Wesley R. Ball’s review published on Letterboxd :
Forgive them, Father. They know not what they do.
This film has been hanging over my head for the longest time. I've always had a desire to see it, just to see how violent it really does get. I wish I could go back in time and strangle that little jerk who put that thought into my head. Or just slap Mel Gibson for making this film (and some other things). It's not the many biblical inconsistencies that really even bother me about the film. Sure, I can forget that Simon was more willing to carry Jesus' cross than this film says. Sure, I can forget the gratuitous use of slow motion. What I can't forgive, is the constant unflinching focus on torture porn that is used throughout the film.
Look, I get it. I know Jesus' crucifixion was an excruciatingly and disturbingly gory affair, according to history. But for a film called "The Passion of the Christ" there really wasn't any passion behind, well, anything really. It's mainly just scene after scene of unflinching torture, with some brief flashbacks of events leadIng up to His crucifixion. It's pretty lazy writing. It's like Mel Gibson watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre after his Saturday mass and said "Yep, here's my next film!" and decided to cast none other than Jim bloody Caviezel as Jesus Christ himself.
And what's up with the whole movie being in Hebrew? I get that Gibson was trying to add authenticity, but literally every other well-known (and light years more accurate) biblical film in existence manages to be fantastic, IN ENGLISH. If you're making a biblical film to promote to a mainly american audience, most people probably wouldn't appreciate having to read subtitles for two hours. As much as I love foreign films, I expected more from this one (even though it isn't really foreign.)
Another thing: Why is satan a woman? She doesn't manage to look threatening or even really remotely creepy to the viewer. She/he just kind of lingers around, taunting Jesus as he faces his passionless death. Then afterwards scream in a place that I can only assume is supposed to be Hell (though it looks more like an abandoned parking lot in New York City.) The hallucinations that "Satan" gives to Jesus, Judas, and other characters seemed far too out of place for this film. They didn't add much except for making the torture porn that much more unbearable.
If you're looking for a great biblical film, this one definitely isn't it. This is an uninspired, unsavory hodgepodge of Texas Chainsaw and The Greatest Story Ever Told. Its many inaccuracies would be forgivable to me if it actually managed to move me in some meaningful way, but it was mostly just a torture fest that tries to shock its audience. A flat, uninspired two hour torture porno that was a downright disappointment for me.