The Passion of the Christ [2004] [R]

 
 

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ASSIGNED NUMBERS

Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
Profanity
1 to 10

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Director Mel Gibson's depiction of the trial, torture, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth (James Caviezel). The script was based upon several sources, including the 19th century diaries of St. Anne Catherine Emmerich, "The Mystical City of God" by St. Mary of Agreda, and the New Testament books of John, Luke, Mark and Matthew. Also with Monica Bellucci, Rosalinda Celentano, Sergio Rubini and Mattia Sbragia. In Aramaic and Latin with English subtitles. [2:06]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - Women lounge in King Herod's residence. A nude man walks out of a cave (we see a brief glimpse of a bare buttock). A man's robes are ripped off him in a couple of scenes, leaving him in a loin-cloth-type covering. Two men are bare-chested, wearing loin-cloth-type coverings.

VIOLENCE/GORE 10 - Jesus of Nazareth is chained to a tree stump and two guards begin to flog him with canes for an extended period of time (we see red slashes and welts appear on his skin). Then the guards use straps with hooks (cat-o-nine tails) on the ends and we see the man's skin tearing open: at one point the hooks are stuck in the man's side, the guard yanks and tears his skin away, blood splatters on the feet and faces of the guards, and the man is covered with blood. Also, his skin is open and bleeding everywhere, his face is slashed, and the guards roll him over and begin on his chest and stomach, the ground around him becomes puddles of blood, and the man trembles and moans with every strike. Jesus, trembling, bruised and very bloody, crawls onto a cross, his hand is lashed to one side, a spike is placed in his palm and it is nailed through his flesh: blood sprays, we hear crunching and see his fingers flopping with each blow of the mallet, and the other hand is lashed and stretched to the point of dislocating his shoulder (we hear a loud crunch and pop and he screams). Then the other hand is nailed into the wood in the same manner (we see blood dripping from the back of the cross when the stake is driven through). The man's feet are nailed onto a block of wood, the cross is turned over, the end of the stakes are pounded flat, the cross is turned back over (the man moans in agony with each move), the cross is lifted upright and it slides into a hole in the ground with a loud thud and jolt, blood pours from the man and he moans, and blood runs down the cross to the ground. Guards place a crown of thorns on Jesus' head, press it into his flesh (blood streams down his forehead), then punch him several times and hit him in the head. A guard stabs Jesus in the side to see if he is dead and water sprays from the wound. A man on a cross is pecked at by a crow, it hits near his eye, on his forehead and head (we see bloody holes and he screams). Guards break the legs of two men hanging on crosses, we hear crunching with the blows of the mallets, hear the men scream, see their bloody legs and see the men die. Jesus is shown dead, and he is lowered from a cross (he is covered with blood and gaping wounds) and we see blood covered stakes and a crown of thorns. Guards surround Jesus in dark woods, they grab him, other men with him shove the guards, punches are exchanged, one man grabs a sword, slashes at guards, and slices the ear off one; we see blood dripping from the wound, blood covered flesh, and the ear is pressed back in place. The man with the sword is held against a tree by two guards, Jesus is tied with ropes and chains and led away. A man is punched repeatedly and whipped while being forced to walk in chains, he is knocked over a stone wall and is caught by the chains (he moans and suffers and we see his very bruised and bloody face) and pulled back up. Two men are lashed to crosses and are forced to carry them as they walk some distance, Jesus has a cross placed on his shoulder and he is whipped and shoved as he walks, and he stumbles and falls on several occasions; once the cross lands on top of him, he is whipped and kicked, people in crowds around him throw stones and jeer him, and blood drips from his hair. A woman kisses Jesus' feet and her face is covered with blood from his wounds. Judas suffers mental anguish from the guilt of betraying Jesus. A man punches Jesus in the face and he falls to the ground, people spit on the man and punch him repeatedly, a crowd of people close in on the man punching him and spitting on him ceaselessly. Jesus trembles, cries, appears to be in pain, he begs for help, something drips on his face (it could be blood), he collapses onto the ground, a snake slithers toward him, and he stomps on the snake with his sandaled foot. In a few scenes people in crowds chant and call for a man to be put to death by crucifixion. A man dies on a cross, his head falls limp and we hear his last breath. We see Jesus with an open hole in his hand (after the Resurrection, and there's no blood). The personification of Evil or Satan appears to people in different scenes: In one scene Judas imagines the faces of two boys changing to wrinkled snarling faces: one boy bites Judas' hand (we see a bloody wound), the boys strike Judas and throw rocks at him, the boys and others chase him, he cowers and cries in agony from their taunts, he sees the carcass of a dead animal crawling with maggots, and he hangs himself from a tree (we hear a crunch when his neck breaks, see his feet swinging, then see him hanging from a distance). In another scene we hear growling and snarling, then see a very brief image of what looks like a blue-tinged face with very sharp teeth as it snaps at a man; in another scene we see a supernatural creature (presumably another instance of Evil or Satan) writhing and hear it screaming; in another scene a bug slithers back into the creature's nose, and a snake crawls out from beneath its feet. A man yells at guards who beat and kick Jesus, who is on the ground. A crowd of people shoves and begins to get aggressive, guards shove them and beat a few. A man (Barabbas) is held with a chain around his neck, he gasps and gags, and he has scars and dried blood on his face. A man burns his hand on hot metal. A guard kicks a cup of water out of the hands of a woman. A woman has a bruised and scratched face, presumably after having been stoned. People are frightened when they hear loud thunder, heavy winds blow, and an earthquake shakes the ground causing buildings to fall to rubble. A woman asks to die with her son. We see a few people grieving for Jesus, and a little girl weeps when she sees Jesus' condition. Guards laugh and seem to be enjoying torturing a man, several guards tease and taunt a man while torturing him, a group of guards play dice while waiting for three men on crosses to die. A man barges through a door and two women on the inside are frightened. A leopard on a leash growls and snarls.

PROFANITY 1 - 1 mild obscenity (damn), one instance of "Jew" being used as an insult. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Christianity, religion, torture, flogging, crucifixion, Roman Law, anti-Semitism, the Gospels, history, betrayal, sin, blasphemy, fear, arrogance, magic, miracles.

MESSAGE - The denizens of Jerusalem were principally responsible for the conviction and execution of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was tortured and suffered horribly. Even the greatest torture should not prevent one from forgiving the torturers.

(Note: People drink wine in several scenes. People appear drunk in a couple of scenes, and one man falls off a chair, while another stumbles and falls to the ground.)

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