Tags :: Faith-based films

Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer REVIEW

Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer (2018)

Gosnell is subtitled The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer (echoing the similar subtitle of the book by producers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney) — but notorious abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell isn’t the only one on trial here.

Interview: Interview: <em>Paul, Apostle of Christ</em> Writer&#8211;Director Andrew Hyatt ARTICLE

Interview: Interview: Paul, Apostle of Christ Writer–Director Andrew Hyatt

The Full of Grace filmmaker talks about the challenges of bringing Scripture to life and the problems with many faith-based films.

Paul, Apostle of Christ REVIEW

Paul, Apostle of Christ (2018)

It’s not the unmade epic about the life of Paul of Tarsus many would like to see, but what it is is worthwhile in its own right.

Samson REVIEW

Samson (2018)

If you ever wondered what it might have looked like for Samson to slay 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of an ass, wonder no more.

The Star REVIEW

The Star (2017)

It’s a little like The Nativity Story meets The Secret Life of Pets, which probably sounds like a winning formula to some people.

All Saints REVIEW

All Saints (2017)

All Saints opens with the most familiar of pious Hollywood setups, the clergyman tasked with saving a threatened church (school, orphanage, etc.). Then something unexpected and kind of wonderful happens.

The Case for Christ REVIEW

The Case for Christ (2017)

The atheists and nonbelievers in The Case for Christ don’t have horns and tails, or even mustaches for twirling.

Hillsong &#8211; Let Hope Rise REVIEW

Hillsong – Let Hope Rise (2016)

Possibly the best and most cinematic sequence in Hillsong – Let Hope Rise is a montage that strikingly captures how the music of the Australian Evangelical church-based praise band Hillsong United touches, and unites, people all around the world.

Greater REVIEW

Greater (2016)

Greater has three surprises, which is three more than most faith-based films, particularly of the inspirational sports-movie variety.

Risen REVIEW

Risen (2016)

Risen might be the only Jesus film in which we first encounter Jesus on the cross, already dead or nearly so.

Becoming Blessed &Oacute;scar Romero ARTICLE

Becoming Blessed Óscar Romero

The recent beatification of Óscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador from 1977 until his assassination in 1980, has drawn new attention to the gap between public perception and reality regarding this popular but controverted figure in El Salvador’s turbulent history. For those interested in beginning to understand who Blessed Archbishop Romero really was, the Christopher Award–winning 1989 film Romero, starring Raúl Juliá, isn’t a bad place to start.

The queasy appeal of &ldquo;God&rsquo;s Not Dead&rdquo; ARTICLE

The queasy appeal of “God’s Not Dead”

Mirroring its populist tale pitting a devout young undergraduate against Kevin Sorbo’s hostile philosophy professor, the faith-based hit indie God’s Not Dead sharply divided enthusiastic faith audiences and scoffing critics.

REVIEW

The Song (2014)

A faith-based romantic drama with a country music milieu, The Song is couched as a contemporary reimagining of the life of King Solomon, son of David.

POST

God’s Not Dead [video] (2014)

I took two minutes to talk about this one, and still got in less than half of what bothered me about it.

REVIEW

For Greater Glory (2012)

For Greater Glory tells a story of religious freedom and oppression that is far too little known, and that would be important and worthwhile at any time, but is strikingly apropos in our cultural moment.

REVIEW

October Baby (2011)

October Baby is at its most thoughtful contemplating Hannah’s unresolved feelings about her biological mother and the tragic way that her life began.

REVIEW

The Mighty Macs (2011)

The movie is full of Catholic iconography that Catholic viewers and fans of Golden Age Hollywood Catholicism will appreciate. Statues of Jesus, Mary and the saints are everywhere. I compared the movie’s Catholic milieu to a Bing Crosby film, but a Crosby film would actually have edgier personalities and more conflict.

POST

There Be Dragons [video]

If you don’t have 30 seconds to spare, here’s a spoiler: There aren’t really any dragons.

REVIEW

Soul Surfer (2011)

Soul Surfer does nearly everything you expect it to, but it does it more likably and satisfyingly than you might think it would. Based on 21-year-old pro surfer Bethany Hamilton’s memoir Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family and Fighting to Get Back on the Board, it’s an inspirational sports biopic about a Hawaiian surfer whose devout faith helps her bounce back after losing an arm in a shark attack (at 13 in real life).

REVIEW

The Hiding Place (1975)

Thirty years after its original release, The Hiding Place remains one of the best films ever produced by a faith-based group (Billy Graham’s World Wide Pictures).

REVIEW

Beyond the Gates (2005)

Beyond the Gates is most worth seeing for its uncompromising portrait of a more representative episode in the Rwandan genocide than the events depicted in Hotel Rwanda. At the same time, it offers little insight into the Hutu or Tutsi experience.

REVIEW

One Night with the King (2006)

Christians lamenting the state of Hollywood sometimes flippantly comment that this or that Bible story “would make a great movie — intrigue, sex, violence, spectacle, etc.” This, though, is not a recipe for a great movie, but for a mediocre one. The story of Esther could certainly be made into a great film. One Night with the King is not that film. In some ways, it’s not even that story.

REVIEW

Facing the Giants (2006)

With fans of its two genres, especially in the Bible Belt, Facing the Giants will doubtless be a success. To reach a broader audience, though, the filmmakers will have to scrap their playbook and learn a whole new set of rules.

REVIEW

The Jeweller’s Shop (1990)

The story is propelled by ordinary (though sometimes philosophically elevated) dialogue, and a mysterious character in the play, Adam, becomes a simple priest — a rather Wojtyla-like priest, actually, who takes the young people of his parish on nature hikes in the mountains.

REVIEW

The Gospel of John (2003)

It is, so to speak, not "based on" St. John’s Gospel at all, so much as it is St. John’s Gospel — visualized and enacted to be sure, and to that extent interpreted and glossed, but not "adapted" in the usual sense.

REVIEW

Thérèse [The Story of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux] (2004)

“Ordinary girl. Extraordinary soul” is the tagline of Thérèse, Catholic actor-director Leonardo Defilippis’s reverent, uplifting, straightforward biopic of the Little Flower. Of the tagline’s two clauses, the film’s special burden seems to be the first part, “ordinary girl.”

REVIEW

One Man’s Hero (1999)

Who is right? The issues are complex, and historians and faithful Catholics disagree (see related article). One Man’s Hero is sympathetic to the St. Pats and critical of American "Manifest Destiny" expansionism and anti-Catholicism.

ARTICLE

"One Man’s Hero is Another Man’s Traitor"

Even movie-savvy Catholics often haven’t heard of One Man’s Hero, Lance Hool’s 1999 film about the San Patricios, a group of Irish Catholic immigrants in the 1840s who joined the U.S. Army but deserted after suffering religious and ethnic persecution, fled to Catholic Mexico, and wound up fighting on the Mexican side in the U.S.-Mexican War. The film, starring Tom Beringer, never got a proper U.S. theatrical release, and hasn’t been promoted on video and DVD, even in Catholic markets and media.

REVIEW

Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1999)

A native of Belgium, ordained in Honolulu, at the age of 33 Fr. Damien volunteered to become the first and only priest serving the leper colony. There he spent himself attending as best he could to the people’s needs, both spiritual and physical, offering the sacraments but also dressing wounds, helping to shelter them from the elements, even constructing coffins and digging graves.

ARTICLE

Here I Stand: The Good and Bad in Eric Till’s Luther

In one sense, I’d like to see more films like this made. At the same time, Luther is also a seriously flawed film. Relentlessly hagiographical in its depiction of Luther and one-sidedly positive in its view of the Reformation, the film also distorts Catholic theology and significant matters of historical fact, consistently skewing its portrayal to put Luther in the best possible light while making his opponents seem as unreasonable as possible.

REVIEW

Final Solution (2002)

It’s a melancholy truth that religion is often a key ingredient in long-standing conflicts festering in certain troubled regions around the globe: the Middle East, Northern Ireland, the Balkans. Final Solution depicts the way religion has been involved in the racial strife in South Africa — but it also points to the role that faith can and should play in reconciliation and healing as well.

REVIEW

Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (2002)

(Review by Mark Shea) I know. It sounds uninspiring on paper, if you haven’t seen them. But — you gotta trust me on this — these guys are really funny, a sort of strange brew mixing Monty Python, MTV, your third grade Sunday School teacher and a tiny bit of Robin Williams — all with a G rating.

Romero REVIEW

Romero (1989)

“A good compromise choice” is how one observer describes the 1977 appointment of Oscar Romero (Raul Julia) — a conservative, orthodox, apolitical bishop of a small rural diocese — to the archbishopric of San Salvador. By the time Archbishop Romero’s tempestuous three-year tenure comes to its violent end, “compromise” is a word no one will ever again think of in connection with him.