I just got back from seeing The Passion of The Christ. My opinion:
First, how anyone can claim the movie is anti-Semitic or portrays all Jews poorly was not watching this movie. In the movie, there are members of the Sanhedrin who courageously try to defend Jesus, obviously unsuccessfully. Many others walk out of a trial that clearly becomes a farce.
I have heard other criticism that Pontius Pilate is treated too sympathetically. I saw his actions as cowardly. The movie portrays his motivations exactly as I’ve believed. That is, he notes Jesus was innocent, yet he is more concerned with politics of releasing Jesus than making a principled stand to free an innocent man.
Watching the torture of Jesus was horrible. Mel Gibson showed excruciating detail of what the Romans did to people. Even more moving was seeing those scenes through the eyes of Mary as a woman watching her son dying.
Through it all, Jesus message of love and forgiveness is not lost. It is emphasized even more by showing flashbacks in between scenes of the crucifixion. The short resurrection scene shows us that his sacrifice was not in vain.
Mel Gibson took “the greatest story every told” and produced the greatest movie ever made.