Top 5 Easter Movies: From Biblical Epics to Childhood Heroes


Discover the Magic of Easter Movies

Easter may not have the same mainstream appeal as Christmas, but there’s still a surprising number of Easter-themed movies to choose from. From adaptations of the Jesus story and Passover tales to mainstream depictions of the Easter Bunny, there’s something for everyone. So, if you’re looking for some timely entertainment, check out these excellent Easter-themed movies.

5) Godspell: A Modern-Day Sermon

Far preachier than most of the other options on this list, Godspell – an adaptation of the stage musical of the same name – is probably the most palatable sermon you’re likely to ever encounter. Set in modern-day New York and featuring Jesus and his disciples as color-blind hippies, this movie offers a fresh take on the crucifixion story. Jesus even wears a Superman shirt, garishly striped clown-pants, and red suspenders.

What sets Godspell apart from other crucifixion stories is its portrayal of Judas. Instead of being a one-dimensional villain, Judas is a deeply tragic figure whose opposition to Jesus is born of well-intentioned principles. This is highlighted in a memorable scene atop the World Trade Center, where Jesus and Judas sing an up-tempo duet, concluding that “it’s all for the best.”


4) The Prince of Egypt: A Rewarding Exodus Story

While many cinephiles prefer Cecile B. Demille’s The Ten Commandments as their Exodus story of choice, I’ve always found Dreamwork’s The Prince of Egypt to be a far more rewarding experience. The animated format allows for spectacular illustrations of the plagues and a perfect mix of marvel and mysticism in the Jews’ flight from Egypt.

Instead of focusing solely on the plagues, The Prince of Egypt sticks with the narrative core of the story. The plagues are relegated to a 2 1/2 minute montage, allowing the film to concentrate on its primary “brother-against-brother” storyline. The result is a deeply emotional movie that prioritizes substantive writing and meaningful direction over spectacle.


3) One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: A Surprising Easter Tale

At first glance, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest may seem like an odd choice for an Easter movie. The adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel isn’t a religious story, nor does it deal with Jesus’ crucifixion or the Jewish exodus. However, there is a Christian subtext to the character of McMurphy, who, despite his flaws, is lobotomized for our sins and teaches his fellow inmates how to treat one another with humanity. Watching the movie with this mindset may offer a new perspective on this familiar story.


2) Jesus Christ Superstar: A Musical Take on the Crucifixion

There are many similarities between Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell. Both are modern retellings of the crucifixion, featuring non-traditional direction and catchy showtunes. However, Jesus Christ Superstar offers a more in-depth look at Judas’ point of view, highlighting Jesus’ hypocrisies toward tending to the poor.

The movie also features a meta-textual element, as it shows a production of the play rather than the characters themselves. This adds an intriguing layer of meaning to the story, as the characters grapple with modern issues such as gun control and warfare.


1) Rise of the Guardians: The Spirit of Easter

Rise of the Guardians is an unexpected Easter movie, featuring childhood holiday icons as Avengers-style heroes. The film tells an exciting, action-packed, and surprisingly emotional story about the guardians of childhood protecting children from the monsters that lurk in the dark.

The Easter Bunny, in particular, guards the most important aspect of childhood: hope. Spring represents new beginnings and fresh starts, and Rise of the Guardians captures this spirit perfectly. The movie isn’t just technically an Easter movie; it embodies the very essence of the season.

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