Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
100 Greatest Characters
Your all-time favourite heroes and villains
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save up to 63%
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Willem Dafoe
Harvey Keitel
Barbara Hershey
Harry Dean Stanton
David Bowie
Verna Bloom.
Directors
Martin Scorsese.
Screenwriters
Paul Schrader .
Running Time
164 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Gift, The
4 Star Empire Rating
Vacation
2 Star Empire Rating
Strange Magic
2 Star Empire Rating
Looking For Love
3 Star Empire Rating
Pressure
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Salt Of The Earth, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Song Of The Sea
5 Star Empire Rating
Look Of Silence, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating

The Last Temptation Of Christ
An interesting story given extra depth.


submit to reddit


Plot
Jesus struggles with his role as the Christ. On the cross, he has a vision of the regular life he might have led if he were to refuse his destiny.


Review

The subject of heated controversy, this sincere, respectful film admits at the outset that it’s a fiction (from the novel by Nikos Katantzakis) rather than drawn from the Gospels.  It makes a brave attempt to answer some of the problems raised by Jesus Christ as a historical, religious and dramatic character.  Dafoe's Jesus is a self-torturing messiah, reluctant to tread his preordained path, attracted to the simple pains and joys of the ordinary life he can never lead, and never quite sure what it is God wants him to do. 
 
The film has a dusty, realistic look - Judea is a Third World desert of tattooed women and vicious Roman occupation troops - and doesn't skimp on violence.  Not until Mel Gibson’s more gruesome, less-protested Passion of the Christ was the crucifixion depicted as such a bloody, agonising business, and the film is complete with an epic load of ear-loppings, stabbings, mutilations, sacrifices and heart-rippings. 
 
As in most religious epics, there are longeurs - including an ineffectual cameo by David Bowie as a bored Pontius Pilate - but Dafoe and (particularly) Harvey Keitel as an unusually heroic, red-headed Judas keep kicking the movie back into gear.  The finale Mary Whitehouse was so upset by is worth the wait, though not for an extremely tasteful sex scene as Jesus becomes the husband of Mary Magdalene.  In an inversion of the premise of It's a Wonderful Life, Jesus has a vision of the world as it would be if he chose not to die on the cross: he can live to a ripe old age, but humanity is doomed.


Verdict
This was controversial at the time and that put alot of people off, believing that the film was probably all hype, but this is a respectful and complex work of fiction around the concepts of the biblical character and his life.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Last Temptation Of Christ
Empire Star Rating

Masterpiece

Possibly the best thing Scorsese ever made from an artistic standpoint. Incredible and fascinating film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Coyleone at 23:31, 06 June 2014 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire Meets The Cast Of The Gift
On acting scared, Words With Friends battles and Lego Bateman

Black Mass Trailer Breakdown With Director Scott Cooper
Find out what's what with Johnny Depp's take on Boston Gangster Whitey Bulger

The N.W.A-Team
Empire visits the set of Straight Outta Compton

Empire Meets Joely Richardson
On Maggie, Arnie and Event Horizon

100 Greatest Movie Characters
The complete list of your all-time favourite heroes and villains

Vote Now For Your Favourite TV Shows
Pick your top five - if you can...

Paul Rudd Is Awesome
Being awesome: from Clueless to Ant-Man

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)