Don't be surprised not to find these recommended by churches or anything, necessarily, but at their core, films all have messages that "preach" better than most sermons.
And yes, if you're a moral majority type, be warned that a lot of these are rated R and include things like "bad words" and some nudity.
In no particular order...
1. The Spitfire Grill
2. The Apostle
4. The Shawshank Redemption
6. The Sky Is Watching
7. Black Snake Moan
9. Cool Hand Luke
10. The Green Mile
11. Meet John Doe
12. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
13. The Poseidon Adventure
15. Spirited Away
16. The Return of the Jedi
17. Blade Runner
18. The Matrix Revolutions
20. Pulp Fiction
21. Kal Ho Naa Ho
22. 16 Blocks
23. The Dark Knight
25. The Reaping
26. The Exorcist
27. Star Wars: A New Hope
28. Ghost in the Shell
29. Stephen King's Desperation
30. Stephen King's The Stand
How 'bout you? What are your thoughts? How many of these did I miss the mark on? Which films did I ignore or forget that also need to be included?
Spiritually redemptive? (True spirituality is Christ; the only true spiritual redemption is found in Jesus: he punched my salvation ticket, redeemed my soul from the devil's dominion.)
How about redemptive violence? A pastor pal o' mine got excited when I mentioned I had recently seen Open Range, starring Robert Duvall, Kevin Costner and Annette Benning. "Wow, Dave! That is one of my favorite movies! It has a really violent shoot-out at the end!"
I'll say it does! The bad guys get what's coming to them. Now THAT's redemption!
I recently saw Babette's Feast. A very Christian movie that Jesse said was incredibly boring, but it wasn't. It was very moving, and chock full of redemption. Yummy!
1. The act of redeeming or the condition of having been redeemed.
2. Recovery of something pawned or mortgaged.
3. The payment of an obligation, as a government's payment of the value of its bonds.
4. Deliverance upon payment of ransom; rescue.
5. Christianity Salvation from sin through Jesus's sacrifice.
How about The Princess Bride?
Inigo Montoya: Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
Count Rugen: Stop saying that!
Inigo Montoya: I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it's over, I don't know what to do with the rest of my life.
I'd say films with a redemptive message. Such as in Spitfire Grill, it's only through an outcast's sacrifice that the town is changed, in Pulp Fiction Bruce Willis goes back to save his enemy then rides off on a motorcycle named "Grace," and in The Exorcist, a priest on the verge of losing his faith sacrifices himself to take on the "sin" of Regan and dies in the process. That kind of either redemptive moral or redemptive symbolism.
I'm looking at your list Sean and (gasp) I think I'm behind in my film watching! And then there are some on your list that I'd need to re-view, since it's been years... And I still haven't watched a Harry Potter movie all the way through- I'm bored to tears with them and they literally put me to sleep.
I recently watched the Firefly series and although there's a lot of "questioning" or bashing Christianity and not really knowing where the creators were standing with their own personal faith, I like the fact that they made one question their beliefs. And there is one scene where Summer tells Mal: "I know what your going to say but I'd like to hear you say it anyway". Beautiful! Isn't that what our Father tells us as well?
Awesome list - these are precisely the movies I like to see. I remember watching Exorcism of Emily Rose when it first came out and it had a profound impact on me spiritually. Another one which came out around that time that I really liked was "End of the Spear" - it was actually among the first Christian movie I saw and also exceptionally moving.
I noticed Spider-Man 3 on the list, but I'd also like to put forward Spider-Man 2. Doctor Octopus was particularly rich in that movie - instead of an arrogant crook Ock was a proud scientist wrestling with both lofty goals and personal demons every bit as powerful as his tentacles. His final triumph over them is one of the best moments of the movie.
My hands-down favorite movie of all time is "The Magnificent Seven" and I think it fulfills the redemptive bill as not only do the seven gunfighters rediscover their own innate humanity through duty and sacrifice, but the film also ultimately validates the toil and struggles of the villagers themselves, however cowardly and flawed they might appear. The gunfighters lose, as Yul Brenner states, but the villagers who ultimately win.
I'd never thought of Mag7 that way. Thanks for sharpening my iron, so to speak. And Spider-Man 2 is another good one. Haven't seen End of the Spear, but I'll put it on my must-see list based on your recommendation.
I must agree with Richard that the Exorcism of Emily Rose had a profound effect on me also. It is one of those films that you have to ponder because of the poses one of the questions, how can God be glorified in an extremely tragic situation? And though I never considered the Mag7 a redemptive film, it is one of my favorites.
Welcome to the Christian Comic Arts Society (CCAS) Online Network!
Did you know that CCAS has monthly meetings in the Los Angeles area? Contact Eric Jansen for more info!
Also, members of CCAS have produced the APAzine ALPHA-OMEGA for over 25 years! We have about five openings right now! Contact Eric Jansen for more info! (This is a 30-member active-participation-only photocopied magazine for Christian writers and artists who submit a "trib" every other month for fun, fellowship, and critiques by other members. Between postage and your photocopying costs, you might pay anywhere from $5 to $25 per issue.)