Parents' Guide to

The Passion of the Christ

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Controversial film is extremely violent and powerful.

Movie R 2004 135 minutes
The Passion of the Christ Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 59 parent reviews

age 14+

Voilence and the Love of Christ

This movie is one of the closest ways for Christians to visualize scripture pertaining to the life/death/resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yes, it is violent. What part of CRUSIFICTION is not violent? Honestly, I would love to sit down with the whole family and let even my 6 year old see this film. Why? Because how else do you accurately describe how someone could love humanity (me and you!) so much that he would endure torture, humiliation, and death to save our souls? To watch this movie, especially in combination with a Bible study related to the topic, is an incredibly humbling experience. I rate it 14+ for not just the violence (that is to be expected), but also for the depiction of Judas' suicide, and the subtitles would be extremely difficult for a younger child to follow. As for children under 14: An emotionally stable child with a background knowledge and understanding that Christ was tortured and died for our sins could very likely be able to handle this film. It would take some pre-movie discussion and an understanding that if it became too much, it could be turned off. There is no nudity, sex, foul language, etc. Just an accurate depiction of Christs final days and love for us.

This title has:

Great messages
2 people found this helpful.
age 13+
First off, this is an incredible movie that is about the death of Jesus Christ. This is a very accurate description of his death, and it is really good at making you feel the pain that Jesus feels (being a human). I think families should keep in mind that this movie has a lot of violence. The whipping and nailing (being nailed to the cross) scene being the most violent. Even I couldn't see them as an adult without being disgusted. However, this movie has good messages not only about Christianity, but also as a whole. So, in conclusion, this is a great movie for older kids, but, it has a lot of violence, so be careful.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (59):
Kids say (157):

This movie is technically well-executed, but its narrow and harrowing perspective could be told with less on-screen brutality. The Passion of the Christ reverently treats a story that has influenced many religions and people all over the world, using moments of extraordinary cinematography and stunning images. But it doesn't give those unfamiliar with the details or significance of the original tale enough of an understanding of Jesus and the other characters to convey all that it hopes to. The excessive violence is intended to be upsetting, but it can become an endurance test for audience members.

The movie is also controversial due to how it portrays the Jewish elders who ordered the capture of Jesus and urged Pontius Pilate (Hristo Naumov Shopov) to sentence him to death, not to mention the use of the word "Jew" as an insult. Ultimately, the film will likely mean something different to viewers based on their religious background and their tolerance for on-screen gore and violence.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate