Tag Archives: transcendent cinema

33 Films That Take Faith Seriously

Christian moviegoers sometimes lament the dearth of good, positive, realistic portrayals of faith in film. If Christians are portrayed in film, it’s usually as right-wing zealots (Citizen Ruth), scary pentecostals (Jesus Camp), or psychotic killers (Night of the Hunter). Or faith is reduced to schmaltzy simplicity, as in most “Christian films” (Facing the Giants, The Grace Card). But many films throughout cinema history have actually provided rich, artful portraits of faith. The following is a list of 33 films that take faith seriously; films I believe every Christian should make a point to see.

The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Dreyer, 1928)
Diary of a Country Priest (Robert Bresson, 1951)
Ordet (Carl Dreyer, 1955)
Becket (Peter Glenville, 1964)
The Sound of Music (Robert Wise, 1965)
A Man For All Seasons (Fred Zinnemann, 1966)
Brother Sun, Sister Moon (Franco Zeffirelli, 1972)
Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1973)
Chariots of Fire (Hugh Hudson, 1981)
Tender Mercies (Bruce Beresford, 1983)
Amadeus (Milos Forman, 1984)
The Mission (Roland Joffé, 1986)
Babette’s Feast (Gabriel Axel, 1987)
Jesus of Montreal (Denys Arcand, 1989)
The Decalogue (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1989)
Shadowlands (Richard Attenborough, 1993)
Dead Man Walking (Tim Robbins, 1995)
The Apostle (Robert Duvall, 1997)
Central Station (Walter Salles, 1998)
Signs (M. Night Shyamalan, 2002)
Luther (Eric Till, 2003)
Land of Plenty (Wim Wenders, 2004)
Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (Marc Rothemund, 2005)
Into Great Silence (Philip Gröning, 2006)
Secret Sunshine (Lee Chang-dong, 2007)
Amazing Grace (Michael Apted, 2007)
A Serious Man (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2009)
Get Low (Aaron Schneider, 2009)
Letters to Father Jacob (Klaus Härö, 2010)
Of Gods and Men (Xavier Beauvois, 2011)
The Way (Emilio Estevez, 2011)
The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
Higher Ground (Vera Farmiga, 2011)