Today is Sunday, a day of rest and worship for many believers. What could be more appropriate than relaxing with a film that draws hearts towards the divine? While religious movies have a reputation for shoddy craftsmanship and bad acting, here's fifteen* available to watch on Netflix now that are actually good films.
True story about the tragedies, and divine interventions, Mormon pioneers encountered while crossing the plains.
Technically a miniseries, but it's ambitiously cinematic in its scope, and better than recent Hollywood outputs Noah and Exodus: God and Kings.
GOD'S NOT DEAD
A Christian student engages in theological debate with his atheist professor.
This "prodigal daughter" story finds a young woman clashing with her father, pursuing a glamorous career in the music industry, and finding her way back to belief. Terrific songs.
JESUS OF NAZARETH
Ten-hour miniseries is considered by many to be the definitive film version of the life of Christ.
JONAH: A VEGGIE TALES MOVIE
Animated riot tells the biblical story of Jonah through anthropomorphized vegetables.
JOSEPH SMITH: THE PROPHET OF THE RESTORATION
Well-produced and well-acted feature film about the life and work of Joseph Smith, first prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
JOSEPH: KING OF DREAMS
Dreamworks Animation's follow-up to The Prince of Egypt is actually a prequel, telling the biblical story of Joseph.
MEET THE MORMONS
This polished doc goes surprisingly light on the proselytizing, favoring human stories with universal values instead. Smashes racial and gender stereotypes about Latter-day Saints.
Moving Christian film about a young woman who learns that she was adopted after a failed abortion attempt. She decides to seek out her birth mother.
THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST
Mel Gibson's epic earns its R-rating with harsh violence (beatings, a brutal whipping, and the crucifixion), but it's also inspiring, with an amazing performance by Jim Caviezel as Jesus Christ.
THE PRINCE OF EGYPT
Stunning animation, beautiful music, and an all-star cast highlight this version of the Exodus story.
SAINTS AND SOLDIERS
Action-packed and well-acted WWII story finds American troops trapped behind enemy lines. The other two films in this series are also worth a watch, and are on Netflix as well.
THE SARATOV APPROACH
True story about American missionaries kidnapped and held for ransom in Russia during the 90's. Intense and profoundly touching.
SON OF GOD
The Jesus portions of The Bible miniseries re-edited into a feature film, and it totally works. Wonderful movie.
* Originally posted on www.moviedad.com.
Watch me Sundays at noon and 10:00 pm on The KJZZ Movie Show (KJZZ-TV, UT) for more of my recommendations! Or watch my segments here.