Do you like movies? If not, well, I’ll write something different next week. If so, read on, my friend, because Christian movies have gotten heaps better in the last decade or so. Below is a list of 41 you’ll want to check out. Many of them I have seen. The ones I haven’t seen were recommended by fellow movie lovers.
NOTE: The movies are arranged in order from most-recent to oldest. I’ve included the release year and the rating, and a short description of the movie. Oh, and if I’ve done a review or interviewed someone from the movie, you’ll find a link. Enjoy!
1. Priceless (2016) PG-13
A man stands at the crossroads of his life. Angry after the death of his wife and losing custody of his daughter, James is unable to hold down a job. Out of desperation he agrees to drive a truck across the country for cash. When he discovers what his cargo is, he goes all out to save two sisters who will be sold into the sex slave trade. Here is a review I posted about this movie.
2. God’s Not Dead 2 (2016) PG
A sequel to God’s Not Dead, this film is about a high school history teacher, Grace Wesley who faces disciplinary action, administrative leave and a lawsuit when someone claims that Grace has been preaching in class because she quoted a verse from the Bible.
Do you remember where you were when you heard about the shooting at Columbine High School? I was at home in Tacoma. Three days later I was on a plane to Denver, CO. That Saturday night I was speaking at a local church, processing and grieving with confused students (and parents) who wanted to worship a God who was present in this tragedy.
Tomorrow – October 21, 2016 – a terrific movie comes out about the life of Rachel Joy Scott, the first student killed in the shooting at Columbine. I’m Not Ashamed is much, much more than simply a here’s-what-led-up-to-a-school-shooting. This a a well-told, honest story about a young woman, trying to do the right thing (many times failing…just like you and me). She is ultimately striving to live a life that honors Jesus.
My guess is Rachel Joy Scott was a very different person from the picture you have painted in your head.
This week I got to sit down (via the wonder of technology) with Masey McLain – the fantastic actress who played Rachel in I’m Not Ashamed. We were scheduled to chat for 15 minutes and ended up recording 23 minutes (and then talked for another 10 after). Masey is not only a terrific actress, she’s a cool, authentic, fun person.
Sex-Trafficking. Horrific words we don’t like to say. So we ignore them. You might even be tempted to stop reading because you either think it’s not happening near you (it is) or you know it is but don’t want to deal with it. But when we’re talking about something that is affecting at least 2.5 million people and has been reported in every one of the 50 states, we can’t ignore it. Period.
Friday (10/14), a new movie comes out that goes head on into a topic most of us never discuss. Priceless is not a documentary. It is a based-on-real-events story of one man’s discovery, involvement, transformation, and sacrifice to do something about it.
Simply put: See it. And as uncomfortable as it will be…ask others to join you.
I thought about writing a “review,” but I can’t. Yes, it’s a very good movie. Yes, it’s gritty. No, it’s not a “perfectly made” movie (though better than most faith-based films I’ve seen).
Over the next three Fridays, there are three terrific Christian movies coming out back-to-back-to-back. Tomorrow’s movie is called Voiceless and deals head-on with the issue of abortion.
Voiceless is a very powerful movie. It is honest and gritty. After having the opportunity to watch it last month, there are two things that are really sticking with me.
First, its “honesty” covers those inside the church as well as those outside. The temptation with a movie like this is to have one character stand up for what is right, and then have the whole church get behind him and make a difference. I won’t give away the latter part of the movie, but all throughout you see various characters display apathy, fear, tension, and downright opposition to the main character’s desire to fight an increasingly challenging battle.
If you’re looking for a movie that will inspire you, make you laugh, make you cry, and make you think about God’s right-by-your-side-even-in-the-suffering presence – you need to go see Miracles From Heaven. Oh…and you can watch it with your entire family. (Kari and I recently watched it with our three kids and they all loved it.)
Miracles from Heaven opens today – March 18, 2016.
A few weeks ago, Kari and I curled up on the couch to watch a pre-release of the upcoming movie Where Hope Grows. All I knew was that it was a movie about a washed-up former baseball player who develops an unlikely friendship with a young grocery store worker with Down Syndrome.
Other than that, I didn’t know what to expect. What we received was an extremely well-told, authentic, moving, challenging, and inspiring story of friendship, difficult relationships, differences, similarities, faith, and the power of hope in the process of redemption.
Simply put – we both really enjoyed Where Hope Grows.
In the movie, the young man’s nickname is Produce – after the department he works in. The actor who plays Produce is David DeSanctis. I had been introduced to David a few weeks earlier at the National Children’s Pastors Convention. We realized we were both going to be at the Northwest Ministry Conference the following month in Seattle.
The people filming the “backstage” interviews at the conference were kind enough to let us use their cameras, lights, set – and videographer! – so we could shoot this interview.
First…Here’s my interview with David.
Second…Here’s the official trailer.
Finally…Make plans to see Where Hope Grows on May 15th!
I am guessing you have read – or at least heard of – the book Heaven Is For Real by Todd and Sonja Burpo. (If not, it will definitely make you think about the truth and hope of heaven.) Did you know that Sony Pictures turned the book into a major motion picture – and it comes out today?! When I was at the Northwest Ministry Conference a few weeks ago, I had the surprise privilege of not only meeting Todd and Sonja, but they agreed to sit down with me for an interview! Today I’m sharing that interview – in it’s entirety – with you.
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Main Topic: My Interview with Todd & Sonja Burpo.
We thought it would be a quick, 10-minute chat. Since I wasn’t even planning on meeting them – let alone interviewing them – I thought I would have to improvise and record the interview with my phone.
Turns out I knew the guy doing the “backstage interviews” at the conference. (Thanks Trevor.) I also happened to know the guy running the camera for those interviews. (Thanks Bob.) They had an hour window with no recording and asked if we wanted to make it a video interview.
Do you wish there was a list of Christian movies, or at least movies with Christian themes? Well…look no further. Over the last couple weeks, I have polled you…my blog readers (join the conversation), Twitter followers (follow along), and Facebook friends and fans (“like” my ministry page). I have compiled a list of 20 Christian movies and 18 movies that aren’t outwardly Christian, but do have Christian themes.
Photo courtesy of Lightstock.com – Timychka
To make this a little different I did a few things I don’t usually do. First, I went to see the new movie, Son of God, on opening night. Second, I didn’t read a single review before seeing it (or since). Third, I didn’t write down any notes, comments, tweets, posts – nothing! – before writing this review. I wanted to see what I would be thinking, feeling, and remembering a few days later. So…here you go…
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Main Topic: 3 Pros and 3 Cons of “Son of God.”
As you probably know, Son of God came out last Friday. Behind the movie are the husband and wife team of Roma Downey (actress in Touched by an Angel) and Mark Burnett (executive producer of Survivor and Shark Tank…and a gazillion other shows). It’s a big-budget, high-profile Christian movie.
There were a few things I really liked.
And there were a few I didn’t.
In today’s episode I look at my top three “pros” and top three “cons.” Let’s jump in.