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  • Usually I am quite critical of films, especially Hollywood action films in the line of "The Body". I DID like this one and think it is under-rated but look at the reviews here and you will see extremes of hating and liking this film. This is odd, and I wonder if it has to do with the religious background of those making comments? I have put off renting this film for over a year, due to the low IMDB rating, and was very surprised to find a good solid performance of Antonio Banderas as a priest, decent dialogue, nice eye candy and acting of Olivia Williams, and an intelligent (well, for such an action flick anyhow) thought-provoking story.
  • A crucified body dated back to the 1st century A.D is uncovered at an ancient cave in Jerusalem . Then , a priest named Matt Gutiérrez (Antonio Banderas) is assigned by a Vatican's cardinal (John Wood) to discover if a skeleton of a crucified man found beneath a a shop in location of Jerusalen can be the remains of the body of Christ . The priest along with an archaeologist named Sharon Golban (Olivia Williams , though Kristin Scott Thomas was formerly offered this role) will have to resolve the strange enigma . Another priest (Derek Jacobi) is about the tracks of the events that result to be each time more difficult and complicated . Trouble ensues as word spreads . As they'll take on a lot of dangers and in middle of two confronted parts , ¨Jews and Palestines¨ because both of them want the enigmatic body for their own purposes .

    It's a spiritual thriller but with little action , it results to be slow-moving and sometimes a bit boring and tiring . The ending confrontation with noisy shootouts between the starring and the enemies is ridiculous and embarrassing . The storyline by Jonas McCord (film director) is clunky and confuse , in spite of being based on a successful novel . Antonio Banderas (Zorro) and Olivia Williams (The 6º sense) interpretation is average and other actors have a wooden acting with exception to Derek Jacobi (I Claudio) who plays astoundingly a priest of lost faith . Vilmos Zsigmond cinematography is excellent , he has a long career as cameraman with splendid films (Deer hunter, Heaven's gate , Sugarland express). Being shot on location in Jerusalem , Salesian Convent, Bet Jamal , Israel and Ospedale Santo Spirito, Borgo Santo Spirito , Rome Lazio, Italy . Serge Cobert's musical score is nice including some esoteric and spiritual notes and he creates a mysterious atmosphere . The picture was regularly directed by Jonas McCord . The yarn will appeal to spiritual thriller enthusiasts and Antonio Banderas fans . Rating : Average though entertaining.
  • TLGeer14 February 2007
    This movie blew me away the first time that I saw it.

    The politics of religion is something that has not been dealt with very well in the movies. This movie does it very well. I found that the reactions to the possible finding of the Christ's tomb to be intriguing. The Catholic Church has told the investigator that the bones in the tomb ARE NOT the bones of the Christ, whatever he finds out.

    Each side in this story wishes to use the bones in any way that will be advantageous to themselves. The reality of the bones is immaterial to all of them.

    Christ said that "the truth will set you free." In this movie it shows that when it comes to politics, the truth is whatever will get people to follow what you want them to follow.
  • God has no place in politics—this is the theme of The Body, an interesting film, if not a particularly 'entertaining' one.

    Antonio Banderas plays Father Matt Gutierrez, a priest sent by the Vatican to investigate the discovery of a tomb in Jerusalem, which may or may not contain the crucified remains of Christ. Gutierrez has been given instructions by the Vatican to declare that the remains are not those of Christ; but with all of the evidence suggesting otherwise, the priest must struggle with facing the fact that his religion may be founded on a lie, and that, perhaps, Jesus was never resurrected.

    Questioning his faith is only the beginning of Gutierrez's problems: Orthodox Jews, angry at the tomb being disturbed, attack the archaeologists; the Israelis blackmail the Vatican, only offering to hand over the body if the Vatican recognises Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel; and the Palestinians, who get wind of Israel's plan and are naturally displeased, kidnap the children of sexy archaeologist Sharon Golban (Olivia Williams), forcing her into stealing the bones.

    The movie, shot on location in Jerusalem, has beautiful cinematography and great acting from Banderas and Williams, but the complicated plot may cause many viewers to lose interest. Those with a particular interest in the subject matter will probably glean the most from this rather long and intricate tale, but I can imagine the casual viewer quickly becoming bored.

    If you choose to watch this, I recommend that you stick it out to the end; you may not be riveted to the screen but, like me, you might learn a little about a fascinating subject.
  • The Body is an example of how an interesting idea for a movie (the ideological and political implications of the discovery of the body of a crucified man that could be Jesus Christ) can go absolutely wrong. It could have made a really good movie with interesting analysis of the situation, but it is an absolute failure: The script is very bad, with meaningless and forced dialogues. The cinematography and screenplay is very bad too with a lot of repeated and uninteresting shots (no, not that city fly-by again please...) And besides the technical details, there are a lot of senseless and very cheap scenes, and a lot of absurd events (i.e., even though the Israeli authorities are very interested in the matter, sometimes there's guards around the excavation, sometimes when the storyline needs it there are none... and I could go on...) There's no rythm, there's nothing... it's like any cheap TV telefilm.

    The acting is quite bad too. However not as bad as the rest of the movie...

    All in all, it's really a pity. The movie is boring, technically flawed and very badly directed. Either if you're looking for a thriller (that's the way it's being sold) or a philosophical clip, look elsewhere. It will make quite a lot of cash though, due to the presence of Banderas and a clever marketing campaign that make the movie look really good.
  • Well, an Israeli widow, Olivia Williams, uncovers a hidden tomb in Jerusalem, and there is some suggestion that it might be that of Christ. This causes a considerable stir in the Vatican because, after all, Christ's body shouldn't be there unless he was an ordinary man. So they send Father Antonio Banderas down there to investigate, telling him ahead of time, so that he doesn't misunderstand his mission, that "the body is not that of Christ."

    Banderas and Williams form at first a kind of mismatched cop/buddy team, he instense and inhibited, she breezily outgoing and scientific. But they soon run into trouble that pulls them together in their goals. I admit I didn't understand all of the reasons why so many groups wanted to interfere with the investigation or to exploit the find for political purposes. The first trouble they run into is an orthodox Jewish sect whose members bombard them with rocks and steal an important artifact. Then there is the leader of a Palestinian group, the PLO, I mean the FLP, or rather the PDQ. He wants his henchmen to get their hands on the bones. I forget why but I'm sure the purpose is nefarious. You can tell because he's got a face on him like the assassin in Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much." And you can identify his thugs when you see them because they're all swarthier than everybody else. The head Israeli honcho in this business, Shrapnel, informs the Vatican that as soon as Jerusalem is recognized as the sole capital of a united country, the bones will be released. (I understood that.) This all leads to a final semi-violent confrontation between the PDQ leader and the priest, in which the latter is wounded and the former is blown to smithereens. Oh, that reminds me, there is some comic relief from a sloppy young Irish priest who is a computer hacker. The question of whose body it is, is resolved at the end, but nobody in the movie finds out about it, only the viewer. Father Banderas resigns his commission and decides to follow God in his own way. He writes a very nice letter to Williams, but the movie stops short of having them fall into each other's arms. Let's not disturb anybody by raising REAL problems. (Are we going to observe Shabbat? How are we going to raise the kids?)

    The photography is okay, and it's an interesting exploration of modern Israel and the political and ethnic maelstrom that it is, while at the same time much less didactic than "Exodus," which might have been called "Zionism for Dummies." The acting is better than one might expect. Antonio Banderas has a sympatico appearance. He exudes sincerity in this part. And he's not a bad actor, the kind of ordinary man who engages us without being particularly glamorous, the way some European actors like Jean-Louis Trintignant or Jean Moreau do. Olivia Williams isn't quite as convincing but she is very sexy and appealing, and looks the part of a 30-ish practical-minded Israeli woman, worn but warm. She almost, but not quite, gives Banderas some chicken soup one night. The musical score sounds like it's from a stock library somewhere, from a file labeled "Suspense music." Shrapnel looks the part of the Israeli honcho too. He sounds uncannily like Paul Stewart.

    This isn't a puzzle that I find particularly interesting, although I don't know why. Religious belief leads so regularly to violence and intrigue. But I don't really think that if a body were positively identified as Christ's it would change things very much. Cognitive dissonance theory suggests that, if anything, it would strengthen our beliefs in some way. (Cf., "When Prophecy Fails.") The problem would at least be papered over somehow. I'm happy that I watched it, I suppose, if only because of Olivia Williams and Antonio Banderas, both of whom are worth watching, for somewhat different reasons, but in fact I did spend two hours following this complicated story and may just be reducing post-decision dissonance.
  • What ever sins the makers of this film may have purportrated with a misleading trailer and extraneous action scenes to attract an audience must be forgiven in light of the theme they have so clearly stated... "God Has No Place In Politics". If an artists duty is to hold up a mirror to mankind in order for him to see himself in a true light, than the filmakers have done their job well. One need only to turn on CNN to see what pawns lawmakers and religious leaders will sacrifice in order to further their earthly agendas. That Jerusalem is the pawn in "The Body", and in the nightly news makes this film even more relevant than it could have ever been intended to be by its creators. That it waxes and wanes between action, thriller, and serious drama can only be attributed to the hands of those willing to manipulate the price of a ticket out of our pockets. If that is the case, than so be it, because unlike most of the popcorn movies of today, the body has something to say. And flawed, or perfect, it says it loud and clear. From the terrorist bombings in the streets of Jerusalem, to Antonio Banderas' brave portrayal of a priest who loses his faith. "God Has No Place In Politics", a noble theme for a movie, and a warning for the years to come -- from Belfast to Jerusalem.
  • This movie has a plus side and a minus side:

    -On the plus side,the fear a priest encounters when he discovers that bones found in a Jerusalem' s grave by an archaeologist might be Jesus 's ones.So if Jesus is a man,it's a whole religion which falls down;one should note that ,for that matter ,the Muslims' and the Jews ' religions stand in little danger of bringing this about.Antonio Banderas is very convincing,I do not know if the actor is a believer,but we do believe the character he portrays is.

    -On the minus side,when the movie becomes a thriller (complete with kidnapping,shootings and priest becoming a superhero),it peters out.One can admit the Jews want to keep the Vatican from getting the bones,but that part is not better than a Van Damme flick.

    Watch this movie anyway cause it asks disturbing questions.
  • The premise behind this movie, that we might find physical proof that Jesus never really rose from the dead, was a mind-blowing thought for me. This movie covered all of the angst one might feel if such a finding were to occur. Antonio Banderas is excellent as a priest-researcher sent by the Vatican to explore the findings...and possibly squelch their existence to save the future of the Church. Olivia Williams gives an outstanding performance as an Israeli archaeologist who thinks she may have uncovered the greatest find in the history of mankind. This movie has intrigue, action, and thought-provoking subject matter. A must-see for Christians and non-Christians alike.
  • The Body is a boring movie that attempts to join the new trend of movies that tackle the issue of religion and the anti-christ, christ-related stories ..etc This movie fails greatly. The story is quite stupid and naive. A priest leaves to Jerusalem, on a secret mission, to investigate the discovery of a body, a discovery that threats the whole Christian faith. Banderas, in his worst movie to date, fails to deliver. What we get instead is: Stupid action scenes, a boring "love story" that doesn't fit in the movie, and whats even more sarcastic is that the movie attempts to send a Political message that "Religion has no Place in Politics". Well I have two advises. One: Let the cast of this movie watch "Stigmata". Two: "This Body has no place in my Movie Library". Plain Rubbish 0/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I found the movie to deal with a complex problem involving three faiths. I think it did so very well. If a body was found now, would it ever become public? I doubt it, for the same reasons set out in the movie. Yes, the movie overly simplifies all the faiths involved, and the politics of the existing situation. But if it did not do so the movie would be days long. I was impressed with Banderas' performance. Think about a priest having his faith challenged by this. That Jacobi would commit suicide demonstrates the hardship of a loss of faith. Again, it is a movie that does not appeal to all people, especially because it deals with really hard issues, on which I am not an expert. But I thought it was well done.
  • clave20 June 2001
    Dogma, Stigmata, The Third Miracle, and now, The Body. It seems that the Catholic church has replaced jihad warriors and found their place along with blind communists (that dear old evil empire) and nazi concentration camp officers as Hollywood new favorite villain. Get real! I mean, even the priests depicted in those pictures wear roman collars when most hip-clerics nowadays try to look as secular as they can: Is it possible to have a real, serious film about faith and church? This picture didn't even get megaplex treatment. I wouldn't be surprised to see "The Mummy III: Meeting Torquemada", where Brendan Fraser is joined by Antonio Banderas and Sinéad O'Connor to battle Imhotep and Pius XII, who forged an alliance to kill jews, feminists and other politically incorrect victims. If you really want to see a decent film on people's quest for the trascendental, look for "The Apostle", "Left Luggage", "Thérèse", "Il vangelo secondo Matteo" ... or go to Bluckbuster and rent "The Mission".
  • What can be said about this movie? A bore would be appropriate. This movie lacks everything from a good screenplay to a gifted direction. Performances were bellow average, specially the one by Antonio Banderas. I was ashamed to see him acting in such a poor way. One advice about this movie: BEWARE!
  • guyb3 August 2001
    What a shame. This was a great premise. This was a great beginning. Really caught my interest. But nothing ever happened. Kind of like the old cartoon about the billboard with the police car on it. Just paper. No substance. What a waster. Usually, I'm against "remakes," but this is one I'd like to see done right someday. I think it's just that the "body of Christ" just seems to be in vogue at the moment and everybody's trying to grab on to it. (sound historically familiar?)
  • Apsara19 February 2002
    When one thinks of Antonio Banderas, images of bad-guy, blowing stuff up, tough man movies comes to mind. The testosterone level in The Body is pleasingly low but does not skimp on complex thinking and it-could-happen plots. The only disappointment is some poor lighting, but overall its a simple, tasty controversial religious treat.
  • Once again Antonio Banderas shows us he can act well. I mark the film 9 out of 10, especially given the risks run by all those involved in making this film on site, in Jerusalem. I am staggered that the film could be made in Jerusalem at all, with all the differing Christian, Jewish and Palestinian groups and splinter groups so well depicted, if fictionalised in their representation. The violent scenes may not drip the blood of a Tarantino movie but it is enough to convey the "to the death" intolerance of each other that so shamefully characterise so many of these groups and splinter groups today. The actors and the script show the intensity of so many who refuse to acknowledge/accept the rights of the others - to their differing faith, or even to exist. The film brilliantly reminds us of how these groups and splinter groups lose sight of the essential truth of their own faith/belief system in their violent intolerance of the other. This is the key to facing the stark reality of the intractability of the various players in the Middle East which the film so well depicts. Especially it underlines these groups and splinter groups' willingness to misuse/abuse: the innocent trying simply to live peacefully with their families; the combatants' own faith/followers; as well as that of those they oppose. The tragedy of the Middle East is that, I believe, the same fate would befall the ancient prophets of these faiths, were they alive today, as befell them centuries/millennia ago. The religiously-intolerant attacks by some on this film simply demonstrate how correct this belief is. The actors, film director and all those others involved in making this film deserve congratulations for their courage in making it on site - despite the risks to themselves from the intolerant.

    Greyollie, Canberra, Australia.
  • Good idea, good cast, good camera, poor script and lazy dialogs. I didn't expect it to be a landmark, but the production didn't even try enough.

    It could have been a great religious thriller (the idea was good) and a great political statement (at least three sides to depict).

    What the movie does instead, is deliver lazy dialog, simplify the religious implications and picture the local politics in the safest way possible.

    Nothing intense enough. After I saw the film, it felt like a soap opera :(
  • This movie is a boring add for agnostics. By both adapting and rejecting all kinds of religious beliefs, it fails to make any sense. The political references are equally stupid. Perhaps die hard fans of Antonio Banderas could have an appreciation of it following the plot of the archaeologist who digs him. It should be listed as a very bad comedy. The cinematography is not too bad. The intriguing sites of Jerusalem are the reason for that.
  • This year we have been inundated with childish air-headed teen flicks! This movie doesn't "gross you out", or special effect you to death!! It tells a simple story with simple characters searching for answers to some very complex questions. Well acted, but poorly directed and edited. It has many flaws, but it is nice to see an adult film that doesn't insult your intelligence. It does not answer many questions, but does make you ask several of yourself.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    * * * SPOILER * * *

    See, the thing with me is that I'm a film student, so I watch the films for storylines, technical aspects, etc. But, I'm also female, young and shallow enough to watch a film for the actors, even when it looks slightly less than brilliant. That was the case with 'The Body', and I'm sticking by my first view. Aesthetically, it's great. Antonio Banderas is gorgeous, and certain aspects of the cinematography were spot on. But now we come to the storyline... it's a wonderful premise.

    An archaeologist finds a body which is seemingly that of Jesus Christ. If it WAS him, it would disprove the whole Resurrection thing and bring the whole Christian world into chaos, so the Vatican sends a priest (Mr Banderas) to investigate. As I said, fantastic premise. They could have made a really powerful film based on that, bringing in all the religious and scientific elements such a discovery would have... only it sort of falls flat.

    Antonio Banderas is a magnificent actor, especially in his earlier Spanish films, and anything that Derek Jacobi agrees to be in is usually fine by me. On the whole, the acting is good, but they struggle with the dire script, and are overshadowed by the sporadic explosions and terrorist attacks which occur often enough to seem important, but are never fully realised so they almost seem like add-ons.

    It's not terrible, but I've definitely seen better. It's all right when there's nothing else on and you've watched half the contents of Blockbuster... and when you're a rabid Antonio fan, of course. 6/10
  • Certainly in light of recent world events, this film finds itself addressing issues at the forefront of our consciences. The issue of Jerusalem in Middle East peace, the role of modern politicians in achieving (or denying) that peace, and the influence of history on our future are all addressed, albeit sometimes with shallowness. The title character played by Mr. Banderas, very much instead of "losing his faith" (to quote the prior commenter)has his faith in God deeply strengthened by the time the movie concludes. The conclusion, by the way, has a profound twist that will remain etched on one's mind for a long time. Overall, the film presented pertinent issues in an enjoyable format, and addressed deep questions which all of us, at one time or another, must grapple with. I would recommend this film to others.
  • I give it a 7.5, good movie, could have been made into a 10 if more $$$ and care were put in it. Interesting scenario for discussing, especially if you believe in God. What "would" happen if someone today claimed they found "THE BODY"? I think weakness lies in that not enough theories were offered to disbunk the idea that it was "indeed" THE BODY. The fact that while watching I thought of a lot of good arguments against the case and the movie didn't address them with some kind of supposed "proof" they find made it a bit weak. Anyway, good movie, go watch it unless you hate movies with any religious topics.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I believe, "BigGuy" said it well. If you think religious people are "stupid" and enjoy movies that make a mockery out of religious people you will not enjoy this movie. *WARNING*PLOT-REVEALED*Now from what I've heard the director or screenwriter, don't know which is supposedly anti-Christian and I read some articles where Christians were "predicting" that the movie will end up portraying atheist scientists as nice and intelligent people and Christians as crazy violent lunatics. From my point of view that didn't happen at all, in fact I'd say the movie had the opposite effect overall. I don't know if that's because the director/writer "copped-out" as some on here would suggest, or if they just messed up out of their own stupidity, messed up at ridiculing Christianity. Some apparently didn't watch the movie completely or didn't follow it closely. Antonio Banderas(the priest) did not lose his religion in the movie, although it was apparent that he invested a lot of his faith in science so whether he would have "lost" his religion if the bones were not proven to be of a "follower" of Christ and not Christ Himself was made a "real" possibility and may make even the possibility appear as blasphemy to some, there was enough given to believe that his(Antonio's) faith would survive regardless of what science may have had to say.(It was interesting the idea that was brought up that it was the "Anti-Christ" that provided that "false" body in order to deceive people, and scripture in Mark I believe was quoted.) Some people would have liked for the movie to have "gone for the money" and confront Christianity head-on. They look down on the directors/writers for not attempting to tackle the complex questions arising from such a confrontation in part I believe since they themselves greatly underestimate the consequences. And I don't mean the consequences of supposedly somebody discovering the body of Christ, since that would be impossible to prove completely, but "anything" that would have the possibility to totally undermine Christianity although impeccable arguments can be made that there is no such thing. But hypothetically, if you COULD destroy that "Foundation", what would you have to face? A world without a GOD? A world where once you die you cease to exist forever, what is life? Now think, how would the director/writer have offered a nice feel-good ending with such a revelation? Well, might as well say, "hey, guys, we solved it for you, there is NO GOD, ANYTHING GOES!, go kill, cheat, steal, rape, and enjoy yourself in whatever way YOU want". So yes, you could say the writer or director chickened out but can you really blame them? They couldn't figure out how to make you feel good about an atheistic world-view and don't think anyone can. The WORLD and especially this country(US) has been created on Judeo-Christian principles, what would happen, let's say if "hypothetically" somehow you could prove that(there is no GOD) to let's say 95% of the world? Regardless of whether it is true, what if you could make everyone "believe" that? What would the result be? Everyone would be living in peace and harmony following the "TEN COMMANDMENTS" and the other laws which were ALL BASED on the BIBLE? hey guys if you want a happy ending down that route, it "ain't there". There is right and there is wrong. "YOUR" truth can't make you free, only "THE TRUTH" can.

    It's almost 3am so getting tired, anyway I think it was a great movie. How many movies can you have so much to talk about?
  • oxana23 September 2001
    I haven't seen any trailer and didn't know the plot, thus being able to judge the film objectively. Being a non-believer helps, too. And my personal conclusion is that it's a very decent movie, covering not only the issue of faith vs politics (which stands out disturbingly nowadays), but also those of science vs decency, honesty vs survival instinct and so on. It questions everybody's values, be it the faith, the truth, the power or just peaceful life. The movie is truly contemporary, and perhaps the only daring attempt to the date to hint that faith still is exploited to "justify someone's personal agenda". It may not be perfect, but definitely deserves much higher rating than, say, "Predator".
  • I like the subject of this movie, could this be the body of Jesus Christ? I also like the inner battle inside this priest portrayed by Antonio Banderas. I also like the fact that the honesty of some of the clergy members has been question. It is true that God has no place in politics and lies! God is love and his son died on the cross. i think that, as someone in the movie said, even if someone would find the body of Christ, the people that realy have faith wouldn't realy care they would still believe. Believing in something, a cause or a person realy gives incredible inner strength to people. People with strong convictions that live by them and don't impose them are, I do believe, people of strong character that can go through the problems that life has to offer us!

    Rojan Katar
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