Movies: The Goriest Story Ever Told

Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ is a well-made film. That doesn't mean you'll want to see it

You might not expect much controversy from a strenuously reverent film adaptation of some famous chapters from the all-time best-selling book, one found in most homes, churches and hotel rooms. But with mouthy Mel Gibson as the auteur and the Gospels as his text, The Passion of the Christ has stoked a holy word war of an intensity not seen since Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ in 1988.

Let's start by saying that this is a movie, and that it has the same right to take the Bible literally as other films have to be comically blasphemous. Faith and...

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