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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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To: DentsRun
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.

Very rarely do critics agree about any film in a uniform manner.

Gibson has made it clear that WANTED his film to be one that would shock, stir the pot, and be controversial. He is the one with an agenda, as he himself states. There are critics I like, like David Denby, who is one of the best, who don't like the film, and there are people I like, like David Horowitz and Liz Trotta, who liked the film very much. I won't berate the critics who disliked it, I'll just see it for myself and make my own decision. I do realize that it might have different meaning for me than for someone of the Christian faith.

101 posted on 02/24/2004 5:22:57 AM PST by veronica ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." GW Bush 1-20-04)
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To: Dialup Llama
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.

You nailed it.

102 posted on 02/24/2004 5:33:45 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: beckett
I would be amazed to learn that he is a believing, church-going Catholic.

I'm pretty sure that he has a Catholic background. He may even have considered the priesthood at one time. But he seems to me to be a typical '60s, self-hating, PC "Catholic."

103 posted on 02/24/2004 5:38:45 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: flying Elvis
Yup, no agendas here at all folks. (sarc)

Unbelievable... but believable. These people are shameless.

104 posted on 02/24/2004 5:41:02 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Dialup Llama; Aquinasfan; missyme
"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."

"You nailed it."

My sentiments too. I meant to mention that. Hopefully, they wil take this opportunity to see the error of their ways:

Mat 27:16 And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. 17 Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? 18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. 19 When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.

20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask BARABBAS, AND DESTROY JESUS.

21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. 22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? [They] all say unto him, LET HIM BE CRUCIFIED. 23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. 24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but [that] rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed [his] hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye [to it]. 25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood [be] on us, and on our children.
http://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/Mat/Mat027.html#20

Greek for 912
BARABBAS {bar-ab-bas'}

TDNT Reference Root Word
Not Available of Aramaic origin 01247 and 05

BARABBAS - "SON [BAR] OF A FATHER OR MASTER [ABBAS]

1) the captive ROBBER whom the Jews begged Pilate to release instead of Christ

Compare with the word ABBA:
Greek for 5

Pronunciation Guide
Abba {ab-bah'}

TDNT Reference Root Word
TDNT - 1:5,1 of Aramaic origin 02

ABBA = "FATHER"

1) father, customary title used of God in prayer. Whenever it occurs in the New Testament it has the Greek interpretation joined to it, that is apparently to be explained by the fact that the Chaldee "ABBA" through frequent use in prayer, gradually acquired the nature of a most sacred proper name, to which the Greek speaking Jews added the name from their own tongue.

Mar 14:36 And he said, ABBA, FATHER, all things [are] possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, ABBA, Father.

Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, ABBA, FATHER.

Compare with:

Jhn 8:44 Ye are of [YOUR] FATHER THE DEVIL, and the lusts of your father ye will do. HE WAS A MURDERER FROM THE BEGINNING, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. http://www.blueletterbible.org/tsk_b/Jhn/8/44.html

Jhn 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a ROBBER. http://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/Jhn/Jhn010.html#1

So the first time around, Israel chose symbollically (??) the SON OF THE DEVIL to be released to them INSTEAD OF THE SON OF GOD!

The GOOD NEWS regarding THE CURSE "May His blood be on us and our children", and God willing, may this controversy SOON be put to REST:

2Ki 14:6 But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but EVERY MAN SHALL BE PUT TO DEATH FOR HIS OWN SIN:


Rom 11:18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

Rom 11:19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.

Rom 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

Rom 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, [take heed] lest he also spare not thee.

Rom 11:22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in [his] goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

Rom 11:23 AND THEY ALSO, +++ IF THEY ABIDE NOT STILL IN UNBELIEF, SHALL BE GRAFFED IN: FOR GOD IS ABLE TO GRAFF THEM IN AGAIN.

Rom 11:24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural [branches], be graffed into their own olive tree?

Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

Rom 11:27 For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Rom 11:28 As concerning the gospel, [they are] enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, [they are] beloved for the fathers' sakes.

Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God [are] without repentance.

Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

Rom 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. [THIS is where the 'Keys of David' come in. The LOOSING and BINDING have to do with FORGIVENESS. Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. http://www.blueletterbible.org/tsk_b/Mat/6/12.html See the PARABLE at Matthew 18 http://www.blueletterbible.org/tsk_b/Mat/18/18.html AND
http://www.blueletterbible.org/tsk_b/Luk/9/1.html THIS is how ALL ISRAEL IS SAVED, from JESUS forgiving them first, Stephen second, and then the disciples and all the other martyrs for Christ through the ages. ]

Rom 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable [are] his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

Rom 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

Rom 11:35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, [are] all things: to whom [be] glory for ever. Amen.
http://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/Rom/Rom011.html#23


Jhn 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven.

Jhn 3:14 AND AS MOSES LIFTED UP THE SERPENT IN THE WILDERNESS, EVEN SO MUST THE SON OF MAN BE LIFTED UP: http://www.blueletterbible.org/tsk_b/Jhn/3/14.html

Jhn 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. http://www.blueletterbible.org/tsk_b/Jhn/3/16.html

All of John 3:
http://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/Jhn/Jhn003.html#16
105 posted on 02/24/2004 7:12:52 AM PST by Ethan_Allen (Gen. 32:24-32 'man'=Jesus http://www.preteristarchive.com/Jesus_is_Israel/index.html)
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To: Tempest
I still don't want to see it. I don't want to see 100 minutes of a reinactment of the torture of any living person or creature. Be it the Lord Jesus Christ, or a Nazi, or a rabbit. I don't want to see it. For 2000 years people of faith have not had a movie about the passion yet they believed. Going to see the movie is not a statement about anything good or bad. It's a matter of if you can tolerate certain levels and types of violence and I don't think I can handle this movie because there is torture in it. Shoot somebody, I can handle that, but torture...uh uh.


106 posted on 02/24/2004 10:32:40 AM PST by DestroytheDemocrats (John Kerry - A legend in his own mind.)
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To: Tempest
"So you may take pride in your knowledge of what sacrafice Jesus made. But then again perhaps you take too much pride and are under the impression that everyone else understands the way that you presume to understand."

Huh? Maybe some people take too much pride in seeing what is merely a movie as if seeing it is the be all and end all of defeating liberals and being a good Christian. It is not. Blessed are those who have not seen (the movie) and yet believe. Which would include 99.99999999......of all Christendom past and present. And blessed are those who go to see the movie and continue to believe or come to believe. There are no goats and sheep here.

107 posted on 02/24/2004 10:42:05 AM PST by DestroytheDemocrats (John Kerry - A legend in his own mind.)
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To: Ethan_Allen
Yikes, major error, didn't catch it in time...one of the little conspiracies in what is, in spite of that, my favorite Bible, the King James, for its beautiful language:

Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

Sion = Zion

108 posted on 02/24/2004 10:42:15 AM PST by Ethan_Allen (Gen. 32:24-32 'man'=Jesus http://www.preteristarchive.com/Jesus_is_Israel/index.html)
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To: DestroytheDemocrats
I respect your decision. I am torn by the same feelings. My family and I don't NEED to see this film to believe. We don't even believe this film was made for us who believe, but for those who don't. God works in mysterious ways. We do believe however, that in order to be even better witnesses, it will be useful for us to have seen it; just one more tool. Furthermore, we feel the need to support Mel in his undertaking, and to send a message to Hollywood. But again, I can certainly appreciate your point of view, and would not criticize you or anyone for it.

God Bless.
109 posted on 02/24/2004 10:49:37 AM PST by Ethan_Allen (Gen. 32:24-32 'man'=Jesus http://www.preteristarchive.com/Jesus_is_Israel/index.html)
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To: Ethan_Allen
"Furthermore, we feel the need to support Mel in his undertaking, and to send a message to Hollywood. But again, I can certainly appreciate your point of view, and would not criticize you or anyone for it. "

Well I can respect your point of view too. I say, if you want to see it, fine, if you don't want to see it, that's fine too.

110 posted on 02/24/2004 11:07:43 AM PST by DestroytheDemocrats (John Kerry - A legend in his own mind.)
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To: veronica
Gibson has made it clear that WANTED his film to be one that would shock, stir the pot, and be controversial. He is the one with an agenda, as he himself states. There are critics I like, like David Denby, who is one of the best, who don't like the film, and there are people I like, like David Horowitz and Liz Trotta, who liked the film very much. I won't berate the critics who disliked it, I'll just see it for myself and make my own decision. I do realize that it might have different meaning for me than for someone of the Christian faith.

Having just had a cup of coffee and read the LA Times, I think I finally understand what the critics who hate "The Passion of the Christ" are really complaining about.

The LA Times ran two lenghty reviews of the movie today, one by Kenny Turan on the front page of the paper and the other by Patrick Goldstein, on the front page of the Calendar section. Both of course hated the film, not only for what they regard as its endless gore and evil portrayal of the Jewish high priest Caiphas, but also because of it's obvious power (Turan said it had the "incendiary potential of "The Birth of a Nation" and Goldstein called it a "movie that matters"). But what really left him in "profound dispair," said Turan, was that the Christians watching it saw it through totally different eyes. Whereas he saw "sadistic violence" and "blame," they saw "transcendence" and "truth."

I think this is the key point. Turan wouldn't be bothered by what he regards as a deeply flawed film if he thought everyone would see the same flaws that he does. But it's clear to him that Christians will see the flaws as virtues. And that's what leaves him in profound despair--as this movie demonstrates, when it comes to some pretty fundamental issues, Jews and Christians are clearly not on the same page.

Regarding what he sees as the film's deeply unfortunate portrayal of Jews, Turan says he believes Gibson didn't intend to give "and and comfort" to anti-Semites (though that's what Turan believes the film will do anyway). Goldstein suggests that Gibson perhaps doesn't really understand his own motives for making this film and Goldstein quotes a remark by Pascal: "the heart has reasons which reason cannot comprehend."

111 posted on 02/24/2004 12:00:17 PM PST by DentsRun
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To: DestroytheDemocrats
Sorry but you seem confused. It appears that you have bought into the reviewers wishes and bought into their machinations hook line a sinker. To bad that it their plans seemed to have worked so well that you have now taken upon a personal crusade to disparage others from viewing the movie. . .

Anyways, I never claimed that you had to watch the movie to be a good christian. Or are you speaking to someone else?!?!
112 posted on 02/24/2004 12:28:20 PM PST by Tempest (Sigh.. ....)
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To: concerned about politics
But, But, But, that was real... </sarcasm>
113 posted on 02/24/2004 12:40:28 PM PST by CathyRyan
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To: Radioactive
..............Maybe Mel Gibson was really put on this earth to make this movie

That idea has been going through my head for awhile.

The critics, with a few surprising exceptions, are behaving as I always thought they would. They finally find a violent film that they don't like. And yet the near pornographic violence in NATURAL BORN KILLERS, KILL BILL and PULP FICTION, films that have absolutely no respect for the value of human life,elicits the highest praise from these same people.

Pray for them, that's the only thing we can do.

114 posted on 02/24/2004 2:37:13 PM PST by Clintons a commie
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To: Radioactive
And oh yeah..............Maybe Mel Gibson was really put on this earth to make this movie....which will probably go down as the most viewed movie of all time.

I wish you were right. But I think what will happen when his movie opens is that despite its power to move believers, it will will also become clear that as a work of art this film has some serious flaws. I have no doubt the film will make back the $25 million Gibson laid out to finance it, as well as a good deal more. I also believe it will be playing in church basements for the next 20 years. But I'll be surprised (when I go to see it this weekend) if it's the movie of the century, as some people have claimed. I think it will be more like Apocalypse Now, a movie which while extremely interesting at times ("I love the smell of napalm in the morning") was also seriously flawed (think of a fat actor whose initials are Marlin Brando).

115 posted on 02/24/2004 9:57:59 PM PST by DentsRun
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To: DentsRun
Turan also wrote, "This notion, sometimes called blood libel or blood guilt, has led to untold suffering and death over hundreds and hundreds of years, and should have given someone, even a believer, pause."

My understanding is that the term "blood libel" refers to bogus charges starting around the 12th century that Jews drank the blood of children in secret rituals. "Blood libels" against the Jews, thoroughly reprehensible in their own right, are not about the cruxifiction of Jesus.

116 posted on 02/24/2004 10:02:58 PM PST by beckett
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To: beckett
My understanding is that the term "blood libel" refers to bogus charges starting around the 12th century that Jews drank the blood of children in secret rituals.

That's always been my understanding as well. There was a discussion of this in the media about six or eight months ago when Egyptian papers started talking about Jews supposedly killing children to use their blood in making matzo dough. That's one reason I was surprised to see some critics of Gibson's film use the term blood libel to refer to the "may his blood be upon us" line from the Gospels.

117 posted on 02/25/2004 12:55:41 AM PST by DentsRun
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