Christian films tend to be looked upon negatively and for good reason. While most people know about Passion of the Christ, Soul Surfer, and Fireproof, there is also many more GOOD Christian films that people miss. There is a multitude of Christian films hitting the movie theaters this year ranging from terrible (Noah), to preaching to the choir (God’s Not Dead), to wow that was really well done (Heaven is for Real). This is simply a list of five films that I enjoy and can suggest viewing without having to cringe at terrible acting, weird dialogue, or shoving the Bible down your throat through the whole film. The list is alphabetical because they are all great movies and each of them deserves to be watched at least once.
Almost every Christian has seen Facing The Giants, Fireproof, or Courageous. But not many people are aware of Flywheel, which is the first movie done by the Kendrick brothers who also created the aforementioned films. Flywheel is not in HD yet once you get past that, it is a solid film all around. In some areas you can tell it is their first film and at the same time it is such a joy to watch that you don’t mind. If you saw Courageous then you know of the Snake Kings scene which is quotable and hilarious. Flywheel has a scene in it that rivals the Snake Kings scene, in my opinion, and upon viewing you will laugh so hard you may need to pause the movie. After watching the Kendrick brothers later films, you may recognize an actor or two that is in Flywheel that also appears in later films. For me, this becomes a mini game while watching because I will see the wife from Facing The Giants and will say to myself “where do I know her from again?”.
Home Run (2013)
I wanted to see this film in theaters but, it was only a limited release and I was overseas at the time. I had forgotten about it but I saw it at Wal-Mart and said “oh yeah I totally wanted to see that”. So I bought it without knowing whether it was good or not. As it turns out, Home Run is a good movie. Who woulda thunk? The acting is much better than most Christian movies, which I know isn’t saying a lot but the acting here does not distract from the film. The higher production values are apparent in this movie too. I highly recommend checking it out as it deals with many real life issues in a realistic manner. Also, this is available on Netflix as of current writing.
One Nation Under God (2009) & Beware of Christians (2010)
I know I am cheating a bit here by including both documentaries. However, they really should be seen back to back. Will Bakke and friends (currently making the film Believe Me which comes out in September) travel the USA (in One Nation Under God) and Europe (in Beware of Christians) to get out of their comfort zone to see what everyone else thinks of God and Christians. Both documentaries are really eye opening and these college age kids really nail how to make a good documentary that drives home the points they want to make, without manipulating you. I love how real they get with you on a personal level. Yes, they are Christians. But no, they are not perfect. Both are available on Netflix at the time of writing and both deserve to be viewed.
The Grace Card (2011)
If you enjoy any of the Kendrick brothers films (Fireproof, Courageous) then you will enjoy The Grace Card. Honestly, this film is truly a hidden gem. Every time someone says they enjoyed a Kendrick brothers film, I immediately direct them to see this movie as well. The acting here is superb and the message is delivered in a way that it gets the point across effectively. Character development is realistic and the police scenes are the films bright spots in my opinion. Michael Joiner and Michael Higgenbottom really knock it out of the park and alone make the film worth a watch.
This movie was a mixed bag to me when I first saw it. I had felt like the entire time it was trying to hard to pull on my heart string (is that used correctly?). However, upon watching it a second time, I realized that Unconditional is a polished film that introduces some new elements that I have never seen in a Christian film before (see the “I Was A Dreamer” scene). Well written and well acted makes a solid Christian film that many (though it is more likely women) will enjoy. Plus, I applaud the film makers for not forcing a love story here. I half expected them to do it and they showed they can avoid falling into that cliché and still tell a great story.