Monday, October 19, 2009

Best Christians Movies Ever Made

Last week, I gave my list of most regrettable Christian movies; this week, as promised, is my list of my ten favorite:

Chariots of Fire
A common theme you’ll see in this movie list is, by and large, they aren’t overtly Christian or evangelical. The best way to make a movie work, in my opinion, is to give them Christian themes—make the idea subtle and not force it down a persons face. Inspire people to do better or know more.

The Chariots of Fire is a great example of the subtle approach; the story of a Christian who will not run on Sunday nearly moved me to tears.

The Agony and the Ecstasy
If you’ve taken art history, then you have more than likely seen this one; if not, it might be new. The acting is what you should expect from Charlton Heston—which is to say not very good. But the story is inspiring, the tension between the Pope and Michelangelo is fantastic, and you’ll probably never look at the Sistine Chapel the same way again.

Ben Hur
Another example of how a movie can still be great despite bad acting and cheesy dialogue. It’s hard to believe a Civil War general thought this idea up.

Luther is hands down one of the best period pieces I have ever seen; the producers made the right move picking an actor who could actually act. Yes, it’s not entirely historically accurate, but no period piece is. Things are sacrificed to help the stories pace, but the message still comes across loud and clear.

Road to Redemption
This is the only overtly evangelical movie on my list; it was produced by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association. Last week, I mention the Apostles of Comedy as an example of a bad Christian comedy; this is an example of a good one.

Jesus Camp
This one isn’t a Christian movie, but every Christian in America should have to watch it. It’s a pretty good portrayal of why evangelism can even scare evangelist. I expected it to be a movie that adds fuel to the fire of why people should just say Christianity is a joke; it was actually, a pretty fair portrayal of the follies of fundamentalist Christianity, and was not trying to condemn Christianity.

Wise Blood
This is a very dark movie that probably a lot of people won’t understand (read my full review here). If you take the time to let the message haunt you a bit it might make you see the world differently. The book, as you might know, is one of my top five favorites, and the movie does a pretty good job with it. It’s nowhere near as good as the book, but what movie ever is?

It’s a Wonderful Life
It’s a cheesy film, yes, but  who cares? No one does a better job instilling morals into movies like Frank Capara, and this is him at his best.

Charlie Brown Christmas
When I was young, my favorite cartoons were Peanuts and Garfield; I never really was shocked by the evangelical ending as a kid, but watching it as an adult I’m a bit surprise they can still get away with it.


  1. Great picks! I still tear up whenever I see "Charlie Brown Christmas."

  2. I like that you included Jesus Camp. =)

  3. Charlie Brown Christmas has the distinction of actually making me cry while I watched it in the break room at my old library. I had never seen it, it was on the shelf, and the break room had a TV with a VCR hooked up. Thankfully no one else was there to see me in this state. I think you're really stretching the definition of "Christian film" with this list, but I agree with the general point: that entertainment should be primary and message should be secondary. That's why films like It's a Wonderful Life are more effective at showing faith in a good light than films that smack you over the head with it.

    As for Jesus Camp, I actually put that film next to Night of the Living Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Salo the 120 Days of Sodom as one of the scariest films I've ever seen.