The Last Temptation of Christ
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The Last Temptation of Christ
Willem Dafoe plays Jesus Christ in this extraordinarily controversial adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis's novel. The film depicts a sometimes reluctant, self-doubting Jesus, gradually coming to accept His divinity and the inexorability of His ultimate fate. The much-maligned sex scene with Mary Magdalene (Barbara Hershey) occurs as an hallucination experienced by Jesus as he suffers on the cross. This particular sequence was what infuriated the film's most rabid critics, but in fact it is just one of many iconoclastic musings to be found in the film and its source novel. Equally volatile… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"In an age of post-Christian facetiousness, Martin Scorsese's work daringly attempts to restore passion and melodrama to the Gospel story."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"A sincere, typically ambitious and imaginative work from America's most provocatively intelligent film-maker."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Controversial epic with brutality, sex. Mature teens only."
‑ Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
"All the characters in the film speak as people in today's modern society speak, and I would argue that's one of the things that make The Last Temptation of Christ so approachable."
‑ Eric Melin,
"Go on, give in to temptation."
‑ Richard Luck, Film4
"A film of challenging ideas, and not salacious provocations."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"What emerges most memorably is its sense of absolute conviction, never more palpable than in the final fantasy sequence that removes Jesus from the cross and creates for him the life of an ordinary man."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Dares us to reconcile our spiritual and physical selves."
‑ Christopher Runyon, Movie Mezzanine
"Quietly radical and deeply inspiring . . . thanks to a fervid commitment by Willem Dafoe as Jesus, a swirling, cross-cultural score from Peter Gabriel and some thrilling interpretations of the Bible. The ending is a rare moment of transcendence on film."
‑ Brian Gibson, Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
"Despite moments of power and beauty, Scorsese's controversial film is flawed largely due to its casting, anachronistic dialogue, and blend of acting styles; yet it's a typical Scorsese film, dealing with sin, guilt, and redemption"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Concentrating on the humanity and fallibility of Jesus in continual conflict with his divinity, the film falters as a contemporary statement mainly in its primitive view of women."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Among those who do not already have rigid views on the subject, this film is likely to inspire more serious thought on the nature of Jesus than any other ever made."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Martin Scorsese's long-ripening adaptation ... provides a much-needed corrective, focusing its attention on a man who is constantly plagued by doubts."
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"This is a respectful and complex work of fiction around the concepts of the biblical character and his life."
‑ Kim Newman, Empire Magazine
"A bold and imaginative portrait of the life of Jesus of Nazareth and his struggles."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
More reviews for The Last Temptation of Christ on Rotten Tomatoes

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