With many of us stuck at home, we’re all watching more television and movies than we’re used to. If you’re like most of the country, you’ve stuck with things that are familiar and comfortable, and that might have been great at first. But now, what about something a bit more substantial? What about a few movies about faith?
In this video, I recommend five movies that all Catholics must see. They are extraordinary movies that have affected my faith along the way.
But there are obviously plenty of other great movies, even if they don’t fit into the category of “must see.” Here are a few honorable mentions:
Silence The number one movie left in the comments as something I forgot. Folks, I didn’t “forget it.” I simply recognized that it is not a movie for everyone. Based on the true story of the Jesuit missionaries who were tortured in Japan, the movie is profound, well-crafted, and entirely too much for many to handle. It is long and violent, and while I think the book is an incredible work of art, I can’t exactly recommend the movie to everyone. If you can handle an extremely heavy movie, have at it. It’s one of the best.
St. Vincent Melissa McCarthy and Bill Murray aren’t exactly the dynamic duo I would pick for a Catholic film, but this isn’t exactly a normal Catholic film either. A story about finding saints among the sinners, Murray’s character is rough around the edges but has a heart that changes a young boy’s life (who in turn, changes his). While not entirely family friendly, it is a heartwarming story about second chances and the goodness in people we least expect.
Beyond the Gates (Shooting Dogs) Ready for a gut-wrenching film that will haunt you? Probably not. This movie is based on the true story of a Catholic school’s effort to protect its people in the midst of the Rwandan genocide. It is a story of solidarity, sacrifice, and the precious nature of all life.
Romero I’ve heard that this is not the most accurate of movies, but really, what “based on a true story” movie is? A biopic of the now St. Oscar Romero, the film captures the late cardinal’s involvement in the Salvadorian civil war, calling for peace and ultimately giving his life. One of my favorite saints.
The Two Popes Like Romero, it is hardly a work of pure non-fiction. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t great. Br. Tito and I discussed this a few months ago on our podcast, so I decided to leave it off the list.
Entertaining Angels And finally, an ode to one of my favorite non-saints, Dorothy Day. By no means the work of a major production company, it’s not going to win any prominent awards, but it tells the story of someone everyone should know about. Although I’m not a huge fan of Moira Kelly, it stars Martin Sheen and is written by John Wells, so for those who love The West Wing, it’s a great preview of what’s to come.
How could you, a priest, recommend the movie Calvary? Awful movie
I couldn’t agree more that it is one of the most disgusting movies I’ve ever seen! Why would you recommend such a movie? We just spent the last few nights watching the movies you’ve recommended and enjoyed them until we watched Calvary. I was hesitant since it was rated R, but being that you are a religious, I was under the assumption that it had a purpose, so I went against my better judgment. Tomorrow I will be praying and fasting for you! .
I watched four of the five. Wonder why The Passion (Mel Gibson’s) and The Nativity Story aren’t included. I watch them every year during Lent and Advent appropriately. Mostly I thought your choices had very little spiritual value.