Parent reviews for The Passion of the Christ

Common Sense says

Controversial film is extremely violent and powerful.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 52 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 114 reviews
Adult Written bykpianist7 September 20, 2014

Amazing but brutal movie.

My parents, because of our religious background, showed this movie to me at twelve, and it admittedly stole some of my innocence. The violence was like nothing I had ever seen. The movie is in my top 10 even today, and I watch it every Easter for somber appreciation of Jesus' sacrifice. But it is NOT for kids. Not only does it have incredibly long sequences of brutal, agonizing violence, it has very somber themes of suicide, betrayal, and frightening demonic portrayals. Every time I watch this, to this day, I leave feeling absolutely drained and weak having to watch the torture of Christ. Only in special religious circumstances-- and with a very mature teen-- would I ever recommend someone under the age of 17 seeing this.

This title contains:

Positive messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written byBestPicture1996 May 9, 2015

One of the most violent films I've ever seen...still it'd be OK for teens

As CSM points out, it all depends on your faith. If your child is very religious (especially Catholic) and is interested in seeing one of the most told stories performed in a very stylized, graphic manner, then I'd say to wait til they were in their later teens before presenting them this film. If you are non-religious like myself, and just wish to see the movie as a movie, and not as an affirmation of faith, maybe wait until you've seen more mature content so you can handle this. It is relentless in its portrayal of Jesus' torture; you will become very familiar with the sound of Jim Caviezel moaning. His performance has been praised, and he does do a fine job in the beginning, expressing the agony of Judas' betrayal. But all he does is wince, moan and scream for the entire film, get spit on, scourged and beaten. Gibson shows us these scenes with slow motion, and especially focuses in on Jesus...falling. We understand the significance: this is a holy man that several groups despised and hated, and crucified because they thought his claims were blasphemous. Don't hammer us over the head with it. The movie does have a lot of interesting symbolism, especially in the specific choice of how Satan looks, and how Judas reacts with life after he turns Jesus over. But a lot of that is taken away with the excessive nature of the violence, like "Unbroken" with Tarantino blood splatter.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byRooster57 April 9, 2008

Most Powerful

I have never before witnessed such a moving and emotional movie. My entire life I have been presented a sanitized version of the crucifixion, it is shocking to finally understand the magnitude of Jesus Christ's sacrifice. I saw nothing derogatory or anti-semmetic about the movie. What I did come away with was a strong message to love your neighbor as Jesus loved us. I also was presented a inkling of what the Virgin Mother experienced when she watched her son be tortured. This is not a film for children - heed the ratings. But, I recommend every adult see this movie and live the message it sends. Love your neighbors.
Parent of a 14 year old Written bychickaflik April 23, 2011

Good religious movie-not for younger kids

This is a wonderful film that every Christian needs to see but it's not for little kids. It is very violent but it's a movie about the death of Jesus, do you really expect it to be nonviolent? I think parents need to diside whether their kids can handle it. It's a very real and personal depication of the Easter story. They did leave out a few small things like showing the temple curtain rip and the centurian saying "surely, He was the Son of God". This story follows the Catholic Bible and tradition very close, I'm a Lutheran so there are a few parts that I had never heard of. I watched this on Good Friday with my 14 year old daughter, she could and did handle it. I don't understand why people are making a big deal of the violence, this actually happened and there is a reason it's rated R. The actor that plays Jesus is hurt during the movie-he is actually whipped a few times, he gets his shoulder dislocated during the cross scene (you can here it pop when they're nailing his hands into the cross) and he was struck by lighting but not seriously hurt. It's a good movie and it's snaps you into reality of what really happened.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Positive role models
Adult Written byLowe's man June 18, 2014

a detailed depiction of Jesus's death

Even if you've heard the story of Jesus's death many times before, when watching this movie you'll see that the "process" was much more brutal than you assumed. High school seniors who are undergoing a serious study of religion or the life of Jesus should see this movie too, as they'll see things they won't find anywhere else. Highly recommended.
Adult Written byaiew2009 February 2, 2012

Educational

Depends on the kid. Passion Of The Christ came out when I was 14 or 15. I'm almost 23 now. I cried the first few times I saw it , after that I didn't. If your looking for something educational and religious to watch then this is your movie. If people want to understand and see what Jesus went through for all of us so we wouldn't suffer and go to hell . Then this is the best movie about what happened. But it was obvious way worse then a movie could ever possibly show. The only bad thing is the violence the violence is bad because obviously people were toturing Jesus and doing things to the people that he loved. Obviously kids will most likely get upset watching that happen to him or to anyone. The devil also torments Jesus mother Mary a lot. Like with a demonic looking baby holding him saying my baby's ok and yours Isn't as Jesus is getting whipped. All my brothers and sisters have seen it the only one we had trouble with was my sister was five and shes very emotional and was getting over having cancer and she started crying because shes like why are they doing that to Jesus? So my mom shut the movie off. I think 16 is a bit ridiculous , I'm not sure I can make a age. Depends on the kids maturity or reaction to things. But a lot of people who are religious or want to understand things saw it way before 16. My sisters 11 now , she thinks the movie is sad. But she was able to handle it a few years ago. And also the kids might not freak out that much because most kids wont get the whole movie. Plus there's subtitles in Latin the whole time. And you gotta watch them every second or you'll miss something.

This title contains:

Positive messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Parent of a 12 year old Written byCare giver December 16, 2012

great movie

its good movie but voilent

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byEntertainment Medley December 1, 2012

The Passion

This title contains:

Positive messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008

This is what it is all about

This is why Christians believe what they believe. Love has no bounds.
Adult Written byUnknown Agent November 22, 2015

Good

Good movie based on the bible before Jesus death. It Contains extreme Violence that even some adults could not bare.17+

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byRachel D April 9, 2008

Accurate historical epic masterpiece!

An excellent film that brings the Bible to life! Accurate and engaging, heart wrenching story of Jesus, His suffering and torture. My only wish was that the story continued to His glorious Resurrection and shown the world that this can have a happy ending!
Parent Written byStacey B. March 21, 2018

Brutal movie of the crucifixon of Jesus

There is no sex, language, or drugs. The only thing is violence. Yes, it is very violent, but it is probably the closest thing to represent Jesus’ crucifixion. 12 is the right age to see this. The violence contains beating, whipping, crown of thorns, torture, mocking, and crucifixion (being nailed to a cross). This movie amazing though

This title contains:

Positive messages
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Violence & scariness
Adult Written byPsychoclown June 30, 2016

Not for younger children (Under 13)

No profanity sex or drug use but extremely violent.
Adult Written byMusicRock668 February 27, 2012

very painfull movie Amazing Storyline !

this is best movie ever i has very good story but parents need know is very graphic Movie first of all the story done really yes this is very painfull movie but has great Things think ever one needs see this movie is just Amazing and great acting i think this movie would fine on martue young kid it really dose have very good Role moldel

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Adult Written bymike600 April 9, 2008

So strong

Meant for people who want to know about Christ.
Adult Written byghung April 9, 2008

Would've been rated NC-17 if it wasn't about Jesus or from Mel Gibson

I agree with Ebert when he said that this movie DEFINITELY should be NC-17; it just proves that the MPAA (and America for the most part) is made up of prude religious-zealot Puritans!! The violence is just disgusting, even by Mel Gibson standards. This movie is more violent than Grindhouse!! I'll tell you one thing though, if it did get the NC-17 it deserved, that would've removed the NC-17 stigma overnight. It just disgusts me how many parents take 5-year old kids to violent R-rated movies.
Adult Written byfirelion May 7, 2016

NOT FOR CHILDREN!!!!!

This flim while powerful and moving is not for children the two hours it runs are nearly full of realistic violence this movie should only be viewed by adults and older teenagers who can handle watching as our Lord is beaten spit on and brutally killed each blood stained scene does show us why we are saved through the blood of the lamb but if you are going to watch it make sure your children are not in the room the movie will make them have nightmares for weeks I recommend watching a less violent version of the story with children children need to know what Jesus did for them but they don't need to see the story warts and all .

This title contains:

Positive messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written byiwiliaforelock December 30, 2015

Harrowing; Insightful (if open-minded); Bloody

I find it incredible that so many people are saying they would let children of any age view this film - but would they also allow them to view Wolf of Wall Street? Play GTA5? If the violence were in *any* way unrelated to faith, would you allow them to view 30 graphic minutes of intense violence from one human being to another? I went to see this with my youth group when I was 12. I never had a lot of restrictions on what I watched, read, or otherwise consumed, so I had no reason to think the vulgarity, nudity, profanity, or anything else would bother me - I loved the movie Blow, had read the Diary of Anne Frank & Blood & Chocolate, etc - I wasn't sheltered. I was still unable to watch all of the film and scarred by what I did force myself to view. I see that some are letting their 5 or even 9 year olds watch it - I'm generally against telling anyone how to parent, but that seems a gross oversight and a reckless disregard for their mental health / ability to complexly understand, with concrete thought, what the film depicts. I'm no longer a Christian, so I don't share in the "anything in the name of brainwashing a shared faith on my kids" - I do believe that Christ (and the major figures of many other schools of spiritual thought) left behind things that all people can gain from. The prolonged depiction of torture to a child you would never dare allow view something as humanly natural as sexual intercourse, however, I don't think is what he would have had in mind.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byMIKEYS_ANGEL1 April 9, 2008

ITS a good movie for anyone who doesnt understand the "church life"

This movie was great and changed my whole perspective on church and GOD and what his son went through for me. It made me feel thankful that someone would actually go through that for people that treat them like they are not important.
Adult Written byDarkAgentE April 23, 2018

Heartbreaking.

The Passion of the Christ is one of those movies where, If you don't cry while watching it, then you simply aren't human. Even people of other religions should cry. The movie is about suffering, even if you don't believe in the Christ, you should at least feel sorry for him. I'm Christian, although if you read some of my reviews on other movies, you would think that I'm not Christian. I am though. The film is very powerful, and Jim Caviezel performance as Jesus was great. He really did a good job of conveying Jesus's suffering, and he makes you cry. He really does. This film is also one of the most disturbingly violent films that I've ever seen. It's up there with Prisoners and Beasts of no nation in my opinion. Don't show this one to younger viewers. It is not fun to watch in the slightest, and it's enough to disturb an adult, let alone a child. The film is very powerful, and it will surely make you cry. The best film to watch on Easter in my opinion. 5/5. As a bonus, the film conveys messages about laying down your life for the well being of your loved ones.

This title contains:

Positive messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness

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