Last Days in the Desert

On his way out of the wilderness, Jesus struggles with the Devil over the fate of a family in crisis, setting himself up for a dramatic test.


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  • ★★★★ review by Josh Larsen on Letterboxd

    First Impression: Eschewing a Bible storybook approach results in a Jesus who feels very real.

    Ended up writing about the movie's depiction of Jesus here; spent more time on McGregor's performance here.

  • ★★★★½ review by A.J. on Letterboxd

    Last Days in the Desert can easily be described as a Terrence Malick wannabe (but so could The Revenant, which is a masterpiece). 

    This film is a marvel. It's gorgeous and thoughtful and the drama is genuine. 

    This is the best on-screen depiction of Jesus that I've seen (although I've yet to watch Mel Gibson's torture flick or Scorsese's Criterion-worthy film). Garcia takes Yeshua and paints him as entirely human emotionally. 

    McGregor's Yeshua is quiet, reserved, soft-spoken, and elegant, but he's also very lonely, even in the company of this family. 

    The dynamic between Yeshua and his lost counterpart is wonderfully done. They confide in each other and share doubts and fears. 

    The family dynamic is an obvious metaphor for Yeshua and his Father but it's done very well. It's simple but effective. 

    The film is lifted up by Emmanuel Lubezki's cinematography, which is the best of the year and deserves recognition at this year's Oscars. Lubezki does so much with this film, taking it above and beyond in technical execution.  

    This is the best faith-based movie (yuck) of the last seventeen years. 

    Not for dumb Christians, but certainly for smart film lovers.

  • ★★★★½ review by Elijah Davidson on Letterboxd

    This is the third time I've seen this. I can't prove it, but it's possible that at this point in history, I've seen this film more times than anyone else not part of the production.

  • ★★★★½ review by Dawson Joyce on Letterboxd

    Led triumphantly by a superb lead dual turn from Ewan McGregor (one of the best performances of his career if not the best) and featuring stunning cinematography as always from the great Emmanuel Lubezki, this effort from writer and director Rodrigo Garcia is a thoughtful, compelling, and surprisingly achingly human account of Jesus Christ’s titular last days in the desert.

  • ★★★½ review by Tim Burnham on Letterboxd

    Subtle and effective performances all around led by McGregor's quiet profundity in a dual role.  Simple and striking cinematography from Lubezki.  A soft and beautiful score from Bensi and Jurriaans.

    I don't know if the overall picture is as effectively crafted or as subtle as it could be, especially considering the delicate work of the cast and crew.  There's a tragic human beauty to it and the film works as a lovely painting more as a complicated text to be studied.

    Some uneven tonal moments scattered throughout and a series of distracting CGI animals work together to keep dragging the films power down on a pretty consistent basis, which is a shame considering how strong the previously mentioned aspects are.

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