The best spiritual films this month
Here’s an update on the best movies about faith that are currently offered to subscribers of Netflix. If you’ve felt deflated after searching through their dud-filled list of "Faith and Spirituality" movies, you’re not alone. We’ll refresh this list each month as the service changes its offerings If you happen to spot a movie we missed, pleased let us know!
Not all of these movies are Catholic or even Christian; thus the title, “Movies About Faith.” They touch on life’s eternal questions (some only glancingly and others in a full-on grapple) and should provide rewarding entertainment to the seeker of answers. Enjoy!
1.Ida: This Polish film from 2013 made the 2015 Academy Awards shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film. Set in the 1960s, it tells the story of a young nun-to-be who comes to face with her family’s past as victims of Nazi Germany. Rated PG-13.
2. Becket: In this 1964 classic staring Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole, Sir Thomas Becket, trusted advisor to the King Henry II, discovers there is more to life than ambition as he fights for the honor of his Church. A favorite of our friends at Catholic Gentleman. Rated PG-13.
3. The Passion of Christ: Director Mel Gibson pushed the boundaries of how much graphic violence viewers could endure. Many, however, found it a profoundly moving account of Christ’s sufferings. Rated R.
4. Jesus of Nazareth (1977): Director Franco Zeffirelli’s made-for -TV movie, clocking in at over six and a half hours, offers a most comprehensive view of Christ’s life as portrayed in the Gospels. Not rated.
5. The Quiet Man: Watching the Quiet Man is a St. Patrick’s Day tradition in many a home. John Wayne stars as a retired American boxer who returns to his native Ireland in this 1952 film. Rated G.
6.The Bicycle Thief: This 1947 film, directed by Vittoria de Sica tells the story of a poor man whose bicycle is stolen, and how he searches Rome for another in order to keep the job he needs to support his young family.
7. The Widow of St. Pierre: This romantic drama starring Juliette Binoche explores the themes of capital punishment and redemption. Set in 1850 on the French island of Saint-Pierre, the film tells the story of a murder and a death sentence. Rated R.
8. The Way: Emiio Estevez’s The Way is set on the Camino de Santiago, and tells the story of a father looking to find answers to his son’s death while walking the pilgrimage. Rated PG-13.
9. The Agony and the Ecstasy: This classic movie from 1965 starring Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison tells the story of Michelangelo’s commission to paint the ceiling of the Sisteine Chapel and his battles with Pope Julius .
10. The Keys of the Kingdom: Gregory Peck stars as a young priest whose unconventional ways doom his career as a pastor in his native Scotland, but who finds his calling as a missionary in non-Christian China.
Zelda Caldwell is an editorial assistant at Aleteia.org.