Twelve men heard and spread the message of Jesus. Only one woman understood it.


Garth Davis
2,294 ( 1,528)
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Rooney Mara ... Mary Magdalene
Joaquin Phoenix ... Jesus
Chiwetel Ejiofor ... Peter
Tahar Rahim ... Judas
Ariane Labed ... Rachel
Denis Ménochet ... Daniel
Lubna Azabal ... Susannah
Tchéky Karyo ... Elisha
Charles Babalola ... Andrew
Tawfeek Barhom ... James
Ryan Corr ... Joseph
Uri Gavriel ... Philip
Shira Haas ... Leah
Tsahi Halevi ... Ephraim
Michael Moshonov ... Matthew


Judea, 33 AD. Mary is a faithful young girl from the village of Magdala (close to Galilea Lake) unsure to follow the traditions and destiny reserved to the women, living only as wife and mother, in her wish to be free. After to reject a marriage proposal of Ephraim, a family friend, her brother Daniel and her father Elisha make her an exorcism in the belief that she is possessed by a demon. Trying to find a solution Elisha asks help Jesus, a healer who is earning fame between the Jews of the zone with his speeches about a kingdom of peace and love free of hate, tyranny, oppression and prosecution, to heal Mary and that finally she obeys and submits to their will. Astonished by the charisma, personality and words of Jesus, Mary decides to follow him despite the strong opposition of her family. She meets a few men who too walk with Jesus as Peter, Andrew, James, John and Judas, who have their personal interests and ideas about Jesus' words and his revolution. At the same time that Mary ... Written by Chockys

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Her story will be told.


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some bloody and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


At the time of the film's production, Phoenix was 44 years of age. Phoenix was ten years older than Jesus who is believed to have been 33 years of age at the time of his death. See more »


When Mary Magdalen leaves the lake after being baptized, her wet dress is slightly opaque and clinging. The straps to her bra or bikini top are noticeable. See more »


[first lines]
Mary Magdalene: And she asked him, "What will it be like? The kingdom?" And he said, "It is like a seed, a single grain of mustard seed, which a woman took and sowed in her garden. And it grew and it grew. And the birds of the air made nests in its branches."
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Good Night, Day
Written by Jóhann Jóhannsson
(Mute Song/Mushroom Music Publishing)
Performed by Jóhann Jóhannsson
Under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammaphone GmbH
Licensed courtesy of Universal Music Australia Pty Limited
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User Reviews

A beautiful looking movie that leaves you feeling more empty than you should
2 April 2018 | by paulijcalderonSee all my reviews

The simple way of explaining this movie is imagine if Terence Malick filmed it, but he attempted to make the feel of it to be like a Tarkovskij film. I had a decent time watching "Mary Magdalene". You can look at the pictures and performances and see the beauty of the story. Yet, I hate to say it: It slows down and becomes un-eventful too many times. The director Garth Evans went the melancholic route were you are supposed to feel like you are wandering the landscapes with Jesus and his apostles. The world is a silent and lonely one, and there's barely much happiness going on. Jesus may spread wisdom, hope and kindness. Although here he keeps that sad stare as if something is troubling him. I think it was supposed to symbolize serenity, but it made him seem more depressed. Every adaptation of the Jesus story presents a different interpretation and here again, they give you a slightly sorrowful looking Joaquin Phoenix. He wasn't bad at all though. Just somewhat distracting at first because I kept thinking of his character in "Inherent Vice". As the movie progressed I got used this version. So it was alright. You can't hate Phoenix any way. He's a nice guy. Rooney Mara is wonderful as Mary. She carries a lot of this movie as its told from her perspective. I enjoyed her interaction with the rest of the apostles as well as her mutual respect and connection to what Jesus wanted to say. She struggles in the difficult world, but maintains that inner warmth that you need when you comfort someone in need.

I think the film is OK. The slow parts drag and there are only so many melancholic stares you can endure before you go: "Come on, guys. I get it". It's supposed to a realistic approach. You hear the sounds of nature and the breeze of the wind as you wander the fields with short grass. All of that is nice. But it's constantly dramatic and quiet. I wanted to see some more kindness and optimism to show us more nuances from the characters. You've seen the Jesus story be told many times and here's another one. It's not bad, but it lacked a special punch of uniqueness. I think "Last Days in the Desert" handled the quiet melancholic version of the tale better. This is not a bad attempt, but more of an underwhelming one. It's beautiful to look at and you have nice people who you follow. But it leaves you feeling more empty than you should. I respect what Mary Magdalene did and I'm happy I got to understand her perspective. But I don't think I ever have to see this entire movie again. Only recommended to loyal fans of the people involved making the film and those who are interested in the different adaptations the Jesus story.

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UK | Australia | USA


English | Hebrew

Release Date:

16 March 2018 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Mary Magdalene See more »

Filming Locations:

Trapani, Sicily, Italy See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$46,646, 14 April 2019

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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