I’m a cinephile; I love watching movies. Unfortunately, Christian movies tend to be poorly made and cheesy. However, over the years, I have found several that I enjoy and want to share my list.
What Movies Need for Me to Like Them
In a previous article, I shared the four reasons why Christian movies are lackluster. In it, I list the things that bother me about Christian films. I tend to have a critical eye when it comes to movies. I know what I like and why I like them. For me, a movie has to have either excellent story, writing, acting, or production value for me to enjoy it.
If it has all four, it tends to become a favorite, like The Godfather (1972). That movie has fantastic acting, mind-blowing story and writing, and brilliant production value. It hits all the criteria that I need for a truly exceptional viewing experience.
If a movie only hit some of the criteria, I can still enjoy it. Take, for example, Star Wars: A New Hope (1977). The writing isn’t very good, and the acting is not the best, but the story and production value are so good. I love it, and that was a low budget movie!
Another example would be Avatar (2009). It has a rinse and repeat story that’s been done to death, the acting wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t terrible either, and the writing was just kind of meh. But the production value and the visual effects blew my mind. I saw it six times in theaters.
Christian movies have a stigma of being terrible, and for most of them, it’s true. However, over the years, I have enjoyed several Christian films, usually, either because of the production value, the story, the writing, or the acting were on point. Here is a list of Christian movies I enjoyed.
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
The Passion of the Christ, directed by Mel Gibson, is one of the best depictions of Jesus’s last few days on Earth I have ever seen. It’s rated R, and it’s worth the rating, it’s bloody and violent. It’s well-made, the writing is excellent, the acting is phenomenal. But best of all, it doesn’t preach. It just shows Christ’s sacrifice. It ticks all the boxes for me. It’s a tough movie to watch, but also eye-opening. I know many people who came to the Lord after watching The Passion.
I Can Only Imagine (2018)
I Can Only Imagine, directed by Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin, is the life story of Bart Millard, the lead singer of the band MercyMe. The movie shows how Millard came to write MercyMe’s most popular song of the same name as the title. It shows how a Christian movie can be made well. Its production value is decent, the acting is very good, and the writing is just as good. Dennis Quaid plays Millard’s father, and they do a great job of conveying him as an abusive alcoholic without actually showing abuse and alcohol. This is a movie Christian filmmakers can learn from.
War Room (2015)
War Room, directed by Alex Kendrick, is about how spiritual warfare and prayer can change lives. When the wife in a failing marriage meets an older woman who is selling her house, she sees the woman’s war room where she fights spiritual battles through prayer. The young woman begins to pray for her marriage and her husband. This movie was decent with production value, but it was well-written, and the story was terrific. This movie didn’t preach and understood that its audience was other believers.
Honorable Mention: God’s Not Dead (2014)
God’s Not Dead, directed by Harold Cronk, is about a college student who challenges his philosophy professor about God’s existence. I liked this movie until the ending. The acting was fantastic, and the story was gripping. Then it went from being a great story to a cheesy get saved message and a Newsboys concert for no reason. Not to mention the gimmicky 4th wall breaking challenge to text all your friends that God’s not dead. I can’t tell you how many annoying texts I got from people when they saw this movie. I enjoyed most of the film, but the ending sort of ruined movie for me. So if you ignore the conclusion, the movie isn’t too bad.
What Christian movies do you enjoy and why? Leave a comment below.