Passion of the Christ

Passion of the Christ

4.5 133
Director: Mel Gibson

Cast: James Caviezel, Monica Bellucci, Claudia Gerini


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Mel Gibson's well-publicized production The Passion of the Christ concerns the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The dialogue is spoken in the ancient Aramaic language, along with Latin and Hebrew. In the Garden of Gethsemane near the Mount of Olives, Jesus (James Caviezel) is betrayed by Judas Iscariot (Luca Lionello). Jesus is condemned to death…  See more details below


Mel Gibson's well-publicized production The Passion of the Christ concerns the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The dialogue is spoken in the ancient Aramaic language, along with Latin and Hebrew. In the Garden of Gethsemane near the Mount of Olives, Jesus (James Caviezel) is betrayed by Judas Iscariot (Luca Lionello). Jesus is condemned to death for blasphemy and brought before Pontius Pilate (Hristo Naumov Shopov), the Roman governor of Judea, for sentencing. The roaring crowd demand his death, so Pilate orders his crucifixion. Jesus is severely beaten and made to carry his cross up to Golgotha, the hill outside Jerusalem, where he is nailed to the cross. Romanian theatrical actress Maia Morgenstern plays Mary, Mother of God, and Italian superstar Monica Bellucci plays Mary Magdalene. Amid much controversy involving Gibson and various religious organizations, The Passion of the Christ received an international theatrical release in February of 2004. In March 2005, Gibson released an unrated version of the film, dubbed The Passion Recut, that eliminated five to six minutes of the more graphic scenes of flogging and crucifixion.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Mel Gibson’s controversial but undeniably compelling account of the last hours of Jesus Christ is nothing if not correctly titled: The word “passion” is derived from a Latin term for pain and suffering. And that’s exactly what director Gibson shows us in horrifying detail. From his apprehension by Roman soldiers to his subsequent scourging and crucifixion, the self-proclaimed Son of God suffers terribly, and we see, close up, the effects of every lash, every blow, every rock, and every nail. Adapted by Gibson and Benedict Fitzgerald from the Gospels (particularly the Gospel of John), Passion barely touches on Christ’s message of love; there are brief flashbacks to such New Testament landmarks as the Sermon on the Mount, but they merely lend context to things Jesus sees, hears, or remembers while en route to his destiny: the ultimate sacrifice for humanity. James Caviezel does a fine job as Christ, although his is not a role that calls for a great deal of emoting via dialogue. It’s left to him to convey the intense suffering that Christ underwent during those awful, final hours on Good Friday. Caviezel does this with remarkable skill, and his performance is matched only by those of Maia Morgenstern (playing the Blessed Mother with heart-tugging dignity) and Monica Bellucci (an Italian sexpot oddly cast but quite effective as the reformed prostitute Mary Magdalene). The Passion of the Christ, while produced and shot with great artistry, is not a film that will engage viewers aesthetically or intellectually; it is a uniquely visceral viewing experience, and one that is not recommended for children, no matter how devout. The violence depicted here will unnerve some people, and that’s just what Gibson intended. He wants his audience to realize just how much Christ endured on behalf of his followers, and in that respect the erstwhile actor has succeeded beyond his wildest expectations. The controversy over the director’s alleged anti-Semitism faded rapidly when the oft-predicted reprisals against Jews failed to materialize even as the film attracted tens of millions of moviegoers all over the world, and it shouldn’t be factored into any decision to buy the DVD. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever see a more gripping, visceral account of Christ’s last day, and we guarantee that you’ll never forget it.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ achieved notoriety before its release when some religious figures openly worried the film might spark attacks of anti-Semitism. While anyone looking to argue that the film is anti-Semitic will find enough evidence to back that claim, those prejudices do not feel like the elements of the story in which Gibson is interested. The film opens with a Bible passage: "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed." What this film is about is Jesus' physical suffering. The first half of the film does a good job of showing how Jesus upset the religious, political, and legal systems of the time, leading directly to his crucifixion. There is an antecedent to this film's telling of a famous execution full of political and religious significance: Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1928 masterpiece The Passion of Joan of Arc. Gibson strives for a level of "realism" that Dreyer achieved, but he attempts to get there in a different ways. Where Dreyer's frames are severe and unadorned, lending a gritty immediacy to the film, Gibson has instructed the remarkably gifted cinematographer Caleb Deschanel to make this movie resemble the style of Caravaggio. The second half of the film is a brutal depiction of Christ's torture and execution by crucifixion. These sequences are unflinching in their brutality, with Gibson often employing slow motion in order to force the viewer to linger on individual lashes. Deschanel succeeds in creating strikingly beautiful images, but occasionally the self-consciously "artful" framings actually detract from the visceral horror of the proceedings. The cinematography is undeniably beautiful, but one might ask if such suffering should be presented so beautifully. And physical suffering is without doubt the aspect of the film Gibson is most taken by, though the director can be faulted for focusing on the physical the expense of the spiritual. When Jesus finally has his moment of doubt on the cross, when he asks why he has been forsaken, the moment is quietly underplayed -- unlike the torture sequences. The endless brutality ultimately achieves a deadening numbness in viewers who are not given an opportunity to identify with the spiritual aspects of the story. For a believer, this film will act as a powerful reminder of the full horror of the crucifixion. However, for those going in without either an understanding of scripture or a belief in the religious veracity of the events depicted, the film may, at best, play as an interesting starting point for a conversation or, at worst, as a grueling exercise in cinematic sadism. Gibson's film may or may not be "good," but it unquestioningly succeeds in doing what it set out to do.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Blue-Ray disc: Two versions of the film: The original theatrical version and a version edited for graphic depictions; Enhanced viewing mode with Biblical footnotes; Audio commentaries with Mel Gibson, filmmakers and theologians; DVD: Making of The Passion of the Christ exclusive documentary; The Legacy: A historical & cultural retrospective of the crucifixion; Historical photo gallery; Deleted scenes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Caviezel Jesus Christ
Monica Bellucci Mary Magdalene
Claudia Gerini Claudia Procles
Maia Morgenstern Mary
Sergio Rubini Dismas
Rosalinda Celentano Satan
Hristo Jivkov John
Luca Lionello Judas
Mattia Sbragia Caiphas
Hristo Shopov Pontius Pilate
Toni Bertorelli Annas
Robert Bestazzoni Malchus
Francesco Cabras Gesmas
Giovanni Capalbo Cassius
Emilio De Marchi A Scornful Roman
Francesco De Vito Peter
Lello Giulivo A Brutish Roman
Abel Jafry Second Temple Officer
Jarreth Merz Simon
Matt Patresi Janus
Fabio Sartor Abenader
Roberto Visconti A Scornful Roman
Giancinto Ferro Joseph of Arimathea
Olek Mincer Nicodemus
Adel Ben Ayed Thomas
Chokri Ben Zagden James
Luca De Dominicis Herod
Pedro Sarubbi Barabbas
Angelo DiLoreta The 5th Elder The Accuser
Francesco Gabriele 3rd Elder
Romuald Andrzej Klos The Roman
Ivano Marescotti Pilatus
Ted Rusoff 2nd Elder

Technical Credits
Mel Gibson Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Maurizio Argentieri Sound/Sound Designer
Greg Cannom Makeup Special Effects
Bruce Davey Producer
John Debney Score Composer
Caleb Deschanel Cinematographer
Sergio Ercolessi Asst. Director
Benedict Fitzgerald Screenwriter
Francesco Frigeri Production Designer
Rachel Griffiths Asst. Director
John Wright Editor
Stephen McEveety Producer
Maurizio Millenotti Costumes/Costume Designer
Daniela Pareschi Art Director
Nazzareno Piana Art Director
Luscri Pierfranco Art Director
Shaila Rubin Casting
Enzo Sisti Executive Producer
Christien Tinsley Makeup
Keith Vanderlaan Makeup Special Effects

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Passion of the Christ - DVD Disc
1. Introduction [1:19]
1. Script Evolution [4:21]
1. Language Barriers [4:40]
1. Finding Jerusalem [3:46]
1. Artisitc Inspiration [2:14]
1. The Right Role [8:35]
1. Evil Personified [1:55]
1. Tailoring a Perfect Fit [1:53]
1. The Director [6:46]
1. Grace In Photography [4:10]
1. Make Up and Visual Effects [9:49]
1. The Earthquake [3:37]
1. The Crucifixion [5:20]
1. Jim Suffering [5:16]
1. Breaking the Tension [3:34]
1. Wrapping Production [1:18]
1. The Cutting Room [5:52]
1. The Score [6:22]
1. Designing the Sound Effects [9:45]
1. Guerilla Marketing [6:18]
1. Spiritual Journey [3:16]


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The Passion of the Christ 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 133 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is the most accurate account of what the Holy Bible and Christians all over the world hold to be true and righteous. You were compelled from the moment the film began until the closing credits. Thank God for using the media to portray a glimpse into what the times were like. Thank you Mel Gibson for allowing yourself to be used. This movie is not for the 'faint at heart'. It deals with the real torture that our Christ had to suffer. Let's get ready saints!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thank you Mel Gibson & your staff, for making the best movie about Christ. I seen the Passion 3 times at the cinema. It wasn't enough, I know when I get the DVD I will watch it countless times. Each time I seen The Passion it felt like I never seen it before. I learned something new everytime. The Passion is a movie of epic proportions, a very artistic movie and one that makes you feel that you are actually there with Christ. Not just someone in a theater. The actors are outstanding. The Passion is a movie I wish everyone in the whole universe could see. Christ paid a really big price to forgive us for our sins. I also want to say that the original soundtrack is wonderful. The Passion changed me & everyone I spoke to that seen it too. The movie really touched me in ways I can't explain. The Passion is my favorite movie of all time. When you see The Passion for yourself you'll see why I feel that way. Most likely you'll cry a little maybe even a lot. That's okay because, if you look around you'll notice there's hardly a dry eye in the house. Just about everybody has tears running down their face too. I mean this movie is a MASTERPIECE. I really can't say enough things about this movie. It is so convincing. I just love it. Hollywood was scared to make this movie, but that didn't stop Mel Gibson the genius. This movie came together at a time when it was really needed. It even moved up to number one again the weekend of Easter at the box office. That is a statement in it self. I hope the Oscars are ready for the Passion, because it will be the biggest winner in Oscar history, with nominations and wins. Mel could you include a lot of special features in the DVD, you know like interviews, make-up, wardrobe, set designs, the extras, etc. By the way I expect The Passion to be the biggest selling DVD of all time. May God Bless our world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the most beautiful Love Story for man kind. Everyone alive should see this movie and see how Christ died so that we could be saved.
shiela More than 1 year ago
I saw this movie years ago at the theater, i love it.. this is one of the movies that i will never forget... i am really blessed!
Nathan_B More than 1 year ago
I cherish this DVD.I cherish this story.
kenKV More than 1 year ago
This Catholic movie is so excellent and explains so clearly.  Thumb up!  I give five stars.
Walterama More than 1 year ago
The Passion of the Christ is truly the excellent movie ever. Mel Gibson did an excellent job in directing this film along with Jim Caviezel portrayal of Jesus Christ. When I saw the movie, I felt so sad, helpless and anger with all the torture that Jesus Christ had to go through and the crucifixion during his last day. After the movie, it helped me take away the sin of the lord. Jesus Christ died and saved us for our sin. I love it. May the lord be with you always.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The greatest event portrayed in a very powerful, moving way. This film is an absolute must see. One of the top 5 films ever made. It will help you gain grater appreciation for the pain and suffering our LORD willingly endured for you and I.
ClarkeB More than 1 year ago
Credit to Mel Gibson for having the b*lls to show the extreme brutality that Jesus - or, I suppose, any other prisoner of the day - endured. The human condition must've been rather miserable, by today's standards, for everyone, never mind a condemned criminal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bella_Mom More than 1 year ago
The Passion of The Christ represents the love He has for those that killed. They didn't know they were fulfilling the prophecy and that it had to be done. Not by their will, but God's. The movie was played out very well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would watch other Jesus movies on TBN channel but when I watched Passion of the Christ. I felt Jesus pain the next day I cried this movie did help and made me realize something's that I was going through when I was a kid. Thanks! Mel Gibson I love the Bible the book my favorite mostly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is a blessing... God Bless, Scott
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great acting and directing made me realize how 'backslid' our society is when it comes to One Nation Under God. If you are a Christian, you will receive a renewed desire in your faith. If you aren't, it will, at the very least, make you wonder why you aren't.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Best movie of Jesus ever made.Yes there is gore and violence but who's kidding who .Aren't most American movies full of them both.Critics exaggerated because our liberal leftist media wants nothing to do with religion Especially Christianity. The film is a magnificent piece of art that challenges and inspires. Jim Caviezel,Maia Morgenstern and Mel Gibson should all be oscar honored. I found it fascinating that the general public sang its praises,as box office figures bear out but the media couldn't get past the lashes and blood.I never bother to take critics seriously anyway because they all have their own agendas and didn't review this film as art.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having viewed all of the other well known films surrounding the death,life and resurrection of Jesus, this one by far takes the viewer on more than just a historical journey accounting Scriptural facts. There is much more to The Passion than being a film. It is an experience and an intense one at that. As we watch Jesus make His most ultimate sacrifice we are reminded deep within ourselves of not only the enormity of it but also of the kind of humility, compassion, grace, mercy and forgiveness He walked through and extended for the sake of every person to ever live on this earth. As you watch this story unfold before your eyes and heart, you will not walk out of that theatre untouched or unmoved. Jim Caviezel portrays a Jesus we've never seen before. His presence on screen proves to bear witness to the presence of God within the making, lives and roles of this film. The Passion of the Christ is a must see for every person living today.
Guest More than 1 year ago
No one will be able to convince me otherwise that this movie is the best movie ever made.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this movie so much that I took my kids and mother to see it. I saw it a total of 4 times in theaters. I think Mel Gipson Did a Great Job! and Jim Cavezal, What can I say, He is a Genius, he portrayed Christ Perfectly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was A+ quality. If you want non-believers to understand the passion of Jesus Christ, then get this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this movie 6 times in theeatres, because the movie is around 2 hours and 6x2=12 hours which is what the movie is based on! The last 12 hours of Christ. I have never seen a more accurate and beautiful movie. This movie has made me a much better Catholic. Also after seeing this movie you can tell which people in the world have a heart(felt anytype of sadness and guilt after watching this movie) and which don't(all the mean-spirited who came out complaining like it was too gory, yet they are the same people who made Dawn of the Dead knock the Passion from it's #1 spot in theatres! shame...) Well anyways this is thee greatest movie ever and yes the gore is necessary!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Saw it twice. Not only is Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ remarkable on a religious basis, it is remarkable from a cinematic standpoint. One of the great works of Christian art and one of the great works of cinematic art.
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the moment a shackled and beaten Jim Caviezel (who portrays Christ) is thrown over a bridge, dangled there, and then pulled back up again to be brutalized some more, (was Christ actually thrown over a bridge? Is that in the gospel?) my suspension of disbelief went out the window, and I realized two things: 1., this is Mr. Gibson's VERSION of the Passion, and 2., this man has issues that I don't want to know about. I'm sure that if Mr. Gibson had been young enough he would have relished playing Christ himself. For years he has given himself over to scarification in his action movies, and this would have been the ultimate act of (fake) self torture. The violence is so extreme that all sense of reality is lost. For me, this was no religious event, but a Mel Gibson production that deals with a religious subject. It is competent, nothing more. Anyone looking for any sort of truth would do best to open their bibles or meditate on the Stations of the Cross. If Mr. Gibson is hoping that this film reaches as many people as possible, I suggest he show the movie for free and distribute copies of this DVD at no charge.