The Most Controversial Mel Gibson Movie Is Now Available To Stream

Mel Gibson's controversial, and wildly successful, The Passion of the Christ is now back on streaming platforms.

By Douglas Helm | Published

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Mel Gibson is no stranger to controversy in his personal life, but he brought it into his filmography when he made the gruesome The Passion of the Christ. The film is now available to stream on Hulu, Amazon Prime, and various free platforms. If you’re a glutton for punishment and like your family movie nights to be fairly uncomfortable, you can now watch this over the holiday weekend!

Mel Gibson directed The Passion of the Christ nearly a decade after his critically acclaimed directorial effort Braveheart. Gibson also co-wrote the film alongside Benedict Fitzgerald, which depicts Jesus of Nazareth’s final 12 hours up to his crucifixion and death on the cross. By that description alone, you could probably guess that this film was going to ignite some controversy.

After Mel Gibson released The Passion of the Christ, the film was subjected to a laundry list of criticisms. The main criticisms alleged that the film was antisemitic, excessively violent, and not historically accurate. Perhaps the strangest controversy was whether or not the film received an endorsement from the pope at the time, Pope John Paul II.

The other controversies are a little easier to sum up — the film was called antisemitic because some Jewish characters were depicted as evil, it was called excessively violent because it was super violent, and it stretched some historical accuracy for the sake of dramatic cinema. The whole pope controversy is a much deeper rabbit hole, with an entire section on Wikipedia. Meanwhile, Mel Gibson had a history of alleged antisemitic comments before releasing The Passion of the Christ which were exacerbated after his 2006 incident when he went on an antisemitic tirade after being pulled over.

Regardless of the controversies that embroiled Mel Gibson and The Passion of the Christ at the time, the film did amazing at the box office. Despite not being released in several markets due to the controversies, and refusals from some countries’ governments, it pulled in $612 million worldwide. Even more impressive, it still holds the record for the highest-grossing R-Rated movie domestically thanks to pulling in $370 million in the US and Canada.

Jim Caviezel in The Passion of the Christ

The Academy also apparently didn’t care about the controversies surrounding Mel Gibson and The Passion of the Christ, considering they nominated it for Best Makeup, Best Cinematography, and Best Original Score. It didn’t end up winning any of the nominations, but it was still honored with nominations nonetheless. Critic consensus was split right down the middle, with the film currently holding 49% on Rotten Tomatoes.

If you’re looking for a violent historical epic to watch, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ might be worth checking out. It’s undeniable that Jim Caviezel provided a great performance as Jesus of Nazareth and the rest of the cast is solid as well. The film also stars Maia Morgenstern as Jesus’ mother Mary, and Monica Bellucci as Mary Magdalene.

It seems like now would be a good time to check out the film if you’re interested because Mel Gibson is apparently making a sequel. In a move no one saw coming, The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection is supposed to come out sometime in the future. The release date for the film is listed as 2024, so we’ll just have to wait and see if that comes to fruition and if the controversy gauntlet will start all over again.