What is your favorite Christian film? This doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best, but, rather, your favorite. The requirement to be a Christian film is that it is a film with a faith/biblical based message. This is a follow up for my article 5 Christian Films You Haven’t Seen (But Should).
Mike Pyatt Jr.
Fireproof is a movie about the troubles marriage can bring and a way you can overcome it. I’m not married. As of matter of fact, I’m still single. That is a completely different topic for another time perhaps.
However, this movie really hit me. I have a lot of friends and family members around me who are married. I know very little of just how tough it could be. We’ve heard that stat of 50% of marriages in this country ending in divorce; that is a crazy statistic. You know what though? I think people still don’t understand just how much of a beast the marriage life can be. Truthfully speaking, I don’t think anybody will fully understand it. That’s where a movie like Fireproof can help people who have no idea of the struggles of marriage.
This was the first movie I saw Kirk Cameron in since The Left Behind series. He did an excellent job, portraying a husband dealing with issues such as struggles with pornography, and other things that hindered the relationship between him and his wife. The wife, portrayed by Erin Bethea, also did her fair share of hindering the relationship as well. So seeing a film like this helped me–even if it was just a little–prepare me for the beast that is marriage… If that is God’s will for me. Again, That is a completely different topic for another time!
My favorite Christian film is the apocalyptic masterpiece A Distant Thunder. It is the sequel to a film called A Thief in the Night and the second in a series of four films, that are kind of the Left Behind series of the seventies. In fact, the authors of the Left Behind series have cited the series as a major influence.
Now, if ever a film director took to heart the Bible verse that says, “And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire…” (Jude 1:23 KJV), it’s Russell Doughten. These movies are terrifying. The first film in the series tells the story of the Rapture, and how poor Patty missed it, but it’s the sequel that, once seen, will haunt you forever.
The vulnerable heroine of the film, Patty, is imprisoned, about to be executed for refusing to take the Mark of the Beast. While in jail, she tells the story of how she came to be captured to her fellow prisoners. Here’s the thing: Patty isn’t a Christian. She’s heard the Gospel and witnessed the Rapture, but she still doesn’t accept Jesus as her savior.
Now, part of me doesn’t really like these movies at all. I’m not overly fond of the idea of trying to scare people into God’s kingdom. And Doughten and I have some difference of opinion when it comes to End Times theology too. But there are several reasons why I like this movie in particular.
First: it’s genuinely frightening. This is a masterful work of suspense. The director cleverly conceals the barbaric instrument of execution, then reveals it to Patty in all its horror. The moment when she sees the guillotine for the first time hits you like a punch to the stomach. Not only that, but the way he portrays a society in antichrist’s thrall is chilling.
There’s a scene in which a young mother tries to get food for her dying baby. She does not have the Mark of the Beast, so she is unable to buy anything. The lady behind the counter is fed up with her for being so irresponsible. It’s a terrifying scene that shows what happens when a person has to choose between their faith and being part of society… and what that choice might cost.
Second: it’s kind of a ground-floor look at the apocalypse. No one in these movies knows the antichrist personally. He’s just someone who shows up on television. It’s not an action/adventure story like the Left Behind series. It’s horror-suspense all the way. And it hits home the way it does, because it looks at how the lives of regular people would be affected by living in an anti-Christian dystopia.
Third: it displays some cleverness in its plot. Patty’s character arc is fascinating to watch. She’s not a Christian, but she’s being persecuted alongside them because she refuses to take the Mark of the Beast. You find out that Patty got caught because she and her friends were betrayed. And who did it?
Surprise! It was her Christian friend! The one that’s always quoting the Bible.
See it turns out the girl wasn’t a Christian at all. She says in a tone of sympathy, “Oh Patty, anybody can say they’re a Christian.” That might be the best line in the film, and one full of awful truth.
And finally: that ending! I won’t tell you what happens, but it’s not what I expected. The film’s final scene is a brilliant one of suspense and horror. Some Hollywood directors could stand to learn a few things.
It’s not going to be for everyone. It’s preachy and intentionally frightening, and I’ve heard it described as a Christian propaganda film. But it’s also exciting, unpredictable, and is crafted with genuine talent. If you’re looking for the Christian answer to the dystopian novel 1984 or one of the inspirations behind the modern Left Behind series, give A Distant Thunder a watch sometime. You may not enjoy it, but you certainly won’t forget it.
The thematic obliqueness of Samuel Goldwyn and Provident Films’ Homerun (2013) is the primary reason why it is my favorite Christian movie. Put differently, Homerun manages to present itself as a polished, quality movie, respecting first fine film production methodology with its casting of quality actors. Then it skillfully injecting the redemptive properties of the Good News into the plot by way of effective writing.
In contrast to the creations of Sherwood Pictures [Facing the Giants (2006), Fireproof (2008), Courageous (2001)], there are no grandiose Prodigal Son scenes or outlandish demonstrations of conviction such as seen in Pure Flix Entertainment’s God’s Not Dead (2012). On the contrary, Homerun delivers the Gospel with effective finesse.
Indeed, this film is effective in its execution. After Cory Brand (Scott Elrod) is suspended by his team because of an on-field drunken diatribe that would make Lou Piniella blush, the conditions of his return include completing eight weeks in a recovery program in his hometown of Okmulgee. His agent Helene (Vivica A. Fox) brings brochures for Celebrate Recovery. Cory balks, begging for “a different type” of program. Over time, he would discover that CR is indeed a different type of ministry.
Upon his first visit, Cory witnesses a testimony delivered by a(n ex) porn addict. Security escorted him from his job for his indiscretions which could not be denied due to the residual evidence on multiple computers. Cory believes he is in the wrong place. Only later would he come to realize he is among fellow brothers and sisters suffering in their chains of not only chemical dependency and sexual addiction, but also anxiety, fear, anger, and abuse.
This film is affective in its portrayal of humanity. It actively seeks out any semblance of people who have it all together and dismantles these illusions, from pain and bitterness seething from Cory’s baby-momma Emma Hargrove (Dorian Brown), to Helene’s inability to find a dress that can contain all her womanliness.
Jokes aside, my favorite part of the movie is when Cory believes a character’s life appears perfect from the exterior. At a later CR meeting he discovers during her testimony she has suffered from a tragedy so unpleasant that her invisible scars will never heal in her present life. But she, like many of the other participants of CR, celebrate the fact that she finds freedom in Christ.
Cory, too, comes to realize he is incapable of addressing his hurts, habits, and hang-ups under his own power. Only after admitting he needed God’s help to forgive his abusive father and himself was he able to not just achieve sobriety, but redeems himself in the eyes of his estranged family.
This film manages to adequately address alcoholism among other issues without T&A and profanity as seen in Flight (2012). It succeeds not only in maintaining its cinematic integrity without descending into brazen proselytization, but it also manages to beautifully illustrate John 3:17, ” For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Homerun is the sort of movie that represents a kind of Christianity for the imperfect, precisely the kind of people Christ came for in the first place.
Victoria Grace Howell
Normally I’m the girl who shirks chick flicks for guns-a’blazin’, magic-hurling, sword-swinging films, but this is one of my few exceptions. This particular chick flick has depth and good writing I believe many others lack. It deals with faith and grief in a really touching way with good acting, score and some humor thrown in.
Life working out despite great tragedy even for the better is a very underdone theme. The main character Marty had such plans about moving out west and having a family with her newlywed husband, Aaron. Then she goes through a great loss after losing him, but finds new love and healing with Clark who is a strong Christian. Marty evidently wasn’t following Jesus and if events didn’t unfold as they did perhaps she never would have. Additionally, she brings light into a little girl’s life and touches her forever as shown in the following films. It’s a great lesson about how God always has a plan even if it isn’t our plan.
One of my favorite scenes is when Clark is singing “Come Thou Fount”, one of my favorite hymns. He just puts so much heart into the piece it brings tears to my eyes. You even get some action when Aaron chases the runaway horse and when Marty is trapped in the snowstorm. The skunk scene with Missy and Marty and bathtub scene with Clark and Marty make me smile every time I watch it.
This movie also holds a special place in my heart, because it was the first film I watched after I got saved so I always relate it to that. Overall this is a beautiful Christian film and my personal favorite.
My favorite film of all time is Courageous. This movie by far is the most complete Christian film I have ever seen. My only minor complaint is there is a lack of action in the middle. Other than that, the humor, drama, and inspiration is top notch. It is hard to watch this and not want to be the parent God has called you to be. This movie single-handedly caused me to reevaluate where I was going with my life and set me on the correct course to do what God has called me to do.
To anyone who has seen this already then let’s become the Snake Kings *wink wink*. If you enjoyed Flywheel, Facing the Giants, Fireproof, or The Grace Card then Courageous will be another film you love.
I also included some trailers below of other great Christian films to check out.