Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. 100
    Here is a film that engaged me on the subject of Christ's dual nature, that caused me to think about the mystery of a being who could be both God and man. I cannot think of another film on a religious subject that has challenged me more fully. The film has offended those whose ideas about God and man it does not reflect. But then, so did Jesus.
  2. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    100
    Powerful, haunting, and at times very moving, The Last Temptation of Christ presents its account of the events and conflicts of Christ's life with a depth of dramatized feeling and motivation that renders them freshly compelling.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    100
    The crucifixion is the strongest such scene of all time. [26 Aug 1988]
  4. 91
    The power to provoke may not always have a smoke-to-fire relationship with greatness but with Scorsese's film, a testament of faith that leaves in the question marks, it undeniably does.
  5. It would seem impossible that anyone looking into the heart and the clear intent of the film would fail to see Scorsese's passion for his subject. And if our world is becoming so dangerously constricted that we're forbidden even to look, that is something we should all worry about. [12 Aug 1988, p.1]
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    90
    In an age of post-Christian facetiousness, Martin Scorsese's work daringly attempts to restore passion and melodrama to the Gospel story. Protests notwithstanding, the film is an affirmation of faith in the power of both the Gospel and the movies.
  7. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    90
    A film of challenging ideas, and not salacious provocations, The Last Temptation of Christ is a powerful and very modern reinterpretation of Jesus as a man wracked with anguish and doubt concerning his appointed role in life.
  8. 88
    Dafoe manages to draw us into the mystery, anguish and joy of the holy life. This is anything but another one of those boring biblical costume epics. There is genuine challenge and hope in this movie. [12 Aug 1988, p.A]
  9. Scorsese and Schrader have made a courageous film that people of all religions or no religion should be able to watch with identical fascination. [10 Aug 1988. pg. C.4]
  10. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    80
    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.
  11. Mr. Scorsese has created a Judea that is dusty and harsh, where visions in the middle of a night seem like. Some of the visual compositions are dizzyingly beautiful; the Crucifixion scene couldn't be more masterful, or heartbreaking. [11Aug 1988, p.1]
  12. Reviewed by: Don Lattin
    75
    If you are a thoughtful, open-minded person see this reverent exploration into the mystery of Jesus, the man.
  13. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    75
    It could have been shorter, some of its exchanges misfire, but I respect The Last Temptation of Christ, and I'm much more for it than against it. It's the most spiritual biblical movie of our times. [2 Sep 1988, p.25]
  14. 70
    It's a lovely, measured and deeply earnest work. It balances a realistic view of first century Palestine against a sincere consideration of how an ordinary man might learn he is divine.
  15. despite such maladroit moments, The Last Temptation of Christ finally exerts enormous power. What emerges most memorably is its sense of absolute conviction, never more palpable than in the final fantasy sequence that removes Jesus from the cross and creates for him the life of an ordinary man.
  16. Reviewed by: Desson Howe
    70
    Temptation is visually and aurally stupendous. But the most obvious strength in this commendably bold project is Willem Dafoe's performance as Jesus.
  17. 70
    The Last Temptation of Christ, Martin Scorsese's provocative, punishing, weirdly brilliant adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis' novel, has a feverish intensity. And undeniably, there's a prodigious greatness on display here. But just as undeniably, it is failed work.
  18. The efforts to plant this story in a contemporary vernacular are not always successful but the performances are uniformly fine in their adherence to the material, and consistently avoid any vulgarity or showboating.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 38 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 7
  2. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. Aug 14, 2010
    9
    This movie shows a lot of vision, has passionate and believable actors, and makes you think. It might need to be watched twice to fully appreciate. I would actually like to see Scorsese redo this one today, but that won't happen. Full Review »
  2. Dec 2, 2012
    5
    This film was good until Jesus got married then I said screw it. Being a christian and all I have to say I'm really displeased with Scorsese on this one. Maybe next time. Full Review »
  3. Apr 5, 2012
    5
    Good acting but I didn't really like it...at times was a bit pointless and I think they were exploiting what could have been-or not- for they are not real basis, his relationship with Magdalene, so cliche! Quite honestly, not a movie I enjoyed, and couldn't finish watching. Yet, I understand that many love it. It has an artistic value for sure, but the storyline didn't interest me. Full Review »