The best of the best this month
Here’s an updated list of the best movies about faith that are currently offered to subscribers of Netflix. If you’ve felt put off by 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 explicitly 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. Bella: This moving 2006 film follows two lost souls in New York City—a waitress who finds herself single and pregnant and a former soccer star turned troubled restaurant chef—whose lives come together through the events of one fateful day. Brought to us by director Alejandro Gomez Monteverde and actor Eduardo Verástegui, the same team that created Little Boy, opening in theaters on April 24. Rated PG-13.
Courtesy of Roadside Attractions
2. Groundhog Day: Bill Murray stars in this 1993 film about a TV weatherman who finds himself living the same day over and over again in a postmodern Purgatory of sorts – a never-changing Puxatanway, Pennsylvania on Groundhog Day.
3. The Immigrant: This 2013 film tells the story of a Catholic immigrant from Poland in 1921 who is forced into prostitution to save her family. Director James Gray told the Hollywood Reporter that while he came from a family of Russian Jews, he chose a Catholic heroine as his immigrant because “the Catholic tradition is so rooted in redemption, in the possibility of forgiveness.”
Courtesy of the Weinstein Company
4. Noah: Scheduled for release on Netflix on April 18, writer/director Darren Aronofsky’s Noah isn’t strictly faithful to the Bible, but it does take the story from Genesis seriously, and tell it in a compelling way. Rated PG-13.
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
5. Dead Man Walking: Susan Sarandon stars in this 1995 film about Sister Helen Prejean, who corresponded with Louisiana death row inmate Matthew Poncelet (Sean Penn) and served as his spiritual advisor. Rated R.
Courtesy of Gramercy Pictures
6. 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’s plot revolves around a murder and a death sentence. Rated R.
Courtesy of YouTube
7.Ida: This beautiful Polish film from 2013 made the 2015 Academy Awards shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film. Set in the 1960s, it features a young nun-to-be who comes to face with her family’s past as victims of Nazi Germany. Rated PG-13.
Courtesy of Music Box Films
8. Rudy: This 1993 inspiring sports movie about Rudy Ruettiger, who facing tremendous odds, set out to fulfill his dream of playing for the Notre Dame football team. Rated PG.
Courtesy of TriStar Pictures
This Easter, Netflix has a full stock of films based on the Bible that are worth watching:
9 and 10. The Bible and Son of God: These two film adaptations of the Bible from producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett deserve a spot on this list if only because they are visually interesting entertainment for many who perhaps would never otherwise be exposed to the Bible.
Courtesy of LightWorkers Media Inc. and Hearst Productions Inc.
11. Jesus of Nazareth: Director Franco Zeffirelli’s 1977 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.
Courtesy of ITC Entertainment
12. 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.