Mel Gibson's 'The Passion' slated for DVD, VHS release Tuesday
By TRACY L. SCOTT
Mel Gibson's controversial independent film about the last 12 hours of Jesus' life made more than $375 million at the box office, earning a spot as one of the top 10 movies of all time.
"The Passion of the Christ" was a financial success but had mixed reactions from critics and moviegoers: Washington Post film critic Michael O'Sullivan described the movie as "undeniably powerful" while New York Times writer A.O. Scott called it "harrowingly violent."
There was much public debate about the movie, which makes its video debut Tuesday (DVD $29.98, VHS $24.98). At the center of the controversy was the violent depiction of Jesus' crucifixion and themes that some said could have been interpreted as anti-Semitic.
O'Sullivan wrote, "The film itself hardly seems anti-Semitic, at least by the historical standards of Passion plays."
The 2003 movie is based on the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Jim Caviezel stars as Jesus. Monica Bellucci portrays Mary Magdalene in the rated-R film that includes English subtitles.