my reviews

It took me a long while to decide whether to see The Passion of the Christ. It had been my intention to since Mel Gibson first announced the project, but endless reports of the film's unflinching brutality made me fear it might be too much to bear. I eventually decided, however, that whether I really wanted to or not, this was a film I needed to see. It took me two viewings to really get a grip on it, so intense were the emotions it provoked in me. Even now, weeks later, re-examining it in detail is still deeply affecting. For those few still unaware, the film details the last twelve hours in the life of Christ. Its dialogue is entirely in Latin and Aramaic, with English subtitles, a remarkably bold decision by Gibson, and one that pays dividends. On one level it unites an international cast, sparing us any clashing accents, and gives the film a greater sense of authenticity. On another, it forced Gibson and his team into a very visual form of storytelling; even amongst the carnage there are shots of aching beauty.

Huge credit must go to the cast for mastering the language, and employing it in such universally excellent performances. As Jesus, James Caviezel has the immense task of embodying the most important figure in human history, and often doing so with little dialogue, and one eye swollen shut. Despite these handicaps Caviezel delivers a performance of great emotional depth, embodying quiet nobility and sacrifice. The performance that really stood out was that of Maia Morgenstern as Mary. The pain she conveys through her large and expressive eyes is heart-breaking, as she is forced to watch her child endure the most unimaginable suffering. Yet throughout the film she maintains an almost luminescent beauty, entirely befitting the mother of God.

One of the themes of the story emphasised by the film is the bond between Jesus and Mary. One flashback, found nowhere in the Bible, details the mundane routine of Jesus being called in from carpentry by His mother to eat. It was an immensely powerful reminder that for all He was the Son of God, Jesus was also the son of an ordinary woman, who He loved as any child loves its mother. It was also from this vein that the most powerful moment of the film sprang. As Jesus carries His cross, Mary begs John to get her closer to Him. She emerges into His path just as He fall under the weight of the cross. She runs to His aid, and as she does so the film cuts between this, and a similar moment when Jesus was a child and fell outside the house. While she could offer him protection then, now she is powerless; she weeps as the guards thrust her roughly away from her son, and so do we.

It is moments such as these that make the film so much more than the orgy of violence its detractors claim. For example, Peter's panicked betrayal, and subsequent horrified realisation of what he has done is handled in such a way as to move one to tears. There is also an immensely poetic moment near the film's end, in which the camera tracks the progress of a single drop of rain from miles above Golgotha, which falls as Jesus breathes His last: a teardrop from Heaven.

As a film, The Passion of the Christ is excellent; as a religious experience it is even better. Gibson has come under attack for focusing merely on Jesus' death, and omitting His message of love - this criticism is both unfair and ill-judged. In fact, he strikes the perfect balance, including flashbacks at pivotal moments of the film to events such as Jesus washing the disciples' feet, the Sermon on the Mount, and the Last Supper. These remain very true to the text, with quotes such as "You are my friends, and the greatest love a man can have for his friends is to give his live for them" (John 15:13) incorporated whole and delivered beautifully.

Even is there were no flashbacks, however, the point of the film would remain, and it is a vitally important one. It serves as a powerful reminder of the reality of what happened: Jesus did not merely die for us, He was killed by us in the most terrible way imaginable. It is something that can easily be lost through over familiarity with the text, and the flowery nature of other representations, but which must not be forgotten.

It has been said that "If Christ be not risen, then our faith is in vain", and the film has also been attacked for devoting just a few minutes to the Resurrection. Such criticism, however, betrays a very narrow minded approach; the manner in which this sequence is filmed conveys the full thematic significance it.

Perhaps the film's greatest impact has been to get me to pick up the Bible again, and do so with a new faith and understanding. And for that Gibson deserves nothing but praise.


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