Disclaimer: Obviously, these are the top five in my opinion.
# 5 – God’s Not Dead
This film is about a college freshman who takes a philosophy class with an atheist professor who is notorious for killing God by saying God isn’t real.
The title probably comes from something Friedrich Nietzsche wrote when he concluded God is dead. If you didn’t know, Mr. Nietzsche most likely died of thinking so much his brain gave out killing him…
Let me just give a shout out to David AR White! He was a mennonite kid that never grew up watching tv and as an adult he followed the leading of God, went to LA, and pursuing the dream God placed in him built what he has today. As a co-founder of Pureflix, an actor, a producer, (a list of credentials that go on and on), he is an example of someone living out the God-given dream God placed in him.
I used to be incredibly critical of his work and his films because deep down inside I was so jealous. In essence, he is doing what I want to be doing in life! But not just for the Christian community. I want to make films and TV shows that crossover into the secular world but honor God’s precepts. It’s like when you read the Bible and it reads, “Cain killed Abel”. I would display murder in a film, but it wouldn’t be gory or maybe the audience would only see the moment before… Like the Bible reads that Abel’s blood cried out to God from the ground. I would show the spot where the audience knew Cain killed Abel and then with an audio voiceover and dramatic music I would have Abel’s voice crying out to God because he has gone to the place of death (Sheol).
I think that’s more impactful than watching a man kill his brother.
BACK ON TOPIC! This film ranks at number five on my list because it did better than anyone imagined. During its run in theaters, it ranked #4 in the box office, and grossed over 64 million dollars.
I remember working at a movie theater, in Northern Arizona when this movie was released. We were a small theater so we needed to take in films that would make money. When this movie came in with a rank of number four at the box office, our theater finally got it, and there were lines out the door of people trying to get in to see this film!
Kevin Sorbo’s performance is phenomenal by the way. (He plays the atheist professor.)
# 4 – OCTOBER BABY
This film is based on a true story. A young woman finds out she was adopted. Needing to know her origin, she goes with a friend to search for her birth mother only to find out she survived a botched abortion. Out of shame, her birth mother abandoned her, and the young woman was adopted by her parents. Her adoptive mother being a woman who was one of the volunteers who kept her company when she was in the NICU.
The Erwin Brothers are AMAZING! They’ve worked with Pureflix and the Kendricks Brothers for Mom’s Night Out. I actually love every film they’ve done to date.
From the music, to the script, to the ensemble of the cast made this film one of the better faith films. Overall, this film was made better in quality than the faith films before it, but the message was and still is extraordinary.
# 3 – Left Behind (Kirk Cameron Version)
This film was based on the popular book series Left Behind. A fictional story based on how the last days may look on the earth.
I was SO CRITICAL of this film as a kid. I thought if the movie was remade with academy award winning actors in it, it would be better…
Well a few years ago a remake of “Left Behind” came out… with Nicholas Cage – any academy award winner… and it wasn’t as good as the original. (That’s putting it nicely. The good news is I have heard testimonies of people getting saved after they saw the remake version – so proof God was behind the making of it.)
That’s because to make a great film it takes more than great actors. It takes a team of people from the administration, to behind the scenes, to the music, to the writers, to the producers, and to the directors… I even might as go as far to say that the stars need excellent assistants to stay focused to give their best performance.
If you want to think about what the rapture may look like and don’t feel like reading – watch this movie series. However, like all things it’s not 100% accurate. We don’t fully know how everything will play out, but it is interesting to watch and to talk about with friends. Warning: you may feel a burning desire to actually study the Bible about the end times. LOL! That’s a good thing right 🙂
# 2 – WAR ROOM
This movie is about a woman who learns the power of prayer through a matriarch in the faith and through prayer her family is changed for the better.
The Kendricks Brothers make films that transform you when you walk out of the theater… this is their ministry. I would love to work with them one day for their anointing on some ideas I have… which is odd… because yes – I once was critical of these dudes too!
I went to see this movie with some friends and the audience was so lively. We laughed, we amen’d, we cried, we prayed, and we stood up applauding when the film ended. It was like going to church, except many of us were strangers. The fact this film could bring such unity shows how when God is in something it bring His family together!
# 1 – I CAN ONLY IMAGINE
I can’t believing I’m leaving my first favorite film off this list (The Remaining).
MercyMe is an incredible band that wrote a tremendous song called – “I Can Only Imagine”. This movie is based on the life of the band’s lead singer – Bart Millard – and tells the long story behind the hit song, which is the same name of the film.
First of all, the cast was AWESOME!
Secondly, the movie was so well written, beautifully directed, and overall I would say this film should have gotten award recognition from the secular world.
There was a moment I cried sad/happy tears! How does that happen?!
This one was entertainment and ministry. If you have not seen this film – SEE IT! Have tissues though.
It made just over 85 million dollars with a 7 million dollar budget… That’s incredible.
When someone gives the Erwin brothers like 100 million dollar budget it could become one the top grossing films ever. They’re such good stewards with their dollars and they do a lot with a little. I’d love to work with them one day too.
I also recommend watching the following films, they’re watchable, inspiring (or thought provoking), and they are all films that took me deeper in my walk with Christ Jesus. I’m not sure if they’ll do the same for you, but if you need a break from what Hollywood keeps making… these films will give you that Hollywood fix but fueled by Jesus.
- The Remaining – It is a rapture themed film based on Revelation 8 and 9. It’s classified as a thriller – so it’s spooky. It’s not very biblically sound, but Alexa PenaVega (Spy Kid Girl) is in it and I LOVE HER!
- Grace Unplugged – AJ Michalka who stars on ABC’s “Schooled” now. The spinoff show from the “Goldbergs”. In this film, the daughter of a rockstar, who left his wild life behind to follow Jesus, leaves home for LA and gets caught up in the fame monster Lady Gaga sung about and loses herself in the process. It ends well, but if I say more, I’ll spoil how. Chris Tomlin is in this movie for those who love his worship music. Jamie-Grace Harper Collins is in it too.
- The Song – is sort of a modern version of King Solomon, if he were a Country Music Star and only had one wife… Alan Powell from Anthem Lights stars in it.
- Woodlawn – another Erwin Brothers film. Also based on a true story. It’s a football movie about one of the first interracial teams. And the cool part is that Jesus the Messiah had so much to do with it!
- Mom’s Night Out – IF YOU LOVE GREY’S ANATOMY’S DR. APRIL KEPNER – you will love Sarah Drew in this movie about motherhood. Well, mom’s needing a break from being a mom…
- The Case for Christ – This was like the first well made Christian film I’ve seen script wise. It would be like in my top ten at #6 or maybe tied with #3. Erika Christensen may be a scientologist but she was a genuinely believable Christian convert. Her performance deserves an award in my book. I also think she is so underrated. Let’s pray she finds Jesus and leaves Scientology.
- Unbroken: Path to Redemption – I wish Angelia Jolie wanted to tell the second half of the Olympic Runner Louis Zamperini’s life. He got saved at a Billy Graham Revival! It’s a new cast replacing the original cast and crew of the first film “Unbroken”, but Matthew Baer returns as a producer.
- Soul Surfer – starring AnnaSophia Robb, Helen Hunt, and Dennis Quaid… Carrie Underwood is in here too. Based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton and WOW this film is so great! I saw this at a really low point in my life and it picked me up and inspired me to dream again and to work hard at achieving my God given dream.
- Breakthrough – no words other than that’s how faith works. See it!
- Run the Race – this film felt like an indie film – (technically it is one) and had that pace. Super cool camera angles to bring a realistic depth and feel to the story. I cried during the main characters monologue prayer. I think it was little melodramatic with the storyline but I still loved it. When I say I got delivered from some things after watching this movie – I got delivered! Worth watching once.
- Miracles from Heaven – answer to prayer. No lie… maybe I’ll write about it one day. Watch this with your family.
- 90 Seconds in Heaven – Also an answer to prayer… It’s an alright film. I suggest watching it if you have a hard time believing people can die, see heaven, and come back to life.
- Unconditional – heartwarming.
- The Christmas Candle – My favorite Christmas story that isn’t a nativity story.
- Jumping the Broom – If you like romcom films.
Did I leave your favorite faith film off the list? Drop the film title in the comments and the reason why you love it, I’d like to check it out if I haven’t heard of it.
Storyteller via writer, actor, filmmaker, and artist.