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YMMV: The Passion of the Christ


  • Adaptation Displacement: Averted, of course. The source material is a huge best-seller, after all.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Satan and her evil old man baby, never again referenced. Just Jesus looking out, seeing Satan, and Satan has something in her arms...ahhh-get-it-away-it's-horrible-and-I-have-no-words-to-describe-the-horror. For obvious reasons, Satan's baby has already been referenced under Nightmare Fuel.
    • According to religious sources, it's supposed to be a Satanic mockery of Mary and Baby Jesus.
    • Several people watching the movie identified the baby as the Anti-Christ.
  • Broken Base: The amount of violence and detail surrounding the crucifying of Jesus. While it is mostly accurate to how bloody actual ones were, some have argued that the film focuses too much on it and not enough on the reasons as to why Jesus went through them, and why his sacrifice meant so much to humanity.
  • Critical Dissonance: Reception to the film was understandably split down the middle by critics due to its subject matter. However, a good portion Christian filmgoers view the film as an excellent adaptation of this part of the New Testament.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • While watching this movie, it's too disturbing and depressing to notice this trope. It's darkly comical in hindsight though, just the sheer amount of violence Mel Gibson puts Jesus through.
    • He is beaten up by Jewish guards, slapped around by the Sanhedrin priests, beaten up by the people in the Temple, scourged so bad by Roman soldiers that his ribs are bared, has a crown of thorns put on his head (and pushed into his eyes), whipped through the streets while carrying a cross, beaten up and pelted with stones by Jewish mobs, and - after they dislocate his arm to fit the cross - he is finally nailed to the cross. It Crosses the Line Twice when the Roman officer orders his men to put the dying Jesus out of his misery by breaking his legs with a sledgehammer.note 
    • Things are taken even further as the Centurion overseeing the execution tosses a spear to one of the guards for him to pierce Jesus's side just to make sure that he is really dead, and water (from the pericardium) and blood sprays all over the guard's face as the spear pierces Jesus's ribcage. No one can say this film doesn't meet Gorn requirements.
    • Pay attention to the amount of blood Jesus loses, too. The human body has about 8 liters of blood in it, total. He loses at least twice this amount before he's even hauled off for crucifixion.
      • Fridge Brilliance: He's God. Catholics have a reverence for the blood of Christ. That there is a lot of it makes it more significant.
    • Take a count of how often Jesus collapses and gets back up again. If you make a drinking game out of it, you might find yourself talking to Him directly about it.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: All the suffering that Christ goes through in the film makes the resurrection scene that much more effective.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Mary. While this is especially true for Catholics, Maia Morgenstern's performance has been credited with increasing Evangelical devotion to Mary.
  • Iron Woobie: The film is about what may as well be the Ur Example.
  • Mis-blamed: The Anti-Semitic claims in particular and certain historical variances. Whatever Gibson's personal views this film is largely no better/no worse then the work it's based on. It enjoyed broad support from Church leaders across denominations precisely because it was felt to be a faithful adaptation, and most support includes the note that they did not feel it promoted anti-Semitism, nor did they think it should have.
    • Complaints that it focuses on Jesus' capture and execution are particularly odd, since that is literally the title of the movie.
  • Heartwarming Moments: After Jesus is nailed to the cross, the soldiers flip the cross over to make sure the nails are secured from the reverse. At this point, Jesus should be flat on his face - as if everything else he's been through wasn't enough - but, as Magdalene sees (and us from the angle) Jesus is about an inch or so above ground, high enough for him to turn and gaze at her. Something like that is normally impossible without something like, say, divine intervention? Heartwarming to know that, while all the suffering is part of the plan, it could be interpreted as God's sign that he hadn't abandoned Jesus.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The entire film is this, but Satan and the demon children are especially disturbing.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Part of why the film was a hit in the first place.
    • Gibson was accused of doing this on purpose.
  • Older Than They Think: Some Biblical scholars think that the Gospels of Luke and John in particular (partially) try to absolve the Romans of responsibility for the Crucifixion so that Christians would not be considered enemies of the Roman Empire.
    • Not this movie, though! Check out the smirks and leers on the torturers' faces as they thoroughly enjoy their work. These Romans are so eager to be cruel that you start wondering what they do to keep from getting bored when they don't have Jesus to torture.
      • Considering that they were the ones to invent Gladiator Games, the predisposition for cruelty is perhaps not that far off.
    • Romans hated the Jews with passion, and the Jews returned the honor. This is why the Jewish Revolts ended with such bloodshed, enough to be scary even to people from their age, who were no slouches when it came to death and destruction.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: See the description on the main page.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: The Jewish priests have a mob with them and could easily have just killed Jesus themselves. Pilate points this out, but they insist that they lack the official authority to do so.