Top 11 List: Must See Films

Since I took the films page down, just thought I would make a list of some of my favorites. I tried to narrow it down to 10, but these are all just too good to be left out. I hope you’ll rent one or two and let me know what you think, and tell me about some of your favorite films.

Disclaimer: While most of these films, I think, provide for deep reflection on Christian theology and practice, none of them is exactly “family friendly” in content, so make sure you click the thumbnail to read up on the rating information before you choose your viewing audience.

The Apostle

The best example I know of characterization: Sonny (Robert Duvall) is a power and compassionate preacher with a bit of a violent streak. Like a real person, I still don’t know what to think of him.


A spellbinding commentary on the corrupt manipulation of the powers of this world, and the mission of the Church.

Death at a Funeral

The British version. If you’re looking for a no-thought-necessary-comedy with a wild and unpredictable story, this is it!

The Education of Charlie Banks

H. G. Wells rightly assessed human history as “a race between education and catastrophe.” This gripping story is also a commentary on the relationship, on an individual level, between education and violence.

Half Nelson

“Simul justus et peccator,” writes Martin Luther, “we are at the same time both righteous and sinners.” Each of us is a mixed bag, capable of both great love and unspeakable evil. This film gives voice to the tension inside of each of us.

Humboldt County

Follows the lives of several people who are at different points along a spectrum of finding their way out of the lives they’ve been handed and forging their own paths. Reminiscent of Jesus’ story of a wealthy farmer who had two sons. However, it’s set on an off-the-grid pot farm in Northern California, so not for the kiddies.

Lars and the Real Girl

This is a beautiful and hilarious story of how a community surrounds someone gripped by what Mother Theresa once called the greatest poverty—loneliness.

Rachel Getting Married

A poignant and redemptive story of how addiction affects a family and of the road to recovery. Also, great music!

Sunshine Cleaning

A whimsical story of redemption.

The Virgin Suicides

A story about the interconnectivity of human experience and the consequence of our choices.

Wristcutters: A Love Story

The story of an afterlife populated by suicides, Wristcutters unwittingly is a caricature of the kind of radical anti-eschatology that views the world as it is—depending on who we experience it—as both heaven and hell.



Filed under Movie Reviews

2 responses to “Top 11 List: Must See Films

  1. wanda

    I haven’t seen ANY of these films and haven’t even heard of some of them! I’m excited because I hate to watch anything or read anything “cold” anymore…am very busy & don’t take the time to do some of the things I love the best…like watching movies. SO…now I have some movies to watch! I’ll let you know my thoughts after I do so. Thanks for the list!

  2. Joe

    Thanks Wanda, glad you trust my recommendations! For you let me suggest especially “Changeling” and “Lars and the Real Girl.” The former is a gripping story of how political corruption ruins a woman’s life. John Malkovich should have won awards for his role as a pastor involved in the dispute–absolutely fascinating!–it’s rare to see Hollywood play the Church in a good light. The latter is a much more lighthearted film that I think gives a good picture of what the Church should look like for “strange” people, like Lars. It’s also downright hilarious at times. Hope you enjoy them! I’ll look forward to hearing what you think.

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