A few weeks ago, when I had written about some movies that I felt were insensitive towards Christians, my good friend and fellow gamer John Ford recommended that “it would be just as easy to compile a list of ‘6 ways pop culture has pushed pro-Christian sentiment,’ if you so pleased.”
Of course, John warned me “that wouldn't be as shocking, or get as many hits.” Therefore, foregoing the riches in views of that previous article (all 962 of them), I decided to do the less “shocking” article because, well, it was “just as easy.”
So, for your benefit, here are five movies that truly show Christians and Christianity in a very good light.
1. The Seventh Seal
The story of one knight, Antonius Block (Max Von Sydow), who risks everything just to try and save some strangers he doesn’t even know. While he does have severe lapses of faith, as do many faithful people, Block ultimately sacrifices himself so one family can live in peace. When Death personified asks him why he did that, he simply says, “that’s my affair.”
Now, my problem with this movie is that everyone who isn’t religious is just an awful human, with all them being shown exclusively as looters, plunderers or killers. That’s quite intolerant towards people that aren't religious and, frankly speaking, just wrong.
2. True Grit
As a 14-year old girl whose circumstances have placed her against the lawless West, Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) is still absolutely resolute in stopping all injustices such as theft and murder because of her emotional attachment to the murder victim (her father), her need for the money she is being conned out of (by a horse thief) and her Presbyterian-Protestant ethic.
Steinfeld does an amazing job in the film and, when we look in that girl’s eyes, we see that there is nothing that will stop her from trying because she legitimately believes, “there is nothing free except the grace of God.“
I included this film in previous list of possibly insulting movies, because it did arrive at a time when collective anti-Priest sentiment was at a high, but there’s no denying that this story of the events at one Catholic school also shows us the remarkable determination that two Christian women take in trying to stop injustice.
Plus, to the writer’s credit, Father Flynn’s guilt was never made readily apparent and, even if it was, the fault of one person does not condemn their entire religion.
4. Gran Torino
In this tale of combating racism, the hero of the story is easily Walt Kowalski (actor-director Clint Eastwood) but another man who displayed some serious moral mettle was Father Janovich (Christopher Carley).
Having spent the entire movie following our widower protagonist, Janovich was repeatedly insulted personally and even called “an over-educated 27-year-old virgin who likes to hold the hands of superstitious old ladies and promise them everlasting life.”
Yet, our holy man never gave up on our hero, constantly staying by his side, lending an ear in time of need and even personally trying to stop the violence that would ultimately lead to Kowalski's death.
Yes, it’s not the best movie in the world but it does show how one man’s Catholic upbringing imbued in him a severe sense of humility and a willingness to stop injustice everywhere. When he isn’t able to put a rapist behind bars in his lawyer uniform, Matt Murdock simply throws him in front of a train.
Okay, that isn’t the most peaceful way to achieve peace but his heart is in a good place. I hope.
So, here is my list of five movies that highlight Christianity in a very positive light. They are all movies I recommend and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
Except for Daredevil, which no one seemed to enjoy as much I did because I liked Ben Affleck BEFORE it was cool.