MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2

Stigmata are physical manifestations of the wounds of Christ during the crucifixion. Frankie Paige (Patricia Arquette) is the first professed atheist ever to exhibit this mysterious phenomenon. Father Andrew Kiernan (Gabriel Byrne), a priest and scientist, sent by the Vatican to investigate, witnesses the very real outbreak of these wounds. Frankie manifests four of the five major injuries suffered by Christ: thorns in the brow, nails through her wrists and feet, and deep lashes across her back. But what is the cause and purpose of a non-religious person manifesting the stigmata? Father Kiernan discovers that the Catholic Church covered up the discovery of an ancient first-century document. Possessed by a force greater than herself, Frankie becomes an unwilling messenger to the modern-day church about the reality of Christs spiritual kingdom. STIGMATA may scare even the most hardened viewers. But beneath its fictional surface, there are some deeper messages to ponder.

This fictional story centers on an ancient document called THE GOSPEL OF ST. THOMAS. This recently discovered document, like many other false gospels, does not meet the high standards of the Church for addition to the Bible. The film appears to cast significant doubt on completeness of the Scriptures and the authority of the Catholic Church. Several violent episodes relate to the appearance of Frankies wounds. Unseen violent forces whip her back and bloody nail wounds mysteriously appear on her wrists and feet. Also interwoven are graphic images of the wounding and crucifixion of Christ. In one scene Frankie attacks Father Kiernan, then cuts her own arm with a knife. While possessed, she speaks in a mans voice and communicates messages in ancient Aramaic. The films message, The kingdom of God is inside you and not in buildings of wood and stone, is consistent with Christs teachings in the New Testament. However, STIGMATAs graphic, bloody scenes related to spirit possession and liberal treatment of the inspiration of Scripture earn it a negative rating.

Preview Reviewer: Cliff McNeely
MGM, 2500 Broadway St., Santa Monica, CA 90404-3061, (310) 449-3000

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (3) times Mild 2, Moderate 1

Obscene Language: Several (6) times - F-word 5, s-word 1

Profanity: Few (3) times Regular 2 (J, GD), Exclamatory 1 (OMG)

Violence: Many times graphic (blood from statue; woman attacked by unseen forces; bloody/severe wounds on womans hands, feet, head, back; images of Christs crucifixion, car wrecks, self-mutilation with knife, man thrown around room/through glass, man tries to strangle woman, fire engulfs room, violent convulsions)

Sex: Once, implied (brief scene of unmarried couple in bed)

Nudity: None; Near Nudity: Few times (Woman in bathtub - no breasts or genitals, prostitutes with skimpy clothing)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times Mild (Woman flirts with priest, kissing, prostitutes proposition priest)

Drugs: Alcohol in bars/nightclubs - some drunkenness

Other: Unexplained spiritual phenomenon of stigmata, completeness of Scripture and authority of church doubted, woman possessed by spirit, films message consistent with Christs teachings, priest/woman lying in bed fully clothed

Running Time: 104 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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