I recently mentioned some Christian-themed films you can watch on Netflix. There are many others as well, some of which you may have already seen, like The Two Popes. It got a lot of publicity at the time of its release. It has Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict and Jonathan Pryce as the future Pope Francis. They try to find common ground in a series of robust exchanges.
You may also have seen the 2014 release God’s Not Dead, an interesting film which features a college student who learns to his bewilderment that he’s expected to sign a Nietzschean-style ‘God is dead’ proclamation in order to pass his exams.
He refuses. The professor who demands it then challenges him to a series of debates to defend his position. They culminate in the student asking the professor why he hates God so much. He replies that it’s because he let his mother die. The student poses the question: how can one hate something that doesn’t exist?
This intriguing film was followed in 2016 by a sequel, God’s Not Dead 2, and in 2018 by a third instalment of the franchise, God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness. This concerns a university pastor whose church is burned down. Afterwards he faces a legal battle against members of the university staff who want to remove his congregation from the campus.
The Gospel of Matthew/Mark/Luke and John (2014/5) is a quartet of films employing the unabridged text of Scripture verbatim as its basis. The cast is mainly Middle Eastern. It’s the first time in cinema history that the gospels have been unified like this. A massive undertaking.
Same Kind of Different As Me has an all-star cast. Greg Kinnear plays an art dealer who befriends a homeless man who helps him heal his crumbling marriage (to Renee Zellweger.) Jon Voight appears in a smaller role.
An Interview with God (2018) may appear frivolous but it isn’t. It presents us with a journalist returning from the war in Afghanistan. His marriage is in trouble. Neither is his head in a good place. When he’s offered the eponymous interview he jumps at it. David Strathairn plays the man claiming to be God.
Along similar lines, The Case for Christ (2017) has a journalist questioning the validity of the resurrection, and indeed God’s existence. This is against the backdrop of his wife’s strong faith.
Victor deals with a mother’s struggle to save her son from a life of drug-fuelled crime in New York in the sixties. Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable (2019) is a ‘grace under pressure’ tale of a young girl who reaches the top of the surfing world despite having had one of her arms bitten off by a shark.
Younger viewers may enjoy the animated musical Joseph: King of Dreams (2000). It tells the story of a boy who’s sold into slavery by his brothers. He goes on to forgive them after becoming a member of Pharaoh’s court.