I've certainly heard of that one (I dimly recall the controversy over it at the time), but I've never seen it; I don't think I'd enjoy it. I like my Biblical epics to be old-school! You can have Passion of the Christ, give me Chuck Heston in The Ten Commandments instead!
Here are some excerpts from a review by the Washington Post.
“When we first see Him, Christ is a cross-maker, collaborating with the Romans in their persecution of the rebellious Israelites. His reason for this, He says, is to make God hate Him: “God loves Me and I can’t stand the pain.” And He goes as far in His efforts to alienate His Father as to hold the feet of the rebels as the nails are driven in and their blood spurts into His face.”
“In Willem Dafoe, Scorsese shows us a Christ who is more an anguished modern neurotic than a biblical figure, a sort of Hamlet, and seemingly unfit for the role of Messiah. And he invites us to think of Him as mad.
Fear, Christ says, rules Him, not holiness. He would rebel against God and give in to temptation if He weren’t such a coward.”
” Moving from village to village to pray and spread the message, He reaches out not in modulated, soft-spoken tones, but with a rabble-rousing fervor, like a flame-throwing tent revivalist. And we can’t help but feel a questioning twinge when, after a wedding, He boasts with wild eyes to a small gathering that He is the one they have been waiting for, that He is God.”
“Barbara Hershey’s Mary Magdalene is less believable; watching her, you find it hard to get past the tattoos etched into her skin or her mascara-blacked eyes.
Out of a green valley, Mary Magdalene approaches Him, dressed in white for their wedding, and afterward they make love.
Their lovemaking is explicit and sensual, but not pornographic or in any way prurient. It is the coupling of husband and wife, muzzily shot as a romantic interlude, and what this fantasy represents is the culmination of Christ’s dreams of normality,”