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What Other Critics Are Saying (about the "Passion of the Christ")
Newsday ^ | February 24, 2004 | staff

Posted on 02/23/2004 8:19:16 PM PST by DentsRun

Here's a sampling of what some movie critics think about Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ."

"Relentlessly savage, "The Passion" plays like the Gospel according to the Marquis de Sade." -- David Ansen, Newsweek

"A surprisingly violent narrative ... One of the cruelest movies in the history of cinema. ... a sickening death trip" -- David Denby, the New Yorker

"the audience profile for The Passion of the Christ is true believers with cast-iron stomachs... a religious splatter-art film" -- Richard Corliss, Time

"The bloodiest story ever told..." -- Peter Rainer, New York

"It's a very great film. It's the only religious film I've seen with the exception of "The Gospel According to Matthew" by Pasolini, that really seems to deal directly with what happened instead of with all kinds of sentimental eyes, cleaned up, post card versions of it." -- Roger Ebert, on his syndicated TV show "Ebert & Roeper"

(Excerpt) Read more at newsday.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; christ; gibson; moviereview; passion; review
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It almost seems these reviewers were watching two totally different films. Four of the five reviwers absolutely hated it. Roger Ebert, who gave it two thumbs way up, thought it was "a very great film."

Now if the reviewers only told us what their real agendas are we'd know what this is about.

1 posted on 02/23/2004 8:19:16 PM PST by DentsRun
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To: DentsRun
"Now if the reviewers only told us what their real agendas......"

Methinks they already have......

2 posted on 02/23/2004 8:22:03 PM PST by A Citizen Reporter
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To: DentsRun
Yeah. Suddenly violence in the movies is a big deal. I wonder if any of them rapped Tarantino for the bloodletting in his last film?

There are a lot of people PROFOUNDLY afraid of this movie.

3 posted on 02/23/2004 8:23:11 PM PST by JennysCool
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To: DentsRun
Well, we could look at the first three...
Newsweek, New Yorker, Time. All three willing participants in the spinning of the liberal agenda.
4 posted on 02/23/2004 8:23:34 PM PST by cavtrooper21 (911. Government sponsored "Dial-a-Prayer".)
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To: DentsRun
I always listen to film critics. I never see a film unless they absolutely hate it, and I never watch a film that they love, unless other (normal) people recommend it as well.


5 posted on 02/23/2004 8:23:42 PM PST by Ronin (When the fox gnaws -- Smile!!!)
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To: DentsRun
I think many of the reviewers don't seem to comprehend that Mel Gibson's primary intent is to demonstrate the gravity of the sacrafice that Jesus made in order to forgive us for our failings.

Some of the reviews I read would have liked it if Gibson had focused more on the kinder aspects of Jesus's life. Yet those aspects are already well known and understood. This is about relaying to the audience the heavy price that was willingly paid because of the love Jesus had for us.

I hope to see this movie when it comes out and I hope to be inspired to want to see it more than once.
6 posted on 02/23/2004 8:27:37 PM PST by Tempest (Sigh.. ....)
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To: DentsRun
My son saw a preview tonight. He agrees with all the reviewers. (Maybe not in spirit/agenda). It is a violent, bloody movie. But so was the incident which it portrays.

One of the points that Gibson emphasizes is that He could have left the cross at any time, but chose not to. Love held Him on the tree.

He recommends it to believers and nonbelievers with an open mind and a strong stomach.
7 posted on 02/23/2004 8:29:07 PM PST by Ingtar (Understanding is a three-edged sword : your side, my side, and the truth in between ." -- Kosh)
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To: DentsRun
As one FReeper posted recently, I bet they wouldn't complain if it was a violent gross movie about the murder of Michael Shepherd.
8 posted on 02/23/2004 8:29:45 PM PST by Humidston (Two Words: TERM LIMITS)
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To: DentsRun
Of course the Exorcist (I, II, III), Jason (I, II, III, IV....), Halloween (I, II, III, IV, V....), and the Chain Saw Massacre are nice and clean American films. They're a "Must see."
9 posted on 02/23/2004 8:29:50 PM PST by concerned about politics ( Liberals are still stuck at the bottom of Maslow's Hierarchy)
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To: DentsRun
Lots of sour grapes here. All these Hollywood "geniuses" left Gibson swinging in the wind when he was originally hawking this movie. They "knew" it would be a bomb so he had to finance most of it himself. Now that it's apparently going to be a blockbuster they are chagrined at their own stupidity and in usual lefty fashion are attacking the guy who demonstrated their prejudice and incompetence.

We're supposed to believe that the critics who fawned over Fargo and others give a rat's a$$ about the violence of this movie? Give me a break.

10 posted on 02/23/2004 8:30:05 PM PST by Seruzawa (If you agree with the French raise your hand... if you are French raise both hands.)
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To: Humidston
Correction: MATTHEW Shepherd.
11 posted on 02/23/2004 8:31:56 PM PST by Humidston (Two Words: TERM LIMITS)
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To: DentsRun
They haven't got a clue! And unless they're eyes are truly opened, they never will.
12 posted on 02/23/2004 8:32:03 PM PST by peteram
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To: DentsRun
The Gospel says Mary's soul was pierced by sorrow, this movie will show what that means. It will show why Peter was so fearful that he denied knowing Jesus.

Ebert was right. There will be no religious or devotional depictions to make these events pretty. The critics will howl because they are not getting the stoytelling Jesus that they are used to, they are getting Jesus as savior- someone they have never seen before in film.

13 posted on 02/23/2004 8:32:19 PM PST by Dialup Llama
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To: cavtrooper21
The fourth, Ebert, is liberal, I believe, but he is Catholic.

For reference, here is his Last Tempation of Christ review, which he also praised:

http://www.suntimes.com/ebert/ebert_reviews/1998/01/010706.html
14 posted on 02/23/2004 8:32:33 PM PST by NTNgod
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To: JennysCool
The violence of this movie has a

REDEMPTIVE PURPOSE...........

something most movie critics don't understand.

15 posted on 02/23/2004 8:33:14 PM PST by ASTM366
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To: DentsRun
Count me out. I am a history major, born-again Christian and consider myself well read. I do not go to see Mel Gibson movies - they are ALL violent in the extreme.

I know what crucifixion is like, and worse. I do not need to be spoon fed gore and violence to know what Christ did for me. The fact that He, as God, died at all for my sins is all I need to know.

16 posted on 02/23/2004 8:35:03 PM PST by txzman (Jer 23:29)
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To: Ronin
It is as if the critics are from Bizarro World or something, isn't it?
17 posted on 02/23/2004 8:36:41 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: JennysCool
Those afraid of this film fear a Christian revival of sorts, may sweep our country. Just as the liberal secularist were doing so well at squashing out Christianity wherever they can. God out of school, 10 commandments out of public places, Nativity scenes banished from public property, God removed from pledge, etc. The success of this film will be a big F*CK YOU!! to liberal secularist scum all across the country. It is vital for the left to try everything in their arsenal to crush this film. Snuff out the light of the truth. Not only should we go see this film, bring a friend or two also.
18 posted on 02/23/2004 8:36:49 PM PST by Ron in Acreage
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To: DentsRun
Here's where you can find most of the "mainstream" reviews of The Passion of The Christ. So far, 13 reviews. Eight reviewers loved it, and 5 hated it.

Links to reviews of the Passion

If you'll notice, most of the negative reviews have centered on the "violence" and portray the movie as a 2 hour bloodbath. Yet, other reviews (positive) reviews tell us of non-bloody portions of the movie.

Those who portray this movie as a "gore fest" have one item on their agenda. To keep as many people from seeing this movie as possible.

This is the only "criticism" of the movie that will keep some people away from it. Nobody ever said satan was dumb. Although it apprears that his anti-semitic smears backfired. :-)
19 posted on 02/23/2004 8:37:37 PM PST by Texas2step (Reformed passion thread instigator ... but don't tell anyone.)
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To: DentsRun
really seems to deal directly with what happened instead of with all kinds of sentimental eyes, cleaned up, post card versions of it." -- Roger Ebert, on his syndicated TV show "Ebert & Roeper"

Frankly I'm tired of the "mooney-eyed" Jesus of the Hollywood film industry. It's time to see how it really happened, according to the Gospels.

20 posted on 02/23/2004 8:38:08 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: ASTM366
something most movie critics don't understand.

Nor the media. It used to irk me, but now I'm beginning to enjoy watching all the talking heads on TV try to analyze this movie. They are all clueless! This is because many of them have only a rudimentary idea of who Christ is and what he had to go through for us. And this whole "blame the Jews" thing is laughable. What the talking heads don't realize as well is that to be a Christian means

1. Not pointing blame (i.e.: being anti-semetic). And
2. Knowing that this is what HAD to happen for Him to take away our sins.

Again - they are totally clueless.

21 posted on 02/23/2004 8:38:14 PM PST by peteram
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To: Humidston
But they would scream foul if they made a film about how those two sickos kidnapped, brutalized, sodomized, and then murdered Jesse Dirksizing(sp?).
22 posted on 02/23/2004 8:39:12 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: peteram
" Nor the media. It used to irk me, but now I'm beginning to enjoy watching all the talking heads on TV try to analyze this movie. They are all clueless! This is because many of them have only a rudimentary idea of who Christ is and what he had to go through for us. And this whole "blame the Jews" thing is laughable. What the talking heads don't realize as well is that to be a Christian means

1. Not pointing blame (i.e.: being anti-semetic). And
2. Knowing that this is what HAD to happen for Him to take away our sins. Again - they are totally clueless.

BUMP!

23 posted on 02/23/2004 8:44:03 PM PST by formerDem (God writes straight with crooked lines.)
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To: DentsRun
As far as I can tell, from the vitriol coming from liberals over this movie, there must not be any Christians in it painted with negative stereotypes.

I'm not even Christian and I'm going to go see it, if for no reason other than to support Christians.

24 posted on 02/23/2004 8:46:42 PM PST by Psycho_Bunny
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To: Ron in Acreage
a Christian revival of sorts, may sweep our country... a big F*CK YOU!! to liberal secularist scum

Good heavens, it would seem the revival has not yet started in Acreage... Is that really what Jesus would say to the liberal secularist scum?

-ccm

25 posted on 02/23/2004 8:47:10 PM PST by ccmay
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To: NTNgod
The fourth, Ebert, is liberal, I believe, but he is Catholic.

The screenwriter of the softporn classics Up! and Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens, the creator of the immortal soft-porn queen Sweet L'il Alice, Reinhold Timme (aka, Roger Ebert; he changed his name when he came to Hollywood), is a Catholic?

I don't think so.

26 posted on 02/23/2004 8:51:57 PM PST by beckett
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To: DentsRun
Many Christophobes are dragging themselves away from watching reruns of demonic tributes and hack-em-up/slash-em-up films just long enough to complain about Gibson's film. I suspect that the viewing audience will not soon forgot this hypocrisy.
27 posted on 02/23/2004 8:54:42 PM PST by per loin
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To: Tempest
I think many of the reviewers don't seem to comprehend that Mel Gibson's primary intent is to demonstrate the gravity of the sacrifice that Jesus made in order to forgive us for our failings.

I think many the reviewers don't WANT to comprehend the gravity of the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf.

.. because they would have to acknowledge the dept of graditude we owe Jesus.

I wonder how many of these same reviewers would even acknowledge that we are sinners in need of a Savior?

28 posted on 02/23/2004 8:55:46 PM PST by Jorge
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To: concerned about politics
I searched through some reviews by the aforementioned critics who are hammering "Passion", and was less than amazed to find that most liked the over the top violence of "Kill Bill" (Corliss called it "balletic carnography").

In fairness, Denby found "Kill Bill" tiresome, but lauded the brutality of "Saving Private Ryan", although he thought the "patriotic" beginning and ending (the scenes of the older Ryan at the cemetary) should have been left out.

It is funny as all get out to watch these critics discover a revulsion to violence. Perhaps watching "Passion" has made converts out of them.
29 posted on 02/23/2004 8:59:50 PM PST by M1911A1
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To: DentsRun
Well I am going to be honest. I am not going to see this film. I just do not want to see an hour and a half of torture scenes.
I would not go see a movie where there were depictions of animals being tortured or of children being tortured. I just do NOT want to see such things. So why would I want to see a reinactment of Jesus being tortured? I believe it happened and I understand what it meant and why it happened. I think the passion of Christ is ever more profound and meaningful than showing bloody scenes of torture. I might wait till it comes out on DVD but for now I just don't want to see it.
30 posted on 02/23/2004 9:02:13 PM PST by DestroytheDemocrats (John Kerry - A legend in his own mind.)
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To: DentsRun
Tha tfact that Ebert adn Roeper gave it a Thumbs Up, must be horribly devastating to the left
31 posted on 02/23/2004 9:03:32 PM PST by raloxk
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To: Blood of Tyrants
Yes! Never forget poor little Jesse Dirkhising (although the PC crowd would love it if we did)!!
32 posted on 02/23/2004 9:03:40 PM PST by Humidston (Two Words: TERM LIMITS)
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To: beckett
The screenwriter of...is a Catholic? I don't think so.

Well, Ebert believes he is (as he occasionally mentions in his reviews over the years).

You don't think he is.

I'm sure, in the end, God will get the final call on that one :)
33 posted on 02/23/2004 9:06:31 PM PST by NTNgod
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To: txzman
"I know what crucifixion is like, and worse. I do not need to be spoon fed gore and violence to know what Christ did for me. The fact that He, as God, died at all for my sins is all I need to know."

That is exactly the way I see it.

34 posted on 02/23/2004 9:07:35 PM PST by DestroytheDemocrats (John Kerry - A legend in his own mind.)
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To: DestroytheDemocrats
Exactly what I have been saying for the last 3 weeks.
35 posted on 02/23/2004 9:11:23 PM PST by Nachum
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To: Ron in Acreage
Me thinks that Satan does not like The Passion of The Christ, so watch them all line up on either side of the wall.
36 posted on 02/23/2004 9:12:47 PM PST by tessalu
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To: NTNgod
Well, Ebert believes he is (as he occasionally mentions in his reviews over the years).

Can you document that? I have never heard him mention his own faith, although I have read his work both on politics (he is far left, by the way, not "liberal") and the arts. When he reviewed Ben Affleck's Dogma last year he delighted in its anti-Catholic bias.

As I mentioned, Ebert (Reinhold Timme) is of germanic descent, and may well have Catholic ancestors, but, given the overall cultural vibe he puts out, I would be amazed to learn that he is a believing, church-going Catholic.

37 posted on 02/23/2004 9:13:24 PM PST by beckett
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To: DentsRun
It is interesting in reading the responses to this the number of "Christians" responding that they don't need to see the film to know that Christ died for them. It might be instructive for all to know the depth of His love for us to watch what will truly be the most graphic portrayal of how he "suffered, was crucified, and was buried". I grew up knowing He died, but it was only after having seen first hand the horrors of death in warfare that I had any inkling of how the "man" Christ must have suffered in His torture and death.

"For God so loved the world ..."

If the billing of the film is anywhere near as it is in reality I believe it will humble this frail Christian. And just perhaps my faith will be strengthened for it.

I don't understand how so many who have not seen the film can be so critical of it.

38 posted on 02/23/2004 9:17:36 PM PST by ImpBill ("America! ... Where are you now?")
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To: beckett
The screenwriter of the softporn classics Up! and Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens, the creator of the immortal soft-porn queen Sweet L'il Alice, Reinhold Timme (aka, Roger Ebert; he changed his name when he came to Hollywood)

Wow, is that true?

39 posted on 02/23/2004 9:20:39 PM PST by DentsRun
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To: M1911A1
"I searched through some reviews by the aforementioned critics who are hammering "Passion", and was less than amazed to find that most liked the over the top violence of "Kill Bill" "

Kill Bill was a fantasy. It was so over the top that it was not serious violence. I mean one woman was fighting 60 people at one time. It was a spoof of itself. Remember the Russian roulette scene from the Deer Hunter? What about all the violence in Good Fellas? THOSE are examples of violence because they were so realistic. Just my opinion.

40 posted on 02/23/2004 9:21:34 PM PST by DestroytheDemocrats (John Kerry - A legend in his own mind.)
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To: ImpBill
"I believe it will humble this frail Christian. And just perhaps my faith will be strengthened for it."

Knock yourself out. I am a Christian too and I am not going to see it.

41 posted on 02/23/2004 9:23:37 PM PST by DestroytheDemocrats (John Kerry - A legend in his own mind.)
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To: ImpBill
"It is interesting in reading the responses to this the number of "Christians" responding that they don't need to see the film to know ."

What is this thing with putting the word Christians in quotation marks? Are you saying that someone who won't go see a movie, a MOVIE mind you, is not a good Christian? That's absurd.

42 posted on 02/23/2004 9:28:59 PM PST by DestroytheDemocrats (John Kerry - A legend in his own mind.)
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To: DentsRun
Wow is that true?

All true. Ebert started out in the 70s as a screenwriter for famed B movie producer Russ Meyers. He wrote the screenplay for a few softporn flicks, including those two. When work dried up for him as a screenwriter, he turned to work as a film critic and eventually landed a gig at the Chicago Sun-Times.

43 posted on 02/23/2004 9:30:34 PM PST by beckett
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To: DestroytheDemocrats
>Remember the Russian roulette scene from the Deer Hunter? What about all the violence in Good Fellas? THOSE are examples of violence because they were so realistic.

A number of people killed themselves imitating the Deer Hunter scene. Don't see masses of critics decrying the violence in that scene.

44 posted on 02/23/2004 9:32:03 PM PST by Dialup Llama
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To: DentsRun
I think what the Leftists really fear are substantive works of art.

They produce garbage. They've saturated the culture with it.

Gibson is the enemy because he will show the power of Western civilization and, by extension, the meaningless nature of a popular culture created by Leftists.

45 posted on 02/23/2004 9:36:50 PM PST by Reactionary
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To: DestroytheDemocrats
Are you trying to pick a fight?

Move on as I won't pick up the bait.

Have a nice day.

46 posted on 02/23/2004 9:41:19 PM PST by ImpBill ("America! ... Where are you now?")
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To: NTNgod
I'm very suprised.

I would have sworn Ebert was Jewish.

Damn, what do I know?
47 posted on 02/23/2004 9:41:44 PM PST by wardaddy (A man better believe in something or he'll fall for anything.)
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To: ImpBill
#38, Nice post IB.
48 posted on 02/23/2004 9:43:24 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: DentsRun
Look at the violent movies these guys gave high marks to:

David Ansen: "Any Given Sunday": [Stone's] most entertaining movie in years. He had no qualms about the violence in that one.
On "Kill Bill" Brilliant but shallow.

David Denby: On the opening scenes of "Saving Private Ryan:"one of the greatest, most appalling things ever done in movies.
He gave "Natural Born Killers" high marks.

Richard Corlis: He loved "The American President" You all should remember that homage to Clinton.
He gave "Kill Bill" an A+.
On "Natural Born Killers": "Explosive, delirious, daredevil fun!"

Peter Rainer of the New Yorker on "Kill Bill": "Heads are severed, arms lopped off, geysers of red spray the screen. And yet it’s all in (perverse) good fun.

Yup, no agendas here at all folks. (sarc)

49 posted on 02/23/2004 9:46:43 PM PST by flying Elvis
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To: DentsRun
The more this goes on the more I realize why I will go see this film:

Because Mel Gibson deserves our support if for no other reason than because of the enemies he has stirred up....the broad anti-Christian secular humanist-relativist-equivocating Left. They are the enemies of our faith and culture ....and largely our nation and way of life....and they have been hellbent on destroying our culture for over 30 years now and someone finally has the money and guts to challenge their cultural hegemony and they have unleashed their shrill hounds of protest. I love it, they are wounded and afraid obviously. It's about time.

The other reasons have become secondary for me....
50 posted on 02/23/2004 9:54:52 PM PST by wardaddy (A man better believe in something or he'll fall for anything.)
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