I just rewatched The Nativity Story, which got me thinking about the history of Christian Movies (movies with a Christian theme) and the state of Christian movies today.
I grew up on movies like The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston as Moses, Ben-Hur, The Robe, etc… which my family collected and watched together. One thing that I do recall is that when I was growing up, there were no new Christian movies being produced, so I’d turn to the old ones, the classics, for entertainment of that variety.
I do realize now that during my childhood, and adolescence, there were Christian movies being produced, it just that they were so silly, cheesy, and poorly acted that no one cared to see them. I do think that that is starting to change.
Honestly, those of us looking for Christian stories well told in film owe a lot to Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. While debate about this movie still occurs amongst Christians, there can be no doubt that it gave the movie industry a goose to start producing better Christian-themed movies. I’ve watched and enjoyed The Gospel of John (for all my fellow Lost fans; Desmond plays Christ, which is fun, and kind of hard to get used to) , The Nativity Story, The Chronicles of Narnia, Amazing Grace, One Night with the King, and even films like The Last Sin Eater.
Independents out there, like Sherwood Pictures are giving it a go with films such as Flywheel and Facing the Giants. Their new movie “Fireproof” is coming out. While they’re a bit more straightforward in their preaching (especially preaching at you, which can get annoying even for fellow Christians), and the acting isn’t Hollywood level, at least they make profit on their movies.
However, there are some Christian movies that keep the cheese alive and well in this day and age; I expected more from the first two Left Behind installments, but I enjoyed the third one better, though it still fell below expectations for me. Other shows try to tackle the end-times, but again, they come out “a bit” sub-par.
I also enjoy movies that borrow Christian themes that aren’t anywhere near scripturally accurate, nor particularly Christian; The Prophecy series, Constantine, and the like.
Now, what movies would I like to see made? Movies on the level (and even more scripturally accurate) of The Passion, and The Nativity Story. Movies about Old Testament happenings on an epic scale would be nice, such as David, Daniel, Noah, etc… Also a high budget movie based on Peretti’s angel novels; This Present Darkness, and Piercing the Darkness would be very nice indeed.
So, how ’bout it? Any Christian movies you love, hate, love to laugh at? Old, new, future? Any recommendations?