The Passion of the Christ opens today,

posted by Jason Kottke Feb 25, 2004

The Passion of the Christ opens today, rating of 50 on Metacritic. Ebert loved it, gave it 4 stars, but called it the most violent movie he'd ever seen.

Reader comments

spygeekFeb 25, 2004 at 11:15AM

My fiance saw it yesterday. His response? "I need therapy."

BobbyFeb 25, 2004 at 11:29AM

I seriously can't wait to see this. And, on a side note, all this bad press is only going to pump up the box office sales even more. Being agnostic, I could care less who it offends, it's just a great story that needed to be made into a great movie.

souloniceFeb 25, 2004 at 12:49PM

I can't wait to see this either. One of the local news stations had a bit piece about the movie and showed clips of people as they emerged from the darkened theatre, many were crying and most were visibly shaken.

JohnFeb 25, 2004 at 2:23PM

The best review I've read yet was Ebert's. Definitely worth checking out. Is there a Kottke review coming soon?

Fox ManFeb 25, 2004 at 4:22PM

This movie sucked. Jesus is not the messiah. One lie filled movie based on another lie. When the true messiah of the Jews comes, he will surely be very angry. No one involved with this movie, the makers or the viewers, will go to heaven. The Lord, our G-d in heaven does not take lightly to those who do not favor Israel and the Israelites.

patriciaFeb 25, 2004 at 4:43PM

I find it fascinating that people seem surprised that I'm not rushing to see this movie. Even people who know me well. I very rarely see movies that have a lot of violence in them. Somehow the fact that this is about Christ is supposed to make me overlook my extreme dislike of gore. I don't think so. Jesus or not, sitting in a dark movie theater watching someone get the crap beaten out of them is not my idea of a good time.

DaveFeb 25, 2004 at 6:10PM

What a rip off. The Wachowski brothers should sue.

jonathanFeb 26, 2004 at 12:18AM

patricia - I couldn't agree more. regardless of the subject matter, this just seems like indulgent, violent crap, and I can't fathom the public interest.

barlowFeb 26, 2004 at 1:48AM

I didn't think it was more violent than Fight Club or more disturbing than Seven or Gangs of New York. I think Ebert is being a little hyperbolic. But anyone who goes to church once in a while has probably thought enough about what crucifixion and flogging would be like that it isn't a huge shock. Maybe I'm just a jaded Gen-Xer but again, I didn't think the violence was over the top. See the link to my blog for a fairly spoiler-filled review if you're interested.

KateFeb 26, 2004 at 2:44AM

Spoiler? I'll give you a spoiler: pssst, Jesus dies in the end!

RubenFeb 26, 2004 at 4:56AM

Prominent Israeli are afraid the movie could lead to a rise in anti-Semitism, for its harsh portrayal of Jews and their alleged blame for the death of Jesus.

LeifFeb 26, 2004 at 12:17PM

Eh, Jesus was a Jewish heretic, of course many of them would have been happy if he died (that's another thing everyone's ignoring--Christians didn't see themselves as any different than Jews until about 60 years after Jesus' death). This is not really a good anaology, since the Church *was* responsible for killing him directly, but suppose Giordano Bruno was the focus of a major world religion today and Christians still nevertheless existed. If a movie about his death were made in this context, the same stuff would no doubt be thrown at Brunians by the Church.

DanFeb 26, 2004 at 4:00PM

Actually, Kate, he seemingly doesn't. What do you think all this fuss has been about the past 2000 years?

DanFeb 26, 2004 at 4:01PM

Also, I bet when google gets ahold of this thread, it will snowball into another matrix-type massive movie discussion thead.

LeifFeb 26, 2004 at 5:03PM

Dan, speaking of massive threads, check out the one at Fark. Totally out of control.

mattFeb 26, 2004 at 6:46PM

I agree with barlow. If you've been to Church or even glanced at the New Testament, "Passion" shouldn't be anything new to you. I don't think Mel Gibson (or for that matter, anyone involved in the making of the movie) intended the film to be on par with an action film in terms of violence, I think he merely tried to make it realistic. Whether you enjoy it or not, Jesus was crucified and beaten in a horrible manner. The movie isn't trying to overemphasize the violence, or glorify it. It's merely trying to provide a clearer picture of what happened. A visual representation of events is often easier to understand than a dry textbook explanation.

LeifFeb 26, 2004 at 6:58PM

Exactly, we're talking about the same people (the Romans, mind you), who crucified Spartacus' entire army and lined them along the Appian Way. Brutal indeed.

GummiFeb 26, 2004 at 8:13PM

Yeah Leif, but in the case of Spartacus a bunch of his friends stood up and said. "I'm Spartacus". I don't recollect Jesus' friends standing up and saying, "Crucify Me".

leonFeb 26, 2004 at 9:58PM

Very tough movie to watch, but very worthwhile. If for nothing else than the (hopefully civil) discussion it should bring about. I found it quite moving.

spygeekFeb 26, 2004 at 10:47PM

Dan: If you believe in such things, Jesus did, in fact, die. It was the rising from the grave bit that freaked everyone out.

shannonFeb 27, 2004 at 11:58AM

I agree with Matt. I don't believe this movie is meant to be "entertaining". The point of the movie is for every human being to actually come close to realizing what Jesus did for us, and if you think about it, we're the ones that actually crucified him, if you get what i'm saying.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.