Five Best Religion-Based Movies

Art of the Prince of Egypt

credit: The Prince of Egypt

Religious movies have been around for a while since religion predates cinema by a very big stretch. But religion in the movies has almost always been a touchy subject since trying to represent one group or another since there’s such a huge margin for error that can lead to one offense or another. What’s interesting about any movie that deals with religion in any way is that it often shines a light on the subject and even makes people think about their beliefs in very profound ways. Those who are rock solid in their beliefs often tend to make light of such movies or offer their own opinions using their own experience to view such movies. There’s nothing wrong with these stories, though some might feel the need to correct them from time to time since Hollywood does put their own spin on a lot of different tenets of religion, much to the enjoyment of some and the consternation of others. 

Here are five of the best religion-based movies ever made.  

5. The Seventh Seal

The Seventh Seal (1957) | MUBI

credit: The Seventh Seal

The Crusades were, as history tells us, a holy quest that was also exceedingly bloody and made many individuals question themselves before, during, and after they’d ended. When a traveling knight enters a game with none other than Death, the questions that many audience members might have felt during this movie are no doubt numerous. But while the morality of humanity and the implications of what we do in the name of one deity or another tend to arise quite frequently, the reasoning that is given for each act can become a hurdle on the road to the truth, or it can become a trap that one doesn’t see coming until the end. 

4. The Passion of the Christ

The Passion of the Christ' Follow-Up 'The Resurrection' Will Be Made |  IndieWire

credit: The Passion of the Christ

It’s very easy to state that a lot of people felt a wide array of emotions when watching this since Mel Gibson managed to create something that was meant to provoke a reaction that was both profound and lasting. Since Sunday school, many of us have heard the story of Jesus of Nazareth, and many people have decided to follow this tale in their own way. The brutality shown in this movie, however, did manage to reach people on a level that was hard to fathom at first, but with Gibson at the helm, it’s very easy to look back and see how he managed to create various scenes that would pull tears and even sobs from the throats of many audience members. 

3. Stigmata

Stigmata | Music Box Theatre

credit: Stigmata

Some folks might go so far as to call this movie sacrilegious since it does place a heavy hand on religion and give it a shove forward using one of the most revered ideas of Christianity, that the church is everything. From the use of the stigmata to the idea that the church is an absolute power, this movie skirts the edge of heresy by going so far as to state that the church is indeed powerful but that it is also rife with corruption that creates a barrier between God and the people who worship within the church. There are a few conflicting messages in this movie, but that could be what makes it interesting. 

2. The Shack

The Shack | Official Movie Site | Lionsgate.

credit: The Shack

The loss of a child is great enough to break just about anyone since it’s an act that can’t be taken back once committed, and it’s an act that can shake one’s faith in the almighty simply because there is no rhyme or reason that can explain why the young are allowed to be harmed. But when Mackenzie makes his way back into the woods where his daughter was taken, he meets three strangers that are rather blunt about who they are and aren’t shy about teaching him what it means to move on and accept that life is, well, imperfect. It’s a movie that a lot of people might want to watch at least once if they’re feeling their faith waver since it does come up with a few good points. 

1. The Prince of Egypt

Brenda Chapman on Prince of Egypt's ambition and Pixar's Brave troubles -  Polygon

credit: The Prince of Egypt

The story of Moses is one that a lot of people know at least a small part of since it’s been taught to people, talked about, and even used in pop culture more than once over the years. The movie begins with the idea that this is as close to history as one could get, but so many movies cite historical findings that it’s tough to know what might have really happened back in ancient times. Especially since opinions tend to vary from person to person. But the story that’s told is still entertaining enough to be reminiscent of something that a lot of us learned when we were children, and it’s fun to recognize the all-star cast that made this project come to life. 

Religion isn’t a taboo idea for a movie, but it does need to be handled with care sometimes. 

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