The Passion of the Christ

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The Passion of the Christ ★★★ 2004 (R)

Calling Gibson's record-breaking, graphic version of the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus Christ “controversial” is an understatement on par with calling the Sahara Desert “warm.” Film begins as Jesus (Caveizel) is arrested and taken before Hebrew and Roman authorities for crimes of heresy. Although some backstory is told in flashback, the movie assumes the viewer's knowledge of Jesus's life and focuses on giving as graphic a portrayal of his torture and crucifixion as possible (including a 45 minute flogging scene) in a movie as painful and intense to watch as any put on film. Very bold and well-crafted, but the obsessive focus on gore and violence will leave many asking where the spirituality is supposed to be. Endorsed by many church leaders but drew complaints for its negative depiction of the Hebrew leaders, as well as some violent scenes that Gibson invented. Gibson funded the film with $30 million of his own money. In Aramaic, Latin, and Hebrew with English subtitles. 126m/C DVD . US James (Jim) Caviezel, Monica Bellucci, Maia Morgenstern, Claudia Gerini, Sergio Rubini, Toni Bertorelli, Mattia Sbragia, Luca Lionello, Hristo Naumov Shopov, Giancinto Ferro, Rosalinda Celentano, Francesco De Vito, Hristo Jivkov, Roberto Bestazzoni, Adel Ben Ayed, Fabio Sartor, Luca De Dominicis, Pietro (Pedro) Sarubbi, Chokri Ben Zagden, Jarreth Merz, Matt Patresi, Francesco Cabras, Giovanni Capalbo, Olek Mincer; D: Mel Gibson; W: Mel Gibson, Benedict Fitzgerald; C: Caleb Deschanel; M: John Debney.

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The Passion of the Christ

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